The Lost Symbol, by Dan Brown

The Lost Symbol by Dan Brown: Book CoverFinished 3-31-11, rating 4/5, thriller, 639 pages, pub. 2009

“Traditionally, ma’am, it was used as an invitation.”

“An invitation…to what?” she demanded.

Langdon looked down at the symbols on his friend’s severed hand.  “For centuries, the Hand of the Mysteries served as a mystical summons.  Basically, it’s an invitation to receive secret knowledge-protected wisdom known only to an elite few.”

Sato folded her thin arms and stared up at him with jet-black eyes. “Well, Professor, for someone who claims to have no clue why he’s here…you’re doing quite well so far.”

Chapter 17

Robert Langdon, famous symbologist of the DaVinci Code and Angels & Demons, is back. Langdon has been invited by an old friend, current head of the Smithsonian Institute, to give a lecture in Washington DC that very day.  Short on time, but with an old lecture ready to go he boards a private plane and is off.  Only when he arrives at the Capitol for his lecture he is not greeted by a welcoming crowd, but a hand.  The dismembered hand of his friend was left  there to convince Langdon to help a madman in exchange for his friend’s life.  So, begins another stressful all-nighter in the Langdon saga.

I appreciated that this one utilized Washington DC and its rich history.  I love that city and had fun imagining Langdon racing around on familiar territory.  This book was a manual for the Freemasons, their beliefs and influence on the fathers of the country.  It was also a nice introduction to the Noetic Sciences, which I knew nothing about, but found very interesting.  This was another controversial look at history from Dan Brown and one that may have you looking at the 2012 prophecy about the end of the world in a new light.

Having read the first two Langdon books and liked them both, I confess that this was not as good.  There was drama and a badass bad guy, but the situations Langdon found himself in never felt dire.  The CIA kept saying finding the bad guy was a matter of national security, but it took way too long to find out why.  The bad guy himself painted quite a mental picture since he was covered in tatoos from head to toe and I actually liked that part of the story.  Once again, Langdon was all about solving clues and racing against the clock to find the next piece of the puzzle and that was fun.  But maybe it was because I didn’t find the Freemason conspiracy story as interesting as Dan Brown did.  He included a lot of detail and not all of it really moved the story forward.

I think if you enjoyed the first two that you will also enjoy this one, but for me it is the weakest of the three.  And the ending, while not bad, wasn’t really satisfying.  I’m assuming Tom Hanks will be back on the big screen as Langdon and I look forward to it, if only because I want to see DC in all of her glory.

25 thoughts on “The Lost Symbol, by Dan Brown

  1. BermudaOnion says:

    I liked Angels and Demons better than The Da Vinci Code – maybe because of all the hype surrounding the latter? My sister like this one, but I haven’t felt compelled to read it.

  2. Heather says:

    I liked Da Vinci Code the best…it was the first one I read of the series. I liked them all but you’re right this was the weakest of the three. I get a kick out of his books, though, since they’re all so fantastical! Great review!

  3. Misha says:

    I have just read 2 of Dan Brown’s books. I did not get the hype around Da Vinci Code but I enjoyed Angels and Demons. I guess I won’t be reading The Lost Symbol.

  4. StephanieD says:

    Are they making a movie of this one? I hope so since I did enjoy the other ones. I still have yet to read The Lost Symbol though. Gotta borrow it back from my mom.

  5. Bumbles says:

    Haven’t read this one – I think I am Langdoned out. I don’t like Hanks in the visual role either. But I do love DC. Angels & Demons was better than DaVinci Code in my opinion but I enjoyed both very much. My favorite though was Digital Fortress – quite different and outside of this series.

    • stacybuckeye says:

      Tom Hanks wouldn’t have been my first choice either, although that’s who I picture now. It took me two years to getto this one, but it was worth the read.

  6. Carol says:

    I have this one sitting on my shelf. I’m not expecting it to be as good as the others, but I’m sure I’ll still enjoy it when I get around to it.

  7. jennygirl says:

    I would like to read this but I;m not rushing out to get it. Angels and Demons was definitely much better, although I liked Da Vinci too. Great review Stacy 🙂

  8. Natalie says:

    I’m a lover of both books and I just watched Angels & Demons, didn’t really like the movie.
    I have The Lost Symbol sitting on my shelf needing to be read!! I really need to read it asap.
    Natalie :0)

  9. caspette says:

    I must admit Dan Brown failed to grab me which surprises even me as usually I love this sort of stuff.

    Glad you liked it though. I wonder how long it will take for the movie to come out?

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