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The Lost Symbol

A book by Dan Brown.

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The Lost Symbol Reminds me to Never Take a Road Trip with Robert Langdon

  • Oct 19, 2009
It's best to turn your brain off before diving into The Lost Symbol.  Dan Brown's latest novel drops the "hero" Robert Langdon into Washington DC to embark on yet another journey of hidden symbolism, codes and mythology.  There's just enough factual information in the book to create an interesting backdrop for this story, but the premise isn't nearly as shocking or controversial as The DaVinci Code.

The story moves along at a good pace so its easy to burn through several chapters in a single session (the chapters are also quite short, as well).  But I found the story distractingly similar to other Dan Brown novels to the point of drawing connections between characters from the different books -- "oh this is the guy we think is bad, but is really good".

I think I've also grown tired of Robert Langdon as the protagonist and I've decided that he would probably be the worst person to go on a cross country trip with.  First of all, his "crippling fear of confined spaces" would probably cause Robert to sweat profusely during the entire ride since he'd be locked in the car.  Also, I don't see him making a great converationalist.  He's kinda like a talking Wikipedia that can't answer a question with a simple Yes/No answer.  Here's how I imagine the conversation would go...

Me: "Hey Robert, want to grab some dinner?"

Robert: "In Middle English dinner meant "breakfast," as did the Old French word disner, or diner, which was the source of our word. The Old French word came from the Vulgar Latin word *disiūnāre, meaning "to break one's fast; that is, to eat one's first meal," a notion also contained in our word breakfast. The Vulgar Latin word was derived from an earlier word, *disiēiūnāre, the Latin elements of which are dis-, denoting reversal, and iēiūnium, "fast." Middle English diner not only meant "breakfast" but, echoing usage of the Old French word diner, more commonly meant "the first big meal of the day, usually eaten between 9 A.M. and noon." Customs change, however, and over the years we have let the chief meal become the last meal of the day, by which time we have broken our fast more than once."

Me: "Okay, but I thought we could just stop to eat and switch so you could drive a while".

Robert: "How can you expect me to drive?  30 years ago I fell into a well and had to tread water for 12 hours to survive.  That made me a great swimmer, but the confined space in this car reminds me of that well.  That causes me to sweat and my muscles to lock up"

Me: "Fine, I'll drive.  Have you ever been to Chipotle?"

Robert: "Yeah, it is a chain of restaurants specializing in burritos and tacos. Founded by Steve Ells in 1993 and based in Denver, Colorado, the restaurant is known for its large burritos, assembly line production, and commitment to natural ingredients. Chipotle is one of the first chains in the relatively new category of fast-casual dining establishments.  In the past, McDonald's Corporation owned a majority interest in Chipotle. McDonald's has since sold their entire stake in Chipotle; full divestment was completed in October 2006.  To this day, people still believe that Chipotle is owned by McDonalds, but the obvious truth is all around them.  They're just ignoring the signs."

Me: "You know what?  I think I'll take a bus the rest of the way."

Anyway, all kidding aside, the book is harmless enough and it's great for passing time on a flight.  It may even spark some interest in doing addition research on Washington DC or the Freemasons.  If it inspires more people to visit our Nation's capital and read into our history, all the better.  But beyond that, there isn't a whole lot terribly memorable in this book.

