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The Lost Symbol

The Lost Symbol

3.8 6780
by Dan Brown

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In this stunning follow-up to the global phenomenon The Da Vinci Code, Dan Brown demonstrates once again why he is the world’s most popular thriller writer. The Lost Symbol is a masterstroke of storytelling that finds famed symbologist Robert Langdon in a deadly race through a real-world labyrinth of codes, secrets, and unseen truths . . . all


In this stunning follow-up to the global phenomenon The Da Vinci Code, Dan Brown demonstrates once again why he is the world’s most popular thriller writer. The Lost Symbol is a masterstroke of storytelling that finds famed symbologist Robert Langdon in a deadly race through a real-world labyrinth of codes, secrets, and unseen truths . . . all under the watchful eye of Brown’s most terrifying villain to date. Set within the hidden chambers, tunnels, and temples of Washington, D.C., The Lost Symbol is an intelligent, lightning-paced story with surprises at every turn.  This is Dan Brown’s most exciting novel yet.

Editorial Reviews

Dan Brown's first novel since his mega-bestseller 2003 The DaVinci Code now arrives in mass-market paperback. The Lost Symbol propels Robert Langdon on a wild twelve-hour race through Washington D.C. on an urgent search for keys to the secrets of freemasonry, the Founding Fathers, and psychokinesis.

Janet Maslin
Within this book's hermetically sealed universe, characters' motivations don't really have to make sense; they just have to generate the nonstop momentum that makes The Lost Symbol impossible to put down…The Lost Symbol manages to take a twisting, turning route through many such aspects of the occult even as it heads for a final secret that is surprising for a strange reason: It's unsurprising. It also amounts to an affirmation of faith. In the end it is Mr. Brown's sweet optimism, even more than Langdon's sleuthing and explicating, that may amaze his readers most.
—The New York Times
Louis Bayard
Writers envious of Brown's sales (who wouldn't be?) have devoted much ink to his deficiencies as a stylist. These are still in place…So is Brown's habit of turning characters into docents. But so, too, is his knack for packing huge amounts of information…into an ever-accelerating narrative. Call it Brownian motion: a comet-tail ride of short paragraphs, short chapters, beautifully spaced reveals and, in the case of The Lost Symbol, a socko unveiling of the killer's true identity.
—The Washington Post
Publishers Weekly
Starred Review.

After scores of Da Vinci Code knockoffs, spinoffs, copies and caricatures, Brown has had the stroke of brilliance to set his breakneck new thriller not in some far-off exotic locale, but right here in our own backyard. Everyone off the bus, and welcome to a Washington, D.C., they never told you about on your school trip when you were a kid, a place steeped in Masonic history that, once revealed, points to a dark, ancient conspiracy that threatens not only America but the world itself. Returning hero Robert Langdon comes to Washington to give a lecture at the behest of his old mentor, Peter Solomon. When he arrives at the U.S. Capitol for his lecture, he finds, instead of an audience, Peter's severed hand mounted on a wooden base, fingers pointing skyward to the Rotunda ceiling fresco of George Washington dressed in white robes, ascending to heaven. Langdon teases out a plethora of clues from the tattooed hand that point toward a secret portal through which an intrepid seeker will find the wisdom known as the Ancient Mysteries, or the lost wisdom of the ages. A villain known as Mal'akh, a steroid-swollen, fantastically tattooed, muscle-bodied madman, wants to locate the wisdom so he can rule the world. Mal'akh has captured Peter and promises to kill him if Langdon doesn't agree to help find the portal. Joining Langdon in his search is Peter's younger sister, Kathleen, who has been conducting experiments in a secret museum. This is just the kickoff for a deadly chase that careens back and forth, across, above and below the nation's capital, darting from revelation to revelation, pausing only to explain some piece of wondrous, historical esoterica. Jealous thriller writerswill despair, doubters and nay-sayers will be proved wrong, and readers will rejoice: Dan Brown has done it again.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

From the Publisher
"Dan Brown brings sexy back to a genre that had been left for dead…His code and clue-filled book is dense with exotica…amazing imagery…and the nonstop momentum that makes The Lost Symbol impossible to put down.  SPLENDID…ANOTHER MIND-BLOWING ROBERT LANGDON STORY."—Janet Maslin, New York Times


