Robert Langdon está de volta

De tempos em tempos surge um livro que devido ao seu enredo, seu personagem ou simplesmente por pura sorte vira um fenômeno de vendas. Foi assim com a saga Harry Porter, com a saga Twilight e também com o Código da Vinci de Dan Brown.

Sobre o último o que posso dizer é que seu autor foi muito feliz ao mesclar arte, história e um personagem carismático, o professor de simbologia Robert Langdon. Com sua narrativa dinâmica o livro virou um fenômeno de vendas, foram 80 milhões de livros vendidos e traduzido para 44 línguas. O livrou foi lançado em 2003 e em 2006 foi adaptado aos cinemas com Tom Hanks no papel principal.

Agora Robert Langdon está de volta no novo livro de Dan Brown – Inferno. O mercado livreiro está bem animado com este lançamento, as expectativas são altas, será que o novo livro será um blockbuster como foi o Código Da Vinci? Continuará Robert Langdon cativando milhares de leitores em sua nova aventura baseada na obra prima de Dante? Só saberemos após o lançamento mundial do livro em 14 de maio, mas para quem quiser um gostinho do livro, abaixo disponibilizamos o prólogo e o primeiro capítulo do novo livro de Dan Brown, Inferno.

Inferno

Inferno

Inferno

The darkest places in hell are reserved for those who
maintain their neutrality in times of moral crisis.

FACT:
All artwork, literature, science, and historical references
in this novel are real.
“The Consortium” is a private organization with
offices in seven countries. Its name has been changed
for considerations of security and privacy.
Inferno is the underworld as described in Dante
Alighieri’s epic poem The Divine Comedy, which
portrays hell as an elaborately structured realm
populated by entities known as “shades”— bodiless
souls trapped between life and death.

PROLOGUE

I am the Shade.

Through the dolent city, I flee.

Through the eternal woe, I take flight.

Along the banks of the river Arno, I scramble, breathless . . . turning

left onto Via dei Castellani, making my way northward, huddling in the

shadows of the Uffizi.

And still they pursue me.

Their footsteps grow louder now as they hunt with relentless determination.

For years they have pursued me. Their persistence has kept me underground

. . . forced me to live in purgatory . . . laboring beneath the earth

like a chthonic monster.

I am the Shade.

Here aboveground, I raise my eyes to the north, but I am unable to

find a direct path to salvation . . . for the Apennine Mountains are blotting

out the first light of dawn.

I pass behind the palazzo with its crenellated tower and one- handed

clock . . . snaking through the early- morning vendors in Piazza San

Firenze with their hoarse voices smelling of lampredotto and roasted

olives. Crossing before the Bargello, I cut west toward the spire of the

Badia and come up hard against the iron gate at the base of the stairs.

Here all hesitation must be left behind.

I turn the handle and step into the passage from which I know there

will be no return. I urge my leaden legs up the narrow staircase . . . spiraling

skyward on soft marble treads, pitted and worn.

The voices echo from below. Beseeching.

They are behind me, unyielding, closing in.

They do not understand what is coming . . . nor what I have done for

them!

Ungrateful land!

As I climb, the visions come hard . . . the lustful bodies writhing in

fiery rain, the gluttonous souls floating in excrement, the treacherous

villains frozen in Satan’s icy grasp.

I climb the final stairs and arrive at the top, staggering near dead into

the damp morning air. I rush to the head- high wall, peering through the

slits. Far below is the blessed city that I have made my sanctuary from

those who exiled me.

The voices call out, arriving close behind me. “What you’ve done is

madness!”

Madness breeds madness.

“For the love of God,” they shout, “tell us where you’ve hidden it!”

For precisely the love of God, I will not.

I stand now, cornered, my back to the cold stone. They stare deep into

my clear green eyes, and their expressions darken, no longer cajoling, but

threatening. “You know we have our methods. We can force you to tell

us where it is.”

For that reason, I have climbed halfway to heaven.

Without warning, I turn and reach up, curling my fi ngers onto the

high ledge, pulling myself up, scrambling onto my knees, then standing

. . . unsteady at the precipice. Guide me, dear Virgil, across the void.

