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The Lost Symbol Paperback – May 1, 2012


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 624 pages
  • Publisher: Anchor; Reprint edition (May 1, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0307950689
  • ISBN-13: 978-0307950680
  • Product Dimensions: 5.2 x 1.1 x 8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4,359 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #6,669 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

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

The Lost Symbol
begins 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 spoilers here. Suffice it to say that as with many series featuring a recurring character, there is a bit of a formula at work (one that fans will love). Again, brilliant Harvard professor Robert Langdon finds himself in a predicament that requires his vast knowledge of symbology and superior problem-solving skills to save the day. The setting, unlike other Robert Langdon novels, is stateside, and in Brown's hands Washington D.C. is as fascinating as Paris or Vatican City (note to the D.C. tourism board: get your "Lost Symbol" tour in order). And, as with other Dan Brown books, the pace is relentless, the revelations many, and there is an endless parade of intriguing factoids that will make you feel like you are spending the afternoon with Robert Langdon and the guys from Mythbusters.

Nothing is as it seems in a Robert Langdon novel, and The Lost Symbol itself is no exception--a page-turner to be sure, but Brown also challenges his fans to open their minds to new information. Skeptical? Imagine how many other thrillers would spawn millions of Google searches for noetic science, superstring theory, and Apotheosis of Washington. The Lost Symbol is brain candy of the best sort--just make sure to set aside time to enjoy your meal. --Daphne Durham



More from Dan Brown

The Da Vinci Code
Angels & Demons
Deception Point
Digital Fortress


--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Publishers Weekly

Starred Review. After scores of Da Vinci Code knockoffs, spinoffs, copies and caricatures, Brown has had the stroke of brilliance to set his breakneck new thriller not in some far-off exotic locale, but right here in our own backyard. Everyone off the bus, and welcome to a Washington, D.C., they never told you about on your school trip when you were a kid, a place steeped in Masonic history that, once revealed, points to a dark, ancient conspiracy that threatens not only America but the world itself. Returning hero Robert Langdon comes to Washington to give a lecture at the behest of his old mentor, Peter Solomon. When he arrives at the U.S. Capitol for his lecture, he finds, instead of an audience, Peter's severed hand mounted on a wooden base, fingers pointing skyward to the Rotunda ceiling fresco of George Washington dressed in white robes, ascending to heaven. Langdon teases out a plethora of clues from the tattooed hand that point toward a secret portal through which an intrepid seeker will find the wisdom known as the Ancient Mysteries, or the lost wisdom of the ages. A villain known as Mal'akh, a steroid-swollen, fantastically tattooed, muscle-bodied madman, wants to locate the wisdom so he can rule the world. Mal'akh has captured Peter and promises to kill him if Langdon doesn't agree to help find the portal. Joining Langdon in his search is Peter's younger sister, Kathleen, who has been conducting experiments in a secret museum. This is just the kickoff for a deadly chase that careens back and forth, across, above and below the nation's capital, darting from revelation to revelation, pausing only to explain some piece of wondrous, historical esoterica. Jealous thriller writers will despair, doubters and nay-sayers will be proved wrong, and readers will rejoice: Dan Brown has done it again. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

More About the Author

Dan Brown is the #1 New York Times bestselling author of The Da Vinci Code and, previously, Digital Fortress, Deception Point, and Angels and Demons. He is a graduate of Amherst College and Phillips Exeter Academy, where he spent time as an English teacher before turning his efforts fully to writing. He lives in New England with his wife.

Customer Reviews

The characters are very superficial and the story plot is much too simple and predictable.
Anne M. Parks
Even if you like his other books you really need to think if you want to loose your time reading something that doesn't really makes sense.
Joseann J. Robles
I liked The Da Vinci Code and Angels and Demons........but The Lost Symbol was The Lost Interest in Dan Brown for me.
befade

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

2,766 of 3,011 people found the following review helpful By Justin Lee on September 18, 2009
Format: Hardcover
I want to be fair to Dan Brown.

