by Erin K. | | 4 Comments | Tags:

Welcome to Week 4 of the Online Book Club discussion of Inferno.

Well, you did it. You made it to the end of the book. What did you think? Were you surprised by the ending? Do you still feel a little confused? I first read this book years ago when it first came out, and I had completely forgotten the ending, so when I re-read it this month, I was shocked.

What was most surprising to you—the fact that Sienna wasn’t who she said she was, or the fact that they weren’t able to stop the plague before it got out? Or, were you most surprised by the fact that the plague was not an infection like the Bubonic plague, but instead rendered some people barren? That might have been the most bizarre thing to me. I couldn’t really understand the science of an airborne virus that could change a person’s DNA, but I was still astonished by the idea.

In the last few chapters, we learn that Sienna was FS-2080, and she had close ties to Zobrist. I was stunned by that. I really assumed that Dr. Ferris was FS-2080. Did anyone else think that? And, in the last few chapters, we learn that Langdon wasn’t really shot in the head; instead, it was all a big ploy to stop Langdon from helping the World Health Organization. How believable did you find that part? Do you believe that some big corporation could work to create a huge illusion that could completely alter a person’s conception of reality?

I thought it was nice that Langdon and Sienna were able to become friendly again by the end of the book. And, I’m glad that Sienna found some redemption and was able to help the WHO. I liked her as a character, so I’m glad that she didn’t end up finishing the book as Zobrist’s accomplice.

I think the hardest part of this book was keeping track of all of the places and art works. The Florence Inferno website, which I mentioned in an earlier blog post, helped, but I still had a hard time really visualizing everything. This video was helpful for me because it shows some of the real-world places mentioned in the book. Make sure you check it out.

I am really interested to hear what you thought of the end of the book, so share your comments below. If you haven’t read Dan Brown before, does this book make you want to read more of his books? If you have read his other books, how do you think this one stacks up?

I hope you enjoyed the book and will join us again next month as we read Brooklyn by Colm Toibin. Talk to you then!


4 Responses to “Inferno, Week 4”

  1. Carrol

    I did it! I had absolutely no trouble finishing this book. it had me involved from the very beginning.

    I knew something wasn’t right with Sienna. I never imagined she was involved with Zobrist. I actually felt sorry for her when she was running from Langdon at the end. I am so glad she stopped snd came clean with Langdon. I really liked the ending when she decided to help the WHO.

    There were so many twists and turns throughout the book. I am so glad it all finally made sense once everyone could tell Robert what was really going on.

    I will say I was shocked they didn’t stop the plague from getting out. I really thought they would. The virus described to make some barren was really disturbing to me.

    Thanks for the videos you provided. They really helped me to get a clearer picture of the places where this story happened.

    I really didn’t expect to like this book. It was my first Dan Brown book, but I can honestly say it won’t be my last!

    • Erin K.

      I’m so glad you found a new author that you can enjoy, Carrol. That is great news!

      It was pretty satisfying to finally get to the end and tie up all of the loose ends. I’m glad you felt like Sienna had a good ending. I was glad that she didn’t finish the book as a villain.

      I was really surprised about the plague, too. It was really creepy that it just targeted people’s reproductive systems.

      Thanks for following along again! I hope you can join us for Brooklyn next month!

  2. Jane Engle

    By Week 3’s reading I was convinced that Sienna was FS-2080 and that she had chosen not to fully adopt Zobrist’s plan. Although I knew she questioned some of Ferris’ actions, I thought she was treating him with a specially-developed drug that made his plague condition serious, although not contagious, but finally led to his death. When he showed back up alive and relatively well, I was most surprised.

    Being aware of the ways corporations with unlimited resources can accomplish things, I can believe that through the use of mind-altering drugs, specially designed facilities and uniquely trained personnel, a proper illusion could be created that would alter a person’s conception of reality. Having been highly suspicious of anyone and anything connected to Robert Langdon, it would be rare to encounter something that would truly surprise me like a false head wound.

    While the ending of the book was “nice,” it did not seem probable to me that Elizabeth and Sienna would have agreed to work together. Instead I would have expected them to remain fiercely independent to further their individual causes and beliefs with like-minded people and supporters.

    While the notoriety and controversy of The DaVinci Code made it my favorite Dan Brown book, Inferno rates a close second for me. I would recommend it as a good introductory read for those who are unsure of whether or not they would like this author.

    • Erin K.

      Thanks for your thoughts, Jane. It’s interesting that you had a prior knowledge to corporations that could produce a scenario that would alter your perception of reality. I had no knowledge of such institutions, so I was shocked by that part of the story.

      I like your ideas about how Sienna could have been drugging Ferris. He just seemed like such a creep, so I, too, was surprised when he showed up and was not a bad character.

      I’m glad you liked Inferno and would rank it as your second favorite Dan Brown title.

      I hope you’ll be able to join us again next month! Thanks for commenting so faithfully!

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