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The Lost Symbol by Dan Brown – Review

Posted by Caitie F on September 21, 2009

Title: The Lost Symbol
Author: Dan Brown
Hardcover: 528 pages
Publisher: Random House/Doubleday
Year Published: 2009
Rating ++

This review will contain mild spoilers (but it doesn’t give away any plot points)

Dan Brown’s latest book has come out and sold a lot of copies and I went out and got mine. I read annoyingly fast, so I finished it in four or five hours total (I would love to know what reading level this is supposed to be, Harry Potters book 4-7 all took longer than this). It made me decide that I don’t need to read any more Dan Brown books.

I loved Angels & Demons, I thought it was a great story and had some great controversies that really made me think. I thought Da Vinci Code was okay. I thought Deception Point was somewhere in between the two Langdon books, and this one would go below that.

His books are incredibly formulaic. This one contains someone Langdon knows getting into trouble, him working with a woman to solve the mystery and save the other person, a security officer with authority that Langdon does not trust, and a bad guy who hurts himself and does it all for a higher power. Do any of those sound familiar? Also, his watch is referenced several times, he gets trapped or has to travel through many small spaces, and at one point, it looks like he is dead! There are even more similarities including God vs science, what religion is, and many more.

Please Dan Brown, think of something new! These books all seem to be the same!

I was looking forward to this book quite a lot for one reason – the setting. Washington DC is one of my favorite cities and I was looking forward to knowing a lot about the locations that were in the book (plus, Langdon traveling from Harvard to DC made a lot of sense). In that, I was not disappointed. I learned more about two famous DC landmarks and when they traveled on The Metro, I knew exactly where they were at all times.

I also am interested in Freemasons. I knew someone in college that was one (only the 5th or 6th level) and while he couldn’t tell us most things, what he told me about his beliefs was very interesting, so I was excited that they would be a central part of this story. That also was not a disappointment. I did learn quite a bit about the beliefs.

Those two things could not save the book. Dan Brown just needs to write better (and his editors need to do more). If a better writer had written this book, I would have enjoyed it a lot more. If you liked his first Langdon books, you may be disappointed because it is so similar, which really, in the end, was my main disappointment. I think Robert Langdon has a lot of potential as an interesting character to build a series on, but there needs to be more differences.

Don’t necessarily take my word for it. Go form an opinion of your own!

If you have reviewed this book, please leave a comment with a link to where it is and I will link it here!

For a much different review, check out She is Too Fond of Books

For a funny, but spoiler-filled review check out The Book Lady’s Blog

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3 Responses to “The Lost Symbol by Dan Brown – Review”

  1. Belle said

    Good review! I enjoyed Da Vinci Code quite a lot. I remember enjoying Angels & Demons, and then, even though I was near the end and still thought it quite enjoyable, had no problems putting it down and then never got around to picking it up again. So it kind of fitzed out for me in the end. The one thing I like about his novels is the amount of research he seems to put into them, and that’s probably why I’ll pick up The Lost Symbol. But if it’s very similar, I might not finish it if I end up putting it down somewhere!

  2. Jenners said

    I didn’t really LOVE or HATE the previous Dan Brown books. It was kind of a “well, let me see what the fuss is all about type reaction.” I think I liked the Da Vinci Code the best as it led to some interesting conversations with my grandmother, who took it for the gospel truth and was so scandalized. I suspect that since he’s found such success with this “formula,” he is under a lot of pressure to “give the people what they want.” A part of me kind of wants to see this book fail so it frees him up to try something different but maybe I’m being too cynical or something. Plus I didn’t think the previous books were as great or wonderful as the acclaim or popularity they seem to have achieved. Of course, I don’t like James Patterson either and look at his success! And believe it or not, this is the first review I read on this book!

  3. Thanks for the link to my review … as you saw, I didn’t mind the overall formula, there was enough mystery/surprise to keep me guessing. It met my expectations (for what it was), and I was entertained.

    Have you read The Book Lady’s Blog review of THE LOST SYMBOL? She’s on the same page as you are, and wrote a funny (but spoiler-filled) review here: http://thebookladysblog.com/2009/10/02/in-which-i-kind-of-spoil-the-lost-symbol/

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