So, I read the latest Dan Brown book. I admit, I liked DiVinci Code. I liked Angels and Demons. I also liked Digital Fortress. I was meh about Lost Symbols, but I thought I would give Dan Brown another chance and read Inferno.
It’s safe to say, I’m probably done reading Dan Brown books. I’m not saying he’s a horrible writer. But, once I figure out an author’s “formula” or rather, their plot skeleton, I just give on them as a writer. It’s why I don’t read anything by Mary Higgins Clark. In Dan Brown’s case, his stories involve confirmed bachelor Langdon an his annoying tweed jacket and Mickey Mouse watch, a beautiful, yet mysterious woman. And those two are usually on the run from a big bad. A bunch of art and history is thrown in. And the plot twist is something you least expect it. Only Brown leaves subtle bird crumbs so you can usually figure out the plot twist.
Inferno…I had hopes. The book starts off right away with action and drama! And art! And history! And a missing Mickey Mouse watch!
I’m going to drop some spoilers, and I won’t feel bad about it either because the book was a huge letdown. At any rate, the book touches on a group of people who believe the human population is growing as such a phenomenal rate, that overpopulation will be the cause of our own extinction. The antagonist of the story has seemingly made it his own personal crusade to prevent this from happening. Langdon and his potential next hit-it-and-quit-it are in a mad race to prevent a cataclysmic event (in the form of a floating Balloon of Doom) from happening, all while chased by people who seemingly want to kill them.
In the end, the “good guys” get to the Balloon of Doom, only to find it not very floaty anymore. The horrible virus has been released, containment of this alleged virus has been breached, and everyone prepares to wait for the population to keel over with a lethal case of syphilis (or whatever).
The twist of the story is that the virus isn’t all sickly and deathy, but rather a DNA-altering virus that will randomly make at least a third of the global population sterile. Everyone in the know still freaks out. The book ends with the scientists going off to some summit to figure out who to cure the virus.
At this point, I put down my e-reader, considered what I had read, and thought, “I’m completely okay with this sterility virus. What a shitty ending.”
I explained my feelings on the matter to Log, and he replied, “Any intelligent person would have that reaction.”
I’m not endorsing genetic thinning of the herd, although I would make a very compelling case as to why some people should not reproduce. I don’t condone genocide, or any type of -cide for that matter. But, at some point, global population is going to get out of hand, and it’s really going to bite humanity in the ass. People really should take a closer look at the world, and not just their own little bubble they live in. If they did, they would probably be just as worried, if not more so, than I am about the future of not just our country, but our world.
A little worry about what passes for good storytelling might not hurt either.