"Call it Brownian motion: A COMET TAIL-RIDE of beautifully spaced reveals and a socko unveiling of the killer's true identity."—Washington Post

"The wait is over.  The Lost Symbol is here—and you don't have to be a Freemason to enjoy it….THRILLING AND ENTERTAINING, LIKE THE EXPERIENCE ON A ROLLER COASTER."—Los Angeles Times

"ROBERT LANGDON REMAINS A TERRIFIC HERO, a bookish intellectual who's cool in a crisis and quick on his feet…. The codes are intriguing, the settings present often-seen locales in a fresh light, and Brown keeps the pages turning."—Entertainment Weekly 

Product Details

Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group
Publication date:
Robert Langdon Series , #3
Sales rank:
Product dimensions:
4.20(w) x 7.50(h) x 1.80(d)

Read an Excerpt

PrologueHouse of the Temple8:33 P.M. The secret is how to die.

Since the beginning of time, the secret had always been how to die.

The thirty-four-year-old initiate gazed down at the human skull cradled in his palms. The skull was hollow, like a bowl, filled with bloodred wine.Drink it, he told himself. You have nothing to fear. As was tradition, he had begun this journey adorned in the ritualistic garb of a medieval heretic being led to the gallows, his loose-fitting shirt gaping open to reveal his pale chest, his left pant leg rolled up to the knee, and his right sleeve rolled up to the elbow. Around his neck hung a heavy rope noose—a "cable-tow" as the brethren called it. Tonight, however, like the brethren bearing witness, he was dressed as a master.The assembly of brothers encircling him all were adorned in their full regalia of lambskin aprons, sashes, and white gloves. Around their necks hung ceremonial jewels that glistened like ghostly eyes in the muted light. Many of these men held powerful stations in life, and yet the initiate knew their worldly ranks meant nothing within these walls. Here all men were equals, sworn brothers sharing a mystical bond.As he surveyed the daunting assembly, the initiate wondered who on the outside would ever believe that this collection of men would assemble in one place . . . much less this place. The room looked like a holy sanctuary from the ancient world.The truth, however, was stranger still.I am just blocks away from the White House.This colossal edifice, located at 1733 Sixteenth Street NW in Washington, D.C., was a replica of a pre-Christian temple—the temple of King Mausolus, the original mausoleum . . . a place to be taken after death. Outside the main entrance, two seventeen-ton sphinxes guarded the bronze doors. The interior was an ornate labyrinth of ritualistic chambers, halls, sealed vaults, libraries, and even a hollow wall that held the remains of two human bodies. The initiate had been told every room in this building held a secret, and yet he knew no room held deeper secrets than the gigantic chamber in which he was currently kneeling with a skull cradled in his palms.The Temple Room.This room was a perfect square. And cavernous. The ceiling soared an astonishing one hundred feet overhead, supported by monolithic columns of green granite. A tiered gallery of dark Russian walnut seats with hand-tooled pigskin encircled the room. A thirty-three-foot-tall throne dominated the western wall, with a concealed pipe organ opposite it. The walls were a kaleidoscope of ancient symbols . . . Egyptian, Hebraic, astronomical, alchemical, and others yet unknown.Tonight, the Temple Room was lit by a series of precisely arranged candles. Their dim glow was aided only by a pale shaft of moonlight that filtered down through the expansive oculus in the ceiling and illuminated the room's most startling feature—an enormous altar hewn from a solid block of polished Belgian black marble, situated dead center of the square chamber.The secret is how to die, the initiate reminded himself."It is time," a voice whispered.The initiate let his gaze climb the distinguished white-robed figure standing before him. The Supreme Worshipful Master. The man, in his late fifties, was an American icon, well loved, robust, and incalculably wealthy. His once-dark hair was turning silver, and his famous visage reflected a lifetime of power and a vigorous intellect."Take the oath," the Worshipful Master said, his voice soft like falling snow. "Complete your journey."The initiate's journey, like all such journeys, had begun at the first degree. On that night, in a ritual similar to this one, the Worshipful Master had blindfolded him with a velvet hoodwink and pressed a ceremonial dagger to his bare chest, demanding: "Do you seriously declare on your honor, uninfluenced by mercenary or any other unworthy motive, that you freely and voluntarily offer yourself as a candidate for the mysteries and privileges of this brotherhood?""I do," the initiate had lied."Then let this be a sting to your consciousness," the master had warned him, "as well as instant death should you ever betray the secrets to be imparted to you."At the time, the initiate had felt no fear. They will never know my true purpose here.Tonight, however, he sensed a foreboding solemnity in the Temple Room, and his mind began replaying all the dire warnings he had been given on his journey, threats of terrible consequences if he ever shared the ancient secrets he was about to learn: Throat cut from ear to ear . . . tongue torn out by its roots . . . bowels taken out and burned . . . scattered to the four winds of heaven . . . heart plucked out and given to the beasts of the field—"Brother," the gray-eyed master said, placing his left hand on the initiate's shoulder. "Take the final oath."Steeling himself for the last step of his journey, the initiate shifted his muscular frame and turned his attention back to the skull cradled in his palms. The crimson wine looked almost black in the dim candlelight. The chamber had fallen deathly silent, and he could feel all of the witnesses watching him, waiting for him to take his final oath and join their elite ranks.Tonight, he thought, something is taking place within these walls that has never before occurred in the history of this brotherhood. Not once, in centuries.He knew it would be the spark . . . and it would give him unfathomable power. Energized, he drew a breath and spoke aloud the same words that countless men had spoken before him in countries all over the world."May this wine I now drink become a deadly poison to me . . . should I ever knowingly or willfully violate my oath."His words echoed in the hollow space.Then all was quiet.Steadying his hands, the initiate raised the skull to his mouth and felt his lips touch the dry bone. He closed his eyes and tipped the skull toward his mouth, drinking the wine in long, deep swallows. When the last drop was gone, he lowered the skull.For an instant, he thought he felt his lungs growing tight, and his heart began to pound wildly. My God, they know! Then, as quickly as it came, the feeling passed.A pleasant warmth began to stream through his body. The initiate exhaled, smiling inwardly as he gazed up at the unsuspecting gray-eyed man who had foolishly admitted him into this brotherhood's most secretive ranks.Soon you will lose everything you hold most dear.

