Origin. Finished 2-20-19, rating 3/5, fiction, pub. 2017
Unabridged audio read by Paul Michael. 18 hours.
Robert Langdon, Harvard professor of symbology and religious iconology, arrives at the ultramodern Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao to attend a major announcement—the unveiling of a discovery that “will change the face of science forever.” The evening’s host is Edmond Kirsch, a forty-year-old billionaire and futurist whose dazzling high-tech inventions and audacious predictions have made him a renowned global figure. Kirsch, who was one of Langdon’s first students at Harvard two decades earlier, is about to reveal an astonishing breakthrough . . . one that will answer two of the fundamental questions of human existence.
As the event begins, Langdon and several hundred guests find themselves captivated by an utterly original presentation, which Langdon realizes will be far more controversial than he ever imagined. But the meticulously orchestrated evening suddenly erupts into chaos, and Kirsch’s precious discovery teeters on the brink of being lost forever. Reeling and facing an imminent threat, Langdon is forced into a desperate bid to escape Bilbao. With him is Ambra Vidal, the elegant museum director who worked with Kirsch to stage the provocative event. Together they flee to Barcelona on a perilous quest to locate a cryptic password that will unlock Kirsch’s secret. from Goodreads
I love Robert Langdon and I usually enjoy his grand adventures, but not so much with this one. Maybe it’s because when I read the first four I read so fast that I missed the so-so writing that is impossible to skip when listening. When you are on a road trip with your husband and he says halfway through that he doesn’t think he can listen to the repetitive writing anymore that is a bad sign. We did eventually finish separately, but both of us were just meh on the ending. The great shocking discovery Robert and Ambra were racing to release to the world was not so shocking and really wasn’t going to end religion forever, which is what was continually mentioned throughout the 18 hours.
Okay, what about the story you ask? Well, Robert is in Spain because an old student, Kirsch, is about to make his discovery known to the world, but disaster ensues and Robert and Ambra are on the run with the help of Kirsch’s assistant Winston. There are visits to churches and places that I was not familiar with and clues to be solved all while the world watched the chase live. As for the story itself, Winston was a bright spot. Was he good, was he not? By far he was the most interesting thing about the story for me and he wasn’t even human.
So, I will continue with Robert because I love him so, but I will stick to the print version so I can skim past the multitude of parts that need editing. As I look back over my reviews of past books I see that this is not the first time that I’ve mentioned the need for an editor. Hm.