Don’t read if you don’t want to have the story spoiled at least a little. The ONLY positive I could scrap at the bottom of the barrel to speak of might be the occasional surprise, so I’ll try and control myself. With saying that, on with my rant.
Ok. Where do I focus my review? I’m afraid I’m going to come off as a bitter harpy who wants a third of the world’s population dead, because Ol’ Dan never inspired me at all to root for the “good guys.” All the heroes of the story came across as closed minded hypocrites who would damn the earth with their goodness, and make effing sure those who intervened, however unknowingly, suffered the consequences of their actions, even if they turned a new leaf. He could’ve earned at least a few points with me if he had made the ones we were supposed to be cheering on a little less ridged and moralistic. Instead, I found myself hoping they caught a zombie apocalypse plague and got a craving for entrails. Since he loves rocking the world's boat, I have to wonder if Danny Boy didn't do that on purpose, hoping to convince some mad genius out there that he or she would save the world by acting in a big way like our beloved villain. I just hope said potential mad genius does his research and realizes that Big D was way off the mark (if RL geniuses are as dumb as the ones in this book, we're all in trouble).
Langdon? Couldn’t stand him. What a smug doofus. And I usually have a thing for professors, especially if they’re haughty and cerebral with major sticks up their asses. I hope Dan-O hasn’t left me scarred forever in that respect. I really really enjoyed my professor fantasies. Langdon, was supposed to be all intelligent and cutely quirky. Feh! He came off as a moron who would have trouble remembering to zip his pants in the mornings. It didn’t help that there was an opening scene with him being chased in a hospital gown with his butt hanging out (it didn’t say it but that’s how they’re made) that just stayed with me. The fancy Italian suit came way too late. Even beating The Harris Tweed jacket over our heads couldn’t improve the image for me (that thing had its own identity and personality). Forget Tom Hanks (who doesn’t do it for me anyway), all I could see was Mr. Bean.
Siena, the side kick, was the only “good guy” I could barely tolerate, except the villain. I liked him too. Even though he wasn’t technically a good guy, he was certainly my favorite character.
The Bee-U-Tee-Full silver haired lady? (Another concept beat to death) Let’s see. Let's just say I hated her, too. I was also going to question the feasibility of someone with her inflexibility and lack of foresight being such an important leader, but never mind. I guess that’s actually pretty much true to life. ;D
The repetitiveness of the themes was like a broken record and just as irritating. There was the aforementioned Harris Tweed jacket and Bee-U-Tee-Full silver haired lady coupled with…pretty much the rest of the book. The Mickey Mouse watch (sorry, failed to endear me), the painting (which by the way we’ve recently discovered would be difficult to study the way it was depicted in the book—the images would be way too tiny—another fail), travelogue after travelogue after travelogue until I was ready to fall asleep (thank god for the peens!), The Freaking Video!!! OMG! He needed a couple more repeats of that thing. (I get all hot under the collar just thinking about it!). If you took out all the repetition and travel brochures, the entire story would be about 75 to 100 pages, if that.
I listened to this on audiobook, which pretty much was like listening to the History Channel and was about as exciting. Actually, the History Channel is one of my favorites and doesn’t deserve the comparison. But seriously, if I wanted to be info-dumped to death with Italian art and architecture, I’d take a trip or a class. Don’t try to cheat by doing a copy and paste of Wikipedia to use as filler for your book.
For me, reading the story was painful. I’ve left out much for the sake of not ruining it, as I’m sure this will be up many a person’s alley. I recognize that it was supposed to be suspenseful and intellectually stimulating, but I’ve come away with nothing but a hope that some nut will go postal and cause world calamity (That’s a joke, fellas. As if this book could inspire me too feel anything but frustration and boredom). Again, I still question if that wasn’t the intention. I can just see our boy smugly giving himself a pat on the back for stirring the world's consciouness.
On a high note, (one more!), I’m left with a feeling that I’ve survived a world calamity, so I guess that’s a positive and has made me forgiving enough to give it a whole 2 stars instead of 1.
My recommendation? Wait for the movie.