The Lost Symbol (Robert Langdon, #3)
WHAT IS LOST...WILL BE FOUNDIn this stunning follow-up to the global phenomenon The Da Vinci Code, Dan Brown demonstrates once again why he is the world's most popular thriller writer. The Lost Symbol is a masterstroke of storytelling - a deadly race through a real-world labyrinth of codes, secrets, and unseen truths...all under the watchful eye of Brown's most terrifying villain to date. Set within the hidden chambers, tunnels, and temples of Washington, DC., The Lost Symbol accelerates through a startling landscape toward an unthinkable finale.As the story opens, Harvard symbologist Robert Langdon is summoned unexpectedly to deliver an evening lecture in the U.S. Capitol Building. Within minutes of his arrival, however, the night takes a bizarre turn. A disturbing object - artfully encoded with five symbols - is discovered in the Capitol Building. Langdon recognizes the object as an ancient invitation...one meant to usher its recipient into a long-lost world of esoteric wisdom.When Langdon's beloved mentor, Peter Solomon - a prominent Mason and philanthropist - is brutally kidnapped, Langdon realizes his only hope of saving Peter is to accept this mystical invitation and follow wherever it leads him. Langdon is instantly into a clandestine world of Masonic secrets, hidden history, and never-before-seen locations - all of which seem to be dragging him toward a single, inconceivable truth.As the world discovered in The Da Vinci Code and Angels & Demons, Dan Brown's novels are brilliant tapestries of veiled histories, arcane symbols, and enigmatic codes. In this new novel, he again challenges readers with an intelligent, lightning-paced story that offers surprises at every turn. The Lost Symbol is exactly what Brown's fans have been waiting for...his most thrilling novel yet.(jacket)

The Lost Symbol (Robert Langdon, #3) Details

TitleThe Lost Symbol (Robert Langdon, #3)
Author
LanguageEnglish
ReleaseSep 15th, 2009
PublisherDoubleday
ISBN-139780385504225
Rating
GenreFiction, Mystery, Thriller, Suspense

The Lost Symbol (Robert Langdon, #3) Review

  • Grumpus
    January 1, 1970
    I don’t get all the haters of the Dan Brown books. Are you really going in with the expectation that these books are going to be award-winning, works of art? If so, do you critique every book you read with that same expectation? It would be a pity if you did.Like movies, I don’t expect every one I watch to be an Academy Award winner. If I did, that would certainly narrow the number of films I’d see. No, I go to be entertained (whatever that may mean on any particular day). That’s the way I look I don’t get all the haters of the Dan Brown books. Are you really going in with the expectation that these books are going to be award-winning, works of art? If so, do you critique every book you read with that same expectation? It would be a pity if you did.Like movies, I don’t expect every one I watch to be an Academy Award winner. If I did, that would certainly narrow the number of films I’d see. No, I go to be entertained (whatever that may mean on any particular day). That’s the way I look at the books I read, particularly fiction, and I think Dan Brown’s books are very entertaining. They are a fictional escape. We’ve all seen the stats that show how few books Americans are reading these days (present company excluded) and I think these types of books are an excellent way to get the masses to pick up, read, listen and get back involved in books. That’s what it is all about…like starting children with books from an early age, once they’re in, who knows where it can lead them. I want more of my friends to read books and if this is the hook, then I’m happy to bait it and reel them in.My personal opinion of the Lost Key Symbol was that I liked it, but after reading all his other books I found this one more predictable. Still it was entertaining and I recommend it. I think many others will enjoy it as well.
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  • Becky
    January 1, 1970
    This book is both poorly written and impossible to put down.I think that about sums it up.
  • Meg
    January 1, 1970
    I have such issues rating Dan Brown books... I want 1.5 stars, I think. Snark ahead.Here's the deal: the man can't write. He's a name-brand & url spewing, Wikipedia-like fountain of knowledge, who CAN'T HANDLE VERB TENSES. He also likes really short sentences. That aren't sentences at all. Really. Expect iPhone, Twitter, and Google shout-outs, too. I'm almost surprised he didn't mention the inevitable hash #thelostsymbol and tell us to use it when we tweet about what we just learned.On the f I have such issues rating Dan Brown books... I want 1.5 stars, I think. Snark ahead.Here's the deal: the man can't write. He's a name-brand & url spewing, Wikipedia-like fountain of knowledge, who CAN'T HANDLE VERB TENSES. He also likes really short sentences. That aren't sentences at all. Really. Expect iPhone, Twitter, and Google shout-outs, too. I'm almost surprised he didn't mention the inevitable hash #thelostsymbol and tell us to use it when we tweet about what we just learned.On the flip side, who doesn't love a good romp around a famous city solving mysteries with art and science and religion? You know the drill, and the formula hasn't changed here in the slightest.As a former DC resident of 7 years, I have to admit, I was expecting slightly more from the location, but Langdon and his companion du jour keep getting trapped in random places, so it's a bit disappointing on that front. He does get 10 points for a hilarious caper including the Blue Line out to the King Street station though and the Red Line to Tenleytown (yeah, Tenleytown shout-out, what up!)This book's wacky science theme is Noetics, and the quasi-religious thing at hand is the Masons. Since the first thing that comes to mind re: Noetics is Fringe, I sort of expected a Pacey Witter guest appearance, but alas, it was not meant to be. I know absolutely zip about the Masons, but who wants to bet their membership applications go through the roof this month?So my final verdict: did I hate it as much as Catcher in the Rye? No. (Will I ever hate any book as much as I hate Catcher in the Rye? Unlikely. BUT THERE'S TIME.) Is it the best Robert Langdon book? Not by a long shot. Angels & Demons still is the best of the trilogy. Is it still vaguely enjoyable in the way only a Dan Brown book can be? Yes. Does Dan Brown's copy editor need to be publicly humiliated? YES AND HIS NAME IS APPARENTLY JASON KAUFMAN (according to the Acknowledgements, so I'm not like, stalking anyone here) AND GOOD LORD MAN, ONLY YOU CAN PREVENT FOREST FIRES CAUSED BY PEOPLE BURNING THIS BOOK EDIT THIS INTO SOMETHING ENJOYABLE. EVERY TIME DAN BROWN DOESN'T KNOW HOW A VERB WORKS, KITTENS DIE.Also, if I ever have to read the words "neutered sex organ" again, I will be forced to remove my eyeballs and then pour bleach directly onto my brain.One more P.S., since I tweeted this and then forgot to include this here: Most unbelievable part of the plot? The Redskins are in the playoffs AND score on their opening possession. PLEASE TRY AGAIN, YOU FAIL AT HAVING SPORTS KNOWLEDGE.
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  • Jayson
    January 1, 1970
    (C-) 56% | Very UnsatisfactoryNotes: Its secret society has no intriguing back-story, the villain is inappropriate and asinine, and the end revelation is lame.
