Wendi's Reviews > Angels & Demons

Angels & Demons by Dan Brown
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's review
Jul 03, 2008

it was ok
bookshelves: fiction, italy
Read in December, 2008

So I honestly want to give the book three stars. What I enjoy about Brown is how he can write almost 600 pages of a book and I get almost to the end and realize that it has taken place all in the space of one day. As a writer, I would love to be able to do that. The weaving of religious and scientific themes into an adventure set in European locales is also right up my alley.

What I don't like... and why I am forced to drop down to two stars (just a few examples):

That same time stretching often results in a parceling of time that is terribly irritating - most of the book actually isn't just in less than one day but in about four to five hours. Unfortunately, in one part of the book, given twenty minutes, the protagonists can, say, drink tea and eat scones, talk at length about their theories about what's happening, run from one location to another, save someone, and research an important historical fact. But during another twenty minutes, they don't seem to have enough time to, say, run the length of a block and enter a building. It must be difficult as an author to keep track of this sort of incongruity but this is Brown's special trick and it's irritating that he can't follow his own rules. It needs to be either one way or the other but not both.

Every few chapters, he seems to feel the need to reintroduce his main protagonist by first and last name, "Robert Langdon stood in front of the church..."; like we haven't met this character yet for every single paragraph for the last 126 chapters (and no, I'm not exaggerating on the numbers of chapters).

This really, really frustrating thing where the protagonist, Langdon, is this brainy professor that can supposedly figure out these relatively obscure, secret messages hidden by other brainy men hundreds of years ago in order to save the world... and yet he can't figure out the REALLY obvious things right in front of his face. I was listening to this on audiobook and I SWEAR, I kept expecting a three year old child to pipe up from somewhere in the back of the crowd, saying, "Oh, come on, mister! You can't see that? Seriously? Aren't you supposed to be the hero? Even I can see that!!

And, finally, lines like, "The silence that followed might as well have been thunder." Um, what... honestly, what? Is this Brown's version of "A thunderous silence followed..."?

It's really rather frustrating because I honestly think that in many ways Brown is rather talented; in some of his plotting, the details, the ideas he pulls together. I just wish that in other ways - the writing, some characterization, he could catch up with his other abilities.

After reading The Da Vinci Code, I was going to read both this and Digital Fortress but I do believe I will stop here... wishing I could tip it over to the three stars.
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Reading Progress

12/28/2008 page 277
03/05/2016 marked as: read

Comments (showing 1-9 of 9) (9 new)

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message 1: by Keri (new)

Keri ha ha. NOW you know how I feel about the Da Vinci Code. Bleach.

Caroline Hahaha, Wendi, I think the same things went through my head when I read that... I mean, yes, incredibly addictive writing and the man knows how to suck people in, but there were times when I was literally yelling at his books because his characters can be so dense.

Digital Fortress was the same brand of mediocre, unless you really have some time to kill it's worth skipping.

Wendi I think I've told you, Caroline, that I have this personal connection to The Da Vinci Code that made it impossible for me to be critical about it (although I have recently forced myself to go in and drop my rating from five stars to four). After reading this, it makes me a little bit sad to realize that if I were to go back and re-read the Code again with a very honestly critical eye, I would probably feel the same frustrations as I did with this book. So I won't. I want to retain as much as I can of the intimate, personal connection that I had with the Code way back when. I just wish I hadn't been a little bit disillusioned by this reading. *little sigh*

Caroline I think the personal connection would still be there, but it probably is wisest to not re-read it just in case your new feelings towards Dan Brown taint the good memories. I've actually never read the Da Vinci Code so I have no idea where it ranks in comparison to the other novels.

Ivan "Digital Fortress" unfortunately has the same sloppiness of writing and demonstrates the same glaring lack of research as this one.

message 6: by William (new)

William Ainsworth I thought Digital Fortress was a better book. Not perfect but worth a read.

Dorothy Loved the witty review

Katie Bravo to you for calling it quits. Wish I had quit after the 2 Langdon books...

ellen o

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