They rush forward in disbelief, wanting to grab at my feet, but fearing

they will upset my balance and knock me off. They beg now, in quiet

desperation, but I have turned my back. I know what I must do.

Beneath me, dizzyingly far beneath me, the red tile roofs spread out

like a sea of fire on the countryside, illuminating the fair land upon which

giants once roamed . . . Giotto, Donatello, Brunelleschi, Michelangelo,

Botticelli.

I inch my toes to the edge.

“Come down!” they shout. “It’s not too late!”

O, willful ignorants! Do you not see the future? Do you not grasp the

splendor of my creation? The necessity?

I will gladly make this ultimate sacrifice . . . and with it I will extinguish

your final hope of finding what you seek.

You will never locate it in time.

Hundreds of feet below, the cobblestone piazza beckons like a tranquil

oasis. How I long for more time . . . but time is the one commodity

even my vast fortunes cannot afford.

In these final seconds, I gaze down at the piazza, and I behold a sight

that startles me.

I see your face.

You are gazing up at me from the shadows. Your eyes are mournful,

and yet in them I sense a veneration for what I have accomplished. You

understand I have no choice. For the love of Mankind, I must protect my

masterpiece.

It grows even now . . . waiting . . . simmering beneath the bloodred waters

of the lagoon that reflects no stars.

And so, I lift my eyes from yours and I contemplate the horizon. High

above this burdened world, I make my fi nal supplication.

Dearest God, I pray the world remembers my name not as a monstrous

sinner, but as the glorious savior you know I truly am. I pray Mankind will

understand the gift I leave behind.

My gift is the future.

My gift is salvation.

My gift is Inferno.

With that, I whisper my amen . . . and take my final step, into the abyss.

CHAPTER 1

The memories materialized slowly . . . like bubbles surfacing from

the darkness of a bottomless well.

A veiled woman.

Robert Langdon gazed at her across a river whose churning waters ran

red with blood. On the far bank, the woman stood facing him, motionless,

solemn, her face hidden by a shroud. In her hand she gripped a blue

tainia cloth, which she now raised in honor of the sea of corpses at her

feet. The smell of death hung everywhere.

Seek, the woman whispered. And ye shall find.

Langdon heard the words as if she had spoken them inside his head.

“Who are you?” he called out, but his voice made no sound.

Time grows short, she whispered. Seek and find.

Langdon took a step toward the river, but he could see the waters were

bloodred and too deep to traverse. When Langdon raised his eyes again

to the veiled woman, the bodies at her feet had multiplied. There were

hundreds of them now, maybe thousands, some still alive, writhing in

agony, dying unthinkable deaths . . . consumed by fi re, buried in feces,

devouring one another. He could hear the mournful cries of human suffering

echoing across the water.

The woman moved toward him, holding out her slender hands, as if

beckoning for help.

“Who are you?!” Langdon again shouted.

In response, the woman reached up and slowly lifted the veil from her

face. She was strikingly beautiful, and yet older than Langdon had imagined—

in her sixties perhaps, stately and strong, like a timeless statue.

She had a sternly set jaw, deep soulful eyes, and long, silver- gray hair that

cascaded over her shoulders in ringlets. An amulet of lapis lazuli hung

around her neck— a single snake coiled around a staff.

Langdon sensed he knew her . . . trusted her. But how? Why?

She pointed now to a writhing pair of legs, which protruded upside

down from the earth, apparently belonging to some poor soul who had

been buried head first to his waist. The man’s pale thigh bore a single

letter— written in mud— R.

R? Langdon thought, uncertain. As in . . . Robert? “Is that . . . me?”

The woman’s face revealed nothing. Seek and find, she repeated.

Without warning, she began radiating a white light . . . brighter and

brighter. Her entire body started vibrating intensely, and then, in a rush

of thunder, she exploded into a thousand splintering shards of light.

Langdon bolted awake, shouting.

