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The Lost Symbol by Dan Brown

The Lost Symbol (original 2009; edition 2009)

by Dan Brown

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
16,505639187 (3.38)285
Title:The Lost Symbol
Authors:Dan Brown
Info:Bantam Press (2009), Edition: Stated First Edition, full number line, First Printing, Hardcover, 528 pages
Collections:Your library

Work details

The Lost Symbol by Dan Brown (2009)

Recently added byprivate library, fosterfam, BertOtte, whiskeymanuk, Ruthie15, joories123, larryz223
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» See also 285 mentions

English (585)  Dutch (14)  Spanish (12)  German (7)  French (6)  Portuguese (Portugal) (4)  Finnish (2)  Danish (2)  Portuguese (Brazil) (1)  Swedish (1)  Lithuanian (1)  Japanese (1)  Italian (1)  All languages (637)
Showing 1-5 of 585 (next | show all)
Langdon is at it again in another cryptic tale with the usual twists and turns. It does make for an interesting read though. ( )
  krgulick | Jun 19, 2019 |
Formulaic, but fun. ( )
  LisaBurns1066 | Jun 9, 2019 |
Robert Langdon remarks to himself at some point in his book that he doesn't appreciate being lectured to. Well buddy, that makes everybody.

I loved the thrill-rides that were the first two Langdon books and Brown's 'Deception Point' was a lot of fun, too, but this time the patronizing tone of Langdon spouting off all of these gee-whiz factoids and mysteries that most of us dumb Americans don't know about got old fast. One of the early reviews ('New York Times'?) labeled the pace as fast as ever, except where the characters began talking like encyclopedias. Exactly.

And, for the record, there was NEVER an eternal flame in the basement of the Capitol Building. The floor was open to allow viewing of the crypt. To be fair, that was one of only a few architectural points that he got wrong. But an interior eternal flame as big as a carriage in the mid-19th century? No one would ever be that stupid.

But those are trifles, Brown is a thorough researcher and is excellent at constructing puzzles and connections with what he finds. I'm unconvinced that people would really care about seeing their leaders in the middle of the the silly rituals of Masonic initiations, public knowledge for decades and decades, what mattered was the behind the scenes facilities and history that the books bring to light. How many people went to D.C. and ignored the Rotunda ceiling, the National Cathedral or the Library of Congress? Not anymore.

I wavered between 2 or 3 stars (yeah, yeah, they're arbitrary, whatever), but I decided on 3 because even though the dialogue and italics and lack of thinking on the part of some characters (why would Sato not double-check the 9-11 response before sending Langdon, Soloman and a single agent to the site?) was frustrating, it was the situations that lack of thinking and breathless italicized action got the characters into that was fun. It's like a slasher movie, it's better when the victim runs up the stairs instead of out the door. I didn't want to put the book down, that's for sure.

So I enjoyed the book, it passed a couple evenings and gave me something to think about. I was hoping there would be a necessary dash to some Smithsonian warehouse to gain a clue from 'The Discovery of America' by Luigi Persico or Greenough's 'The Rescue' since their removal is one of the biggest arts-related changes to the Capitol Building since the 1850s. But, other than referring to the statue of Freedom above the Capitol being placed there by slaves, Brown probably didn't want to dwell on the realities of white America's subjugation of others. Sorry, white guilt moment. Do check out those statues sometime though, craaaazy.

The big secret, when revealed, didn't have the impact of 'The Da Vinci Code', duh. Also,

THERE IS NO SECRET. It's 'The Bible'...

So much for all of that running around in the dark and decoding shenanigans.

The rest of the ending was schmaltzy (one character certainly bounced back pretty fast after his captivity), especially considering the fact that if (when) a new Langdon novel comes out they're won't be more than a backwards mention to Katherine Soloman's fate. He'll have a new pretty and brilliant sidekick specialist in an obscure discipline (she'll also be a relative of a previously unmentioned close friend and mentor who's at the heart of the current mystery) to help him along by then.


Next: 'Inferno'

Previous: 'The Da Vinci Code' ( )
  ManWithAnAgenda | Feb 18, 2019 |
I really enjoyed the first of the Robert Langdon books Demons and Angels, and thought it was excellent, and The Da Vinci Code was pretty good, but this book struck me as boring and repetitive. It was too focused on Langdon's 'attractiveness'and his ignorance of it, explaining why hi is now on romance number three in as many books, and the overdone stretch that was the plot. I finished it and thought, 'Well, 2/3, not bad' and ended the series with an overall opinion that it was good, but imagine my surprise when I realized that there was, in fact, going to be another book. The series should have ended with The Da Vinci Code, I will not be continuing the series. ( )
  AngelaRenea | Jan 12, 2019 |
The main mystery is sadly obvious even before the very first actual clue is dropped, but the story is otherwise well-paced and exciting, and there are some more minor twists that might surprise. The main philosophical content and themes of the plot are interesting enough, but (in my opinion) not sufficiently so to sustain the amount of reiteration it gets, through constant monologues (both internal and explicit) that continue to discuss the same notions over and over throughout the narrative. I also took some minor issue (though admittedly, all three were consistently lionised) with the core three characters' apparent lack of trauma or even ill humour in the last few chapters, that felt like it cheapened the horrors they had been through until then. ( )
  LokiAesir | Nov 12, 2018 |
Showing 1-5 of 585 (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 (99 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Brown, Danprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Andersson, Leo(Övers.)secondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Boldrini, AlexandreTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Conde, ClaudiaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Defert, DominiqueTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Drolsbach, MarionTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Feberwee, EricaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Janssens, PieterTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Ligterink, YolandeTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Michael, PaulNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Nimpoeno, Ingrid DwijaniTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Pereira, Carlos,Translatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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To live in the world without becoming
aware of the meaning of the world is
like wandering about in a great library
without touching the books.

The Secret Teachings
of All Ages
For Blythe
First words
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.
The only wrinkle was the bloody black-clad heap in the foyer with a screwdriver protruding from his neck.
It was no coincidence that Christians were taught that Jesus was crucified at age thirty-three …
Thankfully, this particular crypt contained no bodies. … The entourage hurried through, without even a glance at the four-pointed marble compass in the center of the floor where the Eternal Flame had once burned.
His hips and abdomen were the archways of mystical power. Hanging beneath the archway [sic], his massive sex organ bore the tattooed symbols of his destiny. In another life, this heavy shaft of flesh had been his source of carnal pleasure. But no longer.
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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

More from Dan Brown

The Da Vinci Code Angels & Demons Deception Point Digital Fortress

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:12:32 -0400)

(see all 6 descriptions)

The Lost Symbol is Dan Brown's sequel to his internationally bestselling Robert Langdon thrillers, Angels & Demons and The Da Vinci Code. Set over a breathtaking 12 hour time span, the book's narrative takes the reader on an exhilarating journey through a masterful and unexpected landscape as Professor of Symbology, Robert Langdon, is once again called into action. Expertly researched and written with breakneck pace, The Lost Symbol once again demonstrates why Dan Brown is the world's bestselling thriller writer.

» see all 25 descriptions

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