Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Dan Brown, The Lost Symbol

Occasionally, I like to read a sensational, action/adventure novel. I enjoyed Dan Brown's The DaVinci Code and Angels and Demons. Plot twists and turns, interesting characters, accurate historical background, fascinating setting. The Lost Symbol is the newest installment of Robert Langdon stories. It's on the New York Times best-seller list and I needed something new to read. Here are the pros and cons:

1) A real page turner.
2) One truly shocking plot twist.

1) A page turner because from Chapter 4 onwards, almost every section and chapter ends a little something like this:

       * "He stopped dead in his tracks. Something was very, very wrong."

       * "He heard an unexpected sound in the distance. [...]
         Someone was screaming."

       * "[...] he realized he was looking at the
         severed right hand of Peter Solomon."

       *"If Langdon had not yet grasped his role here tonight,
          soon he would." (Duh, duh, duh)

       *"To his horror, something was staring back."

       *"Then, like an oncoming truck, it hit her."

This is just a small sampling. The phrases lost their effectiveness because they kept coming back over and over, like too many sweet tarts.

2) The one really great plot twist, the one that made me gasp out loud, was only related peripherally to the central plot. When the main 'question' was finally answered, it had lost its oomph because the peripheral plot twist was so shocking and the answer seemed mundane.

3) Christianity is horribly misrepresented and scripture is misinterpreted and taken out of context over and over throughout the book. The deity of man is proclaimed time and time again. The idea of man achieving enlightenment and making himself a god through meditation, positive thinking, science, intelligence, and education is introduced in so many different ways that it is nauseating. The author even goes so far as to claim that our Founding Fathers believed that attaining Enlightenment would make them gods. He cites the painting on the ceiling of the capitol rotunda. Brown wrote that this is a representation of George Washington becoming a god, 'the Apotheosis of George Washington.'

I need to do some reading to find out what it really means, but I know that our country was founded on the principles of scripture and the idea of bowing to God not making gods of ourselves.

Overall, this book is interesting, but not up to the quality of Dan Brown's earlier books and I was saddened by and tired of hearing about the deity of man by the end.

1 comment:

  1. Apparently some of the Founding Fathers were considered to have been Deists (like Thomas Jefferson and Ben Franklin) and George Washington's exact religion is "debated".
    But yeah, I remember being annoyed when I read The DeVinci Code. Dan Brown likes to take certain theories and really run with them/twist them to make things seem more exciting.