Wednesday, May 8, 2013

The Lost Symbol

The Lost Symbol 
by Dan Brown

Paperback, 670 pages
Series: Robert Langdon #3
Published on:  September 15th, 2009
Publisher:  Bantam Books
ISBN:  9780593054277

Blurb: Famed Harvard symbologist Robert Langdon answers an unexpected summons to appear at the U.S. Capitol Building. His planned lecture is interrupted when a disturbing object—artfully encoded with five symbols—is discovered in the building. Langdon recognizes in the find an ancient invitation into a lost world of esoteric, potentially dangerous wisdom. When his mentor Peter Solomon—a longstanding Mason and beloved philanthropist—is kidnapped, Langdon realizes that the only way to save Solomon is to accept the mystical invitation and plunge headlong into a clandestine world of Masonic secrets, hidden history, and one inconceivable truth . . . all under the watchful eye of Dan Brown's most terrifying villain to date. Set within the hidden chambers, tunnels, and temples of Washington, D.C., The Lost Symbol is an intelligent, lightning-paced story with surprises at every turn--Brown's most exciting novel yet.

The Lost Symbol has been my first ever encounter with Dan Brown. I haven’t been a great reader of mysteries or thrillers ever. It is embarrassing to admit that I have read only a couple of books which were allegedly mysteries written by allegedly Indian authors. Even though I read them, it wasn’t out of choice.  And I naturally began to despise the genre.  But I am lucky to have read The Lost Symbol, for it has been one of the most intriguing reading experiences that i have had. It has made me a fan of mystery and thrillers.

The story starts with the protagonist of the novel, Professor Robert Langdon getting a voicemail on an early Sunday morning from the assistant of his long old friend and mentor Peter Solomon- a historian, a philanthropist and a Mason. The message is an invitation to Washington for a special lecture at the US Capitol Building the very night. As Langdon wastes a Sunday and puts all the efforts in reaching the Capitol for the lecture, what meets his eyes is definitely not what he’d been expecting.
While I read the prologue to the book, I felt utterly bored. It brought back the bitter taste of the so-called mysteries I had read earlier. But as I was past a couple of chapters, the book was completely engaging. The short and crisp chapters make The Lost Symbol exceptionally lucid, interesting and gripping.

The best thing that I loved about the book was the intermittent dozes of information that Brows equips us with.  It is characteristic of Brown’s all novels taken together and thus it doesn’t make The Lost Symbol different. But for the first time Dan Brown reader like me, it is an absolute treat.

For me, The Lost Symbol was a mix of inspiration, fiction, mystery and non fictional genres. It is a full time entertainment for anybody who reads it. When the people say that Dan Brown is awesome, they aren’t even a bit wrong at it.

Out of all the characters in the books, Robert Langdon and Katherine Solomon- the couple of our book- were the ones I liked the best. Robert Langdon is just my type of character. He takes no bull from anyone. The best thing about him is that he listens to everyone with utmost patience and sincerity but he doesn’t let them affect his ideologies. He is a character I won’t get tired of reading about ever.

Next is Katherine. The fifty year old still at the epoch of her beauty and cleverness. The grey eyed  Noetic scientist is worth taking a wonderful notice of in the book.
Despite the book being splendidly splendid, there are certain things that I didn’t like about Brown’s The Lost Symbol.

Emotions are his Achilles heel. Yes, I know he is writing a mystery and the book is about Masons and everything, but I believe the basic purpose of reading a book is getting an emotional experience and the emotions can be of any kind. But sadly, there are hardly any I could conjure up while leafing through the book.

Brown also seems all praise for the Masons, though not too explicitly. But you can understand as you read the book that he is time and time again trying to convince us that they aren’t as bad the people they are professed to be. I secretly wondered if he was a Mason too...

Last is his maddening use of italics.

Also, though a amazingly popular writer with exceptional stories and gripping plots, it is saddening again when I say that he is a little unpolished at his writing skills. The creation part that he does is brilliant hands down, but handing over his creations to beautiful words is what he has not been able to do.

Nonetheless, for anyone who hasn’t read Dan Brown, especially out of prejudice against him like I had they must, must and must shun it and grab his The Lost Symbol as soon as possible. It is as important for a book lover to have read Dan Brown as it is to have read Stephanie Meyer or J K Rowling. I mean it when I say that it is equally important.

For me, I am now in the cult who would look out for his next book  INFERNO, which would be released soon this month.  

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