I’ve read all of Dan Brown’s books, but sort of missed out on the hype surrounding the release of The Lost Symbol and have only just read it recently. Like Angels And Demons and The Da Vinci Code, The Lost Symbol focuses on Professor Robert Langdon, the Harvard symbologist who becomes an unlikely ‘action hero’ after his friend, Peter Solomon, a prominent Washington Freemason is kidnapped. Robert must join forces with Peter’s Scientist sister, Katherine, and decode an ancient pyramid to find the key to the Ancient Mysteries, a secret kept by Freemasons for hundreds of years. It’s a race against time to find Peter and evade the CIA who, thanks to their modern technology and methods, are only a few steps behind!
As I said, I have read Dan Brown’s previous Robert Langdon books and this book is no less exciting and packed full of symbols, codes and intriguing puzzles, all of which seem to be in plain view if you know where to look for them. Alongside the plot, it’s also a potted tour of Washington DC and its Masonic history in architectural, artistic and cultural terms so, from that point of view, it’s a good read for a history buff!
The book is very easy to read – the pace skips along as Langdon and Katherine Solomon try to outrun the CIA and, despite quite detailed descriptions and histories of the puzzles they have to solve, it never gets dry and dull but rather Brown manages to make it all seem so immediate and reveals the different plot points in such a way as to keep you reading just the next chapter, ooh, maybe just one more… all the way through.
Dan Brown does get a lot of criticism for not producing the most literary of novels and not, perhaps, being the the best writer, but I wonder if those criticisms are relevant when his books are interesting, exciting and obviously appeal to a great many people. I certainly have enjoyed all of his novels as they appeal to my interest in history, while being exciting, pacy and always mysterious and The Lost Symbol is certainly an excellent addition to Brown’s catalogue.
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