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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A pretty mind blowing read!
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...
Published on 18 Aug. 2010 by Dedonno Jason Enzo

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28 of 31 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars a bit of a drag
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...
Published on 25 Feb. 2013 by C. Winterburn


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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A pretty mind blowing read!, 18 Aug. 2010
By 
This review is from: The Lost Symbol (Robert Langdon) (Hardcover)
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.

However, "The Lost Symbol" is great story, with a important message, and overflowing with fascinating historical references that had me running to the computer every five minutes and Googling them up to find out if they were true or not. Nine times out of ten they were true and I learned some astonishing facts about freemasonry and Washington D.C.s architecture.

It is undoubtedly a good read!

On the negative side, the characters seemed more wooden when compared to those in his earlier works, especially towards the end where Solomon, one of the main characters, acts as if nothing has happened after what ought to have been a tarumatic ordeal. He had been in and out of sensory deprivation tank, had his hand chopped off, witnessed his son come back from the dead, only to die horrifically minutes in front of him -- all within 24 hours! I get the impression that the author didn't want to bother so much with the characters at the end, but rather focus on concluding the theme of the book.
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28 of 31 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars a bit of a drag, 25 Feb. 2013
By 
C. Winterburn (Wakefield, UK) - See all my reviews
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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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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Lost Symbol By Dan Brown, 11 Jun. 2014
DAN BROWN’S LOST SYMBOL

The Lost Symbol by Dan Brown, for me, is his best work to date. Having thoroughly enjoyed the master’s methodical attention to detail, in all his previous novels, this book truly is mind absorbing. The reader is quite literally whisked away at lightening speed. This novel barely permits the reader the interruption to come up for air, and by the end of this masterpiece of wordy wizardry I felt like I was the one who had experienced TLV or Total Liquid Ventilation.

The plot of the story is convoluted and brilliantly contrived. Our old pal Robert Langdon back in all his glory, managing to lure the reader through layer after layer of historical, mythical, mayhem, manifested by his own Mentor Peter Solomon. This incredible journey which Langdon embarks on, is fascinating and controversial. We learn about Noetic Science, Metempsychosis, Cyclotrimethylenetrinitramine, Neophytes, Eidetic Memory, to name just a few words that I personally had never encountered previously. The mind is constantly challenged almost on every page of this work of fiction. So great is Dan Brown in gifting the reader with such escapism, that I found myself having to remember, that it is Truly Fictitious!

For those familiar with Dan Brown’s work, it is not any great surprise to read about the various characters racing against time to save mankind and protect him from himself/or herself. The protagonist pursuing a hidden ancient secret is not unusual for this author’s work. Yet, like all of his previous work, the reader is drawn to follow every character as Brown relates their given part in the plot slowly; in contrast to the tremendous pace of the novel as a whole. The language used by the author is brilliant, and having a dictionary close by your bedside table while consuming this one, is a must.

When Peter is explaining to his son, Zachary, the great burden of choice he has inherited and asks him to choose between Wealth and Wisdom on his 18th birthday, the author sets in motion the dark shadow of parental dismay and disillusionment which he manages to sustain throughout the novel. The author’s brilliant use of language is well highlighted.

“WEALTH IS COMMON PLACE BUT WISDOM IS RARE!” (sounds like the Celtic Tiger Era To Me). This wonderful quote is just one of a few I found hugely impacting in Dan Brown’s novel.

“DARKNESS FEEDS ON APATHY….AND CONVICTION IS OUR MOST POTENT ANTIDOTE.”

“INDIFFERENCE WAS THE ENGINE OF ENTROPY.”

These are just a few of the more memorable quotes that stayed with me and gave me food for thought.

Somehow the author manages to keep hidden his most magnificent twist. I felt that so brilliant was the main disclosure, so unexpected, so perfectly timed for impact, that the book could have ended there, and I would have been quite happy.

The revelations that came later, the parallels between the study of Noetic Science and the Bible for me, felt almost insignificant in comparison to the earlier revelations. As always, the author finishes his work leaving the reader with much to contemplate debate and fight over. This novel The Lost Symbol, for me ticked all the boxes, Dan Brown’s novel didn’t just tick the boxes it coloured them in entirely.

I found myself inconsolable until I managed to jump into bed with Dan Brown and get between the covers every night following the awesome talent of this author as he managed so easily to;

“CREATE ORDER OUT OF CHAOS!”

I rarely score a book 10 out of 10, but this one surely deserves it!

Reviewed honestly by The Mother Booker and posted June 2014
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Utterly addictive, 6 Aug. 2013
By 
sam155 (Wales) - See all my reviews
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There's a lot of Dan Brown bashing going on these days, but I have to take my hat off to a man who does as much research as him, and who includes the kind of cliffhangers that you could make you miss your train and stay up until 2am.

