Saturday, September 21, 2013

Finally finished Inferno!

Just finished reading Dan Brown's "Inferno" (at long last!) after a stop-start adventure with his latest novel. Finished half of the book within the last week and it has got me back into reading again. (I always say that after finishing a Dan Brown novel)

The most stand-out thing for me was the 'villain' of the story, Bertrand Zobrist. He dies right at the start of the novel, but as the story goes deeper, he becomes less of a villain in my mind, and more of a hero, despite the somewhat controversial nature of his plans.

Basically Zobrist's theory says that in order to stop the uncontrollable growth of the human species and its destined extinction, there must be a huge cut to the population. Not seen as an act of killing, but rather an act of saving, Zobrist actually manages to carry out his plan successfully.

Yes, Robert Langdon and his 'accomplice', Sienna Brooks, run around Florence, Venice and Istanbul in vain, as Zobrist's plague was released to the world several days before the date they thought it would be poured out to the world.

Turns out that it wasn't a 'plague' after all, at least not one which kills. Bertrand Zobrist created a vector virus with his sharp intellect, which was way ahead of its time. This airborne virus was programmed to affect random people, roughly one-third of the world's population, making them sterile.

No-one would be killed, no-one would suffer, just 33% of the population would no longer be able to reproduce. Thus the population of humans would mercifully be lowered to a more sustainable number.

I actually guessed that this would be the outcome when Sienn Brooks announced that what he did was more dangerous than a plague. So I felt quite chuffed when in the next few chapters it was revealed exactly as I thought! :)

And so it turns out that the 'good guys' eventually listened to and embraced somewhat Bertrand Zobrist's ideas and that this culling of the population wasn't such a bad thing after all.

There is a fine line between 'good' and 'bad' and sometimes 'bad' is portrayed as 'bad' simply because we don't quite understand it yet. A very interesting read based on a very real problem we are encountering in our world today.

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Teaser Tuesday from Dan Brown's Inferno

This is a weekly event hosted by MizB at Should Be Reading.

I am currently making my way through Dan Brown's recent novel "Inferno" after a lengthy hiatus from reading. 

I'm back into the swing of it again and enjoying it a lot. Here's a snippet I'm sharing with you today:

"Every time Zobrist glances over at me, his green eyes ignite a wholly unexpected feeling inside me . . . the deep pull of sexual attraction. As the night wears on, the group slowly thins as the guests excuse themselves to get back to reality. By midnight, I am seated all alone with Bertrand Zobrist."

Sunday, September 8, 2013

The Baptistry of San Giovani - A Layer Cake?

In Chapter 53 of Dan Brown's latest novel, "Inferno", Robert Langdon and Sienna Brooks find themselves at The Baptistry of San Giovani in Florence.

Brown describes it like this:

"Adorned in the same polychromatic facing stones and striped pilasters as the cathedral, the baptistry distinguished itself from the larger building by its striking shape - a perfect octagon. Resembling a layer cake, some had claimed, the eight-sided structure consisted of three distinct tiers that ascended to a shallow white roof."

Here is a picture of the Baptistry of San Giovani:

And here's a layer cake:

And this is a traditional Sarawak layer cake:

I say that is quite an accurate comparison!
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