  • John
    January 1, 1970
    I liked Angels and Demons and I really liked The DaVinci Code but this latest of Dan Browns thrillers was barely worth the time, and definitely not worth the money. The Lost Symbol follows the familiar Dan Brown formula - an ominous conspiracy, a threat to end the world as we know it, a relentless villain, and a search for hidden secrets which require the decoding of obscure clues. This formula has given us a couple of fine thrillers, and has taken advantage of the authors familiarity with arcan I liked Angels and Demons and I really liked The DaVinci Code but this latest of Dan Browns thrillers was barely worth the time, and definitely not worth the money. The Lost Symbol follows the familiar Dan Brown formula - an ominous conspiracy, a threat to end the world as we know it, a relentless villain, and a search for hidden secrets which require the decoding of obscure clues. This formula has given us a couple of fine thrillers, and has taken advantage of the authors familiarity with arcane history, philology, symbolism, art and architecture. But even this intriguing texture would not be terribly interesting without the intrepid symbologist Robert Langdon to lead us through the perilous labyrinth at high speed. This time, Langdon must find the Freemason’s grand secret hidden in Washington, D.C. and evade both the CIA and a brilliant but scary villain, while rescuing a kidnapped friend and his sister. The DaVinci Code and Angels and Demons were both intriguing and thrilling enough to overcome Mr. Brown's weak writing. But because The Lost Symbol’s plot is so much weaker, Brown’s sophomoric writing becomes much more obvious and ever more bothersome as the work progresses. For example, the formulaic mini-cliffhangers at the end of nearly every chapter became trite and annoying manipulations. Brown also employed several set-pieces of lecture and discovery that annoyingly repeat themselves. This book is full of Brownian cliches. I think that the credibility of this work is further undermined by using characters who are simultaneously brilliant and clueless. For instance, the intrepid and brilliant professor Langdon, who by now should be rather wary of mysterious invitations, flies to Washington D.C. at a moment's notice supposedly at a friend's request but without actually speaking to his friend. And even less credible, is that without direct confirmation, he brings with him a top-secret package that he swore to keep hidden at all costs.Similarly, the brilliant scientist Katherine doesn’t think to back up her life’s work of scientific research, and she allows a man she's met only once into her "top secret" laboratory because she receives a TEXT message purportedly from her brother who she admits doesn’t even know how to text. And these are not the only naive, and clueless people who should know better. The police and security guards are all hapless,and even the CIA director fails to question whether a suspect is lying when he says "I'll be there in 20 minutes." More disappointing still is that the main character of Robert Langdon seems to have been dumbed down in this book. He repeatedly is adamant about thus and such only to be subsequently shocked when the true meaning is revealed. He always requires two attempts to decipher the true meaning of clues - the first one which is obvious and turns out to be wrong, followed by the shocking epiphany. One would think that a Harvard professor would eventually learn that things are not always what they seem. In this work Robert Langdon spends more time being lectured than he does solving mysteries or puzzles. My recollection is that he figured out absolutely nothing critical in the last third of the book. Even more troubling than Brown’s weak and cliched characterization is that as the thriller reaches its climax, it becomes clear that the pieces do not fit together well. For instance, for most of the story, both the villain, and the CIA insist the stakes couldn't be higher, but in the end we learn that the potential danger is merely some bad public relations for a few powerful Masons. Why then is the CIA involved in this extortion plot - especially since it is legally barred from domestic law enforcement? The author simply fails to provide justification for all the black opps of the CIA counter- conspiracy despite their central role in the story. There are lots of problems with this book, but perhaps the its greatest flaw is Dan Brown’s failure to ever explain the main premise for the book, something he calls the Ancient Mysteries. The primary force that propels the plot is the implicit promise that in the end, a tangible secret will be uncovered. While the protagonist keeps asking if this grand secret is merely metaphorical, he is assured by friends, enemies and even the CIA that the secret is literal and potentially dangerous. But, in the end we learn that the grand secret for which people are willing to sacrifice their lives and fortunes doesn’t really exist. What exactly is the point of the pyramid and the secret codes and symbols if the grand mystery is already found in every church, in nearly every home, and in even in all the hotel rooms in the country? Doesn't that make the entire plot pointless to begin with?OK, if it’s not clear yet, HERE IS THE BIG SPOILER: The great Masonic secret is the most widely published and read book in history - it is the Bible. Brown’s thesis is that the Bible is loaded with hidden wisdom, and once these biblical secrets are pointed out, people are going to be shocked that they didn't see them before. And then they are going to be transformed because they now know that they're one with God, or they're the same as God, or they are made of God, or some such new age mumbo-jumbo. So in the end the whole purpose of all the elaborate secrecy is that a few people think mankind may not be ready for a new age when human potential will be finally unleashed. So for centuries the inner circle of Masons have concocted elaborate means to hide this enlightenment from a world not ready for apotheosis. And so despite all the symbols and codes, the grand secret is really kept hidden in plain sight. So pay no attention to the coded mysteries behind the curtain. The ending of this story is an embarrassment. It may be the most anti-climactic, unsatisfying ending I have ever read. While the story kept claiming that earth shattering secrets were soon to be revealed, in the end all the paintings, pyramids, talismans, and other clues turned out to lead to nothing. They resolved nothing, they didn’t even leave us with a mystery yet unsolved. The mystery was solved, and it was an inconsequential whimper instead of a revelatory bang. It is my opinion that the author could not pull together the novel in the last chapters simply because there was nothing to pull together. There was no sweeping statement to be made and no grand secret to be revealed. This left me very unsatisfied at the story’s end. Theological addendum: Many Christians are offended by the idea of apotheosis which seems to be a core premise of Brown’s Masonic heroes. Though the idea of human deification has a long and ancient history in Christian thought, these critics have disowned the notion that Man can become like God, and consequently are offended when Brown places this mystery at the apex of his new-age amalgam of Masonry, religion and pseudo-science. As a Latter-day Saint (Mormon), I believe that having been literally created in God’s image, we each have the innate potential to become glorified and exalted through obedience to the Gospel of Jesus Christ. My belief that man can become like god, is akin to the belief of Christian writers through the ages from Irenaus to C.S. Lewis. So deification doesn’t offend me at all. Ironically, however, I find myself in strong agreement with Christian critics who accuse Brown of idolatry for claiming that this apotheosis can occur merely through our own mystical consciousness raising efforts. The central message of the Bible, and most especially the New Testament is that such a dramatic transformation can only occur on God’s terms and by means of his power and grace. In contrast, Brown attempts to “spiritualize” or metaphorize all particularity and literal meaning out of the biblical text. To Brown’s heroes, the real meaning of the text is whatever the true mystic wants to find hidden within. His new-age hodge podge of religion is very convenient,non-demanding, self-asserting and self-serving. It is the opposite of God’s revealed truth which requires self-less obedience and devotion to God and our fellow men. The Bible’s central message of obedience and faith is not found in Brown’s mystical amalgam, nor in any other brand of humanism. Brown ironically attempts to bolster his view of an impersonal God and a godless salvation by selectively quoting the Bible, a book which persistently and powerfully testifies of a personal God - a Father in Heaven who knows us individually, and cares about helping us overcome our sins more than developing our mental, or psycho-kinetic capacities. I agree with those critics who claim that the God described, or implied by Brown is an idolatrous invention of man as surely as that of Odin, Zeus, Baal, or the God of the Greek philosophers whose center is everywhere and whose circumference is nowhere. In my view, Brown’s mishmash of new age nonsense intending to avoid dogma and doctrine, has very little point except to highlight that humans have enormous untapped potential. I don’t see anything revealing or revolutionary about this truism. I cannot conceive of such a benign observation creating any paradigm shift, nor can I imagine it unleashing pent-up human capacity. On the contrary, I think it is mankind’s persistent attempts to ignore the substantive teachings of the Bible that have bound us to telestial mediocrity. Even so, I suspect this theological critique is probably a bit over-the-top when you consider that this book is just a work of adventure fantasy. The Lost Symbol ought not to be taken too seriously. I don’t imagine that it will shape many people’s views of God, the Bible, or even religion in general. I don’t see The Lost symbol as much of a threat to my sacred beliefs, even though I thought I might as well throw in my two bits on the matter.
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  • Anna
    January 1, 1970
    I really enjoy Dan Brown's stories. I have read Angels and Demon and The Da Vinci Code, I am currently reading Deception Point and plan on reading Digitial Fortress. I absolutely love his story telling. I have read mixed reviews and I think the negative reviews are just really people who are too serious in life. For goodness sake it is a book for entertainment, not a non-fiction story. Though I have read some non-fiction stories that are more fiction then Dan Brown's book. Brown's books are ente I really enjoy Dan Brown's stories. I have read Angels and Demon and The Da Vinci Code, I am currently reading Deception Point and plan on reading Digitial Fortress. I absolutely love his story telling. I have read mixed reviews and I think the negative reviews are just really people who are too serious in life. For goodness sake it is a book for entertainment, not a non-fiction story. Though I have read some non-fiction stories that are more fiction then Dan Brown's book. Brown's books are entertaining and make you look at thing in different ways which is good. Everytime I pick up Brown's book, I am totally immersed in the story and at the edge of my seat wanting to know what happens next. I can't wait until the next book. It took me a bit longer to finish this book then I expected, but I am so glad that I read it. Again, Dan Brown delivers a thought provoking story in his unique style. I know others really dislike Brown's style of writing saying that it follows a formula of the ultra dramatic and the never ending cliff hanger chapters, but I just don't tire of that at all. A great thrilling read. I can't wait to read the next Dan Brown book!