Chapter 1
The Otis elevator climbing the south pillar of the Eiffel Tower was overflowing with tourists. Inside the cramped lift, an austere businessman in a pressed suit gazed down at the boy beside him. "You look pale, son. You should have stayed on the ground.""I'm okay . . ." the boy answered, struggling to control his anxiety. "I'll get out on the next level." I can't breathe.The man leaned closer. "I thought by now you would have gotten over this." He brushed the child's cheek affectionately.The boy felt ashamed to disappoint his father, but he could barely hear through the ringing in his ears. I can't breathe. I've got to get out of this box!The elevator operator was saying something reassuring about the lift's articulated pistons and puddled-iron construction. Far beneath them, the streets of Paris stretched out in all directions.Almost there, the boy told himself, craning his neck and looking up at the unloading platform. Just hold on.As the lift angled steeply toward the upper viewing deck, the shaft began to narrow, its massive struts contracting into a tight, vertical tunnel."Dad, I don't think—"Suddenly a staccato crack echoed overhead. The carriage jerked, swaying awkwardly to one side. Frayed cables began whipping around the carriage, thrashing like snakes. The boy reached out for his father."Dad!"Their eyes locked for one terrifying second.Then the bottom dropped out.Robert Langdon jolted upright in his soft leather seat, startling out of the semiconscious daydream. He was sitting all alone in the enormous cabin of a Falcon 2000EX corporate jet as it bounced its way through turbulence. In the background, the dual Pratt & Whitney engines hummed evenly."Mr. Langdon?" The intercom crackled overhead. "We're on final approach."Langdon sat up straight and slid his lecture notes back into his leather daybag. He'd been halfway through reviewing Masonic symbology when his mind had drifted. The daydream about his late father, Langdon suspected, had been stirred by this morning's unexpected invitation from Langdon's longtime mentor, Peter Solomon.The other man I never want to disappoint.The fifty-eight-year-old philanthropist, historian, and scientist had taken Langdon under his wing nearly thirty years ago, in many ways filling the void left by Langdon's father's death. Despite the man's influential family dynasty and massive wealth, Langdon had found humility and warmth in Solomon's soft gray eyes.Outside the window the sun had set, but Langdon could still make out the slender silhouette of the world's largest obelisk, rising on the horizon like the spire of an ancient gnomon. The 555-foot marble-faced obelisk marked this nation's heart. All around the spire, the meticulous geometry of streets and monuments radiated outward.Even from the air, Washington, D.C., exuded an almost mystical power.Langdon loved this city, and as the jet touched down, he felt a rising excitement about what lay ahead. The jet taxied to a private terminal somewhere in the vast expanse of Dulles International Airport and came to a stop.Langdon gathered his things, thanked the pilots, and stepped out of the jet's luxurious interior onto the foldout staircase. The cold January air felt liberating.Breathe, Robert, he thought, appreciating the wide-open spaces.A blanket of white fog crept across the runway, and Langdon had the sensation he was stepping into a marsh as he descended onto the misty tarmac."Hello! Hello!" a singsong British voice shouted from across the tarmac. "Professor Langdon?"Langdon looked up to see a middle-aged woman with a badge and clipboard hurrying toward him, waving happily as he approached. Curly blond hair protruded from under a stylish knit wool hat."Welcome to Washington, sir!"Langdon smiled. "Thank you.""My name is Pam, from passenger services." The woman spoke with an exuberance that was almost unsettling. "If you'll come with me, sir, your car is waiting."Langdon followed her across the runway toward the Signature terminal, which was surrounded by glistening private jets. A taxi stand for the rich and famous."I hate to embarrass you, Professor," the woman said, sounding sheepish, "but you are the Robert Langdon who writes books about symbols and religion, aren't you?"Langdon hesitated and then nodded."I thought so!" she said, beaming. "My book group read your book about the sacred feminine and the church! What a delicious scandal that one caused! You do enjoy putting the fox in the henhouse!"Langdon smiled. "Scandal wasn't really my intention."

