Inferno, or the art of burning books

Whenever I’m travelling, either abroad or simply on a bus, I love to read. My ereader follows me everywhere (almost). I’m also a fan of Dan Brown, and while Digital Fortress wasn’t my favourite, I loved the others, especially Inferno. Slight spoiler alert.

The end of Inferno is one of the things that made people call Dan Brown a literary genius. I never saw it coming, not even close. The end was fantastic. Since Angels and Demons and The Davinci Code were fairly well adapted to the large screen, I ordered Inferno on VOD. We sat down, and watched it (Anne-Laure has also read the book, and loved it just as much as I did). And we were really, really disappointed.

Tom Hanks is a great author, and we both really love his films. The Professor Langdon is well portrayed, and the character is almost as rich as what you read in the books. The beginning keeps you on edge, but about half way through, we weren’t comfortable. There were a few parts missing, things that we had read in the books that just weren’t there. Not everything can be adapted, but still. And at the end, that was it, we were disappointed, and actually pretty annoyed. The entire end had been changed; one of the characters was completely out of play, and the Dan Brown masterpiece had been transformed into something that was about as bland as Hollywood can create. He saves the day. That’s nice, but we really are missing out on the exceptional conclusion, where you know you are going to be late for work, but you really have to read the last 30 pages, to understand how, to understand why, and to try and wrap that around your brain, while silently mouthing the word “wow”. Nope, bland. It was only afterwards that we had a look on the comments on different sites, and people who had read the book had written reviews that went from disappointed to irate.

It is still a pretty good film, but you have a choice. Read the book, or watch the film. Don’t do both.

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