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5.0 out of 5 stars Better than Da Vinci Code?
It might be, but barely. The Da Vinci Code also gets a well deserved 5 stars, too.
A breathless adventure, a tour of Rome, some Science, some Art, some Religion, all meticulously pitted against each other. The reader learns some lessons about all three, learns how these things are so integral to the story, but is never patronised.
The best thing about Brown's...
Published on 9 Jan. 2004 by d m may

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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Good...By Brown's Standards
Before there was the huge sales success that was “The Da Vinci Code”, there was “Angels and Demons”. Although “Angels & Demons” only came to prominence thanks to the attention and sales “The Da Vinci Code” generated, it had been written and published first. Strangely, I find it to be the best of the three (including his...
Published 4 months ago by Mr. Iain R. Wear


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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Good...By Brown's Standards, 21 Feb. 2015
By 
Before there was the huge sales success that was “The Da Vinci Code”, there was “Angels and Demons”. Although “Angels & Demons” only came to prominence thanks to the attention and sales “The Da Vinci Code” generated, it had been written and published first. Strangely, I find it to be the best of the three (including his latest, “The Lost Symbol”) Robert Langdon novels thus far, perhaps because it was written without the same weight of expectation hanging over it.

In Switzerland, a prominent scientist who is working on anti-matter is found murdered, with a strange symbol burned into his chest. His recent experiment, which is capable of blowing up an entire city if not taken care of, has been stolen and has been hidden somewhere in Vatican City. The symbol is noticed by Robert Langdon as being the calling card of a group known as the Illuminati, long thought to have died out.

The Illuminati are traditional enemies of the church and so the trail leads to Vatican City where four senior cardinals have vanished on the eve of conclave, which will select a new Pope. Robert Langdon must follow the clues left by former scientists and artists around Rome to try and stop the cardinals being murdered and to try and locate the anti-matter before it destroys the Vatican.

As with all of Dan Brown’s Robert Langdon books, the pace of things is kept very high. Here, with a cardinal due to be killed every hour, there are a number of clues that need to be followed before each deadline and this keeps the story moving very quickly. The main characters dash around the city of Rome following the clues, whilst others dash around Vatican City looking for the anti-matter bomb. Even the arguments held in conclave and among the Swiss Guard seem to move quite quickly. Frequent switches of perspective between the various locations and plots help keep the pace high.

One thing I found reading “The Da Vinci Code” was that some of the clues Langdon had to follow were insultingly easy. Whilst the same may be true here for those with a great knowledge of Rome and art history, without that the clues to be followed here seemed more difficult. With the potential threat to the cardinals putting a time frame on the solutions, this made “Angels and Demons” more exciting to me that either of the other Robert Langdon novels.

The one downside, as I’ve found with all of Brown’s novels, is the poor characterisation. Very few of the characters have a huge amount of depth and this does make it difficult to become too involved with them. Whilst the story makes the threat the cardinals are under seem real, the lack of involvement in them as people means it’s difficult to care too much and this takes the edge off. The original victim’s daughter Vittoria Vetra is along for the ride and, again as usual for Brown, she is never well developed and thus some of her actions are inexplicable, especially at the end, as they seem to have come from nowhere.

Despite this, I found Angels and Demons to be an entertaining read, if not a brilliant one. It certainly appealed to me more than the other books of his I’ve read, although there’s nothing here that makes me want to read it again. There are worse books you could find for next to nothing, but there are also far better. This is the kind of book that you can read on the beach and then happily leave there.

