Dan Brown does it again
For those that didn't know that the movie "The Da Vinci Code" was based on a book, let us bookworms inform you: The Da Vinci Code is the second book in a four-part series that follows the symbology professor Robert Langdon on his adventures that usually involve saving humanity.
The author, Dan Brown, is one of the most talented and influential mystery writers of our time - although they are his crowning glory, he's written a number of works besides the Langdon series, Deception Point being one of my favorites. Earlier this year, his latest addition to the series was published, and the madness that seems to inexplicably surround Robert Langdon continues. Here's what has happened so far:
Inferno is, as you may have guessed, centered around the epic poem by the same name written by Dante Alighieri in the fourteenth century, and a mad scientist's obsession with its ominous predictions.
Robert Langdon wakes to find himself in a hospital in Florence, Italy, with no recollection of how he got there from the United States or any memory at all from the past two days. He soon realizes he's in the hospital with retrograde amnesia being treated for a head wound caused by a bullet. When an blond-haired intruder enters the hospital and attempts to finish what she started, Langdon's young British doctor, Sienna Brooks, takes him under her wing and helps him escape. Once in her apartment, Langdon finds that he is carrying a small metal cylinder with a biohazard symbol. He calls the U.S. Consolate, who eagerly agree to meet him right away. He gives them the address to the hotel across the street because of Brooks' questionable Italian immigration status, and when the U.S. officers arrive in full military armor it soon becomes apparent that they too are trying to kill Langdon.
Upon further examination of the cylinder, they find it contains a projector displaying Boticelli's Map of Hell (an artistic interpretation of Dante's Inferno). Using clues from the image, Langdon and Brooks set off to find the truth behind Langdon's injury and to fill in the holes in his memory. They are led to Dante's death mask (a plaster mask of Dante's face created at the time of his death) only to find it it's been stolen. Upon watching the security videos from the previous night with the guards and tour guide, it becomes clear that Langdon was there the night before with an important Italian official and they stole the mask together. Baffled, Langdon narrowly escapes arrest by the guards and the soldiers that are prowling the city looking for him, and must now find the mask in order to solve his predicament as well as this mystery that Langdon suspects is a lot bigger than he realizes.
Through interluding chapters the reader learns that the mask is owned by a wealthy geneticist by the name of Bertrand Zobrist. A year prior to the unfolding events, he became convinced that Dante's Inferno is not a work of fiction but the very reality that human beings may come to face due to their overpopulation of the Earth. He approached the director-general of the World Health Organization with fanatic notions of reducing the human population, which immediately landed him on the bioterrorist list.
Disgruntled and vengeful, Zobrist disappeared to Italy to create a biological plague that will wipe out a sufficient amount of people to return Earth to stability. Zobrist kills himself the week before Langdon's arrival to Italy, but left plenty of clues to his diabolical legacy behind him, and ensured that the plague will be released even in his absence.
Nook of the week
Lo and behold - the Ford School of Public Policy refuses to disappoint. Upon following the stairs past the ground floor sitting area up to the third floor, a reading room even more impressive than the first reveals itself. Not only is it endowed with an endless supply of comfy reading chairs, but also contains large tables and spacious desk-cubicles complete with your own personal outlet for when you're forced to put down your book and actually study for finals. What else could you want from a reading room?
This week's listenings have encompassed a strange variety
Fluctuating from 90s hip hop with artists like A Tribe Called Quest and Snoop Dog's old stuff (thanks to the mix CD's from a friend), to indie folk artists like Milo Greene and Langhorne Slim, there was never a boring moment in my spotify library - mixing genres is always entertaining.