Customer Reviews for

The Lost Symbol

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Most Helpful Favorable Review

63 out of 70 people found this review helpful.

Not a fair rating

Why does B&N allow reviews before a book is published. I have a tendancy to look at reviews before i purchase a book. Random reviews before a book comes out skews the rating and is very annoying. I really don't care what readers thought about an author's previous wor...
Why does B&N allow reviews before a book is published. I have a tendancy to look at reviews before i purchase a book. Random reviews before a book comes out skews the rating and is very annoying. I really don't care what readers thought about an author's previous works. I'm interested in the current selection I am buying now. If I want a history, I will look at previous works myself. Be fair to your readers and please consider this review process. There was one book I looked at awhile back that had 2,000 ratings by the authors fans before the book came. And the book did not measure up.

posted by 592326 on July 24, 2009

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Most Helpful Critical Review

49 out of 69 people found this review helpful.

No One Has Read This Book Yet

My Two Cents: I've noticed that some visitors are wondering how jeremy0u812 could have reviewed a book that isn't scheduled for strict-on-sale release until September 15. Well, it's fairly obvious to me that he has not actually read "The Lost Symbol." He reveals no spec...
My Two Cents: I've noticed that some visitors are wondering how jeremy0u812 could have reviewed a book that isn't scheduled for strict-on-sale release until September 15. Well, it's fairly obvious to me that he has not actually read "The Lost Symbol." He reveals no specific plot points about the book, and his review simply appears to be a critique of Dan Brown's previous four novels and his expectations of this one. Additionally, there have been no galleys or advanced reader's copies issued from Knopf yet, nor are there likely to be any in the foreseeable future. I would suggest that everyone read jeremy0u812's review as such, and save final judgment for this specific book until it's available.

posted by BookMarkML on May 14, 2009

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  • Posted April 28, 2009

    I Must Say, I Disagree with Alfeetoe.

    "Seriously...these Dan Brown books...they bring nothing new to the table. They're the same damn thing, using the same cliche deus ex machina over and over and over again. It's revolting to think that these books, these tripe, brainless, overblown pieces of garbage are actually some of the highest selling books of a generation. I frankly don't care about overused religious aspects or the debate as to whether or not there is validity to the whole thing. Ultimately, it's a work of fiction, and a derivative, poorly written one at that. And don't get me started on the movies. Stories like this, and the National Treasure turds, are precisely why great american novels/films are dying off. Utter dirt."

    Well, I notice you don't notice that, in the front of each book, there is a note from Dan Brown saying something along the lines of "all scientific and religious information used in the forthcoming novel is factual, and the theories discussed have been actually debated". This shows that these books are, in fact, not "utter dirt", and are informational as well as enjoyable. The movie The DaVinci Code, though, has no impact on the quality of the book. You should discuss the movie on the FYE website, not the Barnes and Noble site. These "tripe, brainless, overblown pieces of garbage" are actually intelligent, compelling books that have a great deal of interest and cause you to think a different way than you usually have thought. Obviously, you were not mature or intelligent enough to grasp or enjoy the challenge of the complex ideas presented. I expect The Lost Symbol to be an excellent, fascinating read.

    46 out of 93 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted October 24, 2009

    I Also Recommend:

    Not what I was waiting for

    I loved Angels and Demons and greatly enjoyed the DaVinci Code. This is more on the level of Deception Point (another book which demonstrated a total ignorance of the real world and how Washington works). The book starts with an improbable beginning, throws in a stereotypical security officer, mixes in some nebulous pseudo-science and then goes masonic on us. I found the locations interesting, but the characters are cardboard. The fatal flaw of The Lost Symbol is that it's as light on thrills as it is on substance. I suppose this is the fall of non-fiction, as the best book I've read so far is Emotional Intelligence 2.0

    33 out of 48 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted May 2, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    Response to "Nothing but the same from Dan Brown"

    Personally, I find Dan Brown's novels to be quite entertaining: their action movies in a compact book that's easy to read, fast-paced, and surprising, capturing curiosity from the very first page. The characters, though not the most developed we've seen, should not be, in my opinion, for his novels seem more centered upon discovery, adventure, and risk of the unknown. We can only expect the same from The Lost Symbol.

    As for those who complain that everything is written in the same formula in his books: what books aren't written in formula? It's called Journey of the Hero, you idiot. Joseph Campbell pointed that out a long time ago: everything ever written has the same formula of a character who starts out in a happy place, gets a "call" to adventure, goes on this adventure, has a few issues he has to work out, might find a love interest, and then returns to the place he began with a new perspective. Find me a book that doesn't follow that sort of guideline in general, and I'll take back the insult from earlier.