This review may also appear, in whole or in part, under my name at any or all of www.ciao.co.uk, www.thebookbag.co.uk, www.goodreads.com, www.amazon.co.uk and www.dooyoo.co.uk
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5.0 out of 5 stars Better than Da Vinci Code?, 9 Jan. 2004
By 
d m may (Swindon, Wiltshire United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Angels and Demons (Paperback)
It might be, but barely. The Da Vinci Code also gets a well deserved 5 stars, too.
A breathless adventure, a tour of Rome, some Science, some Art, some Religion, all meticulously pitted against each other. The reader learns some lessons about all three, learns how these things are so integral to the story, but is never patronised.
The best thing about Brown's books, especially the books with Robert Langdon, are that before you start the story he basically writes "this is true, that is true, all Art mentioned is fact, all technology mentioned exists, all the history is true, all I've done is made woven a story around FACT". Sure, Brown has his critics, maybe he is a bit of a drama queen at times, but prove to him, prove to the reader, that this story couldn't happen. You can't, and THAT's what makes it such a ride! Despite all the seemingly far-fetched goings on, there is always a niggle in the back of your mind saying "this is true, that is true (etc)...". Again, tell me why this story couldn't happen in real life?
Special mention goes out to what he does with the map of Rome. He makes a trail for Langdon to follow and the way he does it is genius, absolute genius. This trail is what makes the story for me; what he is describing (without revealing any of the story) are statues that Roman churches have, and how they relate to each other. It is quite incredible how he has managed to weave a 500 year old trail out of this but it is all believable because, like he says at the start, "everything described in this book is fact". The result of this trail is pure fiction - or is it? If you went to Rome today you could see the exact trail that Langdon took and follow it. You would see everything Brown describes, exactly as he describes it, it's unnerving. Magic!
The Da Vinci Code follows this book. I recommend it strongly, although would argue that Angels and Demons just pips it. Apparently Brown's third Langdon book is based in Washingon and is based on the Masons...Everybody get your dollar bills out.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Another rollicking romp from ol' Danny boy!!!, 11 Jun. 2012
By 
T. S. C. (Somewhere in NW England.) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Angels And Demons (Paperback)
I watched the movie of this first, and didn't really enjoy it that much. However, I've just read the book recently, and I think it's probably his finest story yet. Is it hokum? Well yes, pure hokum in fact, but good pure hokum! He manages to weave a wonderful story, with epic twists and turns, through all sorts of places, I mean come on, the Hadron collider AND the Vatican(!) and then on top of it a handsome American symbologist who just happens to get in on the story because he knows his stuff so well.

This is one of those books that once you pick up, you don't want to put down. It's populist literature at its finest, it's brain-food because it's so well written, and because I was reading it at the end of the night, I didn't want to stop reading it and then go to bed; it's that good!

I won't go over the plot, basically because it's so complicated; yes, there's a dodgy assassin, a handsome American professor, the glamorous Italian female scientist, popes, Swiss guards, official police types, loads of extras, Rome; you know, a typical Dan Brown novel!! I really rate Dan Brown as a writer and if he can be accused of being a populist writer, which he is, so can Charles Dickens and Conan Doyle and even Shakespeare. So, I really rate his books and I've read them all and enjoyed them all, but this one is for me the best because it has a fantastic twist in the tale... read it and find out!!!
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4.0 out of 5 stars ENJOYABLE......................., 28 Jun. 2009
By 
Saturnicus "Saturnicus" (Scotland) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Angels And Demons (Paperback)
This is the first book I have read of Dan Browns and I have to admit I found it entertaining.
The late Cardinal Hume wrote that science is not the enemy of the church. Wonder if DB knew this, because that is the book's plot.
It never ceases to amaze me how ubiquitous university lecturers such as Indiana Jones and Robert Langdon get into these fixes and come out squeakily unscathed at the other end.
On the negative side, it is far too long. 200 dry pages of physics before we get into the story for real. The idea of a scantily clad damselle physicist running around the Vatican made me cringe a bit. She must have been freezing in all those underground passages. And he did drag out the adventures of the Camarlengo, who was a wonderful character and who at one point moved me to sobs - the writing was so beautful. 100 pages before the end, I thought the book was finished, but no, he dragged it out a bit further.
In all fairness, Mr Brown does his research thoroughly, but then he changes it to suit himself. This of course necessitates endless debate and TV documentaries pointing out the true stories after the controversy Mr B. has created.
However, it is a good book and I am told the movie is brilliant - better than DVC.
At least in has convinced me that I must visit Rome some day. It will do wonders for tourism.
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1.0 out of 5 stars Utter, utter juvenile garbage, 11 Dec. 2004
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still searching (MK UK) - See all my reviews
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It would be quite reasonable to believe that reviewers who rave about this book and this author have never read anything of merit. Otherwise why on Earth would they laud this juvenile twaddle to the skies? Okay, a casual glance at the advertising blurb suggests an interesting story line - so one buys the book: only to be thoroughly disappointed! The hero, if you believe he justifies the accolade, is a bumbling, uncharismatic, uninteresting, sexless incompetent, who, inconveniently, manages to remain alive through a series of increasingly unbelievable escapades: this, despite the best efforts of a dastardly villain, and his minnions and then only through the efforts of the heroine who, for some perverse reason does her best to entice the twerp into bed. The book ends at that point so we never find out whether or not she awakens the following morning to realize the dire mistake she has made.

