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The Lost Symbol (Robert Langdon) [Hardcover]

Dan Brown
3.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1,222 customer reviews)

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Book Description

15 Sep 2009 Robert Langdon (Book 3)

Washington DC: Harvard symbologist Robert Langdon is summoned at the last minute to deliver an evening lecture in the Capitol Building. Within moments of his arrival, however, a disturbing object – gruesomely encoded with five symbols – is discovered at the epicentre of the Rotunda. It is, he recognises, an ancient invitation, meant to beckon its recipient towards a long-lost world of hidden esoteric wisdom.

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

Langdon finds himself quickly swept behind the facade of America’s most historic city into the unseen chambers, temples and tunnels which exist there. All that was familiar is transformed into a shadowy, clandestine world of an artfully concealed past in which Masonic secrets and never-before-seen revelations seem to be leading him to a single impossible and inconceivable truth.

A brilliantly composed tapestry of veiled histories, arcane icons and enigmatic codes, The Lost Symbol is an intelligent, lightning-paced thriller that offers surprises at every turn. For, as Robert Langdon will discover, there is nothing more extraordinary or shocking than the secret which hides in plain sight…

Product details

  • Hardcover: 508 pages
  • Publisher: Bantam Press; 1st Edition 1st Printing edition (15 Sep 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 059305427X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0593054277
  • Product Dimensions: 24 x 4 x 16 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1,222 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 44,861 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Dan Brown is the bestselling author of Digital Fortress, Deception Point, Angels and Demons, The Da Vinci Code and The Lost Symbol. He is a graduate of Amherst College and Phillips Exeter Academy, where he has taught English and creative writing. He lives in New England. Visit his UK website at

Product Description

Amazon Review

Vehicles move through the murky night, carrying highly secret material. And that clandestine material will only be available--after midnight--to those who have signed non-disclosure notices. The plot of the new Dan Brown novel? No, it’s actually how reviewers such as myself obtained our copies of the much-anticipated The Lost Symbol, the follow-up to the Da Vinci Code. And as we read it in (literally) the cold light of dawn, we wonder: is it likely to match the earlier book’s all-conquering, phenomenal success?

Firstly, it should be noted that The Lost Symbol has incorporated all the elements that so transfixed readers in The Da Vinci Code: a complex, mystifying plot (with the reader set quite as many challenges as the protagonist); breathless, helter-skelter pace (James Patterson's patented technique of keeping readers hooked by ending chapters with a tantalisingly unresolved situation is very much part of Dan Brown’s armoury). And, of course, the winning central character, resourceful symbologist Robert Langdon, is back, risking his life to crack a dangerous mystery involving the Freemasons (replacing the controversial trappings of the Catholic Church and homicidal monks of the last book). And while Dan Brown will never win any prizes for literary elegance, his prose is always succinctly at the service of delivering a thoroughly involving thriller narrative in vividly evoked locales (here, Washington DC, colourfully conjured).

Robert Langdon flies to Washington after an urgent invitation to speak in the Capitol building. The invitation appears to have come from a friend with copper-bottomed Masonic connections, Peter Solomon. But Langdon has been tricked: Solomon has, in fact, been kidnapped, and (echoing the grisly opening of the last book) a macabre mutilation plunges Langdon into a tortuous quest. His friend’s severed hand lies in the Capitol building, positioned to point to a George Washington portrait that shows the father of his country as a pagan deity. The ruthless criminal nemesis here is another terrifying figure in Brown’s gallery of grotesques: Mal’akh, a powerfully built eunuch with a body festooned with tattoos. Mal’akh is seeking a Masonic pyramid that possesses a formidable supernatural power, and a pulse-pounding hunt is afoot, with Langdon stalled rather than aided by the CIA.

