Dianna's Reviews > The Lost Symbol

The Lost Symbol by Dan Brown
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's review
Oct 19, 2009

did not like it
Read in October, 2009

well, that's several hours of my life i'll never get back.

you know, it's not so much that the writing is bad -- i expect it to be bad. it's laughably bad. (to enjoy some truly great bad, relish the self-consciously lascivious descriptions of the bad guy's naked body, they are made of awesome.) it's not so much that the plot is shaky -- i expect it to be shaky, and if this plot could be drawn, it would have to be drawn by dr. seuss. it's that i would expect, at least, that the book actually END SOMEWHERE.

as i recall of the da vinci code, the details of which don't stick in my mind, there WAS a conclusion of sorts, the Big Secret did actually turn out to be something -- that whole Jesus Got Laid revelation that everyone got their panties in a wad about. in this one, i was so confused by the end that i lost track of what The Big Secret was supposed to be, and i don't think one was ever actually given. it started as a Place that contained a Thing ... then it was a Place that contained a Word ... then there was no Place but there was a Word ... then there WAS a Place and a Word which was perhaps a Thing after all ... after that, i fuzz out, i have no idea what the conclusion was.

dan brown just sort of rambles about some ideas he must have found interesting after watching a lot of The Learning Channel and reading some Joseph Campbell. a little knowledge is a dangerous thing, dan. a very little.

but you know what? that's ok. it's a supermarket book. it's an airplane read, and sometimes i like an airplane read, just like sometimes i eat a donut for dinner. but if you're going to drag me through a book that starts and stops and lurches and jerks like a teenager in driver's ed, for god's sake dan, GIVE IT AN ENDING.

anything can be forgiven with a decent ending. you obviously didn't have anything in mind when you started and i'm sorry, kiddo, but your talents are not great enough to take you to unexpected places. leave that to the big boys. you go steal another interesting conclusion about a historical/religious/mythological item and work backwards. you are not good enough to ruminate randomly and have it come together as something meaningful.

watch that petard, brother, after it hoists you high, it'll drop you hard.
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02/03/2016 marked as: read

Comments (showing 1-14)

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message 14: by [deleted user] (new)

D - that was, perhaps, the funniest book review of yours I've ever read. I liked it, but in a "that's fascinating" sort of way.

Did you NOTICE that the plot is almost IDENTICAL to the Da Vinci code? Seriously! Guy gets roped into solving international crisis through deciphering symbols. Along the way meets beautiful/smart woman who helps him. Somewhere along the line a chase ensues. Bad guy is really fiendish, and distinctively hard to miss (what's next a tattooed albino, just to capture it all?). In the end, bad guy dies, big secret turns out to be something NOT what we all thought big secret was supposed to be and ...

Well ... like I said - this is the da vinci code all over again. Just in DC instead of Italy.


Dianna yeah, it even starts out with a mutilated body(part) in a public setting.

it doesn't bother me that he uses the same frame -- lots of authors do that, they have a frame they like and they fill it with variations. a pop author could go on like that for decades. it's that he seemingly had no real idea of what his point was, he had no conclusion that made any sense, and what's most unfortunate, it would seem he was barely edited. if he WAS edited, then i shudder at the thought of the unedited manuscript. i could not have cared less about any of the characters, and is it me, or did he make his lead guy a complete moron in this book? he just seems to ask obvious questions (punctuated by "?!" which drives me crazy) and i could see almost every single plot twist coming for MILES.

his last book worked to the limited extent that it did because he stole a really interesting idea and hung his bad plot devices on it. he should have stolen another one and done the same, it'd at least have been serviceable.

message 12: by B (new) - rated it 1 star

B B So true, so true.

Phoenix Oh...the endless experts

Linda haven't really gotten into the book yet, but, LOVE your review.

Michelle Smith The best review of this dismal book that I have ever seen. THIS REVIEW WAS MADE OF AWESOME.

Juliette Just finished reading this book and agree wholeheartly with your review. I stopped reading the last couple of pages because he seemed to be rambling.

Graham Joseph I'm only about a quarter of the way through and came here to see if anyone saw signs that it got better. Apparently not. Oh well. Like so many books (curiously, many of them by Dan Brown), I'll lower my expectations and plod along. The only thing worse than a dreadful ending is no ending. And, if I don't read on, I will consign myself to that endinglessness as a matter of certainty. Thanks for the heads-up!

Phoenix finally figured out how to avoid annoying and wasteful reviews, thank God for that.

message 5: by Matt (new) - rated it 1 star

Matt Great review. You really summed up the ending (or lack thereof) well.

Dennis Koniecki OMG, how did you miss the big reveal? That the magic word is the Bible,and the Bible is all of us? Or...was it that God is all of us? Just a slob like all of us? Just trying to make his way home?

In any case, I liked this line: "to enjoy some truly great bad, relish the self-consciously lascivious descriptions of the bad guy's naked body, they are made of awesome" I really thought Brown had outdone himself with his last novel with the albino self-flagellating monk...but he definitely took it up a level with the shaved and tattooed eunuch who is apparently such an adonis that his own family cant recognize him...

Nandini Soni I agree with you to about 40% as I too found the ending so much boring .... in between I definitely got goosebumps but then approaching its end I was like giving big yawns. I completed reading the novel just because I can't stand just 30% of any novel left unread. I both agree with you and disagree .

message 2: by Jay (new) - rated it 5 stars

Jay Sandesara Phoenix wrote: "finally figured out how to avoid annoying and wasteful reviews, thank God for that."

I agree

Rick Your review hit it on the nose. He kept telling us how HUUGE this was going to be, and then . . . nothing. I liked his first two books because in both, there was a payoff. I was entertained, and ultimately satisfied. This one? Not even close.

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