Harvard symbologist Robert Langdon is summoned to deliver an evening lecture in the U.S. Capitol. Within minutes of his arrival, the night takes a bizarre turn. A disturbing object - artfully encoded with five ancient symbols - is discovered in the Capitol Building. The object is an ancient invitation, meant to usher its recipient into a long-lost world of hidden esoteric wisdom. And when Langdon's mentor Peter Solomon - prominent Mason and philanthropist - is kidnapped, Langdon's only hope of saving Peter is to accept this invitation and follow wherever it leads him. Langdon finds himself plunged into a clandestine world of Masonic secrets, hidden history, and never-before-seen locations...all of which seem to be dragging him toward a single, inconceivable truth.
The Lost Symbol is exactly what Dan Brown's fans have been waiting for...his most thrilling novel yet.
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©2009 Dan Brown; (P)2009 Random House Inc.
"Impossible to put down....Mr. Brown was writing sensational visual scenarios long before his books became movie material. This time he again enlivens his story with amazing imagery....Thanks to him, picture postcards of the capital's most famous monuments will never be the same....In the end it is Mr. Brown's sweet optimism, even more than Langdon's sleuthing and explicating, that may amaze his readers most." (The New York Times)
"Thrilling, entertaining....Robert Langdon goes for another roller-coaster ride - this time in a hunt for a Masonic treasure in Washington, D.C." (Los Angeles Times)
I've read the daVinci Code and listened to Angels & Demons by Dan Brown so had a good idea what style of book this would be. As with the earlier books the story is full of complex explanations of symbols and historical references, this time for Masonic Orders coupled with a fast moving thriller. Much of the detail was interesting. The section about weighting the human soul was scientific bunk. As with Angles & Demons the book is marred by a boring finale of nearly an hour: in this book it's turgid religious references. It made the end of the book a damp squib.
This is a very disappointing book.
While well read and dramatised - that is the end of the positives.
The book is really no more than a short story spun out with a lot of tedious detail, trading on the author's reputation.
It is slow, dull and unexciting compared to his previous work.
Definitely the worst book I have had from Audible
After all the excitement it took two goes at listening to the ending to realise my player hadn't switched off - it had just run out of story. Pity.
I cannot believe I wasted so many hours of my life listening to this book!! Luckily I was walking the dogs at the time so not a total waste. What started as quite an exciting story was rapidly bogged down in way too much detail. It felt as if Dan Brown was including every piece of research he had ever done, rather than applying any filter as to what was interesting or necessary to the plot. The last 3 hours was a complete waste of time, some parts didn't even make sense. Do not buy this however much you may have enjoyed his previous books.
Really enjoyed it. Lost a star because of points below (no spoilers)...
1. If your female companion declares she has decyphered an element of the puzzle, you must ask 'You understand??' incredulously as though you had always assumed her an idiot.
2. The nervous wreck Langdon will meet any mild revelation during the proceedings with such actions as staggering, knees giving way, jumping backwards or being utterly shocked.
3. There are two ways you can learn the secrets of the ages. You can either graft your way up the 33 degrees of the Masonic order over a lifetime or, alternatively, you can hand it on a platter to your brattish, spoilt, greedy and indiscreet son.
4. After you have finished your story, reserve an extra 2 hours at the end of the book to preach at the listener.
5. Make your puzzles decypherable only to the sagely initated, oh, and everyone else who has basic knowledge of art, history and architecture.
Long, drawn out, annoying... with bursts of excitement here and there. And Dan Brown needs to work on his endings - it just wasn't good.
I really liked this book. Not as unrealistic as the others I have listened too and with some good links to real life and ideas.
Liked the end but found it carried on a little too much after the climatic end. This just knocks it off the five stars for me.
The da vinci code was a bit daft but basically a fun adventure that kept my interest throughout. This book charts new heights of the ridiculous without the redeeming feature of being a good yarn.
I was pleased to get to the end.
Here we go again .... In traditional Dan Brown style we are returned to the mystical world of Professor Robert Langdon and yet again he has a sexy, intelligent, companion throughout this epic adventure.
Basically, if you enjoy the Dan Brown style then you will drop lightly into the characters in this tale of the New World. The usual sysbologist aproach to the solving of a mystery, add in the usual secret societies and a touch of drama and awaay you go. Throughly enjoyable.
You will always be left with food for thought and a desire for more if you enjoyed The Davinci Code and Angels and Demons then here is the next step on the staircase.
"Very typical of Dan Brown. Easy brilliance."
If you are a fan of Dan Brown then you won't be disappointed with this volume either. Holds your interest and has good solid info presented in his riveting style.
"16 hours you'll never get back ..."
I enjoy some good old airport fiction as much as the next person, but there is a limit. The characters are one dimensional - which is fine - the plot however is tissue paper thin, and this is a problem for a book that is entirely plot driven!
We stumble from one poorly realised "revelation" to another under an avalanche of portentous prose that completely fails to deliver anything like excitement or tension.
The narrator does an heroic job, but there are only so many times you can say "the ancient mysteries" and "the wisdom of the ages" before you sound like you're taking the mick. So run don't walk and look elsewhere!
"Why did I do this to myself?"
Having it been written by a different author
Only if I see the name Dan Brown as the author.
He imbued emotion and read well, with clarity and didn't just use a dull plodding monotone, would happily listen to him as a reader again.
Not really, it was pretty much utter bilge from start to finish. The only redeeming quality is that I didn't pay full price for my misery!