The room was bright. He was alone. The sharp smell of medicinal

alcohol hung in the air, and somewhere a machine pinged in quiet

rhythm with his heart. Langdon tried to move his right arm, but a sharp

pain restrained him. He looked down and saw an IV tugging at the skin

of his forearm.

His pulse quickened, and the machines kept pace, pinging more rapidly.

Where am I? What happened?

The back of Langdon’s head throbbed, a gnawing pain. Gingerly, he

reached up with his free arm and touched his scalp, trying to locate the

source of his headache. Beneath his matted hair, he found the hard nubs

of a dozen or so stitches caked with dried blood.

He closed his eyes, trying to remember an accident.

Nothing. A total blank.

Think.

Only darkness.

A man in scrubs hurried in, apparently alerted by Langdon’s racing

heart monitor. He had a shaggy beard, bushy mustache, and gentle eyes

that radiated a thoughtful calm beneath his overgrown eyebrows.

“What . . . happened?” Langdon managed. “Did I have an accident?”

The bearded man put a finger to his lips and then rushed out, calling

for someone down the hall.

Langdon turned his head, but the movement sent a spike of pain radiating

through his skull. He took deep breaths and let the pain pass. Then,

very gently and methodically, he surveyed his sterile surroundings.

The hospital room had a single bed. No flowers. No cards. Langdon

saw his clothes on a nearby counter, folded inside a clear plastic bag.

They were covered with blood.

My God. It must have been bad.

Now Langdon rotated his head very slowly toward the window beside

his bed. It was dark outside. Night. All Langdon could see in the glass

was his own reflection— an ashen stranger, pale and weary, attached to

tubes and wires, surrounded by medical equipment.

Voices approached in the hall, and Langdon turned his gaze back

toward the room. The doctor returned, now accompanied by a woman.

She appeared to be in her early thirties. She wore blue scrubs and had

tied her blond hair back in a thick ponytail that swung behind her as she

walked.

“I’m Dr. Sienna Brooks,” she said, giving Langdon a smile as she

entered. “I’ll be working with Dr. Marconi tonight.”

Langdon nodded weakly.

Tall and lissome, Dr. Brooks moved with the assertive gait of an athlete.

Even in shapeless scrubs, she had a willowy elegance about her.

Despite the absence of any makeup that Langdon could see, her complexion

appeared unusually smooth, the only blemish a tiny beauty mark

just above her lips. Her eyes, though a gentle brown, seemed unusually

penetrating, as if they had witnessed a profundity of experience rarely

encountered by a person her age.

“Dr. Marconi doesn’t speak much English,” she said, sitting down

beside him, “and he asked me to fill out your admittance form.” She gave

him another smile.

“Thanks,” Langdon croaked.

“Okay,” she began, her tone businesslike. “What is your name?”

It took him a moment. “Robert . . . Langdon.”

She shone a penlight in Langdon’s eyes. “Occupation?”

This information surfaced even more slowly. “Professor. Art history

. . . and symbology. Harvard University.”

Dr. Brooks lowered the light, looking startled. The doctor with the

bushy eyebrows looked equally surprised.

“You’re . . . an American?”

Langdon gave her a confused look.

“It’s just . . .” She hesitated. “You had no identification when you

arrived tonight. You were wearing Harris Tweed and Somerset loafers,

so we guessed British.”

“I’m American,” Langdon assured her, too exhausted to explain his

preference for well- tailored clothing.

“Any pain?”

“My head,” Langdon replied, his throbbing skull only made worse by

the bright penlight. Thankfully, she now pocketed it, taking Langdon’s

wrist and checking his pulse.

“You woke up shouting,” the woman said. “Do you remember why?”

Langdon flashed again on the strange vision of the veiled woman surrounded

by writhing bodies. Seek and ye shall find. “I was having a nightmare.”

“About?”

Langdon told her.

Dr. Brooks’s expression remained neutral as she made notes on a clipboard.

“Any idea what might have sparked such a frightening vision?”

Langdon probed his memory and then shook his head, which pounded

in protest.

“Okay, Mr. Langdon,” she said, still writing, “a couple of routine questions

for you. What day of the week is it?”

