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Publisher's Summary

World-renowned Harvard symbologist Robert Langdon is summoned to a Swiss research facility to analyze a cryptic symbol seared into the chest of a murdered physicist. What he discovers is unimaginable: a deadly vendetta against the Catholic Church by a centuries-old underground organization, the Illuminati. Desperate to save the Vatican from a powerful time bomb, Langdon joins forces in Rome with the beautiful and mysterious scientist Vittoria Vetra. Together they embark on a frantic hunt through sealed crypts, dangerous catacombs, deserted cathedrals, and the most secretive vault on earth, the long-forgotten Illuminati lair.
©2000 Dan Brown (P)2004 Simon & Schuster, Inc., AUDIOWORKS is an imprint of Simon & Schuster Audio Divison, Simon & Schuster, Inc.

Critic Reviews

"Brown's tale is laced with twists and shocks that keep the reader wired right up to the last revelation." (Publishers Weekly)

What members say

Average Customer Ratings


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  • Overall
  • Rachel
  • Chicago, IL, United States
  • 06-02-04

A Trip Inside the Vatican

Although this book is a prequel to <i>The DaVinci Code</i>, also written by Dan Brown, I actually read it afterwards. In the beginning I felt his style of writing was a bit rustier than the smoothness of <i>The DaVinci Code</i>. I also saw a different side of his main character which I didn't really appreciate at first. However, once I got into the book, I actually felt it was faster-paced and more suspenseful than <i>The DaVinci Code</i>.

The beginning takes you inside CERN and was a bit hard to listen to since they were describing several scientific processes. I had to re-listen a few times to deeply understand. But after the first several chapters the mystery unfolds and the book plays out like a favorite Robert Ludlum novel.

This is one I actually couldn't stop listening too! The story takes you into the depths of Rome and inside the Vatican, detailing several practices. The journey takes you inside the Vatican Library, into St. Peter's tomb, catacombs, castles, secret passageways, various churches and more.

23 of 24 people found this review helpful

  • Overall

A must for fans of The Da Vinci Code

This was my first book by author Dan Brown and his character Robert Langdon, and I was very happy with it. In this prequel to The Da Vinci Code we are introduced to Mr Langdon, a symbologist, as he is called to CERN to help with the murder of one of their top scientists. He in turn is introduced to the scientist's daughter, Vittoria Vetra, who helps him with the investigation, which takes them to Rome and Vatican City. As can be assumed by this setting, the story has a lot to do with Christianity and it's secrets, and the information is presented very well. It also deals with the Illuminati, and therein lies the intrique.

The story is a 'page-turner' and keeps you riveted to the very end. While not necessary to read before The Da Vinci Code, it is a prequel, mainly in presenting an earlier 'adventure' of Langdon, an extremely likable main character.

108 of 119 people found this review helpful

  • Overall

UNABRIDGED....about time!

This was an excellent read when I first read it upon its initial release! I was happy when I stumbled upon Audible and found Dan Browns books; however I was saddened that Angels and Demons was only available in the ABRIDGED version. After listening to it I was very disappointed in all that was left out. I an now estatic at being able to listen to the UNABRIDGED version....can't wait!

46 of 52 people found this review helpful

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  • Joseph
  • Austin, TX, United States
  • 04-30-09

First rate thriller, with weak writing.

The bad first. Dan Brown is a pretty bad writer. He overexplains, his characters are constantly amazed or some other cliche expression, many characters are so extreme they seem silly, and his hero seems very unlike a Harvard professor. Also, the constant commentary on the struggle between "religion" and "science" seems overblown.

But the story is non-stop action and intrigue, and he does a better job of working his "conspiracy theory" stuff into the action in this one than in "The Da Vinci Code." And the plot is strong. You will know right away who the bad guy is, and then you will change your mind a dozen times before the end. Brown has a knack for knowing what you are assuming and using that against you.

Overall, a thrilling book with a good, though overdone and not original, debate about religion and science, and several hairsbreadth and impossible escapes that will tax credulity. The writing is annoying, but the story survives anyway.

Not sure why some people think it's so gruesome. He mentions a detached body part or two, but he doesn't go into graphic detail about them. I've got a weak stomach, and wasn't bothered by anything.

26 of 30 people found this review helpful

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  • Richard
  • 05-14-04

Interesting but dissapointing

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.

26 of 30 people found this review helpful

  • Overall

Better in some ways, and worse in others

Like most people I only became aware of this story after having seen and read The Da Vinci code. This book is very suspenseful and the whodunnit/spoilers in this book beat those of the Da Vinci code. If you got used to his writing in the Da Vinci code, it is kind of annoying to go back to an earlier book where Brown uses a lot of cliche's regarding epiphones that Langdon has. It gets old having things' come to a stunning realization stronger than anything he had ever realized before." I think the cliche part is a little more noticeable because it is in audio form. Fantastic read though, 1000 times better than the movie.

