by Erin K. | | 4 Comments | Tags:

Welcome to Week 2 of the Online Book Club discussion of Inferno!

So, how did you do with the first 34 chapters? Is it driving you crazy that there are so many unanswered questions and that there is so much chaos?

Before we start talking about all of the interesting things that happened in this section, I want to draw your attention to a really helpful website. The site, Florence Inferno, offers walking tours of Florence based on events from the book, but it also offers a comprehensive blog that gives historical information about the symbols, history, and art work mentioned in the book. For the first section, it might be helpful for you to read the section about Dante, a writer who obviously plays a big role in our story. The symbols, places, and art works sections also might help you visualize the different things mentioned in the book. I would encourage you to only click on subjects that are relevant to this first section because I don’t want you to accidentally read a spoiler!

The first clue that sends Langdon on his journey around Florence is a Botticelli illustration for Dante’s Inferno, which he finds in a projection cylinder. While Langdon and Sienna are rushing around trying to interpret this first clue, they are being chased. Why do you think they are being hunted? Who would not want Langdon to uncover the truth?

Botticelli's La Carte de l'Enfer
Botticelli’s La Carte de l’Enfer, one of the illustrations of Dante’s Inferno.

Interspersed between the sections with Langdon and Sienna are some disturbing scenes that describe some sort of scary video that will be distributed to the media, and some flashbacks centering on the World Health Organization director, Elizabeth Sinskey. Sinskey is dealing with a man who wants to reduce the world’s population, he seems willing to do something drastic to cut the population from 7 billion to 4. How do you think these conversations are connected to the prologue of the book and the scary video? How do you think a madman would propose to cut the population so drastically?

What are your thoughts so far? Do the parts about the collapse of the world based on population growth scare you? Are you finding it hard to keep track of all of Langdon’s movements and thoughts? Do you have any idea how this story is going to end?

I hope you are enjoying the story so far and are excited to keep going! Let me know your thoughts, and let me know if you enjoyed the movie!

Make sure to read the next 34 chapters before joining us next week.


4 Responses to “Inferno: Week 2”

  1. Jane Engle

    Having previously read and seen movies about Dan Brown’s character Robert Langdon, I can accept his challenge of solving the mystery of unanswered questions and chaos that exists. Being pursued by people who are trying to kill him would certainly make one wonder why and create suspicion about anyone like Sienna who is supposedly trying to help him. Can she really be trusted? Does she have some other motive in mind? Are there multiple groups involved representing different purposes? I look forward to reading more!

    Hunger and population issues go hand in hand, thus it is not surprising that WHO director Elizabeth Sinskey is having to deal with someone who wants to implement his solution for eliminating individuals. Elizabeth would be a threat to such a plan and timing for implementation of it. It reminds me of those who adhere to or reject the Malthusian catastrophe espoused by Thomas Robert Malthus, English cleric, who theorized about economics and demographics. Due to electronic publishing, I was unable to create a link to information, but I suggest looking the term up if you are not familiar with it.

    Since I was in high school, the problem of world population growth has been a personal concern of mine. My husband and I have no children and feel we are doing our best to reduce any further contributions on our part. As we Baby Boomers age, we are particularly worried about those who are in younger generations. It is easier to not think about or confront this issue. Books like this one again make me feel like the only way anyone really is willing to accept it is as a subject of fiction. Unfortunately, it may only be a question of when will people realize it is true?

    • Erin K.

      Thanks for your comment, Jane! I will definitely check out that term you suggested. I don’t think I have ever heard of it before.

      I’m glad you had read some of Dan Brown’s work before. I think knowing his style makes it easier to just jump into a book like Inferno. How does this one compare to other books of his that you have read?

      Thanks for your thoughts about population growth! It’s really important to keep these kinds of issues in mind!

      Talk to you next week!

  2. Carrol

    Wow! I have never read a book by Dan Brown. I have never seen any of these movies either. I was so hesitant to start this book, but I have to admit I am hooked. I cannot wait to turn the pages to find out what will happen next.

    I really like these characters. I do find it extremely difficult to keep track of all the things Brown describes. Thank you for the site you provided. It was very helpful and interesting to get more information about the places and items from the book.

    The parts about the world population growth are scary to me. I don’t understand all of the connections yet, but hopefully I will get a better understanding soon.

    I have no idea how this will all end. I feel a little unsettled about Sienna. What really is her purpose for helping Langdon? Hopefully, I will find out soon.

    • Erin K.

      Carrol, I am glad that you are enjoying the book! It is an intimidating looking book, so I’m glad you were able to move past that and enjoy the story.

      I’m glad the site is helping you keep track of details. I have read this book more than once, and I still had a hard time keeping everything straight!

      I can’t wait to hear what you think of Sienna! I hope you find out some good answers to your questions as you keep reading.

      Talk to you next week!

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