Magazine article The Spectator

Hot as Hell

Magazine article The Spectator

Hot as Hell

Article excerpt

Inferno by Dan Brown Bantam, £20, pp. 462, ISBN 9780593072493 The other day, while shopping in Tesco, I was surprised to find copies of the Inferno for sale by the checkout. 'Oh dear', I declared, 'who would have thought of finding Dante here?' It was not Dante of course, but Dan 'Dante' Brown, whose latest extravaganza, Inferno, tips a nod to the Florentine poet's medieval epic of fire and brimstone.

Inferno, a bibliographic thriller in the Umberto Eco mould, is the fastest-selling novel of the moment. But let us be clear.

Where Dante's Inferno was 'awful' in that archaic sense of the word (still valid in Italian) of inspiring awe, Brown's is merely awful. Correction: very awful. 'A powerfully built woman effortlessly unstraddled her BMW motorcycle and advanced with the intensity of a panther stalking its prey. …

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