This is an intricately plotted novel (i.e typical Dan Brown) with more twists and turns than a giant maze. Focussing on Freemasonry, and its strong links with ancient symbolism, it seems only natural that Professor Robert Langdon would be involved at some point. The settings are all interesting and brilliantly vivid, but don't worry if there's one you don't like, because this book moves fast. There seems to be one big constant chase all the way through, with cliffhangers and questions making the reader screech to a halt at the end end of every chapter.

Langdon seems to struggle a bit more in this book, but I don't think it's because of a lack of knowledge or intellect, it's more to do with an inability to believe in myth rather than fact. He has to be taught to let go.

The villain of the piece Mal'akh, is one terrifying beast who at times seems invincible. His cruelty knows no limits. Director Sato is pretty scary too, in a totally different way. The Director's introduction to the story was beautifully done, even slightly comic.

Overall, this book was so addictive that I started going to bed early so I could read it more. It kept me thoroughly entertained, and longing to visit Washington DC.

The reason I gave it four stars is this: I know it's a Dan Brown but after about the ninth or tenth code cracking scene I was kind of done with all that. Secondly, sometimes when you're waiting breathlessly for another clue, there'll be a load of long winded waffle in between you and the answer. There's suspense, and then there's losing your reader so they go and put the kettle on.

Apart from that, a great read that kept me guessing. I did NOT see the big twist at the end coming (don't worry I won't tell you). Briliant.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Dan Brown - The Lost Symbol | Review, 24 July 2013
By 
Oh, joy of joys - time to write another long review of a Dan Brown novel. The Lost Symbol is the third book in his Robert Langdon series, following on from Angels & Demons and his best-seller, The Da Vinci Code.

Now, in my opinion, the series started strongly with Angels & Demons and has slowly weakened with each new book - I'm not saying that The Lost Symbol is a bad read, but it's not as gripping as the earlier novels. It does, however, feature Brown's signature riddles, twists and antagonists.

It's also one of the fastest-selling books that's ever been released - 6.5 million copies were printed in the initial run, the largest run in publisher Doubleday's history, and it sold a million copies on release day. The Da Vinci Code was also a best-seller, and so it makes sense that the hype around its sequel would translate in to sales.

Like The Da Vinci Code and Angels & Demons before it, it's also being turned in to a film with Tom Hanks expected to return as Professor Robert Langdon. I wasn't too keen on the previous movies, but I wasn't crazy about the books either - while I doubt that I'll ever watch the films again, I do think that they did the books justice.

Now, I've mentioned Brown's formulaic writing style before, but I think it's prudent to take a look at it again. See, while there's nothing wrong with the way that he writes, it feels devoid of life and personality. Brown has lectured on writing before, and it does feel as though his work follows a strict formula that's copied over from novel to novel.

While the details of the storylines differ, the storylines themselves remain the same - Langdon inadvertently embarks on an adventure, then faces a race against time as he tries to uncover a secret while avoiding death at the hands of an unknown adversary.

I prefer writing to be from the heart, an emotional response to a situation. I prefer writing that's innovative and soul-searching. I prefer books that were written out of necessity, books that were written because if they weren't then the author would've died or lost their mind. Brown's writing lacks this vitality - he writes because he's good at it. He's the equivalent in the literary world of Rihanna in the musical world.

Of course, I quite like Rihanna, and so do a lot of people - there's no shame in being a popular author, and Brown has the talent to back it up. Having said that, I wouldn't waste my money on gig tickets or albums, and I always feel like I'm wasting something more valuable than money when i'm reading one of Brown's novels. I feel like I'm wasting my time.

That said, the conspiracy-laden storyline is gripping and vaguely educational, and the character of Mal'akh is particularly terrifying. His identity is revealed at the end of the novel in a supposed twist, although I figured out who he was after the first couple of hundred of pages. I'm saying nothing, though - I don't want to spoil it for you, just in case you decide to read it.

In fact, this antagonist, with his full-body tattoos and lust for blood, is the scariest and most sinister of all of Brown's 'bad guys', mainly because he's crazy - you don't want to get on the wrong side of him. Notable, he's also the first of Brown's evil murderers who concocts a plan himself - all the others have been pawns in some evil game.

Overall, it's worth reading The Lost Symbol if you've read the other books in the series, but it's not the best book to start with - if you're a first time reader, pick up Angels & Demons instead. If you like Brown's writing, you can follow Langdon's story through The Da Vinci Code and then move on to The Lost Symbol.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars PATHETIC MASONIC PROPAGANDA, 20 Nov. 2010
By 
NeuroSplicer (Freeside, in geosynchronous orbit) - See all my reviews
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Dan Brown is a writer more famous for stirring up controversy rather than his meticulous research. Although the media noise surrounding his last two books treats them as historic novels, they are much more fiction than fact. Understandably; were they treated as works of wild fiction there would had been nothing to argue about. And if there ever was a writing career built on controversy...