The woman seemed to sense Langdon was not in the mood to discuss his work. "I'm sorry. Listen to me rattling on. I know you probably get tired of being recognized . . . but it's your own fault." She playfully motioned to his clothing. "Your uniform gave you away."

My uniform?
Langdon glanced down at his attire. He was wearing his usual charcoal turtleneck, Harris Tweed jacket, khakis, and collegiate cordovan loafers . . . his standard attire for the classroom, lecture circuit, author photos, and social events.

The woman laughed. "Those turtlenecks you wear are so dated. You'd look much sharper in a tie!"

No chance,
Langdon thought. Little nooses.

Neckties had been required six days a week when Langdon attended Phillips Exeter Academy, and despite the headmaster's romantic claims that the origin of the cravat went back to the silk fascalia worn by Roman orators to warm their vocal cords, Langdon knew that, etymologically, cravat actually derived from a ruthless band of "Croat" mercenaries who donned knotted neckerchiefs before they stormed into battle. To this day, this ancient battle garb was donned by modern office warriors hoping to intimidate their enemies in daily boardroom battles.

"Thanks for the advice," Langdon said with a chuckle. "I'll consider a tie in the future."

Mercifully, a professional-looking man in a dark suit got out of a sleek Lincoln Town Car parked near the terminal and held up his finger. "Mr. Langdon? I'm Charles with Beltway Limousine." He opened the passenger door. "Good evening, sir. Welcome to Washington."

Langdon tipped Pam for her hospitality and then climbed into the plush interior of the Town Car. The driver showed him the temperature controls, the bottled water, and the basket of hot muffins. Seconds later, Langdon was speeding away on a private access road. So this is how the other half lives.

As the driver gunned the car up Windsock Drive, he consulted his passenger manifest and placed a quick call. "This is Beltway Limousine," the driver said with professional efficiency. "I was asked to confirm once my passenger had landed." He paused. "Yes, sir. Your guest, Mr. Langdon, has arrived, and I will deliver him to the Capitol Building by seven P.M. You're welcome, sir." He hung up.

Langdon had to smile. No stone left unturned. Peter Solomon's attention to detail was one of his most potent assets, allowing him to manage his substantial power with apparent ease. A few billion dollars in the bank doesn't hurt either.

Langdon settled into the plush leather seat and closed his eyes as the noise of the airport faded behind him. The U.S. Capitol was a half hour away, and he appreciated the time alone to gather his thoughts. Everything had happened so quickly today that Langdon only now had begun to think in earnest about the incredible evening that lay ahead.

