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The Lost Symbol

Dan Brown

Average Review Rating Average Rating 7/10 (3 Reviews)
Book Details

Publisher : Bantam Press

Published : 2009

Copyright : Dan Brown 2009

ISBN-10 : HB 0-593-05427-X
ISBN-13 : HB 978-0-593-05427-7

Publisher's Write-Up

The Lost Symbol is the eagerly anticipated follow-up to The Da Vinci Code, Dan Brown's No. 1 international phenomenon with 81 million copies in print worldwide and the UK's biggest selling paperback novel of all time, and it will once again feature Dan Brown's unforgettable protagonist, Robert Langdon.

What was lost will be found...

Washington DC: Harvard symbologist Robert Langdon is summoned at the last minute to deliver an evening lecture in the Capitol Building. Within moments of his arrival, however, a disturbing object - gruesomely encoded with five symbols - is discovered at the epicentre of the Rotunda. It is, he recognises, an ancient invitation, meant to beckon its recipient towards a long-lost world of hidden esoteric wisdom.

When Langdon's revered mentor, Peter Solomon - philanthropist and prominent mason - is brutally kidnapped, Langdon realises that his only hope of saving his friend's life is to accept this mysterious summons and follow wherever it leads him.

Langdon finds himself quickly swept behind the façade of America's most powerful city into the unseen chambers, temples and tunnels which exist there. All that was familiar is transformed into a shadowy, clandestine world of an artfully concealed past in which Masonic secrets and never before seen revelations seem to be leading him to a single impossible and inconceivable truth.

A brilliantly composed tapestry of veiled histories, arcane icons and enigmatic codes, The Lost Symbol is an intelligent, lightning paced thriller that offers surprises at every turn. For, as Robert Langdon will discover, there is nothing more extraordinary or shocking than the secret that hides in plain sight…

"This novel has been a strange and wonderful journey", says Dan Brown himself. "Weaving five years of research into the story's 12-hour timeframe was an exhilarating challenge. Robert Langdon's life clearly moves a lot faster than mine".

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Reader Reviews

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Review by Arnab (311209) Rating (8/10)
Review by Nigel (160909) Rating (6/10)
Review by Chrissi (150909) Rating (8/10)

Review by Arnab
Book Source: Unknown
Rating 8/10
This is the third adventure of Dan brown featuring Robert Langdon, the main character or hero of the novel. To start with you have to stop comparing with The Da Vinci Code; that was a masterpiece and you cannot go on comparing every next book of Dan Brown with that work of excellence. I am not going to give away the story line but all I can say is there is film made on the topic that he has covered here and it's the latest in the series of Indiana Jones. The treasure is not gold it is knowledge. This is the book for everyone who really wants to know the true power of knowledge and the potential of their CAPSTONE(MIND!!) It's a must read for anyone who really wants to set example and get enlightened. At least I was very impressed by the content of the book and the way he handled the concept of knowledge as pure treasure and comparing our body with a temple. The similarities will leave you baffled!!!

On the negative side it's a huge book and could have been edited, especially towards the beginning. But I would give it more than Angels and Demons. If you are a Brown fan go read it... it’s sure going to leave you MESMERIZED!!!
Arnab (31st December 2009)

Review by Nigel
Book Source: Purchased
Rating 6/10
Well, I’ve just finished reading The Lost Symbol and to be honest I feel somewhat let down. The first three quarters of the story have the same pace and style as Dan Brown’s other works, however, the ending and then the next 40 odd pages (yes, you are reading correctly) is where it all unravels, leaving the reader feeling short changed and somewhat dissatisfied. I’m not going to give the ending away to explain this but if you are expecting succinct revelations and unambiguous explanations to the main plot point you will be disappointed.

Perhaps I am being harsh and was expecting too much but lets be honest I suspect many readers will pick this book up with the same sense of anticipation and I’m pretty sure most will be equally dissatisfied. It will take time for the dust to settle as the die hard fans defend any disparagement but I’m sure time will, in the end, confirm this sad truth.

In summary the story is ok but it is not as good as either Angels and Demons or The Da Vinci Code. Mr Brown must have been under intense pressure to come up with his next novel and I think this ultimately shows in what has been produced.
Nigel (16th September 2009)

Review by Chrissi
Rating 8/10
This is the third outing for Robert Langdon and unlike the previous books, has been written with a severely truncated timeline, in this case, over hours rather than days. In The Lost Symbol, Dan Brown has chosen to keep his story in one place, rather than having his characters covering great distances as in his previous books. The setting is Washington D.C. where Robert Langdon has been asked to speak on the symbolism of the architecture of the city. He arrives to find that his speech is not what is required of him at all, and a rather grisly discovery indicates that he is expected to figure out a symbolic puzzle.

There ensues a highly engaging plot with a requisite mad / bad man, a person with dubious motives, a couple of intelligent people and a whole slew of images and information concerning all sorts of stuff, from paintings to architecture, both religious and secular. The volume of information is considerable, but as with Dan Brown’s previous work, it is interesting and plausibly placed. I am sure that as with The Holy Blood and the Holy Grail, there are other tomes that people will chose to go on to read once their interest has been piqued by information hinted at in this book.

The familiarity that the European setting of the previous books in Paris and Rome evoked in me (as a tourist who has been lucky enough to see both of these places,) is now completely absent, although an American reader will enjoy the setting of this book all the more and, in keeping with the Tourism theme, I am sure that before long, there will be Lost Symbol tours on open top buses, if that kind of thing appeals to you. I am sure that the appeal that I experienced from the previous European settings will be a great factor in the engagement of the US audience with this book.

People have criticised Mr Brown’s previous efforts for his use of language and some of his descriptive howlers, but as someone whose pet hate is prose which does not flow, necessitating a re-read of the offending bit(s), I have to say that this has been proof-read excellently. It motors along nicely, making it difficult to put down; okay, so Dan Brown has a formula, but with its central character a specialist in symbolism, he is hardly going to get dragged into a mess that he cannot solve using his talents, is he?

I was bothered by one niggle, and it took a while to figure out where the it came from, it was the discussion of Masonic symbolism from the film National Treasure, with Benjamin Franklin and the dollar bill; whilst this quite definitely is not going to make a Disney film, it is one of those books which contains so much visual imagery, that it is inevitable that it will be made into a film. This is not a criticism, I like a big film, it is just that to do justice to the story, a lot of detail needs to be included, but too much and people who have not read the book just cannot keep up - the film of The Da Vinci Code was just such an example. I do think though that this is a rather more elegant proposal for a movie, and look forward to seeing it with ice cream or popcorn, I do not mind which, although I will probably come out of it feeling that I need to re-read the book to make sure that I understood the film, and bemoaning the fact that it was not how I imagined it.

I am glad that he waited this long to publish his new book; the expectations were always going to be huge after selling the 80 million copies of The Da Vinci Code, but I was not disappointed, not a jot. With The Lost Symbol, he has confirmed that where people know there is a mystery, in plain sight or not, then they are always interested to know more, and that latitude will allow you to take them on a journey of an author’s choosing, and, speaking as a reader, I just love it.
Chrissi (15th September 2009)

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