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  • Janet Wilcox
    January 1, 1970
    I liked this novel actually better than DV Code and A & D, which is ironic as it wasn't quite the page turner as those were, but the plot and ideas were more believeable. I was very interested in The Masons, as they were so much a part of the early patriotic/revolutionary era of the US. As usual there is a gruesome evil person, with superhuman like skills and power. The whole story covers just 24 hours...wow, what a day! Interesting insight from Brown on the Masons or Noetic Science?: "a tem I liked this novel actually better than DV Code and A & D, which is ironic as it wasn't quite the page turner as those were, but the plot and ideas were more believeable. I was very interested in The Masons, as they were so much a part of the early patriotic/revolutionary era of the US. As usual there is a gruesome evil person, with superhuman like skills and power. The whole story covers just 24 hours...wow, what a day! Interesting insight from Brown on the Masons or Noetic Science?: "a temple of God" refers to the "temple" of the brain; how "the created,...becomes the Creator"; when the eye is single, your body fills with light". For me the last part of the book added to my personal confirmation of what faith is, and that "our minds can generate energy capable of transforming physical matter." I believe as Katherine stated, "As soon as we humans begin to harness our true power, we will have enormous control over our world..and be able to design reality, rather than merely react to it." How about this idea: God created us in his image, but not just our physical bodies resemble him, but our minds! Now that's a a great idea, and correlates with my LDS belief that we were all intelligences first, even before our spirits were created. Because of this, we have God-like potential power, and indeed can become like him. We just haven't learned all that is necessary ...yet. Interestingly, he refers to the Hebrew meaning of God, Elohim, which is plural. Hmmm, gives lots to think about, especially if you don't believe in God, or if your belief in God is limited. Love this idea also on p. 563, There are those who create, and those who tear down. The dynamic has existed for all time. Another perspective of atonement...."gathering what is scattered...to bring order from chaos, to find "at-one-ment", from this vantage point, His characters discuss the inherent power of prayer groups, healing circles, singing in unison, worshipping en mass... unfortunately, no mention of Christ in that view, but there is still much truth there. "We have barely scratched the surface of our mental and spiritual capabilities." Can you believe a popular fiction novel promoting such eternal truths? I'd love to talk to others about this, but my husband disliked the book. I thought it was great.
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  • Malcolm
    January 1, 1970
    Now boarding on track 33, the Symbolism Express departing for the Freemasons, the Invisible College, the Office of Security, the SMSC, the Institute of Noetic Sciences and multiple points around the cryptic compass.Your temporal destination, not Paris and London, but Washington, D.C.Your conductor, Harvard symbiologist Robert Langdon, the Indiana Jones of the new age.Tied to the tracks in the gathering darkness ahead and facing certain death, if not embarrassment, another keeper of the ancient m Now boarding on track 33, the Symbolism Express departing for the Freemasons, the Invisible College, the Office of Security, the SMSC, the Institute of Noetic Sciences and multiple points around the cryptic compass.Your temporal destination, not Paris and London, but Washington, D.C.Your conductor, Harvard symbiologist Robert Langdon, the Indiana Jones of the new age.Tied to the tracks in the gathering darkness ahead and facing certain death, if not embarrassment, another keeper of the ancient mysteries including the wisdom of Solomon, not a man of the Louvre, but a man of the Smithsonian.Traveling alone, an attractive female relative of the man lashed to the tracks, not agent and cryptologist Sophie Neveu, but Noetic scientist Dr Katherine Solomon.Sitting in the engineer's seat with a small stone pyramid rather than a chalice holding down the deadman's pedal, a rogue and tattooed Mason in search of apotheosis replaces Silas, "The Da Vinci Code's" rogue and scourged monk as our antagonist for the evening.Hold on. It's going to be another bumpy ride.Dreams of déjà vu remind you what the journey will be like: short chapters, multiple points of view, conflicting agendas with something very large (yet unknown) at stake, the thrill of the chase, the almost-sexual tension of near-satisfaction again and again as answers appear and disappear, multiple station stops for arcane wisdom instruction, and a desperate-save-humanity-hunt for secrets you've stared at your entire life without comprehending.By the end of the novel, you won't be a 33rd Degree Mason and you won't be like unto a god in any way you can quite wrap your mind around, but you will have experienced a high-adrenaline ride. This thrill is what the journey is all about. Perhaps reality lurks around the edge of the plot and theme and perhaps sacred messages lurk within the vast white spaces between the lines of black type, but that's not why we're turning the pages from 1 to 509.Dan Brown has done it again, and upon reflection at the dawn's first light, you'll see that he knows how to pull the right strings and push the right buttons and sprinkle the right esoteric seasonings across his smorgasbord of mysteries from around the world to keep readers addicted for the trip. On the last page, you may well hope, along with Robert Langdon and Katherine Solomon that men and women will follow the ancient maps toward their true potential; but seriously, the novel's destination really doesn't matter, does it, because the ride was the peak experience you were seeking when you picked up "The Lost Symbol."All aboard.
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  • James
    January 1, 1970
    Dan Brown is one of my favorite authors. I know there are several of my online and in-person (sounds so weird!) friends who disagree, but ultimately... you have to acknowledge the amount of time and dedication he puts into his story, the vast eccentric cast of characters, the intrigue and suspense, the unexpected connections and the fast-paced thrill of turning the pages more quickly than you can actually read each one. People love books for different reasons. It's not always the "beautiful and Dan Brown is one of my favorite authors. I know there are several of my online and in-person (sounds so weird!) friends who disagree, but ultimately... you have to acknowledge the amount of time and dedication he puts into his story, the vast eccentric cast of characters, the intrigue and suspense, the unexpected connections and the fast-paced thrill of turning the pages more quickly than you can actually read each one. People love books for different reasons. It's not always the "beautiful and lyrical prose" or the "emotional gut punch you feel from its reality." These books are meant to keep your heart racing, your mind guessing and your eyes unable to blink for a few minutes at a time. At the time I'm writing this review, it's been about five years since I read the book, and I still haven't seen the movie... but I am excited to watch it, though I haven't heard great things from those who have.Of the four Robert Langdon books in the series, this was my least favorite. Angels & Demons and The Da Vinci Code had such complex and shocking story lines, I couldn't help but be amazed. Inferno was so intense and ripe with "what if" scenarios, my mind was non-stop going. With this book, it's still a huge and complex puzzle, but it felt a little weaker than the other ones. There was a different type of emotional connection given Langdon's friendship with the kidnapped mentor.I liked the puzzle, but were pictures necessary?It was a little too easy to solve this time.It felt a bit repetitive at times.But you still flip the pages faster than a normal read.I'd push you to read his other books. I'd be OK if you skipped this one. But I am still super excited about Origin, the fifth in the series, which will debut later this year. About Me For those new to me or my reviews... here's the scoop: I read A LOT. I write A LOT. And now I blog A LOT. First the book review goes on Goodreads, and then I send it on over to my WordPress blog at https://thisismytruthnow.com, where you'll also find TV & Film reviews, the revealing and introspective 365 Daily Challenge and lots of blogging about places I've visited all over the world. And you can find all my social media profiles to get the details on the who/what/when/where and my pictures. Leave a comment and let me know what you think. Vote in the poll and ratings. Thanks for stopping by.[polldaddy poll=9729544][polldaddy poll=9719251]
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  • Ahmad Sharabiani
    January 1, 1970
