Wednesday, 18 September 2013

Caragh Reviews - The Lost Symbol by Dan Brown

Published - 15th September 2009
Publisher - Bantam
Format - Hardback
Synopsis - 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.nnWhen Langdon’s revered mentor, Peter Solomon – philanthropist and prominent mason – is brutally kidnapped, Langdon realizes that his only hope of saving his friend’s life is to accept this mysterious summons and follow wherever it leads him.nnLangdon finds himself quickly swept behind the facade of America’s most historic 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 which hides in plain sight…

The Lost Symbol is the third Dan Brown novel featuring symbologist Robert Langdon. Many many years ago I read Da Vinci Code (when it was all the rage) and devoured it. It was a new type of book that I hadn't read before, full of mysteries, intrigue and I even learned a few things too! I thought I was set to love a brand new author. I then discovered Angels & Demons and of course, set out to read that too. This is when my Dan Brown experience kinda fell through a little. I wasn't a big fan of A&D, even though I read it twice just to make sure, but I still wasn't ready to give up completely so more than a couple of years after it's released I took a deep breath and read The Lost Symbol.

The book starts off with great potential. As always, Langdon gets an out of the blue phonecall which sends him flying off to greet whatever mystery awaits. You'd think by now he'd just stick to lecturing! The case that Langdon is presented with isn't really apparent until the end of the book which was pretty fun and there were a lot of things that were brought in that seriously made me sit back in awe. The idea of Noetic Science is something i've heard about before but the things presented in The Lost Symbol were astonishing and maybe i'm naive but I thought - what if?

So if I found the book exciting, interesting and at times jaw-dropping - what exactly is my problem I hear you say. The sameness. It felt like the basic plot was the same and I guess that's what people like about it and why they're so popular. But the biggest thing I had a problem with was the irrelevance. Though the Noetic side of the book was one of my favourites - it didn't even seem important in the end. I'm sure i'm probably just missing the point (I have a Arty mind not a Sciency one!) but it seemed like such a waste. Also Langdon himself barely seemed useful. Though his symbology is impressive, he was often wrong and only ever got to the correct answers because of the people who were helping him at the time! It could have featured anyone - Langdon wasn't important in my opinion. 

Though I was (obviously) disappointed with The Lost Symbol, I am still looking forward to reading the latest, Inferno. With the reference to Dante's Inferno and the small hope for another knockout like Da Vinci Code, it is on my to-read list and fingers crossed it's a little bit...more!

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