The Lost Symbol

Have you read anything by Dan Brown yet? If not, start with Angels & Demons or The Da Vinci Code. They are better thrillers. If you have already read Brown and enjoyed his previous books, you will probably enjoy The Lost Symbol. Robert Langdon’s third adventure is another fast paced thriller that involves secrets in art, architecture and history. Brown does not break any new ground, but he does provide some good beach reading. The Lost Symbol by Dan Brown is Brown’s third Robert Langdon thriller. In Brown’s first two Langdon books — Angels & Demons and The Da Vinci Code — Langdon uncovered conspiracies within the Catholic church that involved art and science. The Lost Symbol takes place in Washington D.C. and explores the secrets of Freemasonry.

I enjoyed the movie more because it took itself less seriously than The Lost Symbol and enjoyed a visual advantage (always nice to be able to see the symbols and buildings involved in a conspiracy). Still, there is plenty of Mason folklore to go around, and The Lost Symboldoes a fine job of creating another mystery in our nation’s capital. So why do I consider The Lost Symbol merely an average read? First, Brown does not create anything new — no new character development, no big surprises in plot trajectory. Furthermore, his signatures “twists” are not nearly as tantalizing as in his previous books. After so much build up, I found myself let down by the reality of the secrets revealed in the end. Finally, there are several points when it seems as if Brown is trying to make his book more intelligent or profound than it actually is. Langdon’s rants about religion and truth, when not directly tied to the mystery, are tedious and even a little preachy. In fact, the last 50 pages of the book try a little too hard to be enlightening.

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