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The Lost Symbol (Robert Langdon, No. 3) by…

The Lost Symbol (Robert Langdon, No. 3) (original 2009; edition 2009)

by Dan Brown

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12,558553191 (3.35)256
Title:The Lost Symbol (Robert Langdon, No. 3)
Authors:Dan Brown
Collections:Your library
Tags:Fiction, Series, GW, HB, Used, Read, Review Pending, 2Mom, 2Joyce, Donated

Work details

The Lost Symbol by Dan Brown (2009)

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Showing 1-5 of 506 (next | show all)
The story is as you would expect. Robert Langdon running around a city pulling very obscure bits of history and symbols together in order to solve some puzzle. In this case, a madman is at the center of the villainry and has taken hold of one of Langdon's mentors. Naming himself Mal'akh, he is responsible for murdering the Solomon's mother, kidnapping Peter Soloman, killing Zachary Solomon (Peter's son). He wants what the Masons hold most dear: the Lost Word that will reveal the Ancient Mysteries. Taking place throughout one night in Washington DC, Langdon and Katherine Solomon, Peter's sister, fight their way to rescue Peter from Mal'akh by decoding a multiple of symbols and codes centered around an ancient Masonic pyramid.

When I read this when it first came out, I remember feeling the same way as I do now: it is a great story mixed with a little bit of fact and a lot of specualtion, but that is what makes it such a good novel. Rereading this now, in the Illustrated Edition, a lot of the sights are pictorially displayed. And given most all of the events occur at night, many of the illustrations are photographs on DC buildings at night...blue night sky with a brilliant illuminated white building. Also the pics are of various techniques: small aperture to make street lights twinkle, using a star filter on the capitol to throw 4 point stars on every point light source etc etc. Many of the photos are very nice to look at and added well to the pages of text. I dont think this illustrated version is quite as good as the other previous Langdon adventures, [b:Angels & Demons|4227|Angels & Demons (Robert Langdon, #1)|Dan Brown|http://d202m5krfqbpi5.cloudfront.net/books/1348290486s/4227.jpg|3338963] and [b:The Da Vinci Code|178864|The Da Vinci Code (Robert Langdon, #2)|Dan Brown|http://d202m5krfqbpi5.cloudfront.net/books/1320426047s/178864.jpg|2982101], mainly because the architecture and subject matter were so different. There were many pics of the Capitol Building in this one, but in the others there were various architecture and statuary pics. Although, there was only time when I came across something in the text and was expecting a pic but was disappointed: Kryptos in the heart of CIA headquarters. But a quick Google search yielded that secret.

All in all, the illustrated edition definitely was a better read than the normal book, but given its oversized binding (7"x10") and heavy gloss paper, the book is a little more unqieldy than its trade hardcover counterpart. ( )
  T4NK | Sep 30, 2014 |
Very corny. The first two were much better. ( )
  Gonzalo8046 | Sep 29, 2014 |
Once again our hero, Harvard professor and symbologist Robert Langdon, finds himself in a bit of a jam. Lured to Washington D.C. for a speaking gig, he finds himself trapped in a carefully laid plan set by a wily criminal named Mal’akh. This ruthless murderer has kidnapped and tortured Robert’s friend Peter Solomon, and will stop at nothing to reach his goal. Read the rest of the review on my blog: http://shouldireaditornot.wordpress.com/2013/10/11/the-lost-symbol-dan-brown/ ( )
  ShouldIReadIt | Sep 26, 2014 |

Never change a winning team, that's probably what Dan Brown is thinking with this series. I know that series often tend to get a bit predictable after a number of books, but this is just the third instalment! (After this one, I never bothered with Inferno)

There is one mayor change though, instead of running through Europe like a headless chicken, things are now set in America. This means of course that plot theories can no longer date back to (pre)-Medieval or Renaissance times. What a reviving change(!).