I wish that I had just read this book instead of listened to it, as it would have been over in a far shorter time.
To be honest I am not entirely sure why I bothered with it in the first place, it was either idle curiosity or masochistic tendencies...or most likely both!
Any book which has you expleting audibly in exhasperation more then once (even just once would be bad enough) really cannot be recommended.
"Preposterous, in a good way"
Well, the hype surrounding "the next Da Vinci Code" actually detracted from the experience for me.
I enjoyed this book none the less, as it was pure unadulterated pulp, and pretty self aware. It didn't set out to climb literary mountains, or be worthy or clever. I seemed to be content with just telling a ripping, and totally preposterous story and trying to be entertaining with it.
I was entertained. The story was read very well, and the sound and quality were excellent.
"Waste of time, a piece of junk."
Although Paul Michael narrated well, this book lacks of depth in all aspects. Story is very predictable, and it's more or less just a repeat of Da Vinci Code. A piece of rubbish by Dan Brown.
"A must read"
For the open minded. Cermented my curiosity about we humans..our purpose here on earth..what we are capable of and how lost we all are. My journey for enlightenment and apotheosis has began
"Great story superbly told"
As always Dan Brown does not disappoint
The story is a super mixture of fact and fiction
Waiting for the film version with Tom hanks as Richard Langton
"Another good story from dan brown, but ....."
I like the Robert Langdon character, and the semi historical nature of the plot I dan Browns stories is excellent.
This one lost itself and became unconvincing in the last few chapters. After the dramatic climax, the key scene the whole plot had been building towards, it was totally unbelievable that the cast would then wander off sightseeing and continue discussing historical contexts of religion and politics , given what they'd just been through. at the end it totally spoiled the whole experience for me.
"Really a 3.75"
It's always hard to review books like this one. It's not meant to be literature, so you don't want to measure it on that scale, but it's not (intended) trash either. In this pseudo cerebral, pseudo-action come whodunnit genre, it is above average, but not as good as, say, his "The Da Vinci Code". It's not at the top of the tree with some of Le Carre's classics, but it's better than the Gabriel Allon series (in my opinion, although to be fair, that's more espionage than cerebral). In the end, I've opted for the upper end, although in truth I should have "split the difference" (if that were possible) overall.
Basically, this conforms to all of the formulaic traditions common to these books. There is a protagonist and an attractive assistant. there is a constant threat from a very scary individual whom appears to have no moral compass. The Chapters all end on a cliff's edge, making them perfect for serialisation (and, for that matter, for motion pictures). There is a wicked twist (although the astute of this genre will pick it early) in the tale (and tail); and there is the declamation of the little know, but startling, in the true habit of a a conspiracy theory. For all that, it is a page turner and, given its Masonic underpinning, a vaguely interesting yarn.
I thought Paul Michael did a sterling job, too, especially with the evil one (Mulah) and the snaky one (Kato). The latter reminded me of the boss lady from Monsters Inc! Good fun listening.
"Hey everyone, look how much smarter I am than you!"
This is only the second Dan Brown book I’ve read/listened to. I’ve avoided his books because I’ve heard his prose is terrible. Having said that, I found “Digital Fortress” to be highly enjoyable and thought I’d give him the benefit of the doubt. I know this review is long, but bear with me. I may save you some time and money.
“The Lost Symbol” returns us to Harvard Symbologist Robert Langdon, and his search for the mythical pyramid of the Freemasons. It’s a good idea with loads of potential and the pace initially seems to be well set (it actually isn’t). As always there appears to be plenty of research put into the subject by Brown and the elements that bring the story together are very intriguing. But Brown’s greatest strength is also his most frustrating one.
Brown appears to cast himself in the role of Langdon (the all-knowing teacher) and relishes talking down to the rest of the characters (and his students), who represent the majority of the “ignorant dumb masses” that think they know things, but are sadly mistaken i.e. us. There are many scenes involving these other characters making statements about a historic building or event, only to have Langdon correct them. There is an overwhelming sense of Brown’s pomposity and condescension present when these scenes take place that it’s almost enough to make you turn off the audiobook.
The other frustrating thing Brown does is tiptoe around the big revelations of the story, making the characters spell out every step involved in deducing the big reveal instead of just getting to the bloody point. It’s like they forget they’re racing against the clock. ”I know Peter is about to die any minute and the future of the country is at stake, but let me spend 15 minutes giving you a dissertation on something…” It’s enough to make you gouge your eyes out!
Add to that the fact that certain chapters end on “big” cliffhangers and we don’t return to those scenes for some time after. It’s designed to keep you “turning the pages” until you discover the next anti-climactic irrelevant plot point, but it just ends up making you want to punch Brown in the face…repeatedly...with a shovel. Oh and did I mention Langdon seems to have become a complete moron? You’d think after his DVC and A&D adventures he would be more open-minded about things, but no. The same old scepticism first, be-shocked-and-dumbfounded-after-being-proven-wrong second, still applies.
The narrator cannot be faulted though. He sincerely gives the book his best reading and performance and does a good job of depicting the characters. But even he can’t save this train wreck.
All that being said, I nevertheless found myself swept up in the book as it approached its climax (I know right. WTF?). The character of Mal’akh is actually quite interesting, if a little too similar to Thomas Harris’ Francis Dollarhyde and a complete cliché. The book ends up being an okay read if you can stomach the negatives and the twist that many will see coming from a continent away. The last hour of the book is also unnecessary and the final revelation of the Ancient Word is a complete “That’s it?” moment. Don't waste your time.
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