14 of 16 people found this review helpful

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  • Angelo
  • Seattle, WA, USA
  • 11-28-05

Not for those who've already read DaVinci Code...

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.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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I couldn't put it down...5 STARS

After reading some of he reviews I was a bit leery of this book but I am so glad I got it. It was spell binding, tense, action packed and I could not turn it off. I was driving in circles just to hear more! Get this book, you?ll love it!

19 of 23 people found this review helpful

  • Overall

Utterly predictable schlock

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.

6 of 7 people found this review helpful

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  • W
  • Marina, CA, United States
  • 01-06-05

Wanted it to End...

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.

6 of 7 people found this review helpful

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  • PinkMilk
  • 03-02-07

Better than the Da Vinci Code!

I have just come to the worst part of this book: the end!! I could easily have gone for another eighteen hours of listening. Having really enjoyed the da Vinci Code before this one, I fancied another From One Clue To The Next kind of story, but I had not expected anything this exciting: Cern, antimatter, the Vatican, a group called the Illuminati.... fantastic stuff. Just couldn't stop listening, not even late at night in bed! Oh, I wish there was another one like this!

7 of 7 people found this review helpful

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  • Stephanie
  • 12-26-05


It's one of those stories you find yourself thinking about when you haven't got time to listen and are supposed to be thinking about something else!!!

6 of 6 people found this review helpful

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  • Garethman
  • 10-24-09

Devlish entertainment

Rattling good read with terrible factual backgound, poor facts and unbelievable action. Everything that makes a good thriller!

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

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  • Davina
  • 07-30-05

Enjoyable rubbish

A brilliant thriller (if not as good as The Da Vinci Code) with twists, turns and no shortage of tension. Just take the 'facts' and science with a pinch of salt.

27 of 32 people found this review helpful

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  • Jade
  • 10-23-06

Well worth a read!!!

If you are a fan of Dan Brown this book is a must.

Even better than the Da Vinci code keeps you hooked all the whole time....

6 of 7 people found this review helpful

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  • Kirstine
  • 11-03-09

Imaginative tale with some flaws

Dan Brown can certainly create intriguing and fast-paced stories. I enjoyed the Da Vinci Code as an enthralling narrative, but thought the writing poor. Angels and Demons is less clich?-ridden and better written. Both books appear to be based on a lot of historical research, though I'm not able to judge the authenticity. Some of the science in Angels and Demons is far-fetched but, like good science-fiction, is based on the truth. I heard a scientist from CERN on the radio discussing Angels and Demons. which he enjoyed as a story, but reassured listeners that it was a long way off before anti-matter could be carried around in a box.
Angels and Demons is for the most part a rollicking good story that keeps you listening, but the momentum of the narrative is marred by long passages of quasi-religious speechifying, especially near the end of the book where the speech lasted about half an hour and was frankly boring and spoiled the impact of the final scenes of the book. Pity, as otherwise it's very good.

4 of 5 people found this review helpful

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  • GARY
  • 12-04-15

Excellent entertainment for my commute to work🏆

Robert Langdon is my hero and the story grips you from start to finish! Loved all the references to the beautiful city of Rome reminding me of my last visit. These audio books are excellent entertainment for my daily commute to/from work. What audio book should I listen too next?

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Mrs J E Matthews
  • 11-09-05

Demons & Angels

Fantastic, spell binding and compulsive listening as always.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Rachel
  • 05-06-06

Angels and Demons

A Brilliant book full of twist and turns right to the end. Having read The Da Vinci Code first, Dan Browns style does apear to be formulaic but that does not detract from a good story.

2 of 3 people found this review helpful

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 02-15-18


this was a very great book captivating and enthralling the narrator did a wonderful job

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  • Simone2
  • 04-07-15

Slow but Wow

Has a slowww start but then it's a real page turner. The DaVinci Code draws you in quicker but if you love Rome, that won't matter. I'm stoked about going on the official tour because of this book. I won't let the movie spoil anything.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Simon
  • 12-26-17

Great Entertainment!

Fast paced, predidictable, ridiculous but entertaining story. Was exactly what is expected from a Dan Brown novel.

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  • Vincent
  • 09-14-17

Always been my best book

This book has always been my favorite one. Reader is great but his voice could be clearer.

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  • Jessica
  • 09-13-17

my thoughts

This was a great read by Poe, but the story itself was a tad too predictable

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  • Shay
  • 01-06-17

great book

good book, great story line and excellent attention to detail in the factual information contained in it.

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  • Jeff
  • 11-06-16


😱More Addictive and Enticing than 'Black Tar Herion'
I've read Dan Browns;
•Deception Point
•Digital Fortress
And now, "Angles & Demons" an they just keep getting better AND BETTER.

'Bring on The Da Vincii Code' 😍