"An Inferno for Our Times?

A review of Dan Brown's Inferno.
Originally posted at NationalReview.com on May 18, 2013.

By Stephen W. Smith Temple Family Chair in English Literature and Associate Professor of English Hillsdale College Although skillful and clever throughout, Dan Brown’s Inferno is finally more of a gateway argument on behalf of population control than a simple thriller about Dante, Florence, or bioterror. Considered as a whole, the novel serves as something like a “gateway to the Posthuman age,” as the seeming villain of the novel says when describing the goal of his plot. While the gateways in Dante lead either to Hell and self-knowledge or to Mount Purgatorio and a climb to the stars, this novel leads the reader into a brave new world of genetic engineering and suggests that we embrace the new means required to “save the world,” even if we find them “uncomfortable.”

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