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Angels & Demons: A Novel (Robert Langdon) Paperback
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It takes guts to write a novel that combines an ancient secret brotherhood, the Swiss Conseil Européen pour la Recherche Nucléaire, a papal conclave, mysterious ambigrams, a plot against the Vatican, a mad scientist in a wheelchair, particles of antimatter, jets that can travel 15,000 miles per hour, crafty assassins, a beautiful Italian physicist, and a Harvard professor of religious iconology. It takes talent to make that novel anything but ridiculous. Kudos to Dan Brown (Digital Fortress) for achieving the nearly impossible. Angels & Demons is a no-holds-barred, pull-out-all-the-stops, breathless tangle of a thriller--think Katherine Neville's The Eight (but cleverer) or Umberto Eco's Foucault's Pendulum (but more accessible).Harvard symbologist Robert Langdon is shocked to find proof that the legendary secret society, the Illuminati--dedicated since the time of Galileo to promoting the interests of science and condemning the blind faith of Catholicism--is alive, well, and murderously active. Brilliant physicist Leonardo Vetra has been murdered, his eyes plucked out, and the society's ancient symbol branded upon his chest. His final discovery, antimatter, the most powerful and dangerous energy source known to man, has disappeared--only to be hidden somewhere beneath Vatican City on the eve of the election of a new pope. Langdon and Vittoria, Vetra's daughter and colleague, embark on a frantic hunt through the streets, churches, and catacombs of Rome, following a 400-year-old trail to the lair of the Illuminati, to prevent the incineration of civilization. Brown seems as much juggler as author--there are lots and lots of balls in the air in this novel, yet Brown manages to hurl the reader headlong into an almost surreal suspension of disbelief. While the reader might wish for a little more sardonic humor from Langdon, and a little less bombastic philosophizing on the eternal conflict between religion and science, these are less fatal flaws than niggling annoyances--readers should have no trouble skimming past them and immersing themselves in a heck of a good read. "Brain candy" it may be, but my! It's tasty. --Kelly Flynn
Look Inside the Motion Picture Angels & Demons (Sony Pictures, 2009)
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From Publishers Weekly
Pitting scientific terrorists against the cardinals of Vatican City, this well-plotted if over-the-top thriller is crammed with Vatican intrigue and high-tech drama. Robert Langdon, a Harvard specialist on religious symbolism, is called in by a Swiss research lab when Dr. Vetra, the scientist who discovered antimatter, is found murdered with the cryptic word "Illuminati" branded on his chest. These Iluminati were a group of Renaissance scientists, including Galileo, who met secretly in Rome to discuss new ideas in safety from papal threat; what the long-defunct association has to do with Dr. Vetra's death is far from clear. Vetra's daughter, Vittoria, makes a frightening discovery: a lethal amount of antimatter, sealed in a vacuum flask that will explode in six hours unless its batteries are recharged, is missing. Almost immediately, the Swiss Guard discover that the flask is hidden beneath Vatican City, where the conclave to elect a new pope has just begun. Vittoria and Langdon rush to recover the canister, but they aren't allowed into the Vatican until it is discovered that the four principal papal candidates are missing. The terrorists who are holding the cardinals call in regarding their pending murders, offering clues tied to ancient Illuminati meeting sites and runes. Meanwhile, it becomes clear that a sinister Vatican entity with messianic delusions is in league with the terrorists. Packing the novel with sinister figures worthy of a Medici, Brown (Digital Fortress) sets an explosive pace as Langdon and Vittoria race through a Michelin-perfect Rome to try to save the cardinals and find the antimatter before it explodes. Though its premises strain credulity, Brown's tale is laced with twists and shocks that keep the reader wired right up to the last revelation. (May)
Copyright 2000 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Top Customer Reviews
I knew I was in trouble only after reading the first couple of chapters or so. Why? Because I remember The Da Vinci Code starting off the same way! It starts off with some person getting killed by a mysterious person, leaving a clue of some sort, Robert Langdon getting woken up and briefed on the situation, he moans and groans about not wanting to do anything about it, he suddenly gets convinced its worth a look, he makes a trip to the location, meets and teams up with a hot woman and you get the rest. Some readers obviously don't mind an author rehashing a tried and tested formula but then there are readers like me who thinks its lazy work. At this point, I thought not all was lost because I could at least count on the author delivering a solid mystery that will no doubt wheel the protagonists around Rome in hopes of trying to save the day or night. Well, I was semi-wrong again. The mystery part that is.
It's not that the Illuminati is boring to read about. I said in the beginning that this subject does interests me. It's just that this time around, the author failed horribly to capture my attention. With The Da Vinci Code, the mystery about the whole Mona Lisa and the Holy Grail was extremely captivating and that's why it lead to that book being hailed as a page-turner. The use of real life artifacts no doubt is a staple with these stories but unlike The Da Vinci Code, it didn't really make me go on the Internet to look for pictures on these art pieces. Something just felt lackluster in Angels & Demons.
As far as character goes, well, let's just say the author isn't really gifted when it comes time to fleshing out the villains. The main killer here is a bore to read. It seems as if the author doesn't know how to flesh him out as a evil person so hey, what to do? Oh, why, lets turn him into a sex craved maniac who gets high off of torturing the women before having his way with them? Hmm, where have we heard that one before eh? Again, it makes the author look lazy when he does these kinds of things.
The book started off slow but picked up at around 23%, which I was glad for. There is no doubt that many would consider the author "brave" for tackling such a sensitive topic for so many. I'm sure he knows that controversy creates publicity, good or bad, and that in turn allows him and his publishers to cash in. I can say for certain that I will not being reading another Dan Brown book for a long time. It even got me thinking about whether my outcome of Angels & Demons would have been the same if I read it first instead of The Da Vinci Code. I can honestly say that I don't really know. The latter set the bar pretty darn high. I rarely will read a book twice but I can say for certainty that I will read The Da Vinci Code again. Not so much Angels & Demons.
Have a nice, and far from boring, reading.