    What Dan Brown does is he changes the conditions and details of this formula to make it interesting. It's what any author does. For a good adventure and a thrilling surprise with every page-turn, I'll recommend the next chapter in the saga.

    21 out of 46 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 28, 2009

    A Langdon Letdown

    Having read all of Dan Brown's book, I was extremely excited about Langdon's latest adventure. But shortly after starting, I found the book to have many more drawn out portions than normal in Brown's books. Langdon's previous adventures constantly keep me turning pages, but this time around some parts were drawn out and literally bored me. The writing style is the same as before, which is starting to become extremely predictable. Having taken place in the nations capital, I was hoping for more settings. Felt that after 6 years of research we would have more about the capital incorporated in the book. This book just didn't click like Angels and Demons and Da Vinci Code. Of Browns 5 books, this is the worst.

    17 out of 24 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted September 15, 2009

    Reading now at the airport and (so far) easily meeting expectations...

    As soon as you start reading this book it hardly seems possible that it has been 6 years since The Da Vinci Code... So far it has been truly impossible to stop reading. To use a well worn cliché - a real (electronic) page turner! Downloaded it to my Blackberry and started reading it immediately in the departure lounge. Two people asked what I'm reading and are feverishly trying to get their copy downloaded before we take off. Then we'll have 8hrs and 20 minutes of (hopefully) uninterrupted time enjoy it.
    I hope we don't have to wait another 6 years for the next one.

    16 out of 25 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted May 6, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    Nothing but the same from Dan Brown

    This sums up every Dan Brown novel written. The main character is always taken unexpectedly and thrust in a fast paced scenario, where the fate of so many, rest on him or her solving a series of riddles and mysteries. While the antagonist, who in the end turns out to be a good guy, is always close, and the good guy, in the end, always is the bad guy; the very person you think the bad guy is. Not to mention these events always take place within less than a 24 hour time period. Dan Brown has lost all sense of originality. He used, or overused, the exact same formula for all 4 previous novels. Now it appears Mr.Brown tends to rip himself off one more time. Do not waist your money on yet another Dan Brown novel. You've all read this novel before, only it was call Digital Fortress, Deception Point, DaVinci Code or Angels & Demons.
    Let me add onto this as a few of you avid Dan Brown fans have taken issue with my review, as one of you nitpicks over a misspelled word(I am such a horrible speller though) and another called me an idiot(That may be so). Every writer has a pattern to their writing, but when it becomes so obvious you can predict the outcome within a chapter or two, then it's a waist of time. Let me give you a analogy, take a picture out of a coloring book, copy it 4 times and color it all different colors. Also, the DaVinci Code is a rip-off everything in the, Holy Blood Holy Grail. The authors even sued Mr.Brown. All the info in the, Holy Blood Holy Grail is speculative and conspiracy theory but Dan Brown boldly pronounces such info as fact. Watch the History channel. Facts as stated by Danny, who is no historian, are not facts and are debated by historians. Don't get me wrong, I am not bound by religious bias so the subject matter does not bother me. In fact I absolutely loved the DaVinci Code; being the first Dan Brown novel I read. My respect for him as an author faltered as I read more of his works to the point I could not finish Digital Fortress. I can pretty much guess the main characters boss is the bad guy. Maybe I'm wrong, but after his other novels that's pretty much the direction I saw that going. After reading his next novel takes place within a time period of 14 hours I thought,"Great, more of the same." So, ther we are, more of the same in my opinion. Feel free, In your anger to nitpick and name call. You'll all be feeling the same when you predict the outcome halfway through this book. Happy reading. I'll be reading as well, hoping I am wrong and that I don't predict the ending before it comes.

    16 out of 66 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted June 15, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    Hard to tell... unless you read an advance copy...

    This book is very predictable & obvious...

    It will be read and enjoyed by most...

    My highest recommendations are listed below...

    15 out of 51 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted April 21, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    Yay! Another overblown Scooby Doo mystery!

    Seriously...these Dan Brown books...they bring nothing new to the table. They're the same damn thing, using the same cliche deus ex machina over and over and over again. It's revolting to think that these books, these tripe, brainless, overblown pieces of garbage are actually some of the highest selling books of a generation. I frankly don't care about overused religious aspects or the debate as to whether or not there is validity to the whole thing. Ultimately, it's a work of fiction, and a derivative, poorly written one at that. And don't get me started on the movies. Stories like this, and the National Treasure turds, are precisely why great american novels/films are dying off. Utter dirt.