Langdon thought for a moment. “It’s Saturday. I remember earlier

today walking across campus . . . going to an afternoon lecture series,

and then . . . that’s pretty much the last thing I remember. Did I fall?”

“We’ll get to that. Do you know where you are?”

Langdon took his best guess. “Massachusetts General Hospital?”

Dr. Brooks made another note. “And is there someone we should call

for you? Wife? Children?”

“Nobody,” Langdon replied instinctively. He had always enjoyed the

solitude and independence provided him by his chosen life of bachelorhood,

although he had to admit, in his current situation, he’d prefer to

have a familiar face at his side. “There are some colleagues I could call,

but I’m fi ne.”

Dr. Brooks fi nished writing, and the older doctor approached. Again

smoothing back his bushy eyebrows, he produced a small voice recorder

from his pocket and showed it to Dr. Brooks. She nodded in understanding

and turned back to her patient.

“Mr. Langdon, when you arrived tonight, you were mumbling something

over and over.” She glanced at Dr. Marconi, who held up the digital

recorder and pressed a button.

A recording began to play, and Langdon heard his own groggy voice,

repeatedly muttering the same phrase: “Ve . . . sorry. Ve . . . sorry.”

“It sounds to me,” the woman said, “like you’re saying, ‘Very sorry.

Very sorry.’ ”

Langdon agreed, and yet he had no recollection of it.

Dr. Brooks fixed him with a disquietingly intense stare. “Do you have

any idea why you’d be saying this? Are you sorry about something?”

As Langdon probed the dark recesses of his memory, he again saw the

veiled woman. She was standing on the banks of a bloodred river surrounded

by bodies. The stench of death returned.

Langdon was overcome by a sudden, instinctive sense of danger . . .

not just for himself . . . but for everyone. The pinging of his heart monitor

accelerated rapidly. His muscles tightened, and he tried to sit up.

Dr. Brooks quickly placed a firm hand on Langdon’s sternum, forcing

him back down. She shot a glance at the bearded doctor, who walked

over to a nearby counter and began preparing something.

Dr. Brooks hovered over Langdon, whispering now. “Mr. Langdon,

anxiety is common with brain injuries, but you need to keep your pulse

rate down. No movement. No excitement. Just lie still and rest. You’ll be

okay. Your memory will come back slowly.”

The doctor returned now with a syringe, which he handed to Dr.

Brooks. She injected its contents into Langdon’s IV.

“Just a mild sedative to calm you down,” she explained, “and also to

help with the pain.” She stood to go. “You’ll be fi ne, Mr. Langdon. Just

sleep. If you need anything, press the button on your bedside.”

She turned out the light and departed with the bearded doctor.

In the darkness, Langdon felt the drugs washing through his system

almost instantly, dragging his body back down into that deep well from

which he had emerged. He fought the feeling, forcing his eyes open in

the darkness of his room. He tried to sit up, but his body felt like cement.

As Langdon shifted, he found himself again facing the window. The

lights were out, and in the dark glass, his own reflection had disappeared,

replaced by an illuminated skyline in the distance.

Amid a contour of spires and domes, a single regal facade dominated

Langdon’s field of view. The building was an imposing stone fortress with

a notched parapet and a three- hundred- foot tower that swelled near the

top, bulging outward into a massive machicolated battlement.

Langdon sat bolt upright in bed, pain exploding in his head. He fought

off the searing throb and fixed his gaze on the tower.

Langdon knew the medieval structure well.

It was unique in the world.

Unfortunately, it was also located four thousand miles from Massachusetts.

Outside his window, hidden in the shadows of the Via Torregalli, a powerfully

built woman effortlessly unstraddled her BMW motorcycle and

advanced with the intensity of a panther stalking its prey. Her gaze was

sharp. Her close- cropped hair— styled into spikes— stood out against

the upturned collar of her black leather riding suit. She checked her

silenced weapon, and stared up at the window where Robert Langdon’s

light had just gone out.

Earlier tonight her original mission had gone horribly awry.

The coo of a single dove had changed everything.

Now she had come to make it right.

Por: Ivo

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