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Angels and Demons

Angels and Demons

4.5 2723
by Dan Brown, Richard Poe (Read by)

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An ancient secret brotherhood.

A devastating new weapon of destruction.

An unthinkable target.

When world-renowned Harvard symbologist Robert Langdon is summoned to a Swiss research facility to analyze a mysterious symbol -- seared into the chest of a murdered physicist -- he discovers evidence of the unimaginable: the resurgence of an ancient secret


An ancient secret brotherhood.

A devastating new weapon of destruction.

An unthinkable target.

When world-renowned Harvard symbologist Robert Langdon is summoned to a Swiss research facility to analyze a mysterious symbol -- seared into the chest of a murdered physicist -- he discovers evidence of the unimaginable: the resurgence of an ancient secret brotherhood known as the Illuminati...the most powerful underground organization ever to walk the earth. The Illuminati has now surfaced to carry out the final phase of its legendary vendetta against its most hated enemy -- the Catholic Church.

Langdon's worst fears are confirmed on the eve of the Vatican's holy conclave, when a messenger of the Illuminati announces they have hidden an unstoppable time bomb at the very heart of Vatican City. With the countdown under way, Langdon jets to Rome to join forces with Vittoria Vetra, a beautiful and mysterious Italian scientist, to assist the Vatican in a desperate bid for survival.

Embarking on a frantic hunt through sealed crypts, dangerous catacombs, deserted cathedrals, and even the most secretive vault on earth, Langdon and Vetra follow a 400-year-old trail of ancient symbols that snakes across Rome toward the long-forgotten Illuminati lair...a clandestine location that contains the only hope for Vatican salvation.

An explosive international thriller, Angels & Demons careens from enlightening epiphanies to dark truths as the battle between science and religion turns to war.

Editorial Reviews

San Francisco Chronicle
A breathless, real-time adventure....Exciting, fast-paced, with an unusually high IQ.
Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Pitting scientific terrorists against the cardinals of Vatican City, this well-plotted if over-the-top thriller is crammed with Vatican intrigue and high-tech drama. Robert Langdon, a Harvard specialist on religious symbolism, is called in by a Swiss research lab when Dr. Vetra, the scientist who discovered antimatter, is found murdered with the cryptic word "Illuminati" branded on his chest. These Iluminati were a group of Renaissance scientists, including Galileo, who met secretly in Rome to discuss new ideas in safety from papal threat; what the long-defunct association has to do with Dr. Vetra's death is far from clear. Vetra's daughter, Vittoria, makes a frightening discovery: a lethal amount of antimatter, sealed in a vacuum flask that will explode in six hours unless its batteries are recharged, is missing. Almost immediately, the Swiss Guard discover that the flask is hidden beneath Vatican City, where the conclave to elect a new pope has just begun. Vittoria and Langdon rush to recover the canister, but they aren't allowed into the Vatican until it is discovered that the four principal papal candidates are missing. The terrorists who are holding the cardinals call in regarding their pending murders, offering clues tied to ancient Illuminati meeting sites and runes. Meanwhile, it becomes clear that a sinister Vatican entity with messianic delusions is in league with the terrorists. Packing the novel with sinister figures worthy of a Medici, Brown (Digital Fortress) sets an explosive pace as Langdon and Vittoria race through a Michelin-perfect Rome to try to save the cardinals and find the antimatter before it explodes. Though its premises strain credulity, Brown's tale is laced with twists and shocks that keep the reader wired right up to the last revelation. (May) Copyright 2000 Cahners Business Information.|
Publishers Weekly
Crammed with Vatican intrigue and hi-tech drama. Packing the novel with sinister figures worthy of a Medici, Brown sets an explosive pace through a Michelin-perfect Rome. Brown's tale is laced with twists and shocks that keep the reader wired right up to the last revelation.
Book Browser Reviews
A reading experience you will never forget. Dan Brown has created another frantic paced thriller that rivals the best works of Clancy and Cussler.
Among the best books we have ever read. Angels & Demons is part thriller, part mystery, and all action. A highly entertaining, page-turning thriller.
Joe Mauceri
Angels & Demons is as good as it gets. A pulse-pounding, edge-of-your-seat thriller. Angels & Demons is as compelling as Umberto Eco... as engaging as Tom Clancy... as fast-paced as Michael Crichton... and rivals the best Thomas Harris thriller. Angels & Demons earns Dan Brown a place among these literary peers.
Syndicated Review
Kirkus Reviews
Another near-future technothriller from the author of Digital Fortress (1998). Harvard symbologist Robert Langdon gets a call from Maximilian Kohler, director of CERN's Geneva particle-physics research complex. Physicist Leonardo Vetra has been murdered, and a quantity of dreadfully dangerous antimatter stolen; worse, Vetra was branded with a single word: Illuminati. Langdon's an expert on the history of the Illuminati, a medieval pro-science, anti-Catholic power group, often suspected of infiltrating mighty institutions but now considered extinct. The canister of antimatter soon turns up—in Rome, hidden somewhere in Vatican City, just as the church's cardinals are gathering to select a new pope. When the canister's batteries go dead—boom. As bad, someone's kidnapped the four top cardinals, and a message from the Illuminati states that one cardinal will be killed—with lots of Illuminati symbolism—every hour until the antimatter explodes. Langdon and Vetra's scientist daughter, Vittoria, must convince the late pope's chamberlain, now in charge of the Vatican until the new pope is elected, to help them unravel the mysteries of the Illuminati and, perhaps, save the cardinals from gruesome deaths. But they'll be going up against a wily and potent Illuminati assassin, causing plenty of thrilling cat-and-mouse maneuvers and life-or-death cliffhangers. And how come the powerful head of the Illuminati knows all the Vatican's secrets, and can enter and leave at will? Romance, religion, science, murder, mysticism, architecture, action. Go!