    The Lost Symbol (Robert Langdon, #3), Dan BrownThe Lost Symbol is a 2009 novel written by American writer Dan Brown. It is a thriller set in Washington, D.C., after the events of The Da Vinci Code, and relies on Freemasonry for both its recurring theme and its major characters. It is the third Brown novel to involve the character of Harvard University symbologist Robert Langdon, following 2000's Angels & Demons and 2003's The Da Vinci Code. Renowned Harvard symbologist Robert Langdon is invi The Lost Symbol (Robert Langdon, #3), Dan BrownThe Lost Symbol is a 2009 novel written by American writer Dan Brown. It is a thriller set in Washington, D.C., after the events of The Da Vinci Code, and relies on Freemasonry for both its recurring theme and its major characters. It is the third Brown novel to involve the character of Harvard University symbologist Robert Langdon, following 2000's Angels & Demons and 2003's The Da Vinci Code. Renowned Harvard symbologist Robert Langdon is invited to give a lecture at the United States Capitol, at the invitation apparently from his mentor, a 33rd degree Mason named Peter Solomon, who is the head of the Smithsonian Institution. Solomon has also asked him to bring a small, sealed package which he had entrusted to Langdon years earlier. When Langdon arrives at the Capitol, however, he learns that the invitation he received was not from Solomon, but from Solomon's kidnapper, Mal'akh posing as Solomon's assistant, who has left Solomon's severed right hand in the middle of the Capitol Rotunda in a recreation of the Hand of Mysteries. Mal'akh then contacts Langdon, charging him with finding both the Mason's Pyramid, which Masons believe is hidden somewhere in Washington, D.C., and the Lost Word, lest Solomon be murdered. Langdon meets Trent Anderson, head of the Capitol police, and Inoue Sato, the head of the CIA's Office of Security. Sato claims that Mal'akh poses a threat to the national security of the U.S. and that his capture is more important than Peter's rescue, although she refuses to elaborate. Examining Solomon's hand, they discover a clue leading them to Solomon's Masonic altar in a room in the Capitol's sub-basement, where they find a small pyramid lacking a capstone, with an inscription carved into it. ...عنوانها: نماد گمشده؛ طلسم گمشده؛ نشان گم شده؛ نشانه ی گمشده؛ هزارتوی اسرار؛ رمز گمشده؛ نویسنده: دن براون؛ تاریخ نخستین خوانش: روز بیست و پنجم ماه دسامبر سال 2009 میلادیعنوان: نماد گمشده؛ نویسنده: دن براون؛ مترجم: نوشین ریشهری؛تهران، نگارینه، 1388؛ در 672 ص؛ شابک: 9789642300068؛ عنوان: نماد گمشده؛ نویسنده: دن براون؛ مترجم: شبنم سعادت؛تهران، افراز، 1388؛ در 718 ص؛ شابک: 9789642431632؛ چاپ سوم 1389؛عنوان: نماد گمشده؛ نویسنده: دن براون؛ مترجم: کیان رضوی نعمت اللهی؛ تهران؛ نوح نبی (ع)؛ 1388؛ در 800 ص؛ شابک: 9786009143702؛ عنوان: نماد گمشده؛ نویسنده: دن براون؛ مترجم: مهراوه فیروز؛تهران، البرز، 1388؛ در 585 ص؛ شابک: 9789644426810؛ عنوان: نشانه ی گمشده؛ نویسنده: دن براون؛ مترجم: لیلا فراهانی؛ تهران، مضمون، 1388، در 512 ص؛شابک: 9786009057399؛عنوان: نشان گمشده؛ نویسنده: دن براون؛ مترجم: بهمن رحیمیان؛ تهران، بهنام، 1388، در 775 ص؛شابک: 9789645668592؛عنوان: نشان گمشده؛ نویسنده: دن براون؛ مترجم: یاسمن بهمن آبادی؛ آرمین عمادی؛ تهران، بازتاب اندیشه، 1388، در 571 ص؛شابک: 9789649980324؛عنوان: طلسم گمشده؛ نویسنده: دن براون؛ مترجم: مهرداد وثوقی؛ تهران، گل آذین، 1389، در 588 ص؛شابک: 9789647703673؛عنوان: نماد گمشده؛ نویسنده: دن براون؛ مترجم: حسین شهرابی؛ تهران، افق، 1389؛ در 925 ص؛ شابک: 9789643696498؛عنوان: رمز گمشده؛ نویسنده: دن براون؛ مترجم: اسماعیل قهرمانی پور؛ تهران، روزگار، 1389، در 726 ص؛ شابک: 9789643742270؛عنوان: هزارتوی اسرار؛ نویسنده: دن براون؛ مترجم: امیرعباس حدادمنش؛ تهران، تمدن علمی، 1394؛ در 700 ص؛ شابک: 9786009517756؛زیستن بدون درک حقیقت هستی، همان گام زدن در کتابخانه ای بزرگ، بدون لمس گنجینه ی کتابهای آن است. آموزه های مستور تمام اعصار؛ زمان همچون رود؛ و کتابها همانند قایق هستند. بسیاری از کتابهایی که در این مسیر روان میشوند. درهم میشکنند، در شنهای کف رود فرورفته، و به دست فراموشی سپرده میشوند. تنها اندکی، تعداد بسیار اندکی، در گذر زمان، ارزش خود را ثابت میکنند، و باقی میمانند؛ تا نسلهای روزگاران آینده را نیز از موهبت وجود خویش بهره مند سازند. این داستان یکی از ماندگاران خواهد بود. داستان در یک بازه ی زمانی دوازده ساعته در واشینگتن دی سی رخ می‌دهد. داستان حول موضوع فراماسونری ست. رابرت لانگدون، ظاهراً به دعوت یکی از دوستان فراماسون خود، به نام: پیتر سولومون، به قصد انجام یک سخنرانی در ساختمان کنگره ایالات متحده (که به آن ساختمان کاپیتول نیز گفته می‌شود) وارد واشینگتن دی سی می‌شود. سولومون همچنین از وی درخواست کرده که بسته ی کوچکی را، که سال‌ها پیش به او امانت داده بود، با خود به همراه بیاورد. پس از ورود به ساختمان کنگره، رابرت لانگدون با دست راست قطع شده ی پیتر سولومون مواجه می‌شود، که در وسط سالن به سمت مشخصی اشاره می‌کند. دست سالامون، با خالکوبی‌های ویژه‌ ای تزئین شده است، که نمادی موسوم به «دست رازها» ست. با توجه به شواهد، رابرت لانگدون درمی‌یابد، که پیتر سولومون ربوده شده، و رباینده بدینوسیله از وی می‌خواهد، که برای او، هرم مخفی فراماسونها را، که گفته می‌شود، در جایی در شهر واشینگتن دی سی، پنهان شده است و همچنین واژه ی گمشده که گفته می‌شود کلید دستیابی به قدرت و دانش مخفی گذشتگان است را پیدا کند. در ادامه ی داستان، مسئول حفاظت از ساختمان کاپیتول، و رئیس دفتر امنیت سازمان سیا «اینو ساتو» وارد داستان می‌شوند. با تعقیب مسیر اشاره شده، توسط دست پیتر سولومون، این سه نفر به محراب میسونی پیتر سولومون واقع در اتاقی کوچک، در زیر زمین ساختمان کاپیتول، هدایت می‌شوند. فراماسونها معمولاً چنین محرابی را به جهت یادآوری فلسفه ی زندگی در خانه ی خود می‌سازند. یک جمجمه انسان، و برخی اشیاء نمادین دیگ، تزئین کننده ی محراب بودند؛ اعضای گروه، متوجه لرزش یکی از دیواره‌ های اتاق در نور شمع شدند. دیواره‌ ای که در حقیقت یک پرده بود، کنار رفت، هرمی ناقص پدیدار شد، که بر روی آن کلمه‌ ای حک شده بود، که رابرت لانگدون را به سوی گام بعدی در نجات دوست ربوده شده‌ اش هدایت کرد. همزمان ساتو که از مأمورین حراست ساختمان کاپیتول خواسته بود، تصویر اشعه ی ایکس گرفته شده از رابرت لانگدون را، در هنگام ورود به ساختمان کاپیتول، بازنگری کنند، متوجه وجود یک هرم کوچک، در کیف همراه رابرت لنگدان می‌شود.. او از رابرت لانگدون در رابطه با هرم پرسش می‌کند، و رابرت لانگدون که از محتویات بسته امانی پیتر سولومون بی اطلاع بود، متوجه منظور ساتو نمی‌شود. ساتو تصمیم می‌گیرد که رابرت لانگدون و هرم‌ها را برای تحقیقات بیشتر، و بازجویی، به مقر سازمان سیا انتقال دهد. در همین زمان وارن بلامی، سرمعمار ساختمان کاپیتول، و یکی از دوستان فراماسون پیتر سولومون، وارد اتاق زیرزمینی می‌شود، و با مضروب کردن ساتو، و رئیس حراست ساختمان، رابرت لانگدون را آزاد کرده و به همراه خود به طبقه همکف ساختمان کاپیتول می‌برد. و ادامه ی داستان. ا. شربیانی
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  • Dianna
    January 1, 1970
    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 S 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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  • Will Byrnes
    January 1, 1970
    When one picks up a Dan Brown book there are certain expectations. First one can look forward to a fast-based adventure pitting the intellect of Robert Langdon against dark forces intent on creating mayhem of one sort or another. One expects that religion or religious institutions will play a central role in the story. One can expect that there will be puzzles to be solved and mysteries within mysteries. One can expect murderous sociopaths and police of questionable loyalty. One can expect that When one picks up a Dan Brown book there are certain expectations. First one can look forward to a fast-based adventure pitting the intellect of Robert Langdon against dark forces intent on creating mayhem of one sort or another. One expects that religion or religious institutions will play a central role in the story. One can expect that there will be puzzles to be solved and mysteries within mysteries. One can expect murderous sociopaths and police of questionable loyalty. One can expect that there will be a considerable quantity of payload in the form of interesting, arcane information. One can expect that once begun it will be a difficult book to put down. And Brown delivers on all of the above. If you are looking for great literature, look elsewhere. That is not Brown’s beat. Be prepared for some eye-rolling, as hyper-intelligent people make glaringly stupid decisions, all in the service of moving the plot along. And there are some notions at the end of the book that may be a bit much to swallow. But it is all in fun. It is what it is. Enjoy. A few other DBs for your consideration-----Angels & Demons-----The Da Vinci Code-----Inferno
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  • Elena
    January 1, 1970
    I think I finally figured out why I hate Dan Brown. He writes very average thriller/ mystery books, just like many others do, and the thing is that I don't have a problem with the other writers. Sometimes their books are entertaining, sometimes they are not, sometimes they are poorly written, sometimes they are not so bad, and I'm perfectly fine with it. The thing I can't stand about Dan Brown is his attitude. He truly believes he has been invested with the power of 'omniscience', and he looks d I think I finally figured out why I hate Dan Brown. He writes very average thriller/ mystery books, just like many others do, and the thing is that I don't have a problem with the other writers. Sometimes their books are entertaining, sometimes they are not, sometimes they are poorly written, sometimes they are not so bad, and I'm perfectly fine with it. The thing I can't stand about Dan Brown is his attitude. He truly believes he has been invested with the power of 'omniscience', and he looks down at the reader as if he were talking to a bunch of retarded individuals (which we actually probably are just by virtue of the fact that we are reading his books). But this is still ok, it doesn't upset me all that much. What I think is unacceptable is the fact that in his 'all encompassing knowledge', all we find is an endless bunch of lies, lies about the most obvious evidence anybody can prove. Angels and Demons, which takes place in Rome, is filled with sentences in Italian, except that Mr. Brown didn't even bother looking up the spelling of the words and, as if that were not enough, he invented words to look cool in the eyes of his readers which, come on, wouldn't be able to pick all the bull I'm trying to sell them in a million years!In the Italian version of The Lost Symbol, I noticed that the translators skipped more than one passage because what DB had written not only wasn't accurate, it was blatantly WRONG! So, I don't know if they didn't want to look stupid themselves or did it to try and give Mr. Brown a better image abroad. Just one tiny detail out of many: Classical Greek 101 - Apo is a preposition, with different meanings but still and only a preposition, for sure not a verb. No!!! not in the Lost Key. Dan Brown has to show us he knows the ethimology of the word apotheosis, and so Apo, for him, turns into a verb, and he lectures us as if he were revealing this great truth. I read on a review that his books are an insult to human intelligence. I agree, and not because they are necessarily awful books, but because taking reality and twisting it so that it can fit the story line and, on top of that, selling it as if it were some kind or revelation we can only obtain through Dan Brown's grace, to me is unacceptable.
