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Page 3 Profile: Dan Brown, Author of new novel, 'Inferno'

Is Robert Langdon back in town?

He most certainly is. After the success of Angels and Demons, The Da Vinci Code and The Lost Symbol, Brown’s latest blockbuster featuring the protagonist Langdon is Inferno. But what’s really got people hot under the collar is the Langdon-esque situation of 11 translators being kept under armed guard in a windowless basement for two months in the depths of Italy.

Sounds like hell.

It’s less Illuminati, more nine circles of publishing secrecy. To capitalise on sales, Inferno’s publishers will release the book in English, French, German, Spanish, Catalan, Italian and Portuguese simultaneously and are determined to prevent the novel’s contents from being leaked. The translators, who worked every day at the Milan headquarters of the publishing firm, were chaperoned to and from their hotel and were forbidden from discussing the plot with anyone. They also had to hand in their phones, while the laptops provided were nailed to the desks.

Very clandestine. So will it be worth it?

Although the translators initially experienced “distrust” among the group, they’ve said that the bunker experience allowed them to immerse themselves completely in the book. As for Inferno itself, if its predecessors are anything to go by, it will be a bestseller: Brown has sold 40 million copies of The Da Vinci Code alone and 200 million of the Langdon series combined.

What can we expect this time around?

It’s the classic Brown thriller incorporating history, art and codes, as well as references to Dante’s epic 14th-century poem, Divine Comedy. Due for publication on Tuesday, Brown says:  “I am excited to take readers on a journey deep into this mysterious realm … a landscape of codes, symbols and more than a few secret passageways.” But no underground translators.

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