The Lost Symbol
new book from Dan Brown has hit the Bookazine shelves and is being hailed as
a best seller, even before the cash register rings. Dan Brown has that kind
of ‘pull’ these days. And he needs a big pull, when the book is hardcover
and has an RRP of B. 895. It has also been quoted that the publishers
initial print run has been around six million copies.
The Lost Symbol (ISBN 978-0-385-50422-5, Doubleday, 2009) again
introduces Brown’s main character Robert Langdon, the university symbologist
who is led a merry chase by forces of evil, masquerading behind ancient
organizations and secret societies.
This has been the formula for success for Dan Brown, as these organizations,
such as splinter groups from the Catholic Church, are already looked upon
with suspicion by the laity. On an unnumbered page before the prologue Brown
has “FACT. All organizations in this novel exist, including the Freemasons,
the Invisible College, the Office of Security, the SMSC, and the Institute
of Noetic Sciences. All rituals, science, artwork, and monuments in this
novel are real.”
Part of Dan Brown’s empathy with the reader is his ability to include the
reader in the story. All detail, even down to the mundane, is given. Nobody
just ‘parks their car’, but they would ‘drive the white Volvo into the usual
parking space, listening to the crunch of the gravel beneath the tyres’.
This book deals with the mysticism surrounding the Freemasons, and although
it would appear that Dan Brown is letting a pile of cats out of the bag, in
actual fact, much is in the public domain, such as even the Freemason’s
So much information is given to the reader, information which appears
fantastic or science fiction, but as you trawl through your favorite search
engine, it all has the hallmarks of truth, even oxygenated perfluorocarbon
liquid. Yes, it exists.
The pace quickens as you get towards the end of the book, with some
terrifying twists and turns. The inside of the jacket cover states that this
is Dan Brown’s most thrilling novel yet, and it probably is. Until the next
Interestingly, Dan Brown’s first book of this genre was Angels and Demons
(released in 2000) and the second was The Da Vinci Code (2003), but it was
The Da Vinci Code which really took off, in turn spurring the sales of
Angels and Demons. Lost Symbol is a worthy successor.
If I were to venture some criticisms, it is in the depth of historical
detail which slows the pace of the book. The encyclopedic mind of Robert
Langdon can drag on a little too far at times. The plot also follows a very
similar direction to his other books, with ancients being involved in
convoluted plots, each piece hanging on another and there are some leaps of
However, it is one great read and at B. 895, this book is too good to wait
for the cheaper paperback next year. It is a book that will stand the test
of time, and one you should keep for your children to enjoy as well.