yeah but i think that when its first mentioned its from someone elses point of view, and then i think when mal'akh explains it, he just mentions how he watched peter leave zach there, so he could just be speaking from his new identity, and then i think mal'akh just says he made an agreement with someone and then killed the guy
(and when they explain zachs death photo, they says hes extremely beaten and even twisted in unimaginable ways)
I think the "points-of-view" are too crucial to the suprises in this book. Its really a cheat. I know a big theme of the the book is points-of-view and symbols, but its just turned up to arcane levels.
THANK YOU!!!! I figured it right away too - it is written very carefully so that it leads you to assume Mal'akh killed him, but in actuallity you are only assuming what the other characters in the book assumed. There are multitudes of textual evidence hinting at this throughout the novel. It is the only reason that Mal'akh would know everything Zach knew - when Inmate 37 is in his cell with the "new inmate" you are lead to believe the new inmate is Zach, but it never actually tells you that. And this new inmate was only there 24 hrs when Inmate 37 overheard Peter Solomon, then Zach is "killed" the following day. There was no way "Zach" would have had time to develop a relationship with Inmate 37 and divulge all of the information and secrets that Mal'akh has, including how to get down to Zach's Bridge........people who were shocked were NOT paying attention.
Amanda, thanks so much for your input. I loved the book, but was hoping that I was wrong. I think other people posting things thought I was being a "know it all" but really I was frustrated that I did pick up on it. I really enjoy his books. Was hoping that others, like you, had picked up on it! Thanks for your post!
I totally agree with you. If you love reading, as I do, and are constantly reading you do begin to pick up on things quicker than in the past. I still appreciate the author that can surprise though! I will continue to read! Thanks for your input! Have a great one!
I didn't get it right up until the 'twist'. I wondered, later, why I didn't. After a few days of contemplation I realized that I missed the clues simply because right about the time that I read about some CIA chief getting overpowered and then disarmed by a senior citizen librarian, my brains started to petrify from reading this drivel. As more of my gray matter turned to stone, I found the book more and more intriguing and mysterious. Finally, at the end, I estimate that I had but two grams left of functioning brain matter so the finale, complete with one woman drained of blood, one drowned man and another dismembered man frolicking around DC after dark, made great sense to me. Now that my brains have re-constituted due to Ancient Mysteries, I am left only to wonder how to get my $20 back.
Paul just to set some of the record straight, the woman was not 'drained of blood'. The body has c 8 pints of blood in it and as she was still conscious, she had not lost very much at all, probably due to it clotting. The 'drowned man' was not in water but in an oxygenated liquid which is used nowadays for various situations. It was demonstrated some years ago on a documentary when a mouse was put into it and we could watch it moving around as nothing had happened.
The dismembered man only lost a hand and although that is not nice, it is not the end of the world given the circumstances, may a soldier has carried on in battle missing a hand or arm without registering it.
The things Dan has written about here are true and viable.
You would be surprised what a 'senior citizen' can do if roused - even a librarian! Surprise is a wonderful weapon.
I never said she was drained of ALL her blood but at least a liter or two must have gone out or the seepage would have been too slow to cause death within the time frame Mr. Badguy said it would kill her.
The guy with the lost hand had it roughly chopped off, not treated and then was subjected to many drownings in the tank. The FBI or CIA or whatever said such treatment would cause anybody to crack. So here he is taken prisoner, tortured, has a hand whacked off, is repeatedly drowned / revived and gosh knows what else. That goes on for a day or two. Then, without let up or even a Big Mac, he jauntily takes off for a wild and woolly tour of DC by night.
The other guy WAS drowned by his own senses. He, not having seen 'The Abyss' (as the rest of us have) had no idea he was the butt of a practical joke. Like the others, he'd been on a, what 12 hour chase (or more) been through one mental torture after another and then an enormous physical one. Finally, in the grand finale, his buddy Peter plays one more joke on him by throwing a towel over his head and saying, "Come with me". What does Robert do? He plays along with the joke. Any human would have ripped off his towel, grabbed a gun from the flaccidly hapless CIA agents and then shot everybody involved starting with Peter.
If you mean what Dan wrote is true and viable in the sense that tattoos exist, blood can be drained from a body, there is breathing liquid and Washington DC exists - I agree. If you mean the book - from a human psyche view - is viable, well, we have a debate on that one.
