What happens when you take a genre-defining author’s new book and a loyal fan who adored his last book and can’t wait to read the new one?
Unfortunately, in my case, it spelled disappointment with a capital D.
I don’t think I’m committing any intellectual harikari by stating that I thoroughly enjoyed The Da Vinci Code. The book was a page turner & I was hooked from the start to the finish. And yes, the underlying philosophy resonated with me as well. So of course I was looking forward to devouring the new Dan Brown book, The Lost Symbol. Unfortunately, my reaction to the new book was markedly different from The Da Vinci Code.
The book begins with Robert Langdon getting an urgent summons from a dear friend of his. Turns out, the summon was not by his friend. The book plunges into a story peppered with symbology, mysticism, deciphering ancient puzzles while racing against time, a villain with a penchant for strange rituals (in this case gruesome as well) — all the elements familiar to The Da Vinci Code’s readers. However, the “alchemical” mixture just doesn’t have the potency of The Da Vinci Code.
The writing is shoddy & lacks flow. At times I had the distinct feeling that I was being forced to listen to Dan Brown lecture on a subject he’s interested in rather than being immersed in a well-crafted story. Now I normally don’t mind if an author is using the story to espouse his views – even if the espousing itself is not a well interwoven part of the plot; however, in this case the sheer “lecturishness” of those parts resulted in utter boredom setting in.
In all fairness, I have to admit that my not liking the book may have partly been a function of who I’ve become. The person who read The Da Vinci Code & the person who read The Lost Symbol are two hugely different people. Maybe, that is also responsible for my reaction to The Lost Symbol. However, having said that I do have to state that The Lost Symbol is just not a page turner. It just does not have the “unputdownable” quality of The Da Vinci Code.
Overall, a waste of time.
Better luck next time, Mr. Brown!