A less than towering ‘Inferno’

Whatever the merits, or otherwise, of Tom Hanks’ latest outing as Robert Langdon in the film adaptation of Dan Brown’s ‘Inferno’, in our eyes it’s a winner.

We must admit a certain bias here, because if there’s one thing that brings a smile to our faces at Wordsworth Towers then it’s a film or TV tie-in with one of our books.

Admittedly our Classics of World Literature series isn’t usually a source of such material. Robbie Coltrane as Doctor Johnson in Blackadder the Third gave us a tenuous link – but the Langdon film’s link to Dante’s Inferno, being part of his The Divine Comedy (available both individually and collectively from Wordsworth), gives us the chance of a little flurry of interest in the deeper recesses of our catalogue.

Naturally, it’s our main classics range that usually provides the material for such welcome bonuses and we spend many a happy hour scrutinising the TV schedules looking for the next classic adaptation.

We’re rarely disappointed and occasionally they are spectacular – with the BBC’s Dickensian series, it felt like all of our Christmas Carols had come at once.

There are certain authors – Jane Austen; the gift that keeps on giving – that can be relied on to come around every few years. It’s a great comfort to us to know that probably somewhere even now some new, smouldering leading man is donning Mr Darcy’s white linen shirt and heading for the lake.

But we digress – let’s get back to our Classics of World Literature series. Okay, so obvious commercial adaptations don’t immediately jump out. The Communist Manifesto – The Musical anyone?

Our personal pick would be de Tocqueville’s Democracy in America. Any screenplay that could introduce a deranged, strangely coiffured, misogynist orange racist as the villain would surely run and run.