Thursday, December 10, 2009
The Lost Symbol, by Dan Brown
I actually read this just before our recent move. I needed something to relax me after another day of kids bouncing off the walls without some of their favorite possessions. I didn't have a t.v. anymore and I didn't want to check out a library book and possibly have it packed into a box by accident. So I went to the local boxmart and hemmed and hawed. I usually like to try before I buy, however I remembered enjoying The Da Vinci Code, and with the recurring character Prof. Langdon making another appearance in The Lost Symbol, I figured I wasn't going to regret the money I laid down. And I didn't.
Mr. Brown's frenetic pace and constant scene switching make their presence immediately felt as the reader follows Robert Langdon through the depths of the U.S. Capitol building and other locales in Washington D.C.. Again, there is a desperate life-or-death race against time in which Prof. Langdom must solve arcane hints in order to satisfy a madman who has abducted a dear friend. I won't give the ending or much of the plot away, but THIS time I actually managed to predict WHERE 'the end' would take place a few chapters before the final cover.
As I have mentioned in other reviews, I hate frequent flashbacking. One or two is fine if you need to reveal something about a character's past, but constant back and forth interrupts the flow of the story. Dan Brown ALMOST did it too much for my taste in this book, but at least when he did, there was usually a crucial concept or detail to reveal.
Once again, the book reads more like a screenplay than a novel. It guarantees a page-turner the first time around. Unfortunately, this book, like The Da Vinci Code and Angels and Demons, is like a magic trick once you've learned how it's done; a second time around just isn't as exciting.
I would advise parents to give this book a look-see before handing it over to their teens. There are some nasty murders/deaths in the story and parents probably ought to monitor the amount of graphic violence their kids are exposed too.
Still, it was, as my father says, "a good read".