From the Publisher
"A breathless, real-time adventure. . . . Exciting, fast-paced, with an unusually high IQ." -- San Francisco Chronicle
Library Journal
This grand summer novel by the author of The Da Vinci Code introduces readers to famed symbologist Robert Langdon, who is attempting to stop the Illuminati, an ancient secret organization, from destroying Vatican City. VERDICT Filled with superb puzzles, a breakneck plot, and wondrous settings and descriptions of artwork, this fascinating story will feed thriller readers' appetites for riddles, conspiracies, and unlikely heroes.

Product Details

Simon & Schuster Audio
Publication date:
Robert Langdon Series , #1
Edition description:
Sales rank:
Product dimensions:
6.94(w) x 11.24(h) x 0.73(d)

Read an Excerpt

Chapter One

High atop the steps of the Pyramid of Giza a young woman laughed and called down to him. "Robert, hurry up! I knew I should have married a younger man!" Her smile was magic.

He struggled to keep up, but his legs felt like stone. "Wait," he begged. "Please..."

As he climbed, his vision began to blur. There was a thundering in his ears. I must reach her! But when he looked up again, the woman had disappeared. In her place stood an old man with rotting teeth. The man stared down, curling his lips into a lonely grimace. Then he let out a scream of anguish that resounded across the desert.

Robert Langdon awoke with a start from his nightmare. The phone beside his bed was ringing. Dazed, he picked up the receiver.


"I'm looking for Robert Langdon," a man's voice said.

Langdon sat up in his empty bed and tried to clear his mind. "This...is Robert Langdon." He squinted at his digital clock. It was 5:18 A.M.

"I must see you immediately."

"Who is this?"

"My name is Maximilian Kohler. I'm a discrete particle physicist."

"A what?" Langdon could barely focus. "Are you sure you've got the right Langdon?"

"You're a professor of religious iconology at Harvard University. You've written three books on symbology and — "

"Do you know what time it is?"

"I apologize. I have something you need to see. I can't discuss it on the phone."

A knowing groan escaped Langdon's lips. This had happened before. One of the perils of writing books about religious symbology was the calls from religious zealots who wanted him to confirm their latest sign from God. Last month a stripper fromOklahoma had promised Langdon the best sex of his life if he would fly down and verify the authenticity of a cruciform that had magically appeared on her bed sheets. The Shroud of Tulsa, Langdon had called it.