    15 out of 89 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted October 27, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    A great escape!

    I chose this book to read on vacation, beginning with an 11 hour flight schedule. It was engaging, fun, and not only kept my interest, it kept me awake! It also offered me incentive to get right back to reading whenever an opportunity presented itself. Some of the historical sections regarding Freemasonry were a bit tedious but far from being boring, and, in fact, prompted me to find out as much as possible about that organization to determine the accuracy and validity of Brown's narration.

    14 out of 15 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 17, 2009

    Disappointed

    Maybe it was the high level of expectation after reading the first two books, but this one was disappointing.
    This book became a lesson in history and mysticism without a good story line to tie it together and keep it interesting. MANY times I thought-"Ok, ok, these Masons are mystical and understand something my puny mind cannot grasp-but get on with it already!" Honestly, if I was stuck in a room with men who were so quick to pontificate I would find SOME way to leave. However, I spent $17 for this story so I trudged through hoping Dan Brown would find "THE WORD" that would turn this book into a captivating read. Sadly, that word remains buried somewhere so I can not recommed this book to others.

    13 out of 26 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted April 22, 2009

    Will He Break His Mold?

    Dan Brown is a good writter and adept at crafting a series of events, however improbable, that lead to a somewhat unexpected ending. I say "somewhat unexpected" because I have found that Dan Brown has a formula that he follows in all of his novels to date (there are more than just the Da Vinci Code and Angels and Demons). If Dan could just break away from that formula...I am sure he could stump me and truly keep me glued to the pages of the book until the very end.

    Dan, are you listening? I love the twists and turns, arcane information and startling details you impart so effectively. Now, just abandon your old formula of the most trusted counselor always being the ultimate bad guy and you will have me hooked all over again.

    13 out of 36 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted May 29, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    What!?

    Wow people simply amaze me more and more everyday. Noone has read or seen anything about this book and yet we have reviews??? It took me a few years to read the Davinci Code just for the simple fact everyone told me I should, so I didn't. I'm just glad it didn't have Oprah's seal of approval or I would have missed out on an incredible read. That said I welcome a new book to the Dan Brown fold, as I read all his other work after Davinci Code, fast paced filled with mystery and suspense, couldn't put any of them down!!! So let's all hope the new book takes us to new limits and stop writing reviews ok? I'l see all of you Sep 15Th!!

    12 out of 37 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted April 22, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    Conflicts

    Angels and Demons was about the war between science and religion. The Da Vinci Code was about Christianity versus the feminine. Those were amazing topics to discuss, and based on his other two books, Deception Point and Digital Fortress, I am 100% positive that this book will encourage people to not believe everything that they're told and to seek out the truth for themselves, which seems to be the most general theme in all of his books, while teaching historic lessons or portraying certain aspects of the American government. I can't wait to see what epic historical conflicts Dan Brown is going to show us in his new book, and all the things I will learn and be able to talk about with my friends and family. My only disappointment is that I have to wait until September to enjoy another piece of his literature.

    12 out of 34 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted April 21, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    This is THE SOLOMON KEY

    This forthcoming book is the same book whose working title was THE SOLOMON KEY...and before that (around 2005)was publicized under the working title of THE WIDOW'S SON. Both terms--the Solomon Key and the Widow's Son--are expressions used in Freemasonry. For the last four years there's also been buzz that this novel will draw from Mormon history and Joseph Smith's (the First Mormon's) involvement in Freemasonry (from which the Mormon temple ordinances are based.) As a Reform Mormon, I'm curious to see if Mormonism will appear in the novel. Ceratinly elements of THE DA VINCI CODE (a female deity, a married Jesus and unorthdox sexual unions as part of a secret religious system) were found in Nauvoo-era (late 1830's through mid 1840's) Mormonism.
    www.reformmormonism.org

    10 out of 34 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted February 22, 2010

    This book was amazing!

    The Lost Symbol is fantastic. The characters are introduced and developed very well, and the plot, though sometimes very long, is intriguing. It is easy to get frustrated with the amazing amount of detail that is used to describe every second, but the information presented by the detail is undeniably one of the best aspects of the book. The emotional detail also gives an amazing insight into the minds of the characters.