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  • Heather
    January 1, 1970
    I'm a fan of Dan Brown. I've read all his books - not just The Da Vinci Code and Angels & Demons, but also Deception Point and Digital Fortress. I like his writing style, how his books are layered with codes and mysteries, and how they're so fast-paced they make my heart beat faster because I feel pulled into the stories and into the lives of his characters.The Lost Symbol is the third book in the Robert Langdon series, and I was glad to see that Brown brought this dynamic and entertaining c I'm a fan of Dan Brown. I've read all his books - not just The Da Vinci Code and Angels & Demons, but also Deception Point and Digital Fortress. I like his writing style, how his books are layered with codes and mysteries, and how they're so fast-paced they make my heart beat faster because I feel pulled into the stories and into the lives of his characters.The Lost Symbol is the third book in the Robert Langdon series, and I was glad to see that Brown brought this dynamic and entertaining character back to the United States from Europe and the UK in his previous books. The book starts with a bang, pulling me in within the first few paragraphs, though I didn't feel quite as captivated by this story as I had with his previous two. As with numbers 1 and 2 in the series, there's a format to the story: Robert Langdon, Harvard professor and expert on symbology and religious iconography find himself embroiled in the middle of a high-stakes religious mystery, where a long-debated and highly protected secret is on the verge of being exposed to the masses and ruined for those who have long stood to protect it. There is, of course, the supporting female character, a smart and capable woman who helps fill in the gaps where Langdon's knowledge leaves off. As was true to the past two books, there is physical and emotional danger, as well as a deranged villain who is at once brilliant, physically superior, and acting in what he believes to be the best interest of the world. Despite the true-to-form shape of this book, though, it stands well on its own as a book. Although I enjoyed the reading of this book from beginning to end, it wasn't until the final chapters that I felt a strong connection with it, and that is because the view of religion that Brown describes here - as in both of his previous books in the series - falls directly in line with my own personal beliefs of religion and the concept of God. Readers who criticized his previous explanations of such topics will likely find much to refute and criticize here as well, but for me it's like a breath of fresh air, to know that I'm not the only one who sees the universe in greater terms than just a church and its congregants. This was an entertaining read, as always, and I'm glad to add it to my collections with his other works. I'm sure I'll enjoy reading this particular book more in the future.
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  • Ellen
    January 1, 1970
    Ugghhhhhh. I've been trying to figure out where to start with this one for the past couple days and still haven't been able to decide. So I guess I'll start with my point.This book F*CKING BLOWS. F*ck you, Dan Brown, you smug bastard, for insulting my intelligence like nobody's business. I really liked Angels and Demons, was entertained by The Da Vinci Code, and this book had half the content (not to mention a sixteenth of the climax) of the latter in almost twice the number of pages.Do you get Ugghhhhhh. I've been trying to figure out where to start with this one for the past couple days and still haven't been able to decide. So I guess I'll start with my point.This book F*CKING BLOWS. F*ck you, Dan Brown, you smug bastard, for insulting my intelligence like nobody's business. I really liked Angels and Demons, was entertained by The Da Vinci Code, and this book had half the content (not to mention a sixteenth of the climax) of the latter in almost twice the number of pages.Do you get paid by the modifier? Or the number of hits of the term "secret wisdom"? BUY A GODDAMN THESAURUS. LEARN SOME NEW F*CKING VERBS. Do you ever get sick of writing the following dialogue?"But that can't possibly be true!""Why not Robert?""My sharp intellect and well-toned physique just won't let me believe it!"Seriously, every other f*cking chapter has that conversation, but with way more modifiers and whining, not to mention that it usually takes up a whole f*cking page.And the shit of it is, it's not even f*cking suspenseful. He literally just keeps you waiting. He doesn't even hide it anymore. The f*cker knows you're going to keep reading anyway, so why even bother to be creative with the cliffhangers? And the puzzles are even straightforward! Even though I don't hold a degree in Symbollogy (Yeah f*cking right. I still contend that he made that word up. Watch the f*cking Boondock Saints, Dan Brown.), a handful of them are completely obvious, and I swear he recycled at least one from Angels and Demons.And only one revelation in the whole book is remotely shocking. And I did see it coming. The rest of them are just inane letdowns. When I hear, "issue of national security," I think nukes-- not the pussy shit this guy is threatening.Deep breath.Moral of the story, please don't feed the author. And moral number two: if the back cover of a book contains solely "Critical Raves for Another Book," I should know better.
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  • Tara Lynn
    January 1, 1970
    I am so disappointed. I found Brown's other books to be captivating, if a little formulaic. This is just a blatant rewrite of his own material in a different setting. Angels and Demons set a bar for Brown, and he just hasn't been able to match it since. It reads just like The DaVinci Code, with its plot changed to Washington, D.C. It's a completely improbable plot mixed with even more improbable character developments and plot twists. So disappointed. If I'd known, I never would have bought the I am so disappointed. I found Brown's other books to be captivating, if a little formulaic. This is just a blatant rewrite of his own material in a different setting. Angels and Demons set a bar for Brown, and he just hasn't been able to match it since. It reads just like The DaVinci Code, with its plot changed to Washington, D.C. It's a completely improbable plot mixed with even more improbable character developments and plot twists. So disappointed. If I'd known, I never would have bought the book in the first place, and certainly not in hardcover.
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  • Imane
    January 1, 1970
    “Open your minds, my friends. We all fear what we do not understand.” ― Dan Brown, The Lost SymbolI know that a lot of readers do not find Dan Brown's writing style appealing, but in my opinion, l think he writes very captivating novels. I won't go into details of the plot line or the action that takes place, but I will say that if you are a fan of action, drama, conspiracy theories, and history then you probably should give this one a shot. Brown uses point of view brilliantly to increase suspe “Open your minds, my friends. We all fear what we do not understand.” ― Dan Brown, The Lost SymbolI know that a lot of readers do not find Dan Brown's writing style appealing, but in my opinion, l think he writes very captivating novels. I won't go into details of the plot line or the action that takes place, but I will say that if you are a fan of action, drama, conspiracy theories, and history then you probably should give this one a shot. Brown uses point of view brilliantly to increase suspense. His books are fairly quick easy reads, but they are full of excitement and surprises. It is hard to have a novel keep you guessing until the end like this one does.
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  • Stacey
    January 1, 1970
    Kept feeling like I was reading an amalgam of Angels and DaVinci's Code. When I started wandering off in search of snacks in the middle of paragraphs, I knew it was time to shelve this as a "can't finish," and move on.