I guess that if you don't have a problem with obvious formula writing, this isn't so bad. ( )
  Floratina | Sep 25, 2014 |
First Impressions:

What a 500 page adventure this was too. Yes, the story is a bit formulaic as it runs about the same as The Da Vinci Code and Angels & Demons: Robert Langdon is called over to some place, goes through some adventure that coincidentally is helped by his extreme knowledge of symbology and occult knowledge; he meets a beautiful but unobtainable woman; and finally we resolve the issues at hand.

I really enjoyed the concept of "Noetic Science" as Brown calls it -- the attempt to marry science and religion as, per the novel, they're attempting the same thing -- the ultimate attainment of Man as god -- "do you not know that ye are gods?"

Peter Solomon, Mason master, brings to the 33rd level a guy plays a pivotal role in Peter's life. In fact, he already had!

As in past Brown novels, the bad guy is truly a nut -- but a nut with an interesting psychosis that actually could achieve his ends. Mal'akh is his name; he had money, power and women of his choice, but relinquished his fortune for the taste of ultimate power. A power that only Robert Langdon could afford him.


Brown ratchets up the action with Peter's scientific sister Katherine, who has a lab that contains the Noetic science stuff. Not really explained is why the vault it is in needs to be in total darkness. And the constant flashbacks which turn into basically lecture notes on Masonic legends was a bit annoying.

The whole CIA angle was well-played, though the unlikeable CIA operative Sato was a bit much. The cigarette-smoking, tough gal who clearly had a problem with making her thoughts known and just like a grouchy parent: "Do as you're told!" No wonder she garnered little cooperation from our crew (at first).

Be that as it may, I really enjoyed the ending of Mal'akh, the discovery of his true identity, the near-death experience of our main character and the final discovery of The Lost Symbol.

Final Comments:

Despite what other reviewers say, I liked the cinematic style of the book -- this could easily be made into a film. Tom Hanks, are you available?

Clearly this book will rekindle some interest in the stately buildings of our nation's Capitol area as well as getting readers to check out the Bible in a new and different vision.

Although the weakest of the Langdon trilogy (to me!), it yet was an enjoyable read.

Other Dan Brown Books:

The Da Vinci Code
Angels & Demons (Robert Langdon) (Hardcover)
( )
  jmourgos | Sep 12, 2014 |
Showing 1-5 of 506 (next | show all)
In the end, as with “The Da Vinci Code,” there’s no payoff. Brown should stop worrying about unfinished pyramids and worry about unfinished novels. At least Spielberg and Lucas gave us an Ark and swirling, dissolving humans. We don’t get any ancient wisdom that “will profoundly change the world as you know it” — just a lot of New Agey piffle about how we are the gods we’ve been waiting for. (And a father-son struggle for global domination, as though we didn’t get enough of that with the Bushes.)
There are moments of excitement in this skilfully edited, deeply implausible thriller. At times the suspense is prolonged rather than sustained, but the 500 pages turn steadily and the overall effect is entertaining and certainly family-friendly. The Lost Symbol is violent but remarkably chaste and devoid of profanity.
added by Shortride | editThe Age, Simon Caterson (Sep 19, 2009)
If you hate Dan Brown, you're going to hate this book.

It seems Brown has decided to irk his critics by repeating every flaw he's been accused of. ...

No, it's not Foucault's Pendulum. It doesn't even come close. However, if you liked Dan Brown's previous books you're likely to enjoy this one. There is some interesting trivia about the history of Washington, DC which is in fact true, which is an added bonus.
added by camillahoel | editRead And Find Out, Tom (Sep 17, 2009)
It’s true, his style is as baldly prosaic as legend, but there remains a heft to his potboilers that is hard to imitate. He is better at conveying claustrophobia and breathlessness than, say, the explosion of a top-secret lab (“fragments of titanium mesh . . . droplets of melted silicon” etc) but the latter will make a juicier scene come the inevitable Tom Hanks movie, and the author knows this.
added by Shortride | editThe Times, Andrew Collins (Sep 16, 2009)
As a thriller, "The Lost Symbol" is exciting, although readers of "The Da Vinci Code" will notice that some of the same stock characters and creaky plot devices pop up... As District of Columbia resident, I must say that Mr. Brown does a first-rate job of delivering a Cook's tour with duly sinister overtones of Washington's famous sites... It's when Mr. Brown interrupts his storytelling to deliver one of his many lectures on Christian ­intolerance—with pointed digs at the American ­religious right—that "The Lost Symbol" becomes a ­didactic bore.