"How did you get my number?" Langdon tried to be polite, despite the hour.

"On the Worldwide Web. The site for your book."

Langdon frowned. He was damn sure his book's site did not include his home phone number. The man was obviously lying.

"I need to see you," the caller insisted. "I'll pay you well."

Now Langdon was getting mad. "I'm sorry, but I really — "

"If you leave immediately, you can be here by — "

"I'm not going anywhere! It's five o'clock in the morning!" Langdon hung up and collapsed back in bed. He closed his eyes and tried to fall back asleep. It was no use. The dream was emblazoned in his mind. Reluctantly, he put on his robe and went downstairs.

Robert Langdon wandered barefoot through his deserted Massachusetts Victorian home and nursed his ritual insomnia remedy — a mug of steaming Nestlé's Quik. The April moon filtered through the bay windows and played on the oriental carpets. Langdon's colleagues often joked that his place looked more like an anthropology museum than a home. His shelves were packed with religious artifacts from around the world — an ekuaba from Ghana, a gold cross from Spain, a cycladic idol from the Aegean, and even a rare woven boccus from Borneo, a young warrior's symbol of perpetual youth.

As Langdon sat on his brass Maharishi's chest and savored the warmth of the chocolate, the bay window caught his reflection. The image was distorted and pale...like a ghost. An aging ghost, he thought, cruelly reminded that his youthful spirit was living in a mortal shell.

Although not overly handsome in a classical sense, the forty-five-year-old Langdon had what his female colleagues referred to as an "erudite" appeal — wisps of gray in his thick brown hair, probing blue eyes, an arrestingly deep voice, and the strong, carefree smile of a collegiate athlete. A varsity diver in prep school and college, Langdon still had the body of a swimmer, a toned, six-foot physique that he vigilantly maintained with fifty laps a day in the university pool.

Langdon's friends had always viewed him as a bit of an enigma — a man caught between centuries. On weekends he could be seen lounging on the quad in blue jeans, discussing computer graphics or religious history with students; other times he could be spotted in his Harris tweed and paisley vest, photographed in the pages of upscale art magazines at museum openings where he had been asked to lecture.

Although a tough teacher and strict disciplinarian, Langdon was the first to embrace what he hailed as the "lost art of good clean fun." He relished recreation with an infectious fanaticism that had earned him a fraternal acceptance among his students. His campus nickname — "The Dolphin" — was a reference both to his affable nature and his legendary ability to dive into a pool and outmaneuver the entire opposing squad in a water polo match.

As Langdon sat alone, absently gazing into the darkness, the silence of his home was shattered again, this time by the ring of his fax machine. Too exhausted to be annoyed, Langdon forced a tired chuckle.

God's people, he thought. Two thousand years of waiting for their Messiah, and they're still persistent as hell.

Wearily, he returned his empty mug to the kitchen and walked slowly to his oak-paneled study. The incoming fax lay in the tray. Sighing, he scooped up the paper and looked at it.

Instantly, a wave of nausea hit him.

The image on the page was that of a human corpse. The body had been stripped naked, and its head had been twisted, facing completely backward. On the victim's chest was a terrible burn. The man had been branded...imprinted with a single word. It was a word Langdon knew well. Very well. He stared at the ornate lettering in disbelief.

"Illuminati," he stammered, his heart pounding. It can't be...

In slow motion, afraid of what he was about to witness, Langdon rotated the fax 180 degrees. He looked at the word upside down.

Instantly, the breath went out of him. It was like he had been hit by a truck. Barely able to believe his eyes, he rotated the fax again, reading the brand right-side up and then upside down.

"Illuminati," he whispered.

Stunned, Langdon collapsed in a chair. He sat a moment in utter bewilderment. Gradually, his eyes were drawn to the blinking red light on his fax machine. Whoever had sent this fax was still on the line...waiting to talk. Langdon gazed at the blinking light a long time.

Then, trembling, he picked up the receiver.