  • Beattie
    January 1, 1970
    26/05/2010 INSERT Apparently/allegedly David Cumming has found the meaning of the Lost Symbol.He has written a book about it - now how about that! ---------------Unabridged and read by Michael Paul- There is a long lecture and knuckles will be rapped for active inattention to detail. Observed behaviours such as smirking at smugness and zelotry will get you detention.- After a double period of searching the pencilcase for a blunt stanley knife AND a noose (not the imitation masonic sort) there is 26/05/2010 INSERT Apparently/allegedly David Cumming has found the meaning of the Lost Symbol.He has written a book about it - now how about that! ---------------Unabridged and read by Michael Paul- There is a long lecture and knuckles will be rapped for active inattention to detail. Observed behaviours such as smirking at smugness and zelotry will get you detention.- After a double period of searching the pencilcase for a blunt stanley knife AND a noose (not the imitation masonic sort) there is a games period. Some action, a bit of a story, some more action, a twist that we all saw coming followed by a twist I did not. Then we play something akin to hunt-the-thimble.- That deep staircase has been located - it is the chasm into the dark depths of melancholy within the mind that has been peered into by sitting through the horror of .Dan.Brown's.Last.Lecture. It will have been his last if I catch hold of him AND i'd frisk the pockets of the corpse to reimburse all of us who have paid to suffer this crap.
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  • Richard Derus
    January 1, 1970
    2017 Update...Meenakshi, a Goodreads friend for a while now, found this review and it reminded me that I'd actually read this book 5-plus years ago. I had completely forgotten it existed, both the book and the review actually...and then I got to the "how to die" thing and was instantly transported into annoyed, irked, ticked-off memoryland.I think it's unsurprising I didn't hold onto the memory of reading the book since I review over 120 a year and read almost three times that many. But I also t 2017 Update...Meenakshi, a Goodreads friend for a while now, found this review and it reminded me that I'd actually read this book 5-plus years ago. I had completely forgotten it existed, both the book and the review actually...and then I got to the "how to die" thing and was instantly transported into annoyed, irked, ticked-off memoryland.I think it's unsurprising I didn't hold onto the memory of reading the book since I review over 120 a year and read almost three times that many. But I also think it's really sad that a book's one memorable feature is how extremely annoying one of its catchphrases is. Cudgel my brain though I will, I can't recall anything I'd actually enjoyed in this reading process. It was a long popcorn book, cocktail-peanut book, an unchallenging unmemorable uninspiring this-is-my-version-of-TV book.**************************************************************I read The DaVinci Code and, while I didn't find the writing to be high caliber stuff, I was mesmerized by the story and fascinated by the evident command Brown showed of the background material. Its factuality is of no interest to me either way. I wanted a rollicking good ride, and I got one, and I walked away a satisfied customer.Less so here. We have the elements of the DaVinci tome's megasellerdom deployed in a less intriguing plot. One of the Big Reveals is simply uninteresting to me, and the repetition of the catchphrase "the secret is how to die" (no spoiler this, it starts extremely early in the book) made me as irritated as any mosquito's buzzing ever has. I am fairly sure it's intended to convey malice and menace, and build suspense, but I found it jarred on me by somewhere in the 40s (chapters come and go at a dizzying rate, there being 133 of them, plus an epilogue that bid fair to make me urp in its treacly upbeatness, packed into 509pp of text).So why did I read this book? A chance to poke at a hugely successful and wealthy novelist who has never heard of me and will never read this review? Nuh-uh. I think Dan Brown has his storytelling antennae tuned to a fine pitch. I think every bit of his fame and wealth is richly deserved and earned by his honest, sincere, and successful desire to tell a good story to the best of his ability. I wanted to be gobsmacked the way I was by that DaVinci madness, that's why I read the darn book!And I wasn't.No one could be sorrier than I am to say this. Maybe it's a case of once is enough for this reader. Maybe it's just a mood. I tend to think that, had this book appeared just exactly as it is today in 2005, I'd be yodeling its masterful reprise of the preceding volume instead of emitting a small bleat of disappointment.And sales figures, while the subject of messy fantasies for other writers, aren't in the DaVinci league. Others agree with me, and the chorus of "oh, well" reviews is loud.When Brown comes to write his next thriller, even if it features Robert Langdon, I hope it treads new territory. Too many other footprints on this piece of land for Langdon to stand out. Such is the penalty of leadership: You get to blaze, but not possess, the trail.Recommended? Mildly. But only if you're a conspiracy-thriller fan. *damn* I hate like hell to write that.
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  • Tom
    January 1, 1970
    Though technically better written than Digital Fortress, this is Dan Brown's worst novel. Brown creates false suspense by hiding revelations from readers even after major characters learn them. In most cases this is unnecessary, as the twists would have more impact if made in a timely manner. Too often, however, the revelations are obvious or anticlimactic, weaknesses that are amplified by Brown's hide-the-ball technique.Brown's penchant for dubious subject matter is well-known, but he previousl Though technically better written than Digital Fortress, this is Dan Brown's worst novel. Brown creates false suspense by hiding revelations from readers even after major characters learn them. In most cases this is unnecessary, as the twists would have more impact if made in a timely manner. Too often, however, the revelations are obvious or anticlimactic, weaknesses that are amplified by Brown's hide-the-ball technique.Brown's penchant for dubious subject matter is well-known, but he previously managed to pull out decent stories from hokum like the Illuminati and the holy blood/holy grail theory. Here he sidesteps the expected Masonic conspiracy theories, instead casting Robert Langdon as Mason apologist. No, Brown's meat here is Noetic Science, a field that in real life has the credibility of a cable TV huckster/mystic. Even after the plot wraps, Brown drones on for several more chapters about mysticism and religion, with no apparent purpose but to lecture you, dear reader, for having the gall to trust science and technology.As for Brown's style, phrases like "soggy marsh" make it clear he still hasn't picked up a copy of The Elements of Style.Much like Brown's villain, I need a cleansing ritual of my own after reading this book.
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  • Christian
    January 1, 1970
    My Spoiler-Heavy and Sympathy-Free Review of "The Lost Symbol" by Dan BrownThis review is going to be riddled with spoilers, to the point where I'm actually going to tell you everything that happens (in summary), because that's the only way I can express my complete and utter contempt for this book. However, due to the nature of search engines, etc., I don't want to spoil things off the back. So I'll start off with a few non-spoilery things just for padding.Everything I say is based on the fact My Spoiler-Heavy and Sympathy-Free Review of "The Lost Symbol" by Dan BrownThis review is going to be riddled with spoilers, to the point where I'm actually going to tell you everything that happens (in summary), because that's the only way I can express my complete and utter contempt for this book. However, due to the nature of search engines, etc., I don't want to spoil things off the back. So I'll start off with a few non-spoilery things just for padding.Everything I say is based on the fact that there are two books in The Lost Symbol; the first book is the DaVinci Code with find/replace done. The second book is a philosophy book, and that's the real source of my vitriol. You'll understand why when I start spewing, well, vitriol at it.Before I begin, I would like to point out that Dan Brown believes in the Myth of the Flat Earth (see Wiki). There's a quote from one of the main characters that "Peter once compared Noetic Scientists to the early explorers who were mocked for embracing the heretical notion of a spherical earth. Almost overnight, these explorers went from fools to heroes, discovering uncharted worlds and expanding the horizons of everyone on the planet." (Keep in mind who's being cited in the paragraph) The fact that Brown believes this myth seriously undermines his credibility. How can we trust someone on esoteric matters when they're wrong on mundane matters?I also want to state for the record that I sorta enjoyed DaVinci Code and Angels and Demons. I felt the latter was better (although the ending was ridiculous), but overall they weren't bad reads. To put it a different way: neither of them resulted in a review like this.Ok, one last thing before I start spoiling things completely. If you're interested in an alternative Mason experience, I recommend either reading Umberto Eco's Foucault's Pendulum -- which, to be honest, is a tough book to read. The secret seems to be not trying to figure out everything that's going on; if it's important he'll come back to it -- or watching the delightful Nicolas Cage history/conspiracy romp National Treasure if you only have a couple hours.Ok, enough prattle. Spoilers ahead....There's a Bible buried in the cornerstone of the Washington Monument, and Robert Langdon needs to stop a madman from tattooing it to his head and uploading a video to YouTube!I'm not kidding. That's the first part of the book. And there was actually a moment where I was seriously contemplating giving the book 4 stars. Yes, it was almost an exact replica of the DaVinci Code. But it's better written and less didactic (until the the second part). You still have the same contrivances of style that make it deliberately confusing who is doing something because of course there has to be a "mole" character (although not as obnoxious this time). And frankly the factual information is interesting and not anti-Catholic like the other two books in the series. You can still foresee plot points relatively easily (I'll get to the important one in a second), and you're going to get the same group of individuals who think some of the fake stuff (essentially everything the female character has done as a "noetic scientist") is true because of the real stuff the