How Is Dan Brown's "Inferno" Like "Doomsday Preppers"? Hint: Fun Factor

So I’m juggling the reading of about six different books right now, for various reasons, including Stephen D. (I think the “D.” is important here) King’s When the Money Runs Out: The End of Western Affluence (which I should really blog about before the money runs out and we can’t afford our laptops to read blogs anymore, but I’m guessing there’s some time for that), Cormac McCarthy’s The Road (rereading to make sure I know what I’m talking about in class), and Dan Brown’s new novel, Inferno. I have my reading quirks, as I imagine others do, and am mainly reading this one during my daughter’s swim lessons, when I sit in the bleachers at the YMCA pool and have to kill some time. Brown should get some kind of odd trophy or award, which is usually reserved for films: The So-Bad-It’s-Good Award. Although even that label doesn’t quite do him justice. The writing is awful. Simply awful. Clumsiness, corniness, and sloppy language abound. But . . . the book is fun. It’s preposterous and diabolical and fun. I realized it’s a little like that Doomsday Preppers show on the National Geographic Channel: full of conspiracy theories and clumsy people trying to prepare for the apocalypse, but fun in its own weird way. Although I can’t stop imagining Tom Hanks with that creepish haircut as the main character, Robert Langdon, from the risible (I’ve been waiting to use that word) film version of Da Vinci Code.

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