Copyright © 2000 by Dan Brown

What People are Saying About This

From the Publisher
"A breathless, real-time adventure. . . . Exciting, fast-paced, with an unusually high IQ." — San Francisco Chronicle

Meet the Author

Dan Brown is the #1 New York Times bestselling author of The Da Vinci Code, Digital Fortress, Deception Point, The Lost Symbol, Angels & Demons, and Inferno. He is a graduate of Amherst College and Phillips Exeter Academy, where he spent time as an English teacher before turning his efforts to writing full-time. He lives in New England with his wife. Visit his website at DanBrown.com.

Richard Poe, a professional actor for more than thirty years, has appeared in numerous Broadway shows, including 1776 and M. Butterfly. On TV, he has had recurring roles on Star Trek and Frasier. His films include Born on the Fourth of July and Presumed Innocent. He is a well-known and prolific audio book performer, having narrated more than fifty books.

Brief Biography

New England
Date of Birth:
June 22, 1964
Place of Birth:
Exeter, New Hampshire
Phillips Exeter Academy 1982; B.A., Amherst College, 1986; University of Seville, Spain

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Angels and Demons 4.5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 2723 reviews.
ticareader More than 1 year ago
I reluctantly picked this book up. I had read the DaVinci Code really just to see what the big fuss was, but never finished it. Dan Brown redeemed himself with this one. I could not put it down. I love fast paced books and this one definitely is that...now I have to decide if I'll ruin it all by watching the movie, but we'll see.
Dave2012 More than 1 year ago
Robert Langdon and Vittoria Vetra combine to create an amazing story-line with many twists, turns, and surprises in Dan Brown¿s Angels and Demons. This book has a fair amount of fabrication, along with a number of true, while unknown facts, all of which combine with first-rate and competent characters to create a never failing, addictive novel.
In Vatican City, Rome an ancient and thought-to-be-extinct demonic brotherhood emerges to declare science¿s jurisdiction over religion. While the brotherhood of the Illuminati is factual, this conspiracy and attack are completely fictional. Brown¿s interlinking of these two very distinct elements combine into a woven quilt, creating the story of Angels and Demons.
Robert Langdon is a world-renowned Harvard symbologist called to Switzerland¿s Conseil Européen pour la Recherche Nucléaire facility (CERN) to scrutinize a corpse branded with an Illuminati ambigram. Langdon¿s brilliance connects with Vittoria Vetra¿s common sense to create a kind of juggernaut against the terror of the brotherhood. This well-rounded team is prone to penetrate the protected Illuminati.
Angels and Demons is a great book that I would recommend to anyone interested. I am a freshman in High School and had no problem with any of the vocabulary in the story. I was also intrigued instantaneously and addicted by the third or fourth chapter. The other great thing about this book is that it is not so predictable that you can tell exactly what is going to happen. But it does not make you think ¿Where on Earth is this going?¿ and no one likes this. The novel mixes elements well and creates an entertaining story that I would advise to everyone.
unknowing-savior More than 1 year ago
Unfortunately, I read Da Vinci Code first, then went back to Angels and Demons. What I noticed was that the style was identical and the characters were similar and the plot was quite parallel. It was almost like reading the same book back to back. Neither book was badly written, it's just that the style showed no variety and read back to back was a let down.
tehlegitimate More than 1 year ago
I'm not a reader, but I have read enough books to know that Dan Brown has created a masterpiece.Ever since I read this book, I have wanted to read through the entire triology. The book has a gripping plot, while teaching you things about Religion and the Big Bang theory. While some people say Dan Brown did a better job in writing The Da Vinci Code I disagree. Dan Brown managed to take historical sites, places, and events and mix it up with action to make a thriller that you can never put down. I felt that Angels and Demons plot was bigger and better than that of The Da Vinci Code's. The book takes you all across Rome to ancient Cathedrals and lairs, in an attempt to save the Catholic Church itself. When you're done with the book, you'll be amazed that all the monumental events happened within a day. The book will manage to keep you off balance, but doesn't frustrate you. With its clever twists in its plot, it's not as predictable as other books might be. The amount of knowledge in science and religion in this book would be enough to fill an entire textbook. While some of the information on this book has not been yet proven true, Dan Brown did a good job of knowing his stuff. The book will teach you everything from the birth of Christianity, to the Big Bang theory. The book doesn't bore you, but there are some unnecessary walls of text in the book that get boring. However, you can easily skip these and still understand whats going on. All in all, I felt that Dan Brown did a really good job with this book, and had very few flaws. For anyone who is bored in their free time, pick up this book, and let Dan Brown take you on a hunt to save the Catholic Church.