Caveats are pointless here; Dan Brown, comfortably the world’s most successful author, is utterly review-proof. And there's no arguing with the fact that he has his finger on the pulse of the modern thriller reader, furnishing the mechanics of the blockbuster adventure with energy and invention. Like its predecessor, The Lost Symbol will unquestionably be--in fact, already is--a publishing phenomenon. --Barry Forshaw


"The wait is over. The Lost Symbol is here--and you don't have to be a Freemason to enjoy it...THRILLING AND ENTERTAINING, LIKE THE EXPERIENCE ON A ROLLER COASTER" (Los Angeles Times)

"Dan Brown brings sexy back to a genre that had been left for dead...His code and clue-filled book is dense with exotica...amazing imagery...and the nonstop momentum that makes The Lost Symbol impossible to put down. SPLENDID...ANOTHER MIND-BLOWING ROBERT LANGDON STORY" (Janet Maslin New York Times)

"With best-seller status never in doubt, Brown has written another page-turner...A gripping read" (BBC News)

"So compelling that several times I came close to a cardiac arrest...The Lost Symbol is as perfectly constructed as the Washington architecture it escorts us around." (Sunday Express)

"Unputdownable...Gripping...Jaw-dropping...The blockbuster read of the year" (News of the World)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A pretty mind blowing read! 18 Aug 2010
Follows the same thriller formula as his other books which Hitchock devised 50 years ago - a 24 hours chase with the protagonist (with girl) pursued by both the cops and the baddies while they follow a trail of clues in an attempt to solve all the puzzles before an imminent deadline that threatens with catastophy. There is also the obligatory completely mad bad guy leaving a trail of dead bodies.

The formula aspect doesn't make it bad, it's just worn itself out a bit. While the Da Vinci Code created a sensation, we can hardly expect to achieve the same sensation by repeating the formula for a third time. On the good side, the book does make us question certain assumptions we might have about Masonry and the origins of Washington D.C, and inspires thought about the true nature of spirituality. If you understand what the secret is, then reading Dans book will put a smile on your face. If you don't, then the ending will be anti-climatic, as many reviews have pointed out. That's because any search for a "Holy Grail" is going end up as an anti-climax - a point which Douglas Adams made in "Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy" with the number 42 being the answer to everything. The answer is not something which can grasped conceptually, but is more a kind of enlightenment. At the end of the book, the author showed Langdon struggling to understand this, perhaps as a symbol of the position we all now find ourselves in - on the verge of being enlightened...

I don't believe Brown is right in saying that the secret was deliberately hidden -- that the Bible uses code words to cloak the real meaning. I see the bible more as struggling to convey the meaning, but lacking the language and concepts to do so, and thus appearing metaphoric.
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23 of 26 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars a bit of a drag 25 Feb 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
back when I worked in a bar I had one customer who loved to hear his own voice. Out of politeness I would stand or sit and listen to him drone on about things he knew of. He'd go on for hours on end. Sometimes he'd come up with a gem of a saying or some vital bit of gossip, but aside from that it was painful having to listen to him.

Reading this book felt just like that, painful!

OK so there's the usual character building and he lets you get to know a character before then killing them. Death is usually by some immensely powerful homo-erotic character.

The book hooked me then dropped me then hooked me and dropped me again and so it went on. I've been hooked all the way through by previous books of his and was hoping to be so again with this one but it weren't to be.

I enjoyed Da Vinci Code, Digital Fortress, Deception Point. I absolutely loved Angels and Demons. Maybe once you've read one symbolist mystery, you've read them all?

I had high hopes but feel let down.
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44 of 52 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Dire 27 Oct 2009
By Carol Haynes TOP 500 REVIEWER
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
Dan Brown isn't a literary genius but I loved Angels and Demons and da Vinci Code (having both paperback and hardback illustrated versions) but the Lost Symbol is just plain dire. The previous books are rollicking yarns that have pace, tension, humour and a bit of controversy thrown in for fun.

In the Lost symbol the charcaters are unintelligent and annoying. It is not possible to care about them as they wandering aimless about without much rhyme or reason to avoid yet another weirdo (this time instead of being albino he is covered in tatoos but other than that...). Noetic 'science' (aka noetic tosh), too many pages filled up to make the book longer and an ending I just wanted to finish to say 'there done it, now I never have to see it again'.

