by Dan Brown


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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780385514231
Publisher: Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group
Publication date: 10/03/2017
Series: Robert Langdon Series , #5
Pages: 480
Sales rank: 5,776
Product dimensions: 6.10(w) x 9.40(h) x 1.80(d)

About the Author

DAN BROWN is the author of numerous #1 international bestsellers, including The Da Vinci Code, Inferno, The Lost Symbol, Angels & Demons, Deception Point, and Digital Fortress.


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

Read an Excerpt


Excerpted from "Origin"
by .
Copyright © 2018 Dan Brown.
Excerpted by permission of Penguin Random House Audio Publishing Group.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.



1.      Art history has been crucial to many of your novels, with famous paintings playing key roles. Which Modern Art paintings or artists should readers study to prepare for your new novel?

I’d prefer to preserve the mystery by withholding the names of any specific paintings, but I will tell you that Langdon is a great admirer of Modernists Gaugin and Picasso. In this novel, as he moved into the world of Contemporary Art, Langdon must come down from his ivory tower, set aside his classical predilections, and navigate a landscape of avant-garde works that challenge his very definition of art.

2.      You once gave the writing advice: “Create something and throw it out before anyone can see it. Repeat the process until you create something you can’t bear to throw out.” Is throwing out drafts part of your writing process? Have you ever thrown out a whole novel?

I’ve heard that some writers “get it right the first time,” but I am definitely not one of them. For every page printed in my novels, I have invariably written at least ten that are discarded. When I speak to aspiring writers, I try to share with them my belief that the single most important skill they can learn as a writer is that of separation – that is, being able to read their own work as an “outsider” and ruthlessly delete anything that does not serve their story. I have never thrown out an entire novel, but I once had a computer crash that deleted the first one-third of Angels & Demons back in 1998. That was a very hard day for me. Ironically, when I finally gathered myself and went back to rewrite the novel, the story evolved into something better. And yes, I now back up on multiple machines.

3.      Your books are dense with information about history, art, and conspiracy theories, not to mention always set in culturally rich cities. Can you describe your research process and how research fits into your book-writing process?

For me, research always begins with reading – gathering ideas from history books, newspaper articles, websites, and beyond. Once I’ve read enough to choose a topic for a novel, the next wave of research is done in person – interviewing historians, visiting possible locations, and gathering the details that I’ll need to write the book. The research process is great fun but also very time-consuming, and I always end up with far more information than I could ever use in a novel. For that reason, researching and writing an informative yet compact thriller always feels a bit to me like making maple sugar candy: First you have to tap hundreds of trees, and then you must boil down the sap until you’ve distilled a bite-sized nugget that encapsulates its essence.

4.      For readers (particularly young readers) interested in the fascinating aspects of art history, conspiracy theories, and secret history that fill your novels, where would you suggest they go to learn more?

My original interest in secret history sparked while growing up in New England, surrounded by the clandestine clubs of Ivy League universities, the Masonic lodges of our Founding Fathers, and the hidden hallways of early government power. New England has a long tradition of private clubs, fraternities, and secrecy. For young readers interested in learning more about secret history, I recommend they begin with Manly P. Hall’s “The Secret Teachings of All Ages” – a beautifully illustrated book packed with codes, mysteries, and lost history.

5.      What were your favorite books growing up?

I was a huge fan of Madeleine L’Engle. Her A Wrinkle In Time remains one of my all-time favorite books. I also loved the Hardy Boys mysteries along with the stories of E.B. White, Roald Dahl, and Mark Twain.

6.      Your books are filled with puzzles and codes for readers to solve. What is your favorite real-life puzzle or code that you haven’t managed to crack yet?

I’ve always been captivated by the Voynich Manuscript – the mysterious, 15th century, encrypted codex that still baffles cryptologists, linguists, and historians. The illustrated manuscript was just re-published in a spectacular new edition, actually, and I’ve spent a lot of time studying the text, images, and diagrams. Sadly, I’ve come no closer to deciphering the document’s meaning and purpose. I really hope someone can crack it in my lifetime.

7.      Your books have been described as riveting thrillers that are difficult to put down. Do you set out to write page-turners?

Yes, I work hard to construct fast-paced stories with lots of suspense. For me, the goal is always to create a plot with just the right blend of surprising facts, exotic locales, cliff-hanging intrigue. When I hear that a reader can’t put down my book, I know I’ve done my job.

8.      History is clearly something that you are passionate about. What is it about understanding global history and stories that you find so compelling?

For me, the single most compelling aspect of history is that history is not always as accurate as we might believe. Throughout the ages, our trusted tales of “what happened” have always come from the same source – the winners. In other words, when cultures clash, the surviving people decide how their story will be told. For this reason, I am passionate about examining hidden histories and secret documents in an effort to unearth alternate viewpoints, lost facts, and new ways to interpret the stories we’ve all believed since childhood.

