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Showing 1-10 of 3,178 reviews(Verified Purchases). See all 5,415 reviews
on October 15, 2016
The worst book in the series. What was fresh in the first book and a stylistic choice in the second is a formulaic bore in the third. We open with the ~suspense~, Langdon gets whisked off by a mysterious old person, there's a beautiful woman (who probably has "olive skin") and there's also a giant man, who may or may not be covered in tattoos, and whose loins are described on more than one occasion. I could barely get through this book. It was awful and boring.
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on March 18, 2017
With the blank spaces between paragraphs, it was almost impossible to keep up with POV shifts. Some of the dialogue was misformatted, with more than one speaker per paragraph. The book also contains other errors such as hanging or missing quotation marks. This read like a book that needed to be produced on a deadline. One more go-through by the author or editor would have caught/corrected the errors that made me grind my teeth.

The end of the book drags.

I'm not sure I'll read the next one.
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VINE VOICEon October 18, 2009
First Sentence: The secret is how to die.

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.
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"The Lost Symbol" did one thing well for me: It aroused my curiosity and interest around the ancient mysteries of this world, the lines where science and mysticism may intersect someday and shed light on all that remains unknown to man from the lost wisdom of the ages. Also, the thrill of thinking about unimaginable secrets lost in the pages of history intrigue us all and this story draws us into that world and attempts to build our hope and imagination on finding these answers, be it in Washington DC or any another corner of the world, location is inconsequential to the large purpose which Brown pursues in his latest novel.

My favorites of Dan Brown are - as obvious as this may - The Da Vinci Code and Angels & Demons. Brilliantly written with irresistible plots.

I enjoyed the story; I wasn't fascinated or thrilled or in love. I simply enjoyed a good read and invested the time to finish reading what I had started because I had enough curiosity to know the ending.

Brown takes more than his fair share of beating on 2800+ Amazon reviews so I will close with this inspiring note after watching his interview video on Amazon: I admire that Dan Brown wakes up at 4am every day and locks himself up in a small cottage shut off to the outside world and far away from all human contact, equipped only with a refrigerator and a computer for typing; there he slips into a trance where he can write, create, and produce for hours on end. It is the best example to focused intensity and self-discipline, all of which I try to constantly pursue in my own endeavors. It is important to genuinely like the people behind the work and like and respect I have in great volume for Dan Brown.

So thank you Dan Brown and I hope the next one exceeds all of our expectations.
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on May 5, 2017
I adore Dan Brown stories because they are well researched and I always learn a lot about a subject that I was unaware of previously. I fell in love during "The Da Vinci Code" and it grew from there. Going to the specific sights that Dan mentions in great detail really enhance my appreciation for his ability to describe and illicit emotions in his writing.
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TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICEon December 6, 2009
Dan Brown must be a bit mystified if he reads through the reviews on Amazon.com. In many ways "The Lost Symbol" is a superior book to "Angels and Demons" and "The Da Vinci Code". Brown has matured as a writer and has honed his craft. Mainly there is less author intrusion . i.e. poor dialogue or scenes that case the reader to break from the spell that has been cast by the author and think "What? That seems silly/corny/gimicky/stupid" - in short, it knocks the reader back to the reality that they are reading a book. "The Lost Symbol" has fewer such "Author Intrusions" than Brown's previous novels.

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.

Other Observations
- 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.

4 Stars
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on November 18, 2009
I know it has become fashionable to review wildly commercially successful novels and slam them with one or two star reviews, and I'll be the first to admit that Dan Brown's fiction is hardly classic literature, however the simple fact remains: I lay in bed at night reading his work and I don't want to quit reading.

Granted, you might dislike his writing style; the short cliffhanging chapters, the preposterously indestructible and omnipotent villains (present in both Angels and Demons and The Lost Symbol), the bizarre leaps in logic and analytical processes that enable our hero (Robert Langdon, a/k/a Tom Hanks) to work his way through the maze of symbols and riddles, but again, I have to force myself to quit reading at 2 a.m., when other writing has me nodding off at 11 p.m.

