The Fiction of Dan Brown

When I wrote about book sequels scheduled to be published this year, I left out Dan Brown's next Robert Langdon novel.  The fourth volume in his series that includes Angels and Demons, The Da Vinci Code, and The Lost Symbol will be titled Inferno.  It will tackle mysterious cryptography and conspiracy theories surrounding (you guessed it) Dante Aligheri's epic poem Inferno.

Dan Brown's writing has made him a controversial figure, especially with all the hoopla surrounding his chart-topping international bestseller The Da Vinci Code, a thriller about hidden clues in Leonardo Da Vinci's "Last Supper" painting and other works of art and architecture. Throw in some murder and wacky speculations told in page-turning fashion, and the end result is a gripping work of pulp fiction. Some people went so far as to view it as fact, but such is the nature of any conspiracy theory -- the more wacky and convoluted it is, the more some people will believe it. Despite accusations of being anti-Christian, Brown has professed that his novels are simply meant to be entertaining stories and nothing more.  In Angels  and Demons, he deals with the legendary Illuminati secret society as his hero Langdon tries to stop them from using anti-matter to destroy Vatican City.  In The Lost Symbol, he delves into the Freemasonry cryptography found (and speculated upon) in the United States Capitol. Again, murder and mayhem abound, as Langdon comes to the rescue.

Brown's first book was Digital Fortress, a techno-thriller about government surveillance and computer hacker codes. His other non-Langdon book, Deception Point, is another techno-thriller, this one about a meteorite found in the Arctic Circle that might provide proof of extra-terrestrial life. 

Robert Langdon is a fun character and that's part of the appeal of his adventures, but I think the overall attraction is the author's mastery of creating puzzles and presenting his plots in easy-to-digest, cinematic, suspenseful chapters.

Tom Hanks starred in two movie adaptations of Brown's books. While earning mixed reviews, I think Hanks did a commendable job of bringing Robert Langdon to life and I would like to see him do the same for the other books in the series. The Da Vinci Code was directed by Ron Howard in 2006, followed by Angels and Demons (again directed by Howard) in 2009.  Hanks is currently attached to shoot The Lost Symbol and if it's a success we will probably see them adapt Inferno as well.

How many more fictional adventures can Dan Brown imagine for Robert Langdon to risk life and limb for the amusement of readers everywhere?