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The Lost Symbol Should Have Stayed Lost

TriXie360 | October 06 2009 | Bookmark and Share
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Author: Dan Brown
Published By: Doubleday Books
Publish Date: September 2009
Book Type: Fiction
Official Website: Official Website
Our Score:

I enjoyed both Angels and Demons and The DaVinci Code. I devoured both in short order and pre-ordered the latest Robert Langdon book as soon as it was announced in April.

I hope that Mr. Brown spent the last five years or so gallivanting, throwing his millions around, and sleeping late. Because if he spent those years writing the piece of crap known as The Lost Symbol, he should hang up his laptop and retire from writing altogether.

I suspect that Dan Brown has a special app in his word processing program that pops up, Clipit-like, and says: "It looks like you're writing a Robert Langdon novel? Would you like some help?"

Brown accepts, and launches the Langdon Wizard.

"Great, let's start with a villain. Please choose a secret society."

a) Illuminati
b) Opus Dei
c) Freemasons

"Terrific! Now let's choose an odd characteristic for your villain."

a) Self-Flagellating Albino
b) Tatooed Castrato
c) Self-Immolating Catholic Priest

"How about a female sidekick who, while lovely and smart has zero chemistry with Langdon?"

a) Noetic Scientist
b) Cryptographer
c) Particle Physicist

Brown's latest book has cookie cutter characters including a curiously wussified Langdon. A distiguished professor of symbology, Langdon is supposed to be the expert on hidden meanings. In The Lost Symbol, he plays straight man to the didactic ramblings of everyone and their dog. Langdon misses clues that I got.

The plot is completely predictable. It's hard to give examples without spoiling it for you readers who will go ahead and ignore my warning, so I'll just say that the twist and turns and false leads and "surprises" are not at all surprising. In fact you can see them coming a mile away. I'm a college dropout, but I figured out the mystery about 400 pages before the Harvard professor did.

The plot is heavy-handed, the characters are a yawn, and I suspect that Dan Brown is either a Mason, or taking a lot of cash from them, he defends them so vociferously.

As I slogged through this uninteresting novel full of uninteresting characters, I kept reading in the hopes that there would be a big payoff at the end. Something akin to the "Jesus had babies!" revelation of The DaVinci Code. As Wayne and Garth would say: Denied. The climax of The Lost Symbol was worthy of a Care Bear Adventure.

Look, I was really looking forward to this one too. I wanted to like it, but it's a real disappointment. Wait for paperback if you must, but please don't spend the cash for the hardcover.

On the bright side, I'm sure the movie will be decent. 

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Comments

Lady Eh
Pretty much sums up my thoughts as well. "This sucked monkey balls" was the statement that came to mind when I finally finished it.

The "Langdon Wizard" made me lol. smile
By Lady Eh on 2009 10 06
Adaera Lassair
I too was disappointed in the book - and every time Langdon spoke, I heard Tom Hanks. The Noetic Science stuff was kind of interesting, though. I agree with Trixie - maybe the movie will be decent and redeem the story somewhat. Maybe.
By Adaera Lassair on 2009 10 11
Bella Donna
Thanks Trixie -- you saved me from wasting my precious time on a crummy book!
By Bella Donna on 2009 10 12
misschiefmaker
Well great, I just picked this up over the weekend. Haven't started it yet. Wish I had read this first haha.
By misschiefmaker on 2009 10 14
Kiki
I had trouble getting through book number two so I am sure I wouldn't enjoy this one at all. Thanks for confirming that!
By Kiki on 2013 05 08

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