    9 out of 10 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted November 29, 2009

    Lost Symbol

    Not the worst book I have ever read. Perhaps the worst book I have ever finished. Dan took too much time off, he forgot what made him sucessful. But I guess with all the money he has made, it is of no concern to him. Much like James Patterson and Johnaton Kellermen, he has sold his soul. This is a very bad book from start to finish, I won't be waiting for your next.

    9 out of 11 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted October 19, 2009

    Lost Symbol Not A Da Vinci

    I just finished The Lost Symbol by Dan Brown. This is his fifth book. I have read all five. Dan Brown is one of those writers that keep your interest and I have enjoyed his first four books.
    I had a bad feeling about the fifth book before it was published for a couple of reasons.
    It took a long time to write. To me this indicates to me that the book was laborious to write. When I write something about a subject I like it flows out like a stream bolstered by major rainfall. The Lost Symbol did not flow out of Dan Brown's mind easily and smoothly. It's gestation was more like a tough pregnancy shrouded by severe labor pains. The results were all the worse for the stretching and pushing to bring it to term and deliver it.
    After a mega masterpiece like The Da Vinci Code, the next book would have to meet very high standards to be favorably compared with its predecessor. Pressure and great art sometimes do not go together. While purely fictional books like Digital Fortress and Deception Point and Angels & Demons were excellent, his success with The Da Vinci Code, a book that blends credible and controversial historical events and "what ifs" together with fiction, meant that his editors and his public would be looking for more of the same. This was apparently not a realistic expectation. The Da Vinci Code was a one-time breakout novel with popularity matching or exceeding the masterpiece Gone With The Wind by Margaret Mitchell, the only novel she ever published. Ms. Mitchell knew publishing anything after that novel would just dim her historical achievement. Dan Brown probably felt the same pressure but financially found it an irresistible feat he would have to attempt.
    The Lost Code was over five hundred pages. The excellent writing style of Dan Brown compelled me to read the first four hundred pages with great excitement. These pages flew by in a two evening session. But even at this point I felt there was no credible end game for his plot to polish off the previous, intense action. Unfortunately I was right. The last hundred pages were a chore to read. The last fifty pages were truly painful.
    The ending was disappointing. No revelations, no glorious wonderment, no historical impact was forthcoming. It lingered and died. Just so many pages trying but failing to take the reader to the same level as its predecessor. The book fell way short.
    It was not without some interesting moments. It did have its share of historical factoids. There will be some readers walking around Washington DC to trace the monuments where the action took place.
    Kudos to Dan Brown for the moments which made me want to hop aboard the Washington Metro and visit these places less than 5 miles from my current home which I have ignored too long. But I was ready to reach for my Metro Pass I just a quickly slipped the idea into the "maybe one day department" of my to do list. The excitement vanished with the end of the novel.

    8 out of 12 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 17, 2009

    Lost its balance

    The novel lost its balance between knowledge, philosophy and mystery, suspense. The messages and knowledge it tries to deliver outweighed its entertainment value. The plot was loose and sometimes fell off the track. I had always felt the unpredicted, brilliant style of Dan Brown made up for his writing, which isn't always quite as intriguing and beautiful. But these good qualities seem to have lost their ways in this novel. However, I do believe it's hard to keep up or surpass the brilliance level of the previous novels. But overall, I did learn a lot and the novel elicited my interest in reading up on some concepts that I did not know existed. So I feel my reading time was well spent. Thank you, Dan Brown!

    8 out of 12 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted January 21, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    Wait for the Movie

    I think Mr. Brown was paid by the word for this one. The story rambles all over the place like a hyper housefly on amphetamines. He continually jumps back and forth in time and between different points of view while the main character stands around with a puzzled expression on his face. The secondary characters are bizarre and completely unbelievable. The plot moves at a snail's pace. It is very repetitive and boring. I liked The DaVinci Code and Angels & Demons much better and would highly recommend those. For this one, just skip the pain of wading through it and wait for someone to pluck out the better parts and make a movie of it.

    7 out of 11 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted November 20, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    Worst Book

    I really enjoyed The Davinci Code and found Angels & Demons even more enjoyable, but I have to say that this book was very disappointing. Just about everything was wrong. The writing was as gripping as ever, I will give him that. Every chapter ended in a cliffhanger, just like every other Dan Brown book. But the plot was predictable and honestly I found this 'secret' that they are hiding through the whole story to be not nearly as important as they made it out to be. Definitely not worth killing for.

    I won't discredit Brown's research or his ability to write entertaining books, but this just wasn't his best. I was let down.

    7 out of 10 people found this review helpful.

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