I read Dan Brown’s The Lost Symbol back in July and never got round to writing about it at the time, so I’ve forgotten much of the detail. For pure escapism I really like Dan Brown’s books. I know lots of people criticise his writing but I find his books hard to put down once I’ve started reading them – I’ve read The Da Vinci Code and Angels and Demons as well as this one. They’re not great literature but they are great entertainment, even though this one follows the same formula – it’s a breathtaking race over 24 hours as Robert Langdon follows the clues, to rescue the his friend, Peter Solomon, a Mason. Because it’s so formulaic I knew what to expect (although not the detail), it’s full of cliff-hangers and the characters are stereotypes.
It’s long and complicated, full of coincidences and improbable situations, all of which I had no trouble accepting, and a terrifying and crazy villain, Mal’ahk. It’s also packed with detail about the Freemasons,the art and architecture of Washington D.C., and Noetic Science – ‘a fusion of modern particle physics and ancient mysticism’, all of which was new to me and I found it fascinating. It helped that I read the Illustrated Edition on Kindle which has many photographs and illustrations and I kept checking facts on the computer too.
I don’t think it’s as good as either The Da Vinci Code or Angels and Demons, but that may because the first had the novelty factor and the second is set in Rome, a place I’ve visited and know more about than Washington D.C. It did make me want to visit Washington D.C. though. And I do intend to read his next book Inferno. I’ve read some of Dante’s Inferno and I’ve visited Florence so I’m keen to find out where Robert Langdon’s race against time takes him and how Brown incorporates the details of the Circles of Hell.
Although I didn’t read this to take part in the What’s in a Name Challenge I’ve realised that it does fit into the category of book with the word ‘lost‘ in the title, making this the last book for me to complete the Challenge.