Monday, September 28, 2009

The Lost Symbol by Dan Brown

Probably one of the most awaited books of the year, The Lost Symbolth. I have enjoyed his previous books, most especially Deception Force and Angels and Demons. I admit that this is not the greatest literature in the world, but it is enjoyable and allows the reader to escape into a world where one is privy to a secret or secrets that you have never known to exist. Brown's works are pretty formulaic, but with that said, they are always page-turners. I enjoyed The Lost Symbol, but not as much as Angels and Demons. The plots center around Robert Langdon, a well-respect symbolist, being summoned to a locale in which he will need to decipher massive amounts of clues/symbols to solve a mystery. Along that journey he will meet an intelligent woman, a grotesque figure, and law enforcement agents. He will become involved in hair-raising experiences from which mere mortals would have a difficult time escaping. Along the way Langdon keeps the reader engaged by parceling out clues to the mystery until the end when he summarizes his findings for all involved.

Robert Langdon is summoned by his good friend and mentor, Peter Solomon, to Washington, D.C. at the last minute to fill in as a lecturer for a meeting at the U.S. Capitol. He carries with him a small parcel, securely wrapped, that had been entrusted to him for safe-keeping. The secrets and mysteries of The Lost Symbol center around the initiation and rites of the Freemasons and the influence that they have had on the leaders of the U.S. from George Washington. In the span of a mere twelve hours we are led on a chase through the city, its buildings, the secret laboratory Peter's sister Katherine, and landmarks galore. In order to save Peter's life, Langdon must uncover the truth behind the Ancient Mysteries and reveal them to Mal'akh, the androgynous villain of the novel. At times the book and I got bogged down in all the scientific and philosophical research that Brown includes. I almost felt that he had to include every fact that he gleaned from countless hours of research.

With all that said, the book was enjoyable, exciting, and engaging. As usual with Brown's books, I had to consult art history books and look at paintings and architecture in a way that I had not before. A knowledge of Latin enables a reader to stay a step ahead of the narrator. Review of the book have been mixed with reviewers trying to find holes in Brown's research. The reality is that this a work of fiction and not an exposé of the world of the Freemasons. There have been enough of those. If the reader suspends belief, it will be a roller coaster ride through Washington with Robert Langdon.
arrived on September 15

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