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October 19, 2009
HAHAHA. I'm not a fan of Dan Brown so I won't be checking this out, sadly, but I must say I loved your review. You're a better writer than Brown! Haha.
October 19, 2009
Hahaha... after seeing this review, the book is memorable enough ;-) I haven't read the book, but I will. I'm a fan of Dan Brown and no matter what, I will remain a fan until I get tired of it, I suppose. U're entertaining though ;-)
More The Lost Symbol reviews
review by . September 25, 2009
The Lost Symbol marks the return of Dan Brown.  HIs last book was The Da Vinci Code way back in 2003.  And The Da Vinci Code went on to become one of the biggest selling adult novels of all time (albeit for all the wrong reasons).  So how do you follow up one of the biggest most successful books of all time?  Well, you really can't, to be honest with you.  I mean, how do you write a follow up to a story about the Catholic Church keeping Jesus's bloodline a secret?  …
review by . April 17, 2010
Based on the number of reviews on Amazon (2,380 and growing), I seem to be a bit late to the Dan Brown The Lost Symbol party. In my defense, I can say that I have been enjoying quite a few first time authors and some favorite authors returning to the book world. Further, as I read quite a few other books with a similar formula in the past year, I really didn't see the need to pick up another one. But this is Dan Brown after all. If you have read The Da Vinci Code, and I am guessing that you have, …
review by . July 06, 2010
I actually enjoyed The da Vinci Code (even though the title doesn’t make sense… “the of Vinci Code?) and Angels and Demons. However, The Lost Symbol was disappointing at best. Perhaps is was the lack of exotic, exciting scenery (Paris and Rome beat Washington DC for exotic and exciting. My apologies to those who feel otherwise), or perhaps it was simply the poor writing. Isn’t the first rule of fiction “show, not tell?” It seems that Dan Brown forgot that important …
Quick Tip by . August 20, 2010
One of the funniest reviews I've ever read in Amazon is for "The Lost Symbol". It is a satire called "I'm pretty sure it went down like this". Here's the link: http://www.amazon.com/gp/pdp/profile/A3A2X0ZIIS9JVD/ref=cm_cr_pr_pdp"
review by . December 18, 2009
As a follow-up to "The Da Vinci Code" and "Angels and Demons", it almost goes without saying that "The Lost Symbol" is going to be a runaway best-seller. Nor does it take deep literary analysis to suggest that the plot involves symbols, codes, secret rituals, freemasonry, mysticism, religion, history and frantic chases from one secret location to another as symbologist Robert Langdon slowly unravels "the" ultimate secret to lay it bare before Dan Brown's breathless …
review by . June 29, 2010
The newest addition to the Dan Brown novels is a good read just like all of Dan Brown novels. Unfortunately the novel's premise is just like all the other ones. The protagonist faces a mystery that can be solved through deciphering a code. They are joined by a member of the opposite sex in solving the mystery, and sexual tension ensues. With that said, even though they are somewhat cookie cutter novels, I still enjoy reading them. There are several redeeming features to the novels that definitely …
Quick Tip by . June 26, 2010
Good book, interesting US Capitol factoids!
Quick Tip by . June 23, 2010
Really liked this book...this is my favorite book so far from Dan Brown. I couldn't put this one down.
Quick Tip by . July 03, 2010
i thought this one would be better than it was. its was an ok read, just not what id expected.
Quick Tip by . July 02, 2010
Writing was bad, but book was somewhat entertaining. Definitely not as good as Angels and Demons.
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Andrew ()
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I'm a technology early adopter. I thoroughly enjoy geeking out with the latest hardware, software and electronics. I probably have as much fun setting up, tweaking, and configuring systems as I do actually … more
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About this book


The Lost Symbol, developed under the working title The Solomon Key, is a 2009 novel by American writer Dan Brown. It is a thriller set in Washington, D.C., after the events of The Da Vinci Code.

Released on September 15, 2009, it is the third Brown novel to involve the character of Harvard University symbologistRobert Langdon, following 2000's Angels & Demons and 2003's The Da Vinci Code. It had a first printing of 6.5 million (5 million in North America, 1.5 million in the UK), the largest in Doubleday history. On its first day the book sold one million in hardcover and e-book versions in the U.S., the U.K. and Canada, making it the fastest selling adult novel in history.[4] By September 25 the book topped the New York Times Best Seller list for hardcover fiction.

Let's start with the question everyDan Brownfan wants answered: IsThe Lost Symbolas good asThe Da Vinci Code? Simply put, yes. Brown has mastered the art of blending nail-biting suspense with random arcana (from pop science to religion), andThe Lost Symbolis an enthralling mix. And what a dazzling accomplishment that is, considering that rabid fans and skeptics alike are scrutinizing every word.

The Lost Symbolbegins with an ancient ritual, a shadowy enclave, and of course, a secret. Readers know they are in Dan Brown territory when, by the end of the first chapter, a secret within a secret is revealed. To tell too much would ruin the fun of reading this delicious thriller, so you will find no ...
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ISBN-10: 0385504225
ISBN-13: 978-0385504225
Author: Dan Brown
Genre: Literature & Fiction, Mystery & Thrillers
Publisher: Doubleday Books
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"Better than Da Vinci!"
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