I support the comments that the story-line was:
Predictable - YES
Repetitive - YES
Cookie-Cutter - YES
and YES, a disappointment!
I could not think of the proper way to express my reservations about this book. When talking to a friend of mine she said that she found the book to be contrived. I think that is an excellent way of expressing my critique. Typical of Dan Brown, there is a load of information, perhaps too much arcane information. However, that is the most interesting aspect of the book. I found myself being lectured way too often or as another friend said "speechifying". I was also troubled about the repetitive nature of some of the lecturing which talks place in the form of an explanation. I swear it is almost cut and past from one section of the book to another.
By the end of the book I was happy that it had finally finished and felt that the work to get through it was really not worth the effort.
A previous reviewer wrote " If you like Dan Brown, you will like this book". I like Dan Brown but this book is a near complete waste of time. Is Brown writing a mystery or giving a lecture? I thought this book was never going to end. Of course as another reviewer said, he will probably make a fortune on the screen play. This may be a challenge for Ron Howard, not sure he has ever made a movie based on a lecture before.
As much as I wanted to like this one, it was not to be. As the story stumbled through I couldn't stop myself from thinking that somehow an unedited first draft of a Dan Brown novel had been bootlegged and released as a final product. I can only assume that the author has reached some sort of "untouchable" status with the publisher and was allowed to bypass any semblance of editorial assistance. Some of the material was so repetitive that on more than one occasion I was sure my ipod had skipped back to previous chapters. The story had potential but this book belies the greatest qualities of all other Dan Brown novels. If the reader cannot even begin to accept the plausibility of the book's premises and reconcile the revelation of interesting real world facts to creative fictional situations then we are left with nothing more than a screenplay barely worthy of a lost episode of MacGyver. I assume Ron Howard is sweating bullets wondering what he is supposed to do with this one. This will teach movie execs to read before they buy.
Great narration though!!
I could hardly wait for Dan Brown's new book. It was a huge disappointment. He should have written an essay with all his wonderful facts. Instead, he ran them all together with flat, lifeless characters. I finished it, but it was difficult.
I couldn't wait for this book to become available, and I downloaded it immediately. I loved "Angels and Demons" and "The Davinci Code". Unfortunately, this book really fell short. The facts are interesting, but I never felt myself "sitting on the edge of my seat". I still don't see the big "national security" issue. It was so overblown that it was a let down when it was revealed. Likewise, the big twist in the story was fairly obvious by the time I was half way through the book. I think it is worth the credit. It held my attention, but it doesn't even come close to his previous works.
Dan Brown hit on a great formula with "Angels and Demons," then improved the pacing and intrigue with "The Davinci Code." I found them both to be very entertaining and fun. The Lost Symbol follows the same formula for the most part, but without the excitement or supporting character pizazz of the other two books. I found it boring and predictable. The same old details are dropped ad nauseum, (Langdon's Harris tweed, Mickey watch, claustrophobia, et al.) and the character doesn't develop in any way. The plot is also a little clunky compared to the other two books. I wish I had reread Davinci Code.
Say something about yourself!
The book starts off well enough, but by the end of the first third of the book you will have already figured out who the bad-guy really is and how that came about. Many of the characters are portrayed as incredibly inept (or stupid). By the time you are two thirds through the book you wish it would just end. When it finally does end, it doesn't end but preaches (or drones) on and on and on. Contrived and predictable is a good description of the book.
Well narrated. Not Dan Brown's best. Still, I normally listen while driving. This, I had to listen to even at home just to get to the ending. Very engaging, but not as memorable as earlier works.
A must for anyone new to the DC area as I am.
Several people said the book was too long, I totally disagree. I truly enjoyed the level of detail and research that went into the book. The story was fascinating and the mix of science, technology and mysticism was amazing. Don't shy away due to the length; the story is captivating. I think I'd give Angels and Demons the edge over the Lost Symbol, but this was better than DaVinci Code.