We had been enjoying the respite, but it now seems that Mr. Dan Brown has gone and written another book:
Brown, one of the world’s bestselling authors, will publish his fifth novel on 14 May, his publishers announced this morning. Langdon, a Harvard professor of “symbology” who sports a “charcoal turtleneck, Harris Tweed jacket, khakis, and collegiate cordovan loafers”, will be adventuring through the “heart of Europe” this time round, where he will be “drawn into a harrowing world centred on one of history’s most enduring and mysterious literary masterpieces”.
This ought to be good. And just what is the masterpiece that has had the misfortune to attract Mr. Brown’s attention? None other than Dante’s Inferno.
It is a canny (though, naturally, unhappy) choice: Inferno has an imposing reputation and a certain allure, though relatively few people have actually read it. Thus Mr. Brown gets them in the door, after which he can pretty much do what he wants. And I’ve no doubt he will, on both counts.
It is a hard thing to see a beloved book disfigured by a nincompoop, and quite a few mean-spirited witticisms occur to me. I am going to resist. It is probably too much to hope that the book will be a flop, so I content myself with this: I hope this is not the first volume in a trilogy.