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Origin: A Novel Hardcover – October 3, 2017
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"Fans of The Da Vinci Code rejoice! Professor Robert Langdon is again solving the mysteries of the universe."
"A brisk new book that pits creationism against science, and is liable to stir up as much controversy as The Da Vinci Code did. In Origin, the brash futurist Edmond Kirsch comes up with a theory so bold, so daring that, as he modestly thinks to himself in Brown’s beloved italics, “It will not shake your foundations. It will shatter them.” Kirsch is of course addressing The World, because that’s the scale on which Brown writes. Brown and serious ideas: they do fit together, never more than they have in Origin."
–-Janet Maslin, The New York Times
"Origin asks the questions Where do we come from? Where are we going? They are questions about humanity--but they could just as easily be questions about Robert Langdon. The Mickey Mouse watch-wearing, claustrophobic, always-near-trouble symbology professor is back in Dan Brown’s latest book. And just like he was in his original exploits (Angels & Demons and The Da Vinci Code), Dr. Langdon is once again wrapped up in a global-scale event that could have massive ramifications on the world’s religions. As he does in all his novels, Brown[‘s] extensive research on art, architecture, and history informs every page."
"Entertaining . . . Loyal fans of his globetrotting symbologist Robert Langdon will no doubt be thrilled with the fifth book in the series."
"Dan Brown is once again taking on the big questions: God and science and the future of the world. Origin is a familiar blend of travelogue, history, conspiracies and whodunit, with asides on everything from the poetry of William Blake to the rise and fall of fascism in Spain."
"The bestselling author of The Da Vinci Code is back with a new book that looks to the future. Origin features many of Brown’s signature themes. An evil, Catholic-adjacent cult, in this case the Palmarian Church, is behind some murders. Gems from art history are the key to solving the mystery. [And] if the reader is in it for the thrill and the twist, the faithful will be glad to hear that there’s a Da Vinci Code-esque background to Robert Langdon’s mission."
--The New Republic
About the Author
DAN BROWN is the author of numerous #1 international bestsellers, including The Da Vinci Code, Inferno, The Lost Symbol, Angels & Demons, Deception Point, and Digital Fortress.
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I also have another issue with Mr. Brown that might just be me reading too much into his books. After reading this latest book it occurs to me that Brown has now written three volumes in which the Catholic Church or religion in general are the focus of the thrillers. His treatment of the Church and religion is something less than laudatory and has earned him some significant amount of criticism from these institutions. I have read a fair amount of Church history and find the decadence and depravity found in that history to be enormously interesting and entertaining. I have humorously suggested that the Church should have its own cable channel devoted to tales from their history. Such a channel would be a blockbuster and contribute greatly to enriching the Church's coffers. Now maybe Brown is just as entertained by the Church's history as I am and has simply taken advantage of this history as low lying fruit and exploited it. Then there is the possibility that Brown has some sort of ax to grind with the Church and is using his fiction to settle scores. If that is true then I would be most disappointed in Brown taking advantage of his readers in this manner. I prefer to believe that the Church's history has made them vulnerable to stories like this and just leave it at that.
As for this book Brown does employ his usual character format and the story had, for me, a predictable outcome. This is very disappointing because the story was very imaginative and ripe for discussion among its readers. It is as though Brown is two people. One person has a very fertile imagination and does significant research to flesh out the ideas for his story and when this is done he turns it over to Brown the writer. Brown the writer isn't nearly as talented as his other half, the inventor. The result is a book like this, a good idea only passably executed. The book was entertaining and readers will either enjoy it or find it wanting. I can understand ratings going to either extreme as there are legitimate reasons for both. If you are a reader that expects more from an author you are likely going to be disappointed. However, if you are a forgiving sort then you may be inclined to think better of this effort than I did. (less)
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Please understand that (at that time) I felt that "The Da Vinci Code" was one of the most refreshing and interesting novels that I have ever read. It is a blockbuster of a novel that was made into a highly successful film that grossed about $224 million worldwide. HOWEVER, "Origin" follows almost the exact same formula using the same basic premise but involving a modern supercomputer instead of an ancient cryptex. If you buy and read "Origin" you will be reading essentially the same story with updated technology using Spain as the locale instead of France. As I realized that this book was just essentially a rework of the same formula used in "The Da Vinci Code", it become a bit tiring for me to finish.
Once again, an interesting and well written novel with characters moving around and through beautiful European locales. The struggles of science and religion continue with the whole world waiting for which discipline would win out. Don't be surprised if a sequel is waiting in the wings. The author left enough 'clues' to pave the way for some type of continuation of the story line. I feel like Dan Brown let me (and other loyal readers) down. Time to change formulas.