HAHAHAHA Oh Paul you have a way of expressing yourself that has given me a real moment or two of laughter..
I did mean that the things like blood draining and liquid oxygen is viable, but much as I would enjoy challenging you about the book just for the sheer fun of it, yes I too did think that if had any of those people been me I would certainly have been in no fit state to carry on.
I did find myself trying to accept their incredible stamina as fact just because I do enjoy Dan's books, but it was a difficult ask.
What I do wonder about tho is this: given that his other books were really good adventure yarns, what happened to Dan that this book failed?
Yes every so often an author does go flat and maybe this was it, but if you give it more thought you can almost feel Dan's anger the way he is moving his characters around and giving no regard to their condition.
In fact it is as tho, having been told he could not write about the Solomon Key and use it as he planned to he has chucked this one together just to get it out of the way. The ending was not good and, in fact, he hurried it. There was almost a "there, have it then!" attitude.
I will be interested to see if he does another book and what subject he will choose. I will still read him as I am now interested to see if his next book will be more of a par with his first ones.
There was almost no reason or utterly no reason for much of what was in the book. Let's take the stamina problem as an example. There was no reason that all the parties, now united in being good guys, couldn't have retired to their respective corners for a few months, healed up and then met again to do the final tour and reveal the final mystery. There were other examples but I don't wish to write a book here.
The entire premise of the CIA involvement bothered me a good deal too. The agency was cast as the good guy and the others bought into it being on a good mission after the needless secrecy lid came off. What was that mission? Well, it was to keep a cover up about our elected and appointed officials in place. I thought the good guys were whistle blowers who uncovered secrets about the government - not those who keep them buried.
There was no reason to cover up anyway. That many officials do silly secret ceremonies won't do their reputation any good but since the US public believes that these same officials as well as all of Congress each night splits into two groups. One group, so much of the public believes, has an all get naked Wesson Oil party and the other attends devil worship ceremonies, adding a few Masonic Rites to the mix isn't going to harm DC's image all that much.
My guess is that this book was created by focus groups. It smacks of hitting all the animals in a marketer's whack a mole study of What Customers Really Want. It also is tailor made to move into a movie. Do you doubt for a second that the librarian will be Morgan Freeman? I vote for Linda Hunt as the CIA head, The Rock as the bad guy. You fill in the others. The pacing of the book fits a 110 minute movie more than a novel.
The other issue with DVC was its anti religion slight as seen by True Believers. To throw them a sop, here Brown elevates the Bible into not literal truth, but into transcendental truth which he probably rates higher than the literal contents of the Bible. I doubt this will satisfy many Southern Baptists but it was, IMO, cynical try to reach the audience of book burners who bear him a grudge for his previous best seller.
IMO, if he writes another book, he needs to dump his current two book hero and move into an entirely different area. If he reads this, I suggest he try Martians have taken over the US State Department as the core issue. Take it from there, Dan.
I think I accept that the CIA will keep covered up what it suits them or the Government who is paying them. As for why they were even in the plot - well that escapes me as I really didn't see that anyone could be all the worried what Governments officials get up to behind the scenes... look at Lewinsky and Clinton (not fanks!)
I just love the mental pictures you paint there Paul.. an 'all get naked at a Wesson Oil party and the others attending devil worship ceremonies' and we wonder why the world gets into such a mess and we had to have a recession (Huh?)
Like, while all this is going on who is attending the fires of Government? Certainly not the CIA. :(
I have read a lot of stuff (not Dan's books) that deal with a new outlook on religion nowadays and I do note that we are now being 'taught' that the three great religions (excuse me please all Buddhists and others) Christian, Muslim and Jew all being 'brothers under the skin' because we all came from the same source - well I knew that years ago.
There has also been a lot of talk about the Bible having a 'second message or language' in other books, but I doubt that any of it exists (if it was ever so) in any Bible since it was translated from the original text. How could anyone manage to keep the 'secrets' while they transcribed the Bible if they don't know what the secrets were?
I am sad this has happened with this book as, before this one he was on a par with Robert Ludlum and Ken Follet when it came to a good adventure story, so I just hope he gets back on track some time in the future.
Nuh Paul, not Martians over the US, it's already been done :D