Lauren Fidler's Reviews > The Lost Symbol

The Lost Symbol by Dan Brown
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Oct 04, 2009

it was ok
bookshelves: convoluted-plot, da-vinci-code-esque, mystery, predictable-villain, stupid, unnecessary-sequel
Read in October, 2009

1.5 stars.

this book bugged me. brown seems to be able to handle two subjects with relative skill (he handles art the best, religion second best, and science just barely). here, he attempts to juggle all three and the result is a lukewarm mess.

the major problems:

1. i'm tired of the formula. reluctant, smarter-than-thou hero unwittingly thrust into quasi-heroic quest, hindered by seemingly-bad but really just misguided police detective, an insane killer with fanatically charged religious beliefs, a father figure gone wrong, and a beautiful and brilliant lady friend.

2.langdon is just so incredibly obtuse here. he fights the entire time against the masons but he does pretty much whatever the pretty lady or the homicidal maniac want him to, no questions asked. it makes no sense, from a character development standpoint.

3. the "catastrophe" - it ain't no thing. no, really, read the book and tell me i'm wrong. this isn't like the vatican disappearing in a blink of an eye or being killed by an albino monk. it really isn't personal at all towards robert, his life is only threatened by his own stupidity, and the "truth" would only be shocking if you're a moron who doesn't get symbolism.

4. the best part of the book appears to be the hidden code on the book cover. we've already deciphered part of it.

5. this book will probably not get mason admission rates booming, sorry creepy old dudes with your rings and secret initiations.

6. if you can't figure out the identity of the big bad well before everyone else does, you're stupider than langdon in a sensory deprivation tank.

7. the whole noetics thing...gah. okay, the 8 grams/weight of the human soul thing was wicked cool for 41 minutes back when naomi watts and sean penn made a movie called 8 grams like a decade ago. now, it just feels like the rest this book's theories and speculation: overdone and overplayed.

8. odd religious cornerstore bent - i hate when langdon's intelligence is called into question by his reluctance to put faith in the unknowable. the way religion was used at times got to be too much - which is interesting because it didn't bother me this much when he was in the vatican dealing with the pope.

i'd say, wait and see the movie (which based on how this book was written is probably already in the works). i'm guessing the tattoos will be awesome.

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05/20/2016 marked as: read

Comments (showing 1-12 of 12) (12 new)

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message 1: by Jillian (new)

Jillian Ooooh I love it when you get angry!


Lauren Fidler i solved the codes on the book jacket. i am officially the least cool person i know. is it bad that 1. the book cover was the best part and 2. it took me less time to figure out masonic pigpen cipher than it did to finish the novel??? =)


Janean Ok, even though you hated this, I still need to read it.


message 4: by Jillian (new)

Jillian see i disagree. i read da vinci first and enjoyed it but i thought angels and demons sucked. i'm over dan brown.


Lauren Fidler i rate this one lower than angels and demons because he should know better.

he also says he has material/ideas enough for 12 more langdon books. TWELVE! i don't have enough new material for 12 more recommendations, i can't imagine how he's going to pull that one off!


Janean ha...so it's not even like one of those fun trashy reads? it's that bad?


message 7: by Lauren (last edited Oct 14, 2009 04:09PM) (new) - rated it 2 stars

Lauren Fidler i bought it because i thought it would be like the da vinci code - and when he focuses on art, it's actually okay, but he can't help himself. he brings in science (noetics, of all things) and then he just gets ludicrous. you should definitely read it so we can mock it. the cover codes were fun-ish. =0)


message 8: by Hilary (new)

Hilary Thanks for the VERY thorough review. I will skip and wait for the movie. Too many other good ones to read.


Lauren Fidler i hope i didn't give away any spoilers!
i think part of the reason it upset me so much is because i don't have as much time to read good books any more...so when i make a poor choice i feel like it's a bigger letdown than it used to be. does that make any sense?


message 10: by Jillian (new)

Jillian absolutely. life is too short for bad books...especially when you have little ones crawling around that compete for your time and attention!


Janean I don't know what it is lately,but I'm having a very hard time getting into a book. Does having a baby make your attention span shorter? I"m thinking of actually doing some re-reading of old favorites to help get my "reading juices" flowing again.


Lauren Fidler i am having a much harder time getting into books these days...fi likes to grab at them and throw them and it's just not as easy to find reading time as it was when she was slothfully nursing all afternoon. re-reading harry potter was good this summer - i felt like i could read the parts i loved but skim over the other parts with no guilt. miss marples were also good this summer - turns out pregnancy and sleep deprivation guarantee you'll forget most of the murderers in any mystery you've ever read.


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