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Here is the thing, all of Dan Browns books are the same. You will love the first one you read and forget the rest. But I think Angels and Demons is the best because it is more realistic. However, they all go a little something like this: (1)Langdon is called to the scene of some crime that has some connection with symbology, (2) Langdon spend the next 48 hours dodgeing bullets like his is NEO and running around with some hot chick he has no chance of scoreing with, (3) They uncover the mystery which is that the 'hopeless' Catholic church is grossly abusing modern science in order to bring faith back into peoples lives. (4) Langdon saves the day, losses the girl, and goes back to his lonely life as college professor.....until next summer! when (5) Dan Brown sends him on another journey to stop the Catholic church for destroying the free world. Dan Brown wrote a very interesting tale with Angels and Demons and revised it with The Da Vinci Code. However, my compliments stop there because it doesn't take a genious to notice that Brown doesn't think too highly of the Catholic Church and is trying to make a lot of money by leading people to believe that this religion is full of evil, conspiring, twisted, power-hungry, and violent men. Dan Brown is a one hit wonder.
BrooklynLady1130 More than 1 year ago
I loved this book!  I liked it better than The Davinci Code (which I also enjoyed)  I would recommend this book.
Bookworm1951 More than 1 year ago
Typical Dan Brown thriller. Action packed and fast paced. You won't be disappointed. Well edited.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
It is very interesting. Hard to put down. It has 710pages, but is breathtaking journey around Vatican city. It is about Robert Langdon and is a prequel of the New York Times Bestseller The Da Vinci Code. With the help of scientist Vittoria Vetra, they go through a powerful journey around Vatican city to find a peice of antimatter that could explode at any second. It is hidden somewhere beneath Vatican city and the secret but powerful organization--the Illuminati
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I read this book for an outside reading assignment for my Honors English Class. I started off thinking it wouldn't be a terrible book but once I really started reading it, I realized it is a very well written book that has a great story line and some interesting plot twists. I can't wait to read more of the Robert Langdon series.
JustMyTwoCents More than 1 year ago
A Fast-Paced Read--(Warning--spoiler here) I found this book to be entertaining and fast-paced, but non-Catholics should be forewarned that the author tends to present some questionable and debatable information on the Catholic church  as simple fact. The ending was particularly over the top as the reader is expected to believe that a Catholic Pope would have l no inner conflict with the practice of artificial insemination, which is soundly opposed by the Catholic Church. Despite some obvious problems here, this was still a fascinating and fantastic story that kept me entertained from beginning to end. 
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Enlightened me
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
A fun little adventure yarn. While there were no real surprises, it was fun to follow the characters on their treasure hunt. Lovers of Italian art and architecture will enjoy the descriptions of Italian art. A quick read.
Jessica_Elizabeth More than 1 year ago
I purchased this book on sale while stuck at an airport. A good friend of mine highly recommended the author and assured me it would be an enjoyable read. I will admit it was a quick read and very easy to get through (no dictionary required). Unfortunately, it was quick due to no evident character development, the plot was basic at best, and it read like a first draft. Point 1 is self explanatory; the characters were the same people at the end as they were at the beginning of the book. No morals were learned and no greater truth discovered. Point 2, the plot ran a simple text book outline with each "act" running an equal amount of time, which became very predicable as the pages ran on, resulting in the falling action and rising action feeling the same and passing by mostly unnoticed. Without a build, the book as a whole fell flat. Point 3 is based entirely on my opinion of complexity. The concept of the book was thrown in and explained, almost entirely, at the start of the book. No shock, no surprise, and very little left to figure out which a rewrite could've easily fixed. As a whole, the experience was disappointing. I did, however, have a very lengthy and fulfilling debate on the book with the friend who suggested it to me.
