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The Lost Symbol Hardcover – May 26, 2011


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Product Details

  • Hardcover
  • Publisher: Doubleday Books; 1ST edition (May 26, 2011)
  • ISBN-10: 0385533136
  • ISBN-13: 978-0385533133
  • Product Dimensions: 9.4 x 5.9 x 1.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.8 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 3.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4,427 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,545,141 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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

2,776 of 3,022 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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618 of 698 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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65 of 70 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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