- 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: 4.0 out of 5 stars See all reviews (5,392 customer reviews)
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #10,876 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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The Lost Symbol Paperback – May 1, 2012
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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
--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.
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Top customer reviews
The end of the book drags.
I'm not sure I'll read the next one.
Robert Langdon receives, what he believes to be, a request from an old friend to come to Washington. D.C. Once there, in the Rotunda of the Capitol, is found his friend's dismembered hand. The chase is on; Robert Langdon and his friend's sister, against an unknown villain and members of the CIA.
I could go on and on about how bad I thought this book was. The bad guy was way over the top, Langdon seemed flat, and the women were too stupid to live. The geography of Washington had errors. Yes, some of the information on the Freemasons is interesting, as is some of the arcane historical information, but nothing really gels together. There's a federal agency involved without any explanation as to why they are there. There's nothing to grab onto.
With DaVinci Code, there was the whole Mary Magdalene theory; with Angels and Demons it was the race against the clock and would the Pope get elected. Here's it's about rescuing a friend of Langdon's whom we've not met and to whom we have no real attachment, and about the great secret protected by the Freemasons.
The book is an example of bad dialogue, bloated writing, and repetitive scenes. However, the greatest sin was that I never felt engaged or cared what happened. Nearly every chapter ended with a mini-cliff hanger and didn't add to the plot or the suspense. One or two wouldn't have bothered me but every chapter became absurd and amateurish. Write a good story; I'll keep turning the pages.
The only thing I didn't regret about this book was that I bought the Kindle version rather than the $150 signed edition I was offered. No thanks.
What a disappointment. I bought the hardcover for my wife, but I listened to the audio book. Eventually the only way I was able to get through all of its lectures and utter nonsense was on double speed on my iPhone.
In trying to think how to describe the book's problems, I found it hard to come up with anything I liked about it. What I did come up with was a list:
How to Write Like Dan Brown
1. Start with an idea for a 20 page short story.
2. Turn it into a novel.
3. Label every scene as a chapter.
4. Use the viewpoint of every living thing in Washington (don't overlook bums, pets and inanimate objects as possibilities).
5. Describe everything at least 5 times.
6. End each of the two hundred chapters with a melodramatic cliff hanger.
7. Recap the entire situation at the beginning of every chapter.
8. Stop in the middle of all action sequences for a five page lecture.
9. Hire Wile E. Coyote as your science adviser.
10. Sell the movie rights for $10M.
That last one is the one that bugs me the most. With all the terrific books out there, it's sad that this one is certain to be turned into a movie, and make more money that all of this year's best sellers combined. The book is actually already written like a movie script, more a collection of dramatic beats than a real story. You can almost here the DUN DUN DUN at the end of each of the 136 chapters.
If you insist on finding out how bad The Lost Symbol is for yourself, at least wait until you can pick up a used copy for 1 cent. There will be lots of them.
Most recent customer reviews
Encourages profound thought.
Overall, it was a fun read, very interesting.Read more