Arriving under a veil of secrecy,
Langdon thought, amused by the prospect.

Ten miles from the Capitol Building, a lone figure was eagerly preparing for Robert Langdon's arrival.

Meet the Author

Dan Brown is the author of The Da Vinci Code, one of the most widely read novels of all time, as well as the international bestsellers Angels & Demons, Deception Point, and Digital Fortress.  He lives in New England with his wife.

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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The Lost Symbol 3.8 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 6780 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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.
Oscar_Aguilar More than 1 year ago
Yep, I just finished reading it and Mr. Brown's newest book, THE LOST SYMBOL, is a very worthy addition to your library. In "The Lost Symbol," symbolist Robert Langdon is on a mission to find a Masonic pyramid containing a code that unlocks an ancient secret to "unfathomable power." It's a story of hidden history in the nation's capitol, with Masons the greatest puzzle of all. Dan Brown uses the proven formula that brought him so much success in The Da Vinci Code. Robert Langdon, Harvard professor of symbology, once again sets his wits against a mysterious and murderous foe, solving puzzles of history, art and the occult, in the company of a beautiful female companion. They race against time to find a mysterious object and rescue a kidnapped friend. Along the way we hear all about arcane subjects as diverse as Freemasonry, symbology, noetics, and the architecture of Washington DC. The pace of this novel is breathlessly fast, except for those moments when his characters turn into human textbooks, spouting background information. Although I found some of them fascinating, the reader can easily skim these sections without sacrificing much understanding of the plot. If his previous novels are any guide, this information may not be too reliable anyway! Mal'akh, Langdon's evil foe is brilliant, formidable, and bizarre. He has all the frightening characteristics you could hope for in a villain. He makes a worthy opponent to Langdon and Katherine, in a true battle of wits. The book features small, easily readable chapters and is a classic Brown-style page-turner. Six years of research and an amazing passion for writing is apparent from the first page to the last. If you're a big Brown fan like me, you'll appreciate that I'm not going to divulge any spoilers to would-be readers. Check it out for yourself...you will not be disappointed. Another outstanding book I finished this week that I strongly recommend is EMOTIONAL INTELLIGENCE 2.0 - So interesting...it rocked my world!
BookMarkML More than 1 year ago
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.
Lori_Miller More than 1 year ago
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
beezybow More than 1 year ago
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.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Dear B & N: I am writing a request along with thousands of others on your website. PLEASE, DO NOT allow people to post reviews that they know nothing about if the book has not come out yet. It's insulting for the eagerly awaiting fans for "The Lost Symbol" to pace your website only to find these pointless know-it-alls who write theses ABSURD reviews. CC
LyndseyLS More than 1 year ago
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.
SDGLEN More than 1 year ago
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.
Nemisis More than 1 year ago
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.
Elle_Wilvee More than 1 year ago
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.
Ryan_G More than 1 year ago
The last thing I read before I put the book down was the critic blurbs on the back cover. After reading all of them, including this one from the Library Journal "This masterpiece should be mandatory reading. Brown solidifies his reputation as one of the most skilled thriller writers on the planet.", I was left with one rather large question. Did they just read the same book? Now I'm not saying I didn't like the book, because I did. I found it to be a fast paced, heart pounding romp through our nations' capitol. It's a fun, entertaining read that I'm sure millions are devouring within one or two sittings like I did. That's it though, the book isn't life changing or so brilliantly written that everyone should be required to read it in school rooms. What I like the most about the book is Robert Langdon, who since The Da Vinci Code, reminds me of a sexless Indiana Jones. A middle aged action hero for the masses, one that appeals to both men and women. He is a fantastic character and I applaud Dan Brown for dreaming him up. he is a welcome addition to the action/thriller genre and I'm glad I've been able to get to know him over three books. I do have one slight problem with the book and one problem that was a little more serious for me. The first was how much googling I had to do to understand every little fact and nuance in the book. I'm used to that with Dan Brown books, I had to do the same thing with The Da Vinci Code and Angels & Demons. Between searches for all the symbols, buildings, and religious references along with all the reading I did on Noetic Science I spent almost as much time online as I did reading the book. I shouldn't