A few pages in and it soon dawns that what the author actually had in mind when he perpetrated this offence to rational thinking was a film contract. He even has the temerity to suggest that his 'hero' resembles Harrison Ford! "Harrison, don't do it! You don't need the money and, in any case, Rowan Atkinson in Mr Bean mode would suit the part pefectly!"
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3.0 out of 5 stars An air of questionality about this book, 9 Mar. 2005
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Cookies (London, United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Angels And Demons (Paperback)
Well, the plot is great, the general framework of the book is fantastic. The storyline and the way it develops through the book has no flaws. And thats how the book earns its three star rating. Where the stars stop coming is the literature Brown uses during the book and the way the ending is brought about. After all the breath taking pulse rating action through the middle of the book, the ending is lax and quite unbelievable.
(....I'm going to spoil the book for you now....) A priest having a son would never happen, plus the camelengo to the pope having access to St. Peters tomb, when it is sealed and open only by the request of the pope. And finally a man of the church would know that killing is wrong so the death of the popes by a priest himself is just stupid.
This book let me down after such an incredible build up, your mind is literally wondering whats next and why and who is the behind the plot against the vatican. And then when you find out and the several pages of random dialogue that follow the revelations.
Buy this book for the storyline and the excitement then put it down about fifteen pages from the end.
Da Vinci is no way near this book. Buy that instead. Or read this book BEFORE the Da Vinci Code
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10 of 12 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Angels and Demons - Dan Brown, 9 Feb. 2006
I think the success of Angels and Demons as well as The Da Vinci Code relies on the amount of actual facts that Dan Brown collected, before putting a story together. However, having a religious background, I was able to amuse myself at some of the fact-twists, which didn't convince me in the least. The amazing thing is how the writer has managed to cause so much controversy amongst the masses through his style of writing. I actually liked Angels and Demons better than The Da Vinci Code, but I couldn't quite pinpoint why. Sometimes, is just better to keep things totally fictional.
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37 of 45 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars An excellent read for fans of the Da Vinci code, 9 Jun. 2005
By 
dbean104 (Sheffield, England) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Angels And Demons (Paperback)
Most people reading this will have already read the authors more famous publication: the Da Vinci Code. From the moment you pick up this book the similarities are obvious, the same lead character, the same phone-call-in-the-night start etc. However, once you have read the first few chapters it is apparent that this book is completely different.
Anyone who was captivated by the puzzles and clues in the Da Vinci Code will be equally satisfied with Angels and Demons. Like the Da Vinci Code this is a particularly intellectual book and you will be educated while reading it, although this time not about the works of Da Vinci, but instead particle physics and Roman churches. Once again the level of research carried-out by the author in order for the book to contain as many facts as possible is astounding. My main criticism is that where the Da Vinci Code was believable in most places, the plot of this book becomes rather far-fetched, especially towards the end.
If you enjoyed the Da Vinci Code read this, if you have yet to encounter Dan Brown's books then this is also a good place to start.
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3.0 out of 5 stars Tedious and rather too long, 26 Oct. 2011
This review is from: Angels And Demons (Paperback)
Dan Brown writes a generous book. In Angels and Demons there are several plot elements being kept in the air at any one time, he could easily have spread these out over several works. You get excellent value for money from a Dan Brown book, just don't be taken in by them. They are only fictional, conspiracy theory stories and should not be believed as fact or taken seriously. Dan Brown has an easy writing style and you make fast progress when you read one of his books. At over 600 pages the paperback could look intimidating, but you'll soon be racing through the book as his style is very readable. The chapters are also very short, and I always find that this speeds up the reading process. Personally, I found that this book went on for too long, perhaps on this occasion Dan Brown should have split his various plots into 2 books. At half way through the book I was beginning to get a little fed up with it, and I thought that it needed a serious edit. These feelings intensified as I continued to read the book, and during the last 200 pages I really didn't care what the outcome of the book was, who won or lost, who lived or died, as long as it was over with, quickly.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Angels and Demons, 16 Feb. 2015
By 
P. A. Ward "patsywoo" (U.K) - See all my reviews
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I found this book really interesting and the factual stuff is brilliant. I learnt a lot about the Vatican City through reading this book.
It really does keep you guessing and you want to keep reading.
I would have given it five stars but i didn't enjoy the description of the murders and i kept picturing the scenes even after i'd put down the book. Too graphic for me.
Overall though i enjoyed the book.
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Angels & Demons (Random House Large Print)
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