There is enough foreshadowing in the first few chapters to allow you to perfectly predict the end of this pitiable, formulaic thriller within an hour. The next seventeen alternate between cheap thrills, painfully stilted dialogue, and the occasional lame attempt to make it seem as though the inevitable plot line is not so inevitable after all. Brown's talent as a writer evolved substantially between this overwraught dime novel and the Da Vinci Code, and it's interesting to draw comparisons between the two as an example of how an author can grow into his metier, but it took real dicipline and a lot of eye rolling to make it to the end of this painful early excersise in suspense writing.
I listened to the Unabridged Audio Version of Angels and Demons and I was rather disappointed. Don't get me wrong. I really enjoyed DaVinci Code, but this novel read like the exact same book. Lets see: we've got the overly brainy annoying lead character: check. Nubile younger woman: check. Crazed zealot assassin: check. Catholic Conspiracy: check.
Add to this long (and pointless) flashbacks by minor characters, and Robert Langdon's endless preaching and I found myself wishing for the novel to end. I really might be able to enjoy this book, if I actually liked a few of the lead characters. No such luck. The only likeable character was the Pope's assistant. But even he was a stereotype, way too saintly. Lets try for a few human characters rather than such extreme sterotypes, next time shall we?
Also, I could do without the rather heavy-handed preaching in the middle. Okay, okay we get it. Because of Science we are all drowning in a morass of hopelessness without Mother Church. We get it. Can we get back to the action story now?
Eh. 1 star. This was an okay listen, which could've used an editor.
This one falls into the "couldn't put it down" category. Immensely informative, energetic, with non-stop action. I was exhausted by the time I finished. I felt it far surpassed the DaVinci Code!
I liked the basic premise as much as The Da Vinci Code but Dan Brown went a little overboard in this one.
I love the way he managed to actually produce a textbook on religious history using a fictional narrative as the vehicle in which to tell it. This is the same thing he did with TDVC.
There were two things that bothered me about this one that he seems to have grown out of before his next book.
#1. TOO UNBELIEVABLE. There are two kinds of action heroes. The Superman Type and The Regular guy who is thrust into adventure reluctantly. The Superman type is expected to do outrageous feats and survive unbelievable things. The latter type is much less invulnerable.
Langdon is the regular guy. It creates a real problem when he keeps walking away from death as he does in this one. There is a certain license that is acceptable in this kind of thing ? it was crossed here big time.
#2. SILLY CIRCULAR NARRATIVE I don?t know if that?s the right term but here is my own perception of a dialogue passage that thematically occurred at least 6 or 7 times in the story. This is not a quote - just an impression. This would all occur within a two-minute segment probably all on one page in the book
Roberts last hopes faded
A new glimmer of hope hit him
The answer was so clear now that he saw it
His heart sank when he realized that he was in the wrong place
Robert smiled and suddenly felt renewed when Vittoria showed him what she had in her hand?
Then his hopes sank and he knew this was the end when he saw the locked door
Suddenly he rebounded with new faith when he realized what it meant
His hopes were dashed when the light went out
and on and on and on. After the third or fourth go around like this I actually laughed out loud.
All in all the story was interesting and I loved learning the history but it doesnt seem that Dan had honed his writing skills just yet when he put this one together.
One of the best books I have ever listened to. I recommended to my husband who doesn't do much reading and he couldn't put it down either. It is too bad the reading of the book is affected by the noises that the reader makes.
While it may true that this book need not be read as a prequel to DaVinci Code, it is almost a carbon-copy of the popular 'sequel' in terms of the storyline, just with different names for all the protagonists, except Robert Langdon of course. The story would probably read well for first-time listeners of Dan Brown, however it didn't quite live up to my expectations after having already read DaVinci Code and loved it for its suspense and brain-teasers (although sometimes a bit transparent) In "Angels", the object of Robert's pursuit is a bit more dramatic than in DaVinci yet I hardly want to care since the story is painfully dumbed down for the reader at several points. Overall, recommended for first-time listeners, not so much for the person looking for something equally or more entertaining than DaVinci and also offering a fresh plot.
I liked the historical aspects (accurate or not), and the idea of science and religion juxtaposed, but some of the characters' motivations were thoroughly laughable. In addition, the epiphanies that "solve" the riddles of each clue are not only unbelieveable, but they come only after an agonizing period of you yelling at the protagonist because you have already figured out what his next move should be. I have no desire to read more Dan Brown if this is his idea of a publishable plot.
This book gets 5 points lower then Da Vinci Code. Implausible twist and turns do not necessarily make a good book. This is a fast paced thriller which intends to question the Vatican?s position on scientific development. Mixing technology with religion also does not churn out good fiction. The murders are unnecessarily grotesque. Had to keep reminding myself that this is fiction and I should not form strong opinions on the papacy. Dan Brown has founded on complete genre of fiction called Religious fiction and we should soon be seeing some more authors giving us strong medicine in this area particularly after the success of Da Vinci. I will not be reading these, what some might call fiction about fiction.
Pass this book if you have a full wish list.