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The Lost Symbol Hardcover – September 15, 2009
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The Amazon Book Review
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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
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.
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.
Why the bad reviews? I guess there are lots of reasons, but top on the list is that his last two books were quite shocking. Without giving too much away "The Lost Symbol" is just not as shocking. It offers many of the same ingredients but the pie just isn't as filling.
The story focuses on Masonic tradition and the geography of Washington D.C. Robert Langdon has been asked to give a keynote speech on the symbolism of DC only to find that he is being pulled into a plot by a madman. Sound familiar? Langdon unlocks clues that have been entrusted to him by his friend in order to save his life.
- The last 30 pages are pretty anti-climatic
- I agree with the person who said that Dan Brown should consider a new editor- this story was bloated by about 50 pages - which served as a distraction.
- Nice plot twists - Dan Brown broke from his formula (see my other Dan Brown reviews) and found a new way of introducing plot twists.
- As always, Dan Brown introduces to a series of arcane facts about geography, history, word orgins and such - "The Lost Symbol" is an interesting read strictly based on Brown's explanations.
- I really don't see "The Lost Symbol" being made into a movie - it just doesn't seem to flow well for a movie.
Final Verdict- 90% of "The Lost Symbol" is the best book written by Dan Brown, however I think a majority of Brown fans will disagree.
Most recent customer reviews
It is worth taking your time to read the story.