blame Dan Brown for this though, I'm like this anytime I read a book that mentions something I'm not already familiar with. The larger issue for me was how easy and predictable the identity of the villain is. The dust jacket makes Mal'akh sound like the most dangerous foe ever encountered in a thriller, I found him to be a tedious and egotistical brat who's motives really aren't ever explained. Figuring out who he really is, wasn't that hard to do. Figuring out why he takes the horrific actions he does is a little bit harder to pinpoint. The explanations in the book just don't make sense to me. A lot of us have had serious issues with our parents, but I don't know any that go to this length for a sense of revenge that really doesn't make sense. If there is a flaw in the book, it is here. The other normal issues exist as well; a plot that depends on a lot of coincidences and conjecture, a cast of characters that could be put into any other thriller and feel right at home, and the occasional dialogue that sounds like it's coming out of a encyclopedia or dictionary. With all that being said, I would still recommend this to anyone who wants a thrilling romp full of action and intrigue.
Rubie More than 1 year ago
Great book! hooks ya! has some great twists that I was not expecting. its a real page turner... I love Dan Brown's writing style and the trill of his books. If you liked Da Vinci code and Angels and Demons you will like this one too.
Sweetdeath More than 1 year ago
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.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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!
rljones9 More than 1 year ago
Same story, different characters. Half way through the book you'll pretty much have guessed the ending.
InternationalGrandma More than 1 year ago
Pretty much the same plot as his other books set in Europe. Some interesting facts about WA DC and the Masonic Order, but terribly preachy and hughly repititious at the end.
RicoNC More than 1 year ago
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.
DeDeFlowers More than 1 year ago
I have always enjoyed a good Dan Brown book when I need light reading. I was pretty excited for this one. I read it in a couple days and was seriously disappointed. The first three fourths of the book is really fun... basically the same as every other Dan Brown, but that can be fun. The last fourth was horrible. The ending is bad and the 'secret' is sooo lame. It wrecked almost the whole novel for me. Hopefully next time he will do better.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I agree, why are we reading reviews by people that haven't read the book? I also agree, HELLO...IT IS FICTION! B&N should consider only allowing those that have actually purchased the book to review it. (not to say that they would have read it...but it is a start). I really do get annoyed with these foolish reivews by people with their opinions on a book that they have not read. ...I typically wait to read and review...but this time I had to agree with the other reviewer and make it known that B&N needs to address this problem with reviewers..it affects the star rating.
David55 More than 1 year ago
I don't understand the need for ratings at this time. As soon as the book is published and available to read...let the ratings begin. Having read and enjoyed all the other Dan Brown books, I can make the assumption that there will be mostly 5-star ratings for The Lost Symbol after is read. I agree with the comment by Anita88, a trailer or jacket narrative is generally the deciding factor for me as to whether the book makes it to the checkout or not.
ZhaZha More than 1 year ago
It took me entirely too long to read this book. 500 pages was tough, I lost my patience half way through. But the last 200 pages, were SO worth it. The book intimidated me, as it supposedly had a large effect on my marriage. However, the theories it presents, the science it discusses only reinforces Christianity, supports the truth within the Bible, and so much more. There is no way I can pay enough credit to the passages I have underlined in the book. But I'm super excited to discuss with the book club!
Voraciousreader56 More than 1 year ago
The best parts of The Lost Symbol were the interesting factoids about Washington D.C. and the Masons. The plot had some page-turning twists. But the ending got bogged down in too much theory and I couldn't wait for it to end.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I enjoyed the book taking place in Washington DC. Because I travel there a lot it was fun knowing where everything takes place. His books are becoming formula now so that is a bit of a draw back but having said that i did enjoy it. Would recommnd it to anyone that enjoys his books.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Contrived. Predictable at times. An utter dissapointment. Nowhere near to his previous works such as Angels and Demons, Digital Fortress or his claim to fame The DaVinci Code. Excellent beginning but falls apart midway. Is not a seamless narrative(like his previous books)and at times you can sense Mr. Brown's struggle to tie up all lose ends. He stutters along the way with some of the clues and the predictable outcome. The conclusion of the book seemed like an afterthought, unplanned, produced almost to justify the book's existence and seems forced and out of touch with reality.