The Lost Symbol
by Dan Brown
by Dan Brown
Cover: I hate it. What is it? Is this a novelization of National Treasure?
Summary: Oh, god, yes, I've been waiting to write this...
Renowned Harvard symbologist Robert Langdon has been summoned to talk about something historical, and eerily-related to the mystery that unfolds when he discovers a gruesome-but-esoteric crime scene. Of course, he is immediately under suspicion for the crime, and he must flee from a Javert-esque police officer. He finds an encrypted object that he must solve before time runs out, but doing so might unleash a secret... a secret that could turn the whole world on its head if it is released. Some people want this secret out; others do not. Nevertheless, time may be running out for Langdon.
Also, there is a chick involved.
My Review: I loved it.
What can I say? You get what you pay for. Refusing to buy this butt-ugly book in dead-tree form, I downloaded it to my eReader and proceeded to plow through it in three days. I'm sure that's not fast to most of you fellow bloggers, but I read this along with two other books for a class, I read during lecture, and I read standing in line at the bank. It was kind of awesome.
If you like other Dan Brown books, you'll like this one, and I must admit that I think he has improved as a writer. He still has his problems... there are a lot of italics, for one. A lot. Sometimes he uses them to indicate the thoughts of a character. But sometimes he just uses them to tritely emphasise an otherwise average sentence. There are some useless factoids I could have done without, like what kind of engine was in the plane that Langdon flew to D.C. There were a few moments where I actually figured out a clue before Langdon... and that's saying something for me. All that said, I think he has improved. He's more socially aware, for one. His characterization is less telltelltell and much more nuanced. His villain is much more horrible (although... probably not more believable) than in his previous books. The love interest is 50, and easily close to the age of Langdon, making this a respectable move from a female character construction standpoint.
In the end, this is a great book on an entertainment level. Not everything has to be perfect. We can't all be Michael Crichton. Get charmed by Langdon's weirdness. Lose yourself in an action sequence. And hey, if there's one thing you can't fault Dan Brown on, it's pacing. I didn't want to put this book down because I always had to turn one more page (electronically, that is). I'll say it here and now: I enjoyed this book and I look forward to the next Dan Brown book, hopefully featuring the irascible Langdon.
Check this out: Dan Brown's 20 worst sentences, as collected by The Telegraph
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