The power outage caused by a recent ice storm reminded me of it. I found myself housebound, options limited, cuddled with the terrier under blankets, immobilized by the weather, but enjoying an audiobook by Dan Brown. Who knew the loss of heat and light could be so pleasant?
I remember many other times being immobilized, listening to an audiobook by Dan Brown: recoveries after eye surgery. Page-turners held my interest and passed the time–sometimes days, but I spent one entire month of February facedown–and it enabled healing. Whether I heard CDs in a borrowed CD player or downloaded the audiobook from the library to my iPad Overdrive App, I wrapped myself up in the mysteries of the story.
I finished so many Dan Brown novels during recoveries that I say while Paul Michael’s narration entertains, I prefer Richard Poe’s delivery which matches better my impression of tweedy Robert Langdon. Call me an audio-bibliophile. This reader has auditory literary opinions.
Inferno by Dan Brown: part mystery, part history, part travelogue set in the city of Venice. Langdon and his new sidekick, Sienna hunt clues from Dante’s epic poem and Italian architecture. While not my favorite Landon novel, it carried me through the cold and dark until a work crew could restore power to my house. I was delighted to see Brown work in a mention of St. Lucy, the patron saint of the blind. Conflicting tales cast her as charitable, possibly tortured but her vision is restored, or a woman so beautiful, she devoted herself to God and cut out her lust inducing eyes and carried them around on tray. “If thine eye offend the, pluck it out and cast it from thee.” Harsh.
The idea of a city not tarnished by the usual noise pollutants appeals to me. The narrative mention of the sounds of The City of Bridges–metro traffic minimized, boats and pedestrian interactions creating the predominate noise–reminded me of my own short visit to the city years ago. Walking the narrow streets, passing over the canals on footbridges, observing life at a different pace, I loved it. I look forward to returning to the City of Water to experience the environment as my sensational focus changed quite a bit since my first travel.
For a time, I followed Robert Langdon on his adventures around Venice, grateful for my current state of health. I smiled to myself. With or without power, I’m celebrating another February, face up.