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The Lost Symbol

A book by Dan Brown.

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Decent Thriller, Tired Premise

  • Apr 17, 2010
Rating:
+3
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, The Lost Symbol will feel like an old friend. The only differences I can tell between this book and The Da Vinci Code is that The Lost Symbol uses Masonic symbols and all of the action occurs within one day.

Robert Langdon has been asked by his friend, Peter Solomon, to give a presentation in Washington, DC. However, once Robert arrives, the meeting room is empty. It takes him a few moments to discover that he has been deceived. A phone call informs him that he is to unravel the Ancient Mysteries, part of Masonic lore, which will give a person the wisdom of the ages. If he solves the mystery, his friend will be released. Although, not in one piece. Peter's severed hand is in the middle of the Capitol Rotunda, tattooed with strange symbols. Langdon deciphers the clues and the race is on. Mal'akh, a heavily and intricately tattooed, muscle bound man, is the villain that will stop at nothing to posses the Ancient Mysteries so that he can rule to world. Taking the reader from the depths below the Capitol Building, to the streets of Washington, DC, and to areas above the city, this is a breathless action thriller where the activity occurs during one frantic night. Much like Langdon's previous adventures, the action rests only to provide the reader with some historical trivia or to explain some Masonic secret or code.

Dan Brown has delivered pretty much the same novel three times in a row. Only the secrets and symbols come from a different group, in this case, the Masons. Much of the history and design of Washington DC is due, apparently, from the Masons, which is interesting, Brown introduces several fascinating aspects of paintings and buildings, but does not delve more deeply into them. Further, he introduces the reader to Noetic Science, gives it a few pages, but from there does not provide the reader with more. Rather, it seems that he would prefer if we were to Google the term and learn more on our own. If those two things were important for Brown to include in the novel, he could have given them more pages and discussion, removing some of extraneous dialog, characters, or scenes. The final thing that surprised me in this novel was that all of the action occurs in and around Washington, DC. Langdon, in his previous adventures, worked his way around the world, introducing the reader to fascinating people, buildings, and areas. I cannot believe that Brown couldn't have Langdon and his associates travel to, say, Scotland or England, which, according to the book's text, were the early locations of Freemasonry. This could have given the reader a break from Washington, DC. If you are looking to reacquaint yourself with Robert Langdon and have a good time doing so, Brown delivers. For others that have read similar books in the time between The Da Vinci Code and The Lost Symbol, you may be disappointed.

Disclosure:
Obtained from: Friend
Payment: Borrowed

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April 18, 2010
Good review. I have read the other two and really should pick up this baby too. Yes, I'm also late on it. I want to wait for the paperback to come out!
 
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More The Lost Symbol reviews
review by . October 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 …
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 . 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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Gregg Eldred ()
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It never ceases to amaze me how many doors have opened up for me since I started reviewing the books I read. Publishers now send me free books to read and review. Authors contact me. Kind folks at Lunch … more
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Wiki

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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Details

ISBN-10: 0385504225
ISBN-13: 978-0385504225
Author: Dan Brown
Genre: Literature & Fiction, Mystery & Thrillers
Publisher: Doubleday Books
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