Harvard symbologist Robert Langdon is summoned to deliver an evening lecture in the U.S. Capitol Building. Within minutes of his arrival, the night takes a bizarre turn. A disturbing object - artfully encoded with five ancient symbols - is discovered in the Capitol Building. The object is an ancient invitation, meant to usher its recipient into a long-lost world of hidden esoteric wisdom. And when Langdon's mentor Peter Solomon - prominent Mason and philanthropist - is kidnapped, Langdon's only hope of saving Peter is to accept this invitation and follow wherever it leads him. Langdon finds himself plunged into a clandestine world of Masonic secrets, hidden history, and never-before-seen locations...all of which seem to be dragging him toward a single, inconceivable truth.
The Lost Symbol is exactly what Dan Brown's fans have been waiting for...his most thrilling novel yet.
©2009 Dan Brown; (P)2009 Random House Inc.
"[I]mpossible to put down....Mr. Brown was writing sensational visual scenarios long before his books became movie material. This time he again enlivens his story with amazing imagery....Thanks to him, picture postcards of the capital's most famous monuments will never be the same....In the end it is Mr. Brown's sweet optimism, even more than Langdon's sleuthing and explicating, that may amaze his readers most." (The New York Times)
"Thrilling, entertaining....Robert Langdon goes for another roller-coaster ride - this time in a hunt for a Masonic treasure in Washington, D.C." (Los Angeles Times)
Eclectic mixer of books of my youth and ones I always meant to read, but didn't.
It's always hard to review books like this one. It's not meant to be literature, so you don't want to measure it on that scale, but it's not (intended) trash either. In this pseudo cerebral, pseudo-action come whodunnit genre, it is above average, but not as good as, say, his "The Da Vinci Code". It's not at the top of the tree with some of Le Carre's classics, but it's better than the Gabriel Allon series (in my opinion, although to be fair, that's more espionage than cerebral). In the end, I've opted for the upper end, although in truth I should have "split the difference" (if that were possible) overall.
Basically, this conforms to all of the formulaic traditions common to these books. There is a protagonist and an attractive assistant. there is a constant threat from a very scary individual whom appears to have no moral compass. The Chapters all end on a cliff's edge, making them perfect for serialisation (and, for that matter, for motion pictures). There is a wicked twist (although the astute of this genre will pick it early) in the tale (and tail); and there is the declamation of the little know, but startling, in the true habit of a a conspiracy theory. For all that, it is a page turner and, given its Masonic underpinning, a vaguely interesting yarn.
I thought Paul Michael did a sterling job, too, especially with the evil one (Mulah) and the snaky one (Kato). The latter reminded me of the boss lady from Monsters Inc! Good fun listening.
This is only the second Dan Brown book I’ve read/listened to. I’ve avoided his books because I’ve heard his prose is terrible. Having said that, I found “Digital Fortress” to be highly enjoyable and thought I’d give him the benefit of the doubt. I know this review is long, but bear with me. I may save you some time and money.
“The Lost Symbol” returns us to Harvard Symbologist Robert Langdon, and his search for the mythical pyramid of the Freemasons. It’s a good idea with loads of potential and the pace initially seems to be well set (it actually isn’t). As always there appears to be plenty of research put into the subject by Brown and the elements that bring the story together are very intriguing. But Brown’s greatest strength is also his most frustrating one.
Brown appears to cast himself in the role of Langdon (the all-knowing teacher) and relishes talking down to the rest of the characters (and his students), who represent the majority of the “ignorant dumb masses” that think they know things, but are sadly mistaken i.e. us. There are many scenes involving these other characters making statements about a historic building or event, only to have Langdon correct them. There is an overwhelming sense of Brown’s pomposity and condescension present when these scenes take place that it’s almost enough to make you turn off the audiobook.
The other frustrating thing Brown does is tiptoe around the big revelations of the story, making the characters spell out every step involved in deducing the big reveal instead of just getting to the bloody point. It’s like they forget they’re racing against the clock. ”I know Peter is about to die any minute and the future of the country is at stake, but let me spend 15 minutes giving you a dissertation on something…” It’s enough to make you gouge your eyes out!
Add to that the fact that certain chapters end on “big” cliffhangers and we don’t return to those scenes for some time after. It’s designed to keep you “turning the pages” until you discover the next anti-climactic irrelevant plot point, but it just ends up making you want to punch Brown in the face…repeatedly...with a shovel. Oh and did I mention Langdon seems to have become a complete moron? You’d think after his DVC and A&D adventures he would be more open-minded about things, but no. The same old scepticism first, be-shocked-and-dumbfounded-after-being-proven-wrong second, still applies.
The narrator cannot be faulted though. He sincerely gives the book his best reading and performance and does a good job of depicting the characters. But even he can’t save this train wreck.
All that being said, I nevertheless found myself swept up in the book as it approached its climax (I know right. WTF?). The character of Mal’akh is actually quite interesting, if a little too similar to Thomas Harris’ Francis Dollarhyde and a complete cliché. The book ends up being an okay read if you can stomach the negatives and the twist that many will see coming from a continent away. The last hour of the book is also unnecessary and the final revelation of the Ancient Word is a complete “That’s it?” moment. Don't waste your time.
