The story is crazy, warped, irreverent, and frenetic, and yet has real truth & heart at its core -- just like Craig Ferguson's monologues and movi...moreThe story is crazy, warped, irreverent, and frenetic, and yet has real truth & heart at its core -- just like Craig Ferguson's monologues and movies. Very few novels make me laugh out loud a few times. This one managed to do so every few pages.
Another cool bonus: In my mind, I could hear Craig's voice reading along.
I'm looking forward to the release of his next novel and getting it signed by Craig.(less)
I LOVED this book! I don't get all of the criticism about Dan Brown's writing style -- his books are thrill rides filled with intrigue, puzzles, and p...moreI LOVED this book! I don't get all of the criticism about Dan Brown's writing style -- his books are thrill rides filled with intrigue, puzzles, and plot twists, not War & Peace! Quite frankly, I'm flipping pages so fast to find out what the puzzels mean or to see if the characters will be captured or killed that I'm not concerned with the writing style. I think if it was as horrible as people want others to believe, then it would yank me out of the story. This never happened.
This time around Robert Langdon is asked by his longtime friend Peter Solomon to come to Washington, D.C. and fill in as the guest lecturer at the U.S. Capitol's National Statuary Hall due to the scheduled speaker's last minute cancellation. Peter also asks Langdon to bring a small, sealed package that he entrusted to Langdon's keeping. Langdon rushes to make the scheduled speaking engagement arriving only seconds beforehand. However, as he steps into the room, he discover that no one is there. Without giving away any plot thereafter, let's just say that there is much more wrong than missing a speaking engagement.
This story revolves around the mysteries of Freemasonry, Noetic Science, and the founding of the capitol city. Peter is a 33 Degree Mason and head of The Smithsonian. His younger sister Katherine (who eventually teams up with Langdon) is a noetic scientist working in a secret lab provided by Peter. Meanwhile, the CIA realizes that the events that start this adventure off are dangerous to national security and attempt to investigate Langdon's level of involvement.
According to The Institute of Noetic Sciences (IONS), Noetics is "explorations into the nature and potentials of consciousness using multiple ways of knowing—including intuition, feeling, reason, and the senses. Noetic sciences explore the "inner cosmos" of the mind (consciousness, soul, spirit) and how it relates to the "outer cosmos" of the physical world." Having never heard of Noetics, I found the concept fascinating, and I can't wait to read more about this field of research.
I think Brown does an excellent job of intertwining the ideals of both Freemasonry and Noetics, the Solomon family dynamic, and the race to solve the "Ancient Mysteries" riddles that Langdon faces before time runs out. Not to mention the great plot twists/reveals throughout the story.
I highly recommend reading this book, and am thrilled that The Discovery Channel will be having a special show about it on October 25, 2009. I also hope that Dan Brown's next Robert Langdon novel won't take 6 years to be released!(less)
I tried to read this several times over the past year and just couldn't get into it. I just could never engage with the characters or slog through the...moreI tried to read this several times over the past year and just couldn't get into it. I just could never engage with the characters or slog through the pages of description.(less)
Julia's graduation sets off heretofore unknown tensions within her family, and in trying to reconnect with her older sister Sophie, Julia discovers ab...moreJulia's graduation sets off heretofore unknown tensions within her family, and in trying to reconnect with her older sister Sophie, Julia discovers about truth, friendship, family, love, who she is, and what she wants out of life. This is a fantastic tale about how secrets within a family can either bring them together or tear them apart.
I adored everything about this book! I immediately connected to the characters and was swiftly drawn into their world. Galante has a gift for creating living and breathing characters that react to events realistically, giving the reader just enough description to vividly see what is happening, and expertly balancing dialog and action scenes so that neither feel plotted.
I highly recommend this book! Seriously, go and read it now!(less)
Talk about a book not to read while on a diet! Oh my God, my mouth was watering constantly at the descriptions of the variations of goodies that the t...moreTalk about a book not to read while on a diet! Oh my God, my mouth was watering constantly at the descriptions of the variations of goodies that the townspeople of Avalon were baking using the Amish Friendship Bread starter. Not only did I think that the Gee did an amazing job of developing the primary and secondary characters, but even the short vignette chapters about incidental characters were wonderful. The reader can easily relate to at least one, but likely several, of the characters, and more than once was I brought to tears or laughter because of these emotional connections.
Gee also wove the many story lines around one another so artfully & effortlessly that the constant shifting around was barely noticeable. It really felt like you were in the town and either sitting nearby and eavesdropping or listening at their windows. Not to mention that I would love to have Madeline's Tea Salon to frequent (it made me miss my local bakery/coffee shop Sweet Lady Jane in West Hollywood, CA).
I was so excited to find the recipe for Amish Friendship Bread Starter, the basic Amish Friendship Bread recipe, and lots of recipe variations. I'm just sad that I returned the book to the library before copying all of that information.
This is one of those novels that despite the ups and downs of the individual characters, leaves the reader with the warm fuzzy feeling of wanting to curl up with a cup of tea (or coffee), a yummy desert, and a good book, wishing that you could read more about these characters with whom you've grown accustomed.(less)