Wednesday, 22 September 2010

The Lost Symbol by Dan Brown

The Lost Symbol by Dan Brown

I'll admit it: Dan Brown is my brain candy.  Especially lately, whenever I feel in need of something easy and page-turner-y to read, I turn to Dan Brown.  I don't think it's high quality literature, but it's formulaic and therefore comforting to me!

Synopsis: Robert Langdon (he of Angels and Demons & The Da Vinci Code) is asked to Washington to deliver a lecture by his long-term mentor.  However, when he arrives he makes a gruesome discovery and ends up investigating the secrets of the Masons.

Score: 3 out of 5

I found this book a bit disappointing.  It was easy to read, and I was always expecting it to be formulaic and silly, but some of the later sections really seemed to be pushing the boundaries of credibility.  Without giving too much away - am I really supposed to believe that such a thing as breathable liquid exists?

Part of the problem is that the Masons are just not as glamourous as the Holy Grail or the Illuminati trying to wipe out the Vatican.  Their 'secrets' were not as exciting and there didn't seem to be as much action to keep the pace going smoothly.  There were large sections where not much happened.  The final revelations seemed to me to be an anti-climax after all of the build up through the book.

I also noticed that there was a lack of well developed secondary characters.  The bad guy, although a good bad guy, was a simplistic, pure evil type character and there was no one with any moral ambiguities to balance it out, as in the previous books.  There was also of course the appearance of a perfect female sidekick.

Looking back on this review so far, I have been quite harsh.  Despite all of the above, I still enjoyed the whole reading experience and the book definitely held my attention well.  I just think it wasn't as good as previous offerings from the author.

7 comments:

  1. I have yet to read this. It is one of them books that I bought and for some reason have not got round to reading.

    You have given a fair review, and I will get round to reading it soon. I know it is not going to be another The Da Vinci Code but like you I will treat it a bit as brain candy.

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  2. You could have been much more harsh imo :( I was so disappointed when I read this book back in christmas 09-10. Agree with you fully on it's weak points. To me it felt like he (Brown) didn't really have more to write about he just wanted to make some more money

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  3. @josbookjourney
    I think it's definitely worth a read. I didn't expect it to be as good as his other books, and it wasn't. But I still enjoyed it.

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  4. @noiashui
    I think you're exactly right about running out of interesting things to write about. He needs to find a new topic and spend a decent amount of time researching it before he writes anything else.

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  6. I am a Dan Brown fan too-- I even liked his other 2 non-langdon thrillers but this one disappointed me as well. Just not the calibre of the other Langdon's-- and Langdon's personality even seemed different to me in this one. Did it to you? He almost seemed a secondary character at times. And the bad guy's indentity was obvious from the beginning-- maybe Brown intended it that way-- but I wanted it to be a surprise.

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  7. @Cozy Book Nook (Lesa)
    I'm glad I'm not the only one who was disappointed. Langdon did seem different - less enthusiastic and ambitious; but then to me the whole book lacked that. And I like it when the bad guy is a surprise too - I loved that part in 'Angels and Demons'.

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