Thursday, January 28, 2010

The Lost Symbol

Dan Brown's The Lost Symbol has been on my to-read list since I first heard about it. I've read several of his other titles and have actually enjoyed them. I particularly enjoyed his titles featuring Robert Langdon -- The Da Vinci Code and Angels and Demons. While he's not the best writer out there, his stories are full of mystery and consipiracy and non-stop action. His first two novels in his Langdon series were a great escape from reality.

I was a little concerned that his newest release may not live up to the hype or my expectations. And, in a way, I was right. The Lost Symbol was not as much fun to read as the original two in that this sort of secret society adventure story is not new to me anymore. That's not to say that Brown's latest novel was not exciting. It certainly was. Brown is great at ending each chapter with a cliff-hanger and scattering twists and turns throughout. These tools Brown uses force the reader to flip through the pages at a rapid pace. His books are certainly quick-reads.

I guess for me, part of the appeal of The Da Vinci Code and Angels and Demons was that they were set in Europe. I particularly enjoyed Angels and Demons because it was set in Vatican City and discussed Catholicism a great deal. The Lost Symbol, however, is set in Washington D.C. Robert Langdon is tricked into traveling to D.C. to help an old friend only to find a severed hand with symbols tatooed on its fingertips. This hand, it turns out, is an invitation of sorts which pulls Langdon into a night full of adventure and puzzles. While I was pulled into the story, I was never as fascinated with the secrets and symbolism as I was in Brown's previous novels. Maybe I should read a book on Catholicism or secret society in Europe rather than another Brown book.


  1. I actually liked The Lost Symbol better because it was set in Washington, D.C. Dan Brown isn’t the most descriptive writer, but since I’ve been to D.C. so many times it was easier to visualize the action. I agree with you, though, about the conspiracy being a letdown after The Da Vinci Code. I expected something more.

  2. Try reading Confederacy of Dunces - I think you will enjoy the humorous but intelligent exploration of Catholic humor.