Dan Brown managed to take one character and clone him into several supporting characters. All of the main characters use the same phrases ("Patience," "I assure you") to no end.Where Angels and Demons was a fast paced adventure, this was a slow dragged out performance. Endless lists of all the various symbols and organisations, cost me hours of my life. It is quite acceptable to provide such lists but when every character thinks about them, it forces me to hear it again and again. I should however not be surprised, as Da Vinci Code lost a great deal of the momentum from Angels and Demons. Even in DVC Dan Brown managed to turn on the snooze with his insistence on providing so much "proof" that his story is no longer plausible.I am rambling...
I have not yet read Deception Point and will give it a go, purely because Angels and Demons, and Digital Fortress were two of my favourite books.
Probably, he was not bad.
Frustration. I nearly did not finish it.
Not original anymore. Will be good for those die hard Dan Brown fans or those who loves this type of genre. I loved Angels and Demons, but after that book its been the same formula, different city, different cult and different villain.
Dan Brown is the best!
His books are fantastic!
I've recently been able to introduce my fiance to audio books as he reads all day and find "leisure reading" tedious.... Now we spend evenings listening to books before snuggling up for the night!
Dan Brown needs to give us more!!
I did enjoy this book. It keep me guessing what would happen next. The masonic theme was fascinating. Dan Brown fans will enjoy this one.
Loved this book. Well read, it stays interesting to the end. If you're a sucker for symbolism and old world mysteries you'll enjoy this one
The basic plot is interesting, unfortunately it does not survive the lectures on ancient mystecism. I fastworwarded through a big portion of the book. This would probably do better as a film. I enjoyed the narrator though.
I enjoyed symbologist Robert Langdon's previous two adventures, but I found this one to be predictable and trying far too hard to be 'clever'. I was engrossed for the first third of the book, the remainder was a struggle. Brown's constant overuse of adjectives and constant 'eureka' moments really started to get on my nerves this time around. 'Angels & Demons' was a great switch-your-brain-off title. 'The Da Vinci Code' was a commendable follow-up. 'The Lost Symbol' felt like an author who had to try very hard, with limited fresh ideas. OK, but not great.
"Better than the book"
Yeah that's a strange headline but the book was a terrible disappointment however the audio version is much more enjoyable. It's engrossing, rather enjoyable and the performance makes up for a pretty long winded (and at times utterly nonsensical) story
"Good in parts but...."
If you're a reader of Dan Brown then you know the plot line:- Professor meets girl, ancient signs and symbols, he solves it, saves everyone's life and the bad guy gets it.
This one is no different. I'm afraid it suffers from a lack of imagination in creating the plot line. I found this the most difficult Dan Brown to get immersed in and it struggled to keep my interest at almost any point. The ending was, at best, poor as it seemed to just fizzle out without much of a crescendo.
"The Lost Symbol"
Filled with the usual Dan Brown ingredients this book follows the expected path, however as the story move along the tedium levels increase untill once the 'main' story was over I couldn't wait for the book to finish.
I first read Angels and Demons - was an exciting read. Followed this with the Da Vinci code, which despite the hype was pretty average in comparison. 'The Lost Symbol' essentially is a re-write of the Da Vinci code with locations and names changed but the characters and the plot are the same. Replace demonic mad monk with demonic mad tattooed free mason etc etc. As with the Da Vinci code the 'prize' in the end is such an amazing anti climax and for anyone with the slightest understanding of the architecture of Washington DC you will have guessed within 15 minutes which significant landmark holds the 'prize'. I think I might have beaten Robert Langdon to it by a country mile. Amazing continuity flaws and implausible story lines. So as to avoid not spoiling I won't detail these here. Tedious.
"same old same old"
a quirky professor, a beautiful yet intelligent woman, a kidnap, a car chase , a helicopter chase and the revealing of a mundane secret society. have we not read all this before. The plot is thin and full of holes. The ending seems to have been tagged on and the whole thing padded out with pointless narrative. Why any book needs so many chapters is beyond comprehension. But apart from that it is a fun piece of trashy literature that once over is easily forgotten.
"The Lost Symbol : By Dan Brown"
Dan Brown as we have come to expect.
Narration was excellent and had me listening with anticipation for the next sentence. Unfortunately the book itself died a death towards the end and had me waiting for an ending that never really came...Im afraid I was dissapointed.
Dan BROWN is as ever gripping and the narration faultless. However even with any stretch of the imagination improbable with too many plot holes. The story is set for twists and turns but most of the time these don't occur!!
I have given it 3 stars as it is quite gripping but I was frequently disappointed by the various narratives and the ultimate conclusion.
This is not a par on the Da Vinci Code or Angels and Demons, Its trying to be a bit like these, I think Dan Brown needs to take a different direction.
I found this a bit too far fetched. It should have ended at the altar. I listened to it all the way through but not one of my favourites and I won't be listening to it for a second time although the narration was very good.
I found this audiobook painful to listen to, though I have a feeling I think I would have found the book painful to read. I've enjoyed previous Dan Brown books even though I've known that they weren't great works of fiction, this one I couldn't enjoy as I was aware almost from the first chapter that it was badly written wtih repeated use of the same descriptions among other things. I did make it to the end, though more through perseverence than enjoyment.
"Dan Brown at his best"
Another book from the pen of the master. Full of twists and turns in true Dan Brown Style. The suspense keeps you intregued to the end. Can't wait for the next one!
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