book contains just like they thought the DaVinci Code was true. But I believe I would've given the book 3 stars if it had ended at the top floor of the masonic temple.Sadly, it didn't, and that's also where the wheels fall off.So I take you to the climax of the story, and the spoilers are really going to fly fast here. The madman has taken Peter Solomon (the head of the Masons, essentially) to the top of the temple -- and has revealed himself to be the son long thought dead! Of course, everyone probably figured this out about 200 pages earlier (sometimes the ambiguous writing of Brown is a giant flashing sign saying "Things aren't what they seem!"), but that's not a problem. And he wants to tattoo the "word" to his head, but his father gives him the wrong word (of course, since it's not a literal word, it's the aforementioned bible in the Washington Monument). And then his father refuses to kill his son (with the knife Abraham was going to use to kill Isaac!) to complete his mad dream of ascension into divinity, although we're not told if an angel tells him not to. But he gets killed anyway when the glass above the altar is shattered by a helicopter, a perfect symbol of the novel completely falling apart, because now things get weird.The son he thought dead is now dying on an altar, so what does the father say to him as he lies there? "I lied to you about the tattoo on your head. Oh and uh, yeah, I never stopped loving you." Seriously. It's like his body was possessed by Nelson (the bully, not the admiral) for a moment and he said "Ha Ha!".And then his son goes to hell. Seriously. There's a paragraph where we're in the mind of his son as he dies and I'm pretty damn certain what Brown was hinting at was Hell. (But hey, that's ok, the science of noetics has already "proven" in the book that the soul has weight. Seriously).Even though I was starting to cringe, I probably would've still given it a 3rd star (there's precedence: Angels and Demons got 3 stars from me even though I cringed through most of the end).But then Peter Solomon -- who, I might add, was just tortured, had his hand cut off, and watched his son who he thought was dead die -- decides that now is the perfect time to have an "argument" (from the Greek meaning "I meant you to say Arrgghh") with Robert Langdon as they go to the Washington Monument (the pyramid! the spiral staircase!). And Peter's argument is this: God is in us, we're all primed for enlightenment, the secret is in the bible (and other religious texts), we just can't read it correctly yet (look for sales of the Bible Code to spike).And here is where Dan Brown did what made me so angry. He made Langdon the unrepentant skeptic. This is a few hundred pages after Langdon (in a flashback) told his students to open their minds. Now this is typical Brown anyway: Langdon has been forced to hold the idiot stick many, many times in the three books simply for plot contrivances. At first I thought that's what he was doing here, and if he had let well enough alone I'd probably wouldn't be writing this.But the "argument" goes on for over 50 pages. In other words, Langdon isn't holding the idiot stick; Brown is putting the idiot stick in our hands and is beating us with it. It's not Langdon that Solomon is trying to convince. It's the reader that Brown is trying to convince. Why either Langdon or the reader should trust someone who believes that people thought the earth was flat in the middle ages is not answered.And here's the fun part: I actually agree with some of the philosophy that Brown is espousing here. But I strongly disagree with is manipulation. And there is no other word for what Brown is trying to do here. Langdon's skepticism takes a long time to be overcome, but in the end, it is overcome. Brown makes sure of that. By proxy, our own skepticism should be overcome -- we've been beaten with the idiot stick long enough we're screaming "Yes! Yes! I believe! Just end the book already!"It's crass, it's underhanded, and it's pathetic. It's not that I expected better from Dan Brown, it's that I didn't expect it at all. He knew he'd never have an opportunity to reach a larger audience, and unwilling or incapable of subtletly he wrote a book designed to hit you with made-up facts to support a made-up philosophy.I can not in good conscience recommend this book to anyone. If you've already read it, I'm sorry.PS: Besides, Lennon already told us the Word is "Love"
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  • Elizabeth
    January 1, 1970
    Normally I wait until I’ve finished a book before passing judgment on it, but sixty pages into The Lost Symbol I decided that life was too short to read really terrible books.One of the things I liked best about The Da Vinci Code was that its plot unfolded in real-time: it takes place during a few very busy hours of Robert Langdon’s improbable life, in about the amount of time it takes to read the novel. This technique keeps the pace of the book exciting (there are no natural breaks in which to Normally I wait until I’ve finished a book before passing judgment on it, but sixty pages into The Lost Symbol I decided that life was too short to read really terrible books.One of the things I liked best about The Da Vinci Code was that its plot unfolded in real-time: it takes place during a few very busy hours of Robert Langdon’s improbable life, in about the amount of time it takes to read the novel. This technique keeps the pace of the book exciting (there are no natural breaks in which to put the book down, because you are right there with Langdon for each plot development and puzzle solution), but also demonstrates the kind of discipline on the part of the author also shown in a really well-rhymed sonnet that commands the respect of the (or, at least, this) reader. This is the novelistic equivalent of Scribe’s well-made play (a cinematic example would be the film Arsenic and Old Lace with Cary Grant, one of my favorites).The Lost Symbol, however, is anything but disciplined. The point of view, time, and place bounce around every one or two minutes, evincing not the well-put-together thriller of The Da Vinci Code, but rather the attention span of a three-year-old. Each scene lasts about as long as a television commercial, and juxtaposed scenes have about as much connecting them as two adjacent television commercials.Another piece of sloppiness: during my brief encounter with the novel, I encountered the phrase “exact same” five times. A good friend of mine used to be in the habit of correcting anyone who dared to let that phrase pass his or her lips (because, after all, if two things really are the same, then the word “exact” is superfluous, not to mention grammatically suspect), so while I will tolerate the phrase as a spoken colloquialism, my feeling is now that only the most careless of writers would ever commit such a phrase to print.With all the doors that must be open for Dan Brown after the phenomenal success of The Da Vinci Code, how difficult could it have been for him to sit in on a lecture of a popular course at a prestigious liberal arts college? I only wonder because no college course I have ever attended proceeded anything like the one shown in one of the many (many, many) flashbacks early in the book (although, admittedly, I did not go to Harvard, but I suspect the students there would not be so easily impressed by something as shocking as (gasp!) pointing out that the Church has rituals of its own. I mean, come on, these kids are taking a course called “Occult Symbols”: what did they expect?)So I have no doubt that, if I had read the book in its entirety, everything would turn out to be not as it seemed in a shocking plot twist near the end, but, really, there are too many good books out there for me to waste my time on this one.
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  • Chris
    January 1, 1970
    The use of a large amount of symbols and conspiracy buzzwords does not excuse one from having to actually write a compelling story. The "twist" in this books was easily visible hundreds of pages out and didn't surprise a single person I know who read the book.Now, I had very high hopes for this book as I am from DC and love the area, however there was so little of actual DC in the book(unlike DaVinci Code & Angels and Demons) that it seemed like it could have been in any city in the world ex The use of a large amount of symbols and conspiracy buzzwords does not excuse one from having to actually write a compelling story. The "twist" in this books was easily visible hundreds of pages out and didn't surprise a single person I know who read the book.Now, I had very high hopes for this book as I am from DC and love the area, however there was so little of actual DC in the book(unlike DaVinci Code & Angels and Demons) that it seemed like it could have been in any city in the world except for what takes place in a few buildings. I enjoyed DaVinci Code as well as Angels and Demons so it's not that I don't like this style of book, but it seems almost as if this particular book has no real defined style. The entire book seems rushed and forced like the publishing company just told Mr. Brown that he had to write a new book, whether he had a good idea or not. Turns out... he did not.All in all, reading this book was like finding out that the girl of your dreams in high school... is now a man.
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  • Neil Walker
    January 1, 1970
    The Lost Symbol is the third in Dan Brown’s excellent series of books featuring the character Robert Langdon.While The Lost Symbol may not be quite as good as the now iconic previous novel The Da Vinci Code or the fantastic Angels and Demons, Dan Brown still manages to grab his readers from the start and never lets them go. This third novel in the Robert Langdon series also contains many great and insightful lines, perhaps none more so than, “Wide acceptance of an idea is not proof of its validi The Lost Symbol is the third in Dan Brown’s excellent series of books featuring the character Robert Langdon.While The Lost Symbol may not be quite as good as the now iconic previous novel The Da Vinci Code or the fantastic Angels and Demons, Dan Brown still manages to grab his readers from the start and never lets them go. This third novel in the Robert Langdon series also contains many great and insightful lines, perhaps none more so than, “Wide acceptance of an idea is not proof of its validity.” What Dan Brown’s writing really brought home to me as an author is the importance of making your story compelling. This is essential, whether you are writing about veiled histories, arcane symbols, and enigmatic codes, or violent gangsters, unexpected betrayals and a secret underworld. The Lost Symbol is definitely just as compelling as any of Dan Brown’s other works. This novel is a must-read for Dan Brown fans. If you enjoyed the previous two books in the series, this one will not let you down.
