Tuesday, October 6, 2009

The Lost Symbol

Yes, I was one of the millions to read this book within the month it came out. I borrowed it from my mom and read it in less than a week. (If I had a little more energy, I could've read it much faster.) I'm feeling a bullet list coming on, but first I can say I enjoyed the book. It wasn't fabulous, but it was typical Dan Brown: action packed, twists and turns, short timeline (this one took place in less than 12 hours), and cheesy but fun.

+ When I first had the book, I skimmed through the super short chapters (his effective technique to keep you reading) and read some of last lines in different chapters. Most of the chapters end in cliffhanging lines like, "But she was no longer on her feet. She was airborne," or "And then he started screaming and pounding on the walls once again," and so on. I was laughing because it so reminds me of every David Caruso line before the opening theme of CSI Miami. So dramatic, with the gruff voice, the putting on of the sunglasses, and the scream into The Who's "Won't Get Fooled Again." Effective, yet so cheesy.

+ I enjoy Robert Langdon as a character. Even though he's been around for three books (and now Hollywood movies), I do still find it refreshing that a geeky professor can be the hero. Sure, it makes for a little less thrilling of a film, but in a book it works. You can also totally tell Brown bases parts of Langdon on himself. Langdon gets crap for his turtlenecks and elbow-patched blazers. Funny, do does Brown.

+ The premise was interesting. I liked that the book took place in D.C. We were there a couple years ago, so the landmarks and the architectural elements (for example the painting on the ceiling of the Capitol building) were very familiar to me. It was also interesting to learn about the Freemasons, on who the book's central mystery surrounds.

+ The symbolism references can also be interesting, but sometimes too intense. I found myself skimming over some of the long-winded explanations for different things. While it's cool to learn that our founding fathers had a very specific plan in mind when designing D.C., I don't need to read on about it for five pages. Get back to the action.

+ The ending was just OK. The mystery and the revelation at the end was nowhere near as fascinating or intriguing as The Da Vinci Code. Sure, Brown messes with religion (and science) once again, and I could see some people balking at his musings, but the end result was anti-climatic. I half-read the last 40 pages while watching the Vikings game, and I don't feel I missed much.

End thoughts: Not worth $25, but if you liked his previous novels, this one falls right in line with those. Borrow it or get it from the library.

1 comment:

Charley said...

I am a fan of the super-short chapter. They are indeed effective.