36. The Lost Symbol

by Dan Brown

You can tell by reading this blog that I don’t read a lot of “popular fiction”.  I have to tell this to my customers all the time. I am not the person to ask about the latest James Patterson or Danielle Steele. I used to read that type of stuff when I was younger and there didn’t seem to be much else available, but now the literary world has opened up so much more. There are just so many more diverse stories being told today.  And don’t even get me started on whether James Patterson is even writing his own books…

Why am I reading Dan Brown books then, you ask?  There are a few reasons.  I read them for the information, not the craft of the story.  As a huge conspiracy theorist, who went through a serious New World Order phase, I am fascinated by the subject matter that he tackles.  The Illuminati.  The Freemasons.  Secrets being held in the Vatican (y’all know they got books of the Bible in there that they don’t want us to see!).  I’m all over that stuff.  Then he publishes The Lost Symbol and places it in DC, my hometown?  That place is full of symbolism.  I said I was done with Brown after The Da Vinci Code, but felt obligated to read this one, too.

Robert Langdon returns, as do all of the formulas that Brown relies on:

  • Langdon is called to solve a crime that only he knows how to
  • A major secretive organization is behind it – The Freemasons
  • A crazy fanatic believes to closely in the symbolism of the secretive organization and takes it too far
  • A hot, smart woman will help Langdon along the way, but their relationship will never be consummated
  • A let down ending involving an elementary plot twist that I will guess halfway through the book

While I loved the subject matter, Brown is not skilled enough to deftly combine all the factual information with the fiction story that unfolds.  I wished I would have waited for the movie, which I’m sure will be awesome.  But in the meantime, I think that I’m going to read Occult America  and The Secret Architecture of our Nation’s Capital.

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