by Thomas Hawk
The Lost Symbol is a noble attempt by Dan Brown to duplicate his success with The DaVinci Code and Angels and Demons, though of course with a new puzzle to solve.
This time he brings in the secretive world of the Masons, and how the founding fathers of the United States planned to make this a country liberated not just from George III and other monarchs, but superstition.
Instead of chasing through Rome or other cities in Europe with long distant pasts, we go through Washington D.C. in a way not on the usual sightseeing tours.
Once again Langdon is accompanied by a beautiful woman. Once again cutting edge science is part of the mix, though in this case I’d call is pseudo-science. And it’s entirely secondary to the main plot. It the Noetic Institute weren’t there, we’d never miss it.
I have to assume his facts as such are correct, and I’d be interested in knowing a lot more. I have to assume there are other possible spins to account for the weird symbolism in our nation’s capital.
The villain is a weird, powerful crackpot. Unfortunately, he’s once again representing only himself, though in his craziness he sometimes thinks of himself as representing the universe’s forces of evil.
I’d like to see Brown tackle a real-life conspiracy, instead of just somebody using one to as a disguise.
One part I found aggravating is the author’s insistence on Langdon being so skeptical of the existence of a real life lost word on symbol in Washington D.C. He insists it’s just a myth, when of course we the readers know the author has got to deliver something before the end of the book.
This would seem more appropriate if it were Langdon’s first adventure. But you’d think the man who discovered the Holy Grail just a few years would be a little more open to lost Masonic secrets.
People who considered The DaVinci Code to be an attack on organized Christianity are probably not going to be any happier with this book. It doesn’t exactly attack one of the Church’s sacred tenets, but it supersedes its authority.
The basic idea, and Brown goes on at length about this for many pages after the villain is defeated, is that ancient people since before the Egyptian era knew secrets of how people could become as gods but, fearful of their power in the wrong hands, have transmitted this message in symbols and mystery religions ever since. This is what all religions are really about, although it’s hidden somehow. This is explicitly declared to be true of The Bible.
The Noetic Institute and its research into the powers of the mind is uncovering these secrets through its science.
And according to Brown, we’re approaching a time when all these secrets will be revealed and humanity will be transformed by them.
He hints it could be 2012, but maybe not.
Yet, much as I have to say I didn’t get emotionally involved rooting for Langdon and his friends, I did find the background interesting. It’s one of those things I’d love to read a lot more about if I had the time.
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Sunday Times #1 Bestseller
New York Times #1 BestsellerThe spellbinding new Robert Langdon novel from the author of The Da Vinci Code.’Fans will not be disappointed’ The Times
Robert Langdon, Harvard professor of symbology and religious iconology, arrives at the Guggenheim Museum Bilbao to attend the unveiling of a discovery that “will change the face of science forever”. The evening’s host is his friend and former student, Edmond Kirsch, a forty-year-old tech magnate whose dazzling inventions and audacious predictions have made him a controversial figure around the world. This evening is to be no exception: he claims he will reveal an astonishing scientific breakthrough to challenge the fundamentals of human existence.But Langdon and several hundred other guests are left reeling when the meticulously orchestrated evening is blown apart before Kirsch’s precious discovery can be revealed. With his life under threat, Langdon is forced into a desperate bid to escap