The first two Dan Brown books weren't brilliant but at least they had some situations and ideas that made you occasionally think and more often laugh at the absurdity but at least they were entertaining. The Lost Symbol is just plain uninteresting, the story (for what it is worth) could have been written in about 50 pages (the rest of the book is pure padding). Ultimately it is too self referencing and tries too hard to spin some sort of ancient historical interest that the USA simply doesn't have.

It won't get read again for anything and I wouldn't insult anyone by trying to sell this second hand - it just deserves the paper recycling bin.
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116 of 138 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Rather Predictible 24 Jan 2010
I can understand why this book has received varied reviews - anything from "it's an unputdownable classic" to "what a load of tosh."

I fall somewhere in the middle. I enjoyed it but towards the end it dragged and the unravelling of the lost symbol was hugely disappointing as all Dan Brown books seem to be. It's almost is if the author is pulling back from producing something ground shattering because 1/he runs out of ideas and 2/ is afraid to take the book out of its believable past. Brown wants us to believe in his symbolism, but he stretches the point.

Firstly let's take the positive points:

1/ It is a good read. The early chapters rattle past
2/ Much of what occurs is intriguing. On more than one occasion I stopped reading to look up information and claims on the internet
3/ There is plenty of action

Now to the negatives which sadly outweigh the positives.

1/ The characters have become wooden. I no longer care what happens to Robert Langdon and when it looked as if he had been drowned I was quietly pleased.
2/ Much of the action is contrived and ridiculous
3/ The "baddie" is a typical Brown character that we have seen so many times in his previous books
4/ Brown seems to have run out of ideas - just forcing into us numeorus codes
5/ He has an annoying ability to end every chapter as a cliffhanger with pompous phrases leading us to believe that a stunning revelation is about to be uncovered.
6/ The stunning revelations never come leading to a feeling of so what.
7/ The action is, as with all of his books, very difficult to visualise.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars exciting
very enjoyable read, as are all the Robert Langdon Books.
I always find it very difficult to put them down.
Published 2 days ago by lady golfer
4.0 out of 5 stars Another great page turner
Absolutely loved this -Dan Brown has the power to keep you wondering on every page. The attention to detail is amazing but required to make it so interesting yet entertaining at... Read more
Published 2 days ago by ANDREA ROSE
5.0 out of 5 stars Another great DB book
Just fantastic. Couldn't put it down. So many twists and turns. I have read several and this is amongst the best.
Published 4 days ago by David C. Oldroyd
5.0 out of 5 stars Absolutely brilliant!
What an eye opener unto unknown myths, legends and fables that are visible for all but noticed by so very few.
Published 6 days ago by Kindle Customer
1.0 out of 5 stars Save your money.
Dan Brown's books make good movies I'll say that but there's something truly embarrassing about men in power prancing about in bed sheets acting out ancient rituals. Read more
Published 7 days ago by Tony
5.0 out of 5 stars cracking read yet again
another fantastic title from dan brown. robert langdon at it again, riveting read from start to finish.if you like dan brown you will love this book.
Published 8 days ago by paul
5.0 out of 5 stars Brillent book
Had this book for years and never got round to reading it. Best book I have read in a long time
Published 9 days ago by dawn
3.0 out of 5 stars Good read
I enjoyed this book but towards the end it dragged and the unravelling of the lost symbol was hugely disappointing as all Dan Brown books seem to be. Read more
Published 9 days ago by E. Orr
5.0 out of 5 stars thriller
the book is a real dan brown thriller and I love it.I've read the other books from robert langdon and thing that this is a good continuation.
Published 14 days ago by Jeanine Waskow
3.0 out of 5 stars The lost symbol by dan brown
I found this novel easy to read but quite predictable I fond myself being totally engrossed at times and then bored and turning over the pages two or three at a time to get back... Read more
Published 16 days ago by country style
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