Dunn1inc More than 1 year ago
I felt like I knew what was coming in each chapter. I was kind of disappointed that it all took place in one day. I was expecting the murder of the cardinals to be more dramatic although the one that was burned alive seemed the most interesting. The only time I was really excited about the read was the last 2-3 chapters. I didn't expect that at all. Now that I've read the book I'm gonna rent the movie.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Dan Brown can write intelligent, cohesive, snappy,faced-paced prose, but this book was too violent for me. I want to read a fiction book to relax. I don't need to hear detailed, graphic brutal torture and murder details, especially not of innocent priests. (I already read Amensty International reports and hear the non-fiction versions from Egypt to Pakistan) This book chronicles a series of murders of priests, each murder symbolically representing one of the 7 deadly sins , and each one is described thoroughly. I wonder if books could have PG/R/X ratings like movies? It would help me make a better choice for leisure reading. If you are going to read a Dan Brown novel, I think that "Da Vinci Code" was a more engaging novel because of it's complex plot - but remember that it is pure fiction w/o any historical credibility.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Garbage may be a compliment for this nonsense triller. A writter under pressure to produce??? Dan Brown should've stop at DaVinci for a break. This book was a royal mistake. I want my time credited, last book I'll read from this author.
Guest More than 1 year ago
i just could not get into the groove with this book. it dragged on and on and finally Rome was saved in the last moments but, then again, we all knew that it would be.
Anonymous 19 days ago
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Book_Dude 6 months ago
Awakened by a mysterious phone call claiming to know every detail of his work, Robert Langdon is contacted by a man by the name Maximilian Kohler. Upon dismissing the call as unimportant and hanging up he receives a disturbing fax from the same number Kohler had called from. The image and the meaning behind it convinces the Harvard symbologist to end his night's sleep to travel just under 4,000 miles to CERN, a research facility in Switzerland. Under the discretion and secrecy of Kohler, the head of CERN, Robert Langdon is brought to the crime scene and deathbed of Leonardo Vetra, the late scientist who was trying to combine the beliefs both science and religion. He had been seared across the chest with a the ambigram of, “Illuminati.” Kohler is convinced that is is truly the cult that is set upon destroying religion. However despite his skepticism, Langdon agrees to go with Kohler and Leonardo’s daughter, Vittoria, down to the lab where Vetra had been working. Upon divulging the revolutionary technology that they were working on Vittoria realizes that a canister capable of destroying everything within a quarter mile radius had been stolen. As they are leaving the lab Kohler receives a call from the Vatican City of Rome, claiming that they have something of CERN’s. Fearing that it might be the canister he sends Vittoria and Langdon to retrieve the explosive. However upon arriving they realize that is has been hidden and only has a few hours before detonating. Dan Brown creates an appaling and exciting sense of anticipation as Langdon and Vittoria race against the clock trying to save the city. This is a great read for anyone looking to discover a little insight as to the history of Illuminati. While the small amount of information is thrown in throughout, it is enough to make someone want find out more. There are plenty of details and captivating twists to keep your heart racing. As they examine ancient artifacts and adventure through the different churches located throughout the Vatican City. However it takes a little while before the book becomes interesting so it requires some patience. I feel as though Brown himself was pushing for the idea that Science and Religion play hand in hand with each other. As Leonardo said, “Science and Religion are not at odds. Science is simply too young to understand.” (397)
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
toniFMAMTC More than 1 year ago
This book has action and mystery, things that I love, but some for some reason it wasn’t great at holding my interest. I think I may have expected too much from the storyline. One thing that I loved was the father by use of science bit at the end. That was a shocker for me.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Very engrossing! Love the details.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I love most of Dan Brown books
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Will you go out with me? i like you you seem great and i love great peaple im going to be 15 soon i hope thats not wierd