Jan 01, 10
Read in January, 2010
I had hoped that this would be the last book I read in 2009; however, it ended up being the first book I read in 2010, and it’s a dandy addition to the Dan Brown series of Robert Langdon-centered grand conspiracy thriller novels. I very much enjoyed reading this book, and will look forward to seeing the movie in 2012 or thereabouts.
This book brings us the Freemasons, not as the villains of the piece, but as the catalyst for what happens in the book. Robert Langdon, professor of religious iconology and symbology at Harvard University, has been called to Washington, D.C. to conduct a lecture a lecture at National Statuary Hall, in the United States Capitol, at the invitation of his old friend Peter Solomon, the head of the Smithsonian Institution and a 33rd degree Mason. Langdon arrives at the Capitol shortly before the 7:00 pm scheduled start of the lecture, and for the next ten hours or so is plunged into the usual cat and mouse chase of Finding Out What The Symbols Mean Before The Bad Guy Does Something Really, Really Despicable.
We are thus treated to a tour of Washington, D.C., with Langdon, Peter’s sister Katherine (who is a noted scientist, but who also can be counted on to ask the Dr. Watson-type questions of the Sherlock Holmes-like Langdon, like “And what does that symbol mean?”), the CIA, and several other people charging furiously all over the city and its monuments in search of esoteric Masonic secrets. A good many of the security personnel who are supposed to be watching monitors are distracted during all of this activity, as it is the same evening when the Washington Redskins are playing a football playoff game – in their home stadium. (As Richard notes, this fact alone qualifies the book as a work of fiction; it’s been a very long time since the Redskins were at home for a football playoff game – since 2000, in fact.)
I found this quite an enjoyable book; and by the time I next take a trip to Washington, D. C. (probably sometime in 2011), there will probably be books out showing where to go to see all of the Lost Symbol buildings and landmarks.