9.      Did you always want to be a writer?

I’ve always loved writing. When I was five years old, my mom helped me write and publish my first book. I dictated, she transcribed, and we did a print run of one copy with a cardboard cover and a two-hole punch binding. The book was titled: “The Giraffe, The Pig, and the Pants On Fire!” I still have it today.

10.  Back in the 1990s, before you were a household name, you would write to individual readers personally. The author-reader relationship has obviously evolved since then. Do you miss those days?

I do miss the days of interacting personally with readers. I think it’s because I spent so many years as a teacher and loved that face-to-face process. Writing is a solitary journey, and so I am always excited to go out on book tour and meet readers one-on-one. I learn so much by listening to the questions they ask.

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Untitled #3 4.2 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 383 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
A frightening look at what could be where we are going. However, the one thing I personally love about Professor Langdon is somewhat missing in this episode. Where are the symbols and clues that overwhelmed in previous books? I loved learning about the museums, castles and architecture of Barcelona, but missed the clues and symbology. Overall a good read, just...lacking the aha moments.....
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Good display of researching computers and his views of religion. Sadly lacking in plot twists and the main character using his talents to figure things out. Very plodding at times. Not the level expected of Dan Brown.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
The plot line was great. I ended up skimming the excruciating detail on modern architecture and art to get to the story. I even considered quitting a couple of times. It wasn't necessary and delayed the story.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Once again Robert Langdon and a beautiful woman save the world. Where have I read this before? Oh yes, Ian Fleming and James Bond.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
A demanding read while at the same time creative and entertaining . I was so relieved to fine the underling question, the third question if I might be so bold. I will expect Spain to be the benefactor of increased tourism. I enjoyed exploring many of the buildings and spaces via research while reading this novel. It enriched the story, adding to the intrigue. Well done Dan Brown, another best seller.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Wonderfully paced, with characters that surprise. Several times I thought the book ended, only to be rewarded with yet more chapters. Thought provoking doesn’t begin to describe!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Not as good as previous Langdon books A bit less flowing More obtuse
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
45% spanish art history. 45% science class. 10% plot.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
More of an art appreciation book than anything else. Foreseeable ending.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book was extremely predictable boring badly written, lacking in usefulness like this comment
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Mystery, history, philosophy, religion, travelogues, well written, suspense, future, technology. A lot of nonfiction disguised as fiction. Read this book before you go to Barcelona. It will make you more observant.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This is by far Brown's worst work. Barely any plot, boring characters, an ending that is painfully obvious after the first couple chapters, and over half the pages are descriptive filler. Brown should personally refund everyone who bought this awful book. If only he could refund the time wasted reading it.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Another Dan Brown book with Robert Langdon and a beautiful woman facing the spector of religion. That said, I found the historical base of the novel worth further research. The union of science and religion has always fascinated me as I view science as the manifestation of a Divine Source .
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Not as riveting as his,other books
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I forced myself to finish this book. It was overly wordy. I expected much more from Dan Brown.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
So disappointed in this latest Dan Brown book. His first books were such great reads but his last few books were must less so. I found myself skipping paragraphs just to be done with chapters and the ending and "the reveals" were so incredibly PC it was almost laughable. I really can't recommend this - not at $14.99.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I have enjoyed Mr. Brown's previous books, and looked forward to this one for the last few months. Was excited to see over 500 pages, and I was ready to dig into the story, but after 150 pages or so it felt like it was stuck in neutral. It was taking what seemed like forever to build to this big announcement, but that was still hundreds of pages away. I didn't feel that same "can't put it down" that I have with his other books, but I gave him the benefit of the doubt because of his past successes. Finally got to the climax only to find (spoiler alert) something can start from nothing if given enough time and computers are taking over the world. Watch a few episodes of Star Trek and one would already know this. I hoped for some plot twist toward the end, but other than a love angle between a king and priest ( hardly original), there was nothing. Not what I hoped for
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Save your money and find a better read. Brown fails to consider greed driving technology.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Unlikeable characters; bombastic, repetive ad nauseum writing; contived, flat ending.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
The characters and adventure are all there, but the central premise on which the story is built is so thin that it left me feeling disappointed.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Not up to par with previous Dan Brown novels.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Dumb plot, editing is limited! Finished it because I had hopes of a genius turn around . Very disappointed
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I am an absolute fan of this author and this book is probably my favorite thus far. It keeps you guessing until the end. Great read!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I was looking forward to this book but after reading 200 pages it is slow moving prompting me to snooze big time.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Very disappointed. Boring and not like his other book.