Dan Brown’s still crack­ing codes

A decade af­ter The Da Vinci Code was de­clared one of the best-sell­ing books of all time, Dan Brown tells Han­nah Stephen­son how his early years as a strug­gling writer helped him keep a sense of per­spec­tive

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The li­brary in Dan Brown’s vast New Hamp­shire home must look to the out­sider like a trib­ute to his suc­cess. The oc­tag­o­nal room within the for­mer hunt­ing lodge houses a copy of ev­ery edi­tion of each one of his nov­els in ev­ery lan­guage – not in­clud­ing his lat­est, In­ferno – and that’s a lot of books.

The mul­ti­mil­lion­aire author, whose block­buster thriller The

Da Vinci Code re­mains one of the world’s best-sell­ing nov­els since records be­gan, calls the room his “fortress of grat­i­tude”.

The nor­mally reclu­sive writer has de­cided to step out of the shad­ows to pro­mote In­ferno, in­spired by the first part of Dante’s 14th-cen­tury epic poem The Di­vine Com­edy.

The fast-paced thriller is al­most as ex­cit­ing as the spec­u­la­tion it gen­er­ated when trans­la­tors were holed up in a bunker in Italy for nearly two months so that the novel could be pub­lished si­mul­ta­ne­ously in 12 dif­fer­ent lan­guages with­out any of its con­tent be­ing re­vealed be­fore­hand. “They man­aged to trans­late this book into 11 lan­guages, pub­lished on the same day, with no leaks – that was no small feat,” says the 48-year-old author, his wispy blond hair combed neatly into place.

In­ferno, which took Brown three years to write, sees the re­turn of his hero, Har­vard pro­fes­sor of sym­bol­ogy Robert Lang­don, played by Tom Hanks in the film adap­ta­tions of

The Da Vinci Code and An­gels & Demons. In typ­i­cal page-turn­ing style, the

Dan Brown be­lieves his lat­est book, In­ferno, is the dark­est he has writ­ten as it deals with the com­plex and real-world prob­lem of over­pop­u­la­tion

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