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  • Ashley *Hufflepuff Kitten*
    January 1, 1970
    June 15 Buddy Read with Steven and Melissa!2-2.5 starsIn comparison with Angels & Demons and the Da Vinci Code, this book was disappointing to say the least. The ending felt extremely anticlimactic, and overall the book dragged ass and there were whole sections where I'm pretty sure I either spaced out or could have spaced out and not noticed a thing. I figured out the BIG REVEAL before the halfway mark-- does that mean I'm getting better at guessing or is this just a shitty book? Likely bot June 15 Buddy Read with Steven and Melissa!2-2.5 starsIn comparison with Angels & Demons and the Da Vinci Code, this book was disappointing to say the least. The ending felt extremely anticlimactic, and overall the book dragged ass and there were whole sections where I'm pretty sure I either spaced out or could have spaced out and not noticed a thing. I figured out the BIG REVEAL before the halfway mark-- does that mean I'm getting better at guessing or is this just a shitty book? Likely both. The whole Freemasons storyline was done so much better in National Treasure (which I'm now watching in an effort to cleanse myself of this book). Okay, fine. We'll go slightly in-depth with our characters for a moment. WHY DID NO ONE CARE ABOUT TRISH?? That pissed me off. Katherine asked about her a few times and then there was no mention of her ever again, poor thing. Nice of you to pretend to care, Katherine. And speaking of pretending to care, I was astounded that Peter could give Langdon a tour of DC and be so coherent after the rediscovery and second loss of his son. Prior that... I dunno, I always think that parents have a sixth sense about their kids. That in mind, I found it extremely implausible that Peter wouldn't recognize his own son in SOME capacity until the very end. And Langdon... Langdon just comes off as pretentious and two-dimensional. Yes, he has a Mickey Mouse watch. Yes, he's extremely claustrophobic because of an incident that happened when he was a kid. Other than that, he doesn't have many defining characteristics (or else the rest get blotted out because those two things are rammed down the reader's throat CONSTANTLY). It's annoying.2 stars, 2.5 if I want to be generous. Here's hoping Inferno is better.
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  • Heather
    January 1, 1970
    I was such a douchebag about this book before it was released.Then I saw it there in the bookstore and I was like, "Did you or did you not like The Da Vinci Code?" (Answer: yes.) "Do you or do you not enjoy other books that are pop culture phenomenons?" (Answer: yes.) "Is the ratio of Fitzgerald to comic books on your bookshelf not 1:50?" (Answer: yes.) "Did you or did you not just finish a book called Captain Underpants?" (Answer: yes.) "Furthermore, asshole, do you or do you not read fan ficti I was such a douchebag about this book before it was released.Then I saw it there in the bookstore and I was like, "Did you or did you not like The Da Vinci Code?" (Answer: yes.) "Do you or do you not enjoy other books that are pop culture phenomenons?" (Answer: yes.) "Is the ratio of Fitzgerald to comic books on your bookshelf not 1:50?" (Answer: yes.) "Did you or did you not just finish a book called Captain Underpants?" (Answer: yes.) "Furthermore, asshole, do you or do you not read fan fiction?" (Answer: yes.) "So, seriously, either get yourself some fucking hipster jeans and stop listening to Top 40 radio, or pick up the goddamn book and give it a chance. Geez, has Twilight really made you such a prick?" (Answer: apparently, yes.)Whatevs. The point is: this is standard Dan Brown, and I like it. It makes my palms sweat. It makes my heart beat fast. It creeps me out.Furthermore, I own BOTH National Treasure movies. There. That feels better.
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  • Brooke
    January 1, 1970
    Ah yes, the new Dan Brown book, the most anticipated title in the publishing world this year. The one that everyone is loving to hate, because there's no better way to prove your superiority to your peers by talking about how you're just too intelligent to enjoy this crap because you're so much better than the unwashed masses. For the record, I have dated two guys who have rattled off that bit of idiocy. Two! It's almost cruel (and for the record, they were really not all that).But more importan Ah yes, the new Dan Brown book, the most anticipated title in the publishing world this year. The one that everyone is loving to hate, because there's no better way to prove your superiority to your peers by talking about how you're just too intelligent to enjoy this crap because you're so much better than the unwashed masses. For the record, I have dated two guys who have rattled off that bit of idiocy. Two! It's almost cruel (and for the record, they were really not all that).But more importantly, the book. If I lived on a desert island and someone handed this to me and told me that it had single-handedly saved the publishing industry during this current economic downturn, would I have believed them? Probably not. It's like The DaVinci Code set in DC, and therein lies the problem. Brown is a bit like M. Night Shyamalan, where his popularity was established by That One Thing He Did Well, except until he seemingly felt obligated to repeat it several times even when, creatively speaking, he'd probably write something more interesting if he allowed himself to do something different.Or, maybe he's more comparable to my beloved Preston/Child writing duo, who have locked themselves into only writing books about a fan-favorite character even though, again, some variety might rejuvenate them.Angels & Demons, the first Robert Langdon book, remains the high point in the series. At that point in time, Brown understood pacing. He understood how to move the story forward with exciting action while at the same time educating us about everything he had found in his research. It felt like a story. The DaVinci code lost a little of that and became more about the research and information, which led to my puzzlement over it being turned into a movie before A&D. And now, The Lost Symbol has completed the journey to the "all information, no story" side of the spectrum. It took me a week out of the 2 weeks the library is permitting me to have this book to get more than 150 pages in. The whole time I was reading, I kept thinking one word: "INFODUMP."It's like Brown felt a bit of pressure to make sure he told us as much information as he could vomit up. Sure, the Freemasons are a pretty good choice for a secret-filled topic, and the National Treasure movies certainly showed us that DC is full of the symbols that Brown and Langdon specialize in. But it's not balanced, and to back up this opinion, I present the fact that it takes nearly 150 pages to move the action forward from the initial, "Oh my god, there is a severed hand in the middle of the Capitol's rotunda." Trust me, if I found a severed hand, I would not be standing still for 150 pages.It was still interesting and a little fun, and the latter half of the book went a lot faster than the first half, and even though the plot twist at the end was predictable, I give Brown props for finally having a villain who ISN'T the mentor/person of authority. I also liked the throwback to A&D's discussion about science vs. religion and how they're entwined rather than opposing schools of thought.My advice to Brown now that he's done his duty and saved the publishing industry from the poorhouse - write something different. I know, your publisher would throw a total shitfit if you said you were retiring Mr. Langdon. You stopped being a person whose creativity is important back when The DaVinci Code hit the top of the best seller's list. You're a moneymaker, plain and simple, and they're gonna milk you until you're dry. I hope you get to write what you want next, and that it's not about symbols. It was fun learning about the NSA in Digital Fortress (you know, back before 9/11 and the Patriot Act made the agency a household name).
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  • jessica
    January 1, 1970
    read in 2010 - i know this series is kind of lame, but im really enjoying it - better review to come 4.5 stars
  • Shafay Ishtiaq
    January 1, 1970
    "Open your minds, my friends. We all fear what we do not understand." 'The Lost Symbol' is the 3rd book in the Robert Langdon series by Dan Brown. The writing style is kind of similar to that of the two preceding books. This one definitely was not up to that level of Angels and Demons and The Da Vinci Code because of many reasons like weaker writing, repetitiveness of dialogues, poor ending etc.However The Lost Symbol is still full of interesting historic facts linked to secrets and mysteries. "Open your minds, my friends. We all fear what we do not understand." 'The Lost Symbol' is the 3rd book in the Robert Langdon series by Dan Brown. The writing style is kind of similar to that of the two preceding books. This one definitely was not up to that level of Angels and Demons and The Da Vinci Code because of many reasons like weaker writing, repetitiveness of dialogues, poor ending etc.However The Lost Symbol is still full of interesting historic facts linked to secrets and mysteries. Dan Brown's vast knowledge about history and arts helps him create a wonderful plot. This time all the action took place in the city of Washington DC and it was wonderful to learn how many secrets this city holds. I also enjoy trying solving the puzzles and mysteries in my mind along the story but I mostly failed.The book is also a great learning experience about the Freemasons and their believes, rituals and their society. Also Noetic Science was something new for me despite it being around for a long time.The villain Mal'akh was much better then the previous two villains. He outsmarted all of his enemies and even the CIA. At one point I was rooting for him to win. But the final revelation was kind of disappointing. One of the most anti-climactic and unsatisfying ending to the novel despite having a good starting and middle part.Will be looking forward to read the remaining books 'Inferno' and 'Origin' of the series soon.
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