Elitist literary critics say that Brown is not a good writer, and that his stories are bland. I personally think that if you manage to genuinely entertain and awe your audiences, then you have accomplished something worthy of reading. I also think that "The Da Vinci Code" was nearly an impossible act to follow. People will have all sorts of crazy expectations for your next book that you won't be able to fulfill. As such, I write this review as fair as I can, trying to assess it on its own merits, but comparisons are inevitable.

The Lost Symbol isn't a bad book, but it is a letdown. I didn't like this one for the same reason I didn't like Angels and Demons as much. Also, Brown doesn't advance the story at a good pace. A good two-thirds of the book (I'm not exaggerating, I counted the pages) was filled with variations on such a scene:

Character A: Have you heard of X?
Character B (usually Langdon): Yes, but I thought that was just a myth.
Character A shows or tells B something.
Character B reacts with shock.
Then, insert scenes of people walking from one place to another, being chased.
Then, insert the sentence "Suddenly everything made sense." At least for the next ten pages.
Repeat.

After reading this, I had to wonder whether Brown is a writer on Lost, where people can't seem to give straight answers, and where scenes never resolve any questions.

Here's my advice to Dan Brown:

1. Fire your editor. There were some whole passages, even chapters, that served no purpose other than to inflate your book to an unnecessary size. I don't mind reading big books, but I do mind reading through unnecessary words. Ch. 69, for example, is unnecessary.
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616 of 696 people found the following review helpful By Garvinstomp VINE VOICE on September 23, 2009
Format: Kindle Edition
A quick note on the ranking: I hold 5-star ratings in reserve for the best of the best. The previous Robert Langdon books I would rate at about 4 stars for being fun reads but nothing that would resemble a literary masterpiece. I enjoyed this book significantly less than the other two, hence the two stars.

'The Lost Symbol' is not a bad book. While it would certainly rank it 3rd amongst the three Robert Langdon novels it is still an amusing read. I forgive Brown for his weak writing style and I accept that he writes characters that are fairly two-dimensional with little personality outside of that which pertains explicitly to the story. I accept that this novel was going to have the exact same story structure and characters as the previous two. I accept that the relationships between people will be odd. I accept that most chapters will end with a variation on his cheap cliffhanger "And then Robert couldn't believe what he saw!" I accept all that. And yet, even with all those concessions, this one just left me flat.

When it comes to the writing style I'm not entirely sure if I should be blaming Brown or his editor (or, potentially, his lack thereof-which I guess would be blaming him). The style, while simple, could easily be smoothed out with an editor who was given some room to work. What hurts his prose is repetition of words and phrases over and over and over and over-often on the same page.

Sure, the story structure is an identical match to the first two with all the same types of characters and twists. But here's the issue, this time is just doesn't work like it did before. Here's why:

1. Robert Langdon is officially a moron: He spends more time being lectured to and making wrong guesses than he does solving anything.
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61 of 66 people found the following review helpful By kjsem78 on May 17, 2010
Format: Hardcover
First, let me tell you what's positive about DB's latest: The nuggets of symbology, D.C. architecture, and history are great. For me, it was by far the best aspect of The Lost Symbol and I completely enjoyed learning about them.

Now, here is my list of things (in order of how much they irritated me) that ruined this book for me (SPOILERS!!!):

1. The ending is the anticlimactic ending to end them all. The entire plot revolves around the Ancient Mysteries. We are led to believe that it's the single most powerful thing on the planet. The fate of every character in the book is seemingly tied to it. The forefathers and old Masons concocted a prodigiously cryptic, complex, arcane system of codes to keep it secret and to make sure that it doesn't fall into the wrong hands. People in the story DIE because of it. And, drum roll please! The Ancient Mysteries turn out to be...the Bible. What?! All of this hoopla to protect something that millions of people have sitting on their shelves in the first place? This "secret" could have been published on the front page of every newspaper in the world with explicit instructions on how to obtain enlightenment and it still wouldn't have had that great of an impact overall; people would just continue to go on with their lives. What a disappointment.

2. We eventually find out why the CIA is involed (which, as other people have pointed out, would not be the agency involved to begin with). We know that it has something to do with a video or image on Sato's laptop which severely shakes up people like Warren Bellamy, so it must be VERY serious and damaging. However, it turns out that it's only a video of Masonic initiation rites that show the faces of very important and powerful U.S. citizens.
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