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First Chapters of Dan Brown's Inferno

Dan Brown's publishers have released the prologue and first chapter of his latest novel in the Robert Langdon series, Inferno, which I've embedded above for your reading pleasure. The book begins with the usual (sometimes controversial) Brownian statement that "all artwork, literature, science and historical references in this novel are real", and mentions a pseudonymous organisation known as 'The Consortium' which will apparently feature in the novel (saying the name has been changed for "considerations of security and privacy".

The book opens by referencing Dante's Inferno and a few of the famous locations in the Italian city of Florence. If you've checked out my primer to the new novel, Inside Dan Brown's Inferno, you should be well aware of the significance and details of each of these - if you don't have it, you can grab the eBook for just $2.99.

Links: Pre-order Dan Brown's Inferno on Kindle, and grab my primer Inside Dan Brown's Inferno at the same time so that you know exactly where Langdon is, and the history behind the various plotlines.


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Greg wrote 4 years 31 weeks ago

Looking deeper

A few thoughts and speculations regarding the content so far:

* Who is "The Consortium" mentioned at the start of the book?

“The Consortium” is a private organization with
offices in seven countries. Its name has been changed
for considerations of security and privacy.

Going to one of the 'conspiracy' books that Dan Brown has recognised as a source for his writings, 'Rule by Secrecy', by Jim Marrs, the only reference to a group such as this is the 'Round Table Groups' created by Cecil Rhodes at the start of the 20th century: "Quigley identified Rhodes's secret society in the plural as the Round Table Groups, which had added branches in seven nations by 1915." However, the aim of this group seems to have been furthering the British Empire - not exactly pertinent to Italian affairs. Also, the seven nations statement is a century old, and they are said to have expanded since.

The Carbonari would be a more topical 'secret organisation', given the location, but they seem more a historical group rather than a modern day force.

* What do we make of the lady in Robert's dream in this excerpt?

"Robert Langdon gazed at her across a river whose churning waters ran red with blood. On the far bank, the woman stood facing him, motionless, solemn, her face hidden by a shroud. In her hand she gripped a blue tainia cloth, which she now raised in honor of the sea of corpses at her feet. The smell of death hung everywhere.

Seek, the woman whispered. And ye shall find.

...the woman reached up and slowly lifted the veil from her
face. She was strikingly beautiful, and yet older than Langdon had imagined—in her sixties perhaps, stately and strong, like a timeless statue. She had a sternly set jaw, deep soulful eyes, and long, silver- gray hair that cascaded over her shoulders in ringlets. An amulet of lapis lazuli hung around her neck— a single snake coiled around a staff."

The amulet is a clear reference to Asclepius, and in talismanic form I get the feeling this is a reference to Ficino. Is the woman meant to be a goddess? Or is it someone from Dante's time or the Renaissance? In either case, has Dan Brown plucked this visualisation from a famous painting in Florence? And what is the significance of the blue tainia cloth to honor the dead (tainia and Asclepius are both Greek references).

Mysteries for now!

UDbmas wrote 4 years 31 weeks ago

The Woman

A search on "Inanna" yeilds some interesting links.

Ballesio Mauro wrote 4 years 30 weeks ago

Dante's Love

Maybe a reference to "Beatrice"?

UDbmas wrote 4 years 29 weeks ago

@Ballesio Mauro

I thought at first it might be Beatrice but she was only 23 when she died. Though not impossible, I don't think Brown would age Beatrice. One interesting fact about Beatrice: her eyes were green. Like the Shade's. Brown doesn't mention what gender Shade is.

UDbmas wrote 4 years 27 weeks ago


Circle 9, Canto 33 beginning line 121. Call it a...what's the German word for "hunch"?

UDbmas wrote 4 years 24 weeks ago


In the countdown photos he's posting to twitter now, the US cover image has the same letter configuration as the Italian. Was the first release a typo, a deliberate decoy, or a brief hint?

Ballesio Mauro wrote 4 years 24 weeks ago

US cover has two versions

The US cover has different graphic also in the same Dan Brown site (the smaller one is italian version CERCA ROVA, the bigger one is CATROACCR).
On Amazon also the US cover is in the italian version...
Looks like that Dan Brown wanted to mislead the CERCA TROVA clue, at least initially...

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