Joe's Reviews > Angels & Demons

Angels & Demons by Dan Brown
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's review
Apr 04, 2012

really liked it
bookshelves: contemporary-fiction, 2012

Why was this book, which came out before the Da Vinci Code and is arguably more thrilling, not the huge blockbuster its little brother turned out to be? I think the answer lies in the secret at the heart of each book. Angels & Demons focuses on the battle between science and religion, and thus makes us choose a side even as the novel continually flips the two around. But the secret of the Da Vinci code is a human secret, beyond science and religion, and the quiet power of its implications makes every character both anxious to learn it and reluctant to share it.

I don't want to review this book as much as give a little advice if you're thinking of reading it. If you love Italy, and Rome in particular, the setting alone will drag you into it. It's a masterfully crafted thriller with an extraordinarily absurd ending. There's nothing wrong with that, but you should know what you're getting into (spoiler alert): people surviving jumping out of exploding helicopters without a parachute. One twist, though, is absolute genius, the sort of coincidence that hundreds of years of papal history teaches us is just strange enough to be true.

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