» Add other authors (53 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Brown, Danprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Boldrini, AlexandreTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Conde, ClaudiaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Defert, DominiqueTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Drolsbach, MarionTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Michael, PaulNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Pereira, Carlos,Translatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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To live in the world without becoming
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The secret is how to die.
Neckties had been required six days a week when Langdon attended Phillips Exeter Academy, and despite the headmaster's romantic claims that the origin of the cravat went back to the silk fascalia worn by Roman orators to warm their vocal cords, Langdon knew that, etymologically, cravat actually derived from a ruthless band of "Croat" mercenaries who donned knotted neckerchiefs before they stormed into battle. To this day, this ancient battle garb was donned by modern office warriors hoping to intimidate their enemies in daily boardroom battles.
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Book description
The Lost Symbol is a masterstroke of storytelling—a deadly race through a real-world labyrinth of codes, secrets, and unseen truths all under the watchful eye of Brown's most terrifying villain to date. Set within the hidden chambers, tunnels, and temples of Washington, D.C., The Lost Symbol accelerates through a startling landscape toward an unthinkable finale.

The Capitol Building, Washington DC: Harvard symbologist Robert Langdon believes he is here to give a lecture. He is wrong. Within minutes of his arrival, a shocking object is discovered. It is a gruesome invitation into an ancient world of hidden wisdom.

When Langdon’s mentor, Peter Solomon – prominent mason and philanthropist – is kidnapped, Langdon realizes that his only hope of saving his friend’s life is to accept this mysterious summons.

It is to take him on a breathless chase through Washington’s dark history. All that was familiar is changed into a shadowy, mythical world in which Masonic secrets and never-before-seen revelations seem to be leading him to a single impossible and inconceivable truth.
Haiku summary

Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0385504225, Hardcover)

Let's start with the question every Dan Brown fan wants answered: Is The Lost Symbol as good as The Da Vinci Code? Simply put, yes. Brown has mastered the art of blending nail-biting suspense with random arcana (from pop science to religion), and The Lost Symbol is an enthralling mix. And what a dazzling accomplishment that is, considering that rabid fans and skeptics alike are scrutinizing every word.

The Lost Symbol
begins with an ancient ritual, a shadowy enclave, and of course, a secret. Readers know they are in Dan Brown territory when, by the end of the first chapter, a secret within a secret is revealed. To tell too much would ruin the fun of reading this delicious thriller, so you will find no spoilers here. Suffice it to say that as with many series featuring a recurring character, there is a bit of a formula at work (one that fans will love). Again, brilliant Harvard professor Robert Langdon finds himself in a predicament that requires his vast knowledge of symbology and superior problem-solving skills to save the day. The setting, unlike other Robert Langdon novels, is stateside, and in Brown's hands Washington D.C. is as fascinating as Paris or Vatican City (note to the D.C. tourism board: get your "Lost Symbol" tour in order). And, as with other Dan Brown books, the pace is relentless, the revelations many, and there is an endless parade of intriguing factoids that will make you feel like you are spending the afternoon with Robert Langdon and the guys from Mythbusters.

Nothing is as it seems in a Robert Langdon novel, and The Lost Symbol itself is no exception--a page-turner to be sure, but Brown also challenges his fans to open their minds to new information. Skeptical? Imagine how many other thrillers would spawn millions of Google searches for noetic science, superstring theory, and Apotheosis of Washington. The Lost Symbol is brain candy of the best sort--just make sure to set aside time to enjoy your meal. --Daphne Durham

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