As in his two most recent blockbusters, The DaVinci Code and Angels and Demons, Brown takes a subject matter rich in mystery, legend and symbology, and crafts an immensely interesting tale, based partly on fact and largely on logical extension of those facts. This time, his subject is the Brotherhood of Masons and their highly secretive beliefs and myths. As in his two Catholicism based predecessors, there will be numerous blogs and articles pointing out the inaccuracies in The Lost Symbol. To those, I would say: THIS IS FICTION, people, not history (though there is plentiful educational material in all of Brown's work).

Bottom line, if you enjoyed The DaVinci Code and Angels and Demons, you will certainly like this novel as well. It is written on the same template and with the same style as his earlier work. I'm sure there will come a time (as it did with Grisham, Clancy and McMurtry) when the formula will get old, but in my opinion it hasn't happened yet. I must admit that the final 20-30 pages of religious lecture and mystic spiritualism wore me down somewhat, but the action filled and highly educational preceding 400+ pages more than balance the account.

I am somewhat confused by those who vehemently dislike this novel. Not because there aren't valid criticisms, but instead, why anyone that hated it would have read it in the first place. After all, virtually everyone that reads this book has read The DaVinci Code and Angels and Demons. If you hated and despised those two, why would you even read this book? I suspect many of those slamming this work, secretly enjoyed reading it, but are embarrassed to admit it.
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on October 29, 2009
Nobody in this book does anything that remotely resembles how people really behave. For example, hours after the CIA learns that a powerful man has been kidnapped, they haven't contacted his closest family member or traced his cellphone, which the kidnapper is sending text messages from. That sort of sloppiness lends itself to keeping the plot moving, but requires you leave your brain at the door.

And you'd think the author got paid by the adverb. Every action is punctuated by a "breathlessly", "angrily", "eerily" or the like. It's like he's afraid that we WON'T. GET. HOW. IMPORTANT. THIS. IS.

On the other hand, the book serves as an interesting trivia guide as each major plot point is a chance for the main character, Robert Langdon, to remember a lecture he's given related to that plot point--the history of the freemasons, the creation of the U.S. capitol building, famous masons through history, etc. Other characters get their moments to muse on their area of expertise--the library of congress, noetics, computer hacking. Then there are the points where they lecture each other as Langdon deciphers puzzles. Unfortunately, these lectures come across more as essays on a topic that stopped the silly plot dead in its tracks repeatedly.

I put it down more than once, and eventually skimmed the back half, stopping at the subjects that interested me. In the end, though, I found myself wondering whether even that was worth the time spent.

Let the lone star above serve as my answer (he exclaimed breathlessly)
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on June 5, 2013
I don't know why Amazon.com isn't selling this book directly--I had to go through a third party seller--but if there's one thing Dan has proven, it's that all of his Robert Langdon books require illustrations. As much as I love the guy's work, I don't want to be strapped down to my computer while I'm reading and then have to STOP reading every five minutes because I have to look up pictures of whatever he just wrote about just so I can know what he's talking about. The alternativve is to continue reading without undertanding and that's just unacceptable. For any lover of the Robert Langdon series, these Illustrated Editions are a must have!
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on June 10, 2010
"The Lost Symbol" is a good sequel to "The Da Vinci Code", a trilogy of fast paced thriller stories led by professor Robert Langdon as the Harvard Symbology Professor. The plot is similar in "The Lost Symbol" as in "Angels & Demons" and "The Da Vinci Code" and the well tested formula does work well for Dan Brown in the series as a whole. In "The Lost Symbol" professor Langdon is summoned to give an unexpected evening lecture in US Capitol, but he is greated by a disturbing decorated object & the gruesome kidnapping of his beloved mentor, Peter Solomon. Professor Robert Langdon is then sprung into a fast paced action to save his mentor, his knowledge of symbols is put to the test,b going through Masonic secrets, hidden history & amazing locations in Washington D.C. The ending is a bit mellow & disappointing : It seems Dan Brown may have consciously avoided controversy like the one in the past (following success & anger/criticism) by some quotas of "Angels & Demons" and "The Da Vinci Code" books & movies! Dan Brown may indeed need to come with a new plot/formula & character in his next novel as he is becoming more predictable.
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