Home Photography Writing About

21.4.10

Review: The Lost Symbol by Dan Brown

When a book really releases some reactions from me I just have to spew about it. The Lost Symbol really frustrated me; it's the first book I've ever taken notes about during reading. I won't give away anything in case you want to try it out for yourself.


I remember loving The Da Vinci Code and even more Angels and Demons. But now I think I might need to revisit them to determine if I really liked them or not. The first thirty chapters of The Lost Symbol had me cringing and whining. It felt like one big lecture on symbolism. Like I hadn't jumped into an adventure with Robert Langdon I had just jumped into his classroom. Then, as they went through the mystery, it felt like when I was a child and played make-believe. You know when you play that there's a mystery and you just found the biggest clue of all, it's a dust bunny under the couch, and it has so much meaning and is the answer to the puzzle. It just felt too coincidental that these things kept happening. (Which is why I want to revisit the other two books.) Every novel is its own planet and has its own rules. Even if it is set in our normal world, there are differences. This book fell outside its own rules a few times and that irks me because it tosses me right out of the story.

On the positive side, the villain is amazing. His final act of 'telling the world' is a very convincing threat. But did I have to go through so much muck to get to that great ending? There is a multitude of crazy but logical revelations at the end that make it all come together. I mean, he is a thriller writer after all and they have to explain the insane story at some point.

This novel seems to be a classic case of tell versus show for me. Robert Langdon spends way too much time explaining the symbols and not enough time being chased. I didn't like it. The end was not worth the beginning.

5 comments:

KarenG said...

I dipped into Dan Brown this year just to see what all the hype was about. I enjoyed Angels and Demons, but didn't love it. It was just alright. The DaVinci Code I didn't finish. Everything you're saying here about The Lost Symbol was why. I didn't figure I'd read on, now I know I won't!

T. Anne said...

What a great review! I've read so many novels lately that feel like tell verses show, I should read this one just to see how it's done right. I haven't read this yet, but now I'll probably pick it up. Yeah, I know, I'm the last one...

Elana Johnson said...

Ooh, I just borrowed this book from my father-in-law. Thanks for the heads-up. I think I'll read it and see if I agree with you.

Anonymous said...

Hey, you are quite good at critiquing!!!! Your analogies are very creative. And, I'm not just saying this because I am your mom.

Wee Sparrow Jewels said...

I also loved The DaVinci Code, but I think that's because I read it first. Everything else I've read of Brown's since then has paled in comparison (and has seemed to follow the EXACT formula of The DaVinci Code).

Will probably attempt to read this one (I've tried multiple times), but at least I know I'm not missing out on anything if I never pick it up again! :-)