I will refrain from letting any spoilers slip through and, instead, I shall make clear why this is one of THE WORSE books I have ever read - and that is not solely because I refused to be fed unadulterated Masonic propaganda. The book is haphazardly researched, badly written and the plot runs in circles - just like a Masonic ...ourovoros.

Allow me to give a couple cases in point.
The over and over glorified "field" of Noetics is nothing but a New Age philosophy masquerading as "science" only to peddle warmed up ancient ideas as neo-scientific. I had never heard of Noetics before reading this book and I am not surprised. If the best arguments supporting the notions that human (and why is it only human?) ...thoughts have a direct effect on reality and that there is a soul and it can be...weighted are the ones presented in this book, well snake-oils and good-luck charms should start looking pretty "scientific" by now.

In his attempt to substantiate a scientific basis of the idea of Global Consciousness (in yet another excuse for the Masonic efforts towards a Global Government), Brown presents some very shaky "facts". On p.70, he claims that following 9/11 "37 Random Events Generators"(sic) (and I am guessing that since they are capitalized they must be some... Serious Scientific Equipment, right?) "suddenly became significantly less random". Wow, hold the presses! Shouldn't we wake the PM?
Even if someone were to ignore the question of ...what exactly are these 37 generators measuring, can someone give us a precise time frame of these "events" following 9/11, to establish even a mere time-line of causality? For how long were these generators been monitored to be sure that a similar "event" did not occur, say when Vettel took the checkered flag at Abu Dabi's F1 race last week? And if it took a catastrophic event of the magnitude of 9/11 to get a "significantly less random" measurement, what are chances of this pseudoscience getting anything measured ever again?

As to ...weighting the soul, is he serious? What are his scientific references, the ...movie "21 Grams"? Was he not aware that the actual scientific explanation for the (dubious) weight difference is the release of the residual air from the collapsing lugs? But that was not fitting with the rest of the "theory" so it had to be cut to size. Here is an expression to work out the etymology of Dan: Procrustean methods!

By the way, I doubt that anyone hiding out in a Greek island would remain inconspicuous for long with the ridiculously made-up name of..."Andros Dareios". The correct spelling is Darius and it is a ancient Persian, not a Greek name. What's more, the word "andros" is the name of a Greek...island, it means "lair" and it is not a proper name - yet another example of how epidermal and self-serving his "research" really is. Just think how many heads would turn to the name..."Piratecove Adolph".

Nevertheless, the most serious issue with this book is its incessant Masonic propaganda. Their rituals are glorified, their beliefs are polished and presented again and again whereas the political implications are (conveniently) glossed over.
Brown expresses his condescending outrage to the masses that would fail to comprehend that "Senators, Chief Justices and CIA directors are all Masonic brothers". Really Dan? Do you fail to grasp the implications of a judge having to pass judgment on a Masonic brother he has sworn to protect? Is it too complicated for you to comprehend how a Mason CIA director or a Secretary of State may promote the interests of his brotherhood above those of his country?

And exactly how ...enlightened can a secret society be when it refuses to accept women and shunts minorities? I am also wondering why there was not even a pip about Nazis' obsession with the occult, the Ancient Mysteries and the Illuminati (the German offshoot of Freemasonry) or the role of the infamous Masonic Temple P2 of Rome in connecting the Fascist regime of Mussolini with the Sicilian mafia bosses. Dan's silence is deafening on these and similar matters.
Any free-thinking person would be very suspicious of groups operating under blood-oaths of secrecy, enforcing strict obedience to their (selected and not-elected) hierarchy and wielding the ability to undermine every pillar of a democratic society, from the judiciary to the executive branch, when their members are called upon to "support a brother".

I for one do not buy the "if I were an Mason I could not be writing about all this because of the secrecy oaths" argument. As if repaying a debt, Dan Brown goes to great lengths to function as a loud PR department to the Masons. His descriptions of the Masonic rituals are peculiarly selective - and they are strictly limited to what is already public knowledge. With some selective omissions of course.
Why is there no description of Baphomet, the hoofed and horned deity ever Mason upon reaching the 33th degree has to declare allegiance to? Is this not the final "Truth" that is revealed at the 33rd degree?

Judging by his ramblings in the last pages of this book, I am guessing his next book to be on the bogus...Bible Code. For someone who has been attacking the Bible so vehemently he sure seems obsessed with it. Well, I am curious to see how he is going to twist the serpents' suggestion of "Ye are Gods" into something "enlightening" Masonic.

If the Masons wanted to improve their image, maybe they should had picked a better writer.
No matter how much this guy is pushed and pulled, sure, he may be selling books - but he is convincing no one.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Pleasantly surprised (AudioBook review), 30 May 2010
By 
ziggy_fan (England) - See all my reviews
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I listened to the unabridged audiobook of this new Dan Brown novel. I have to say I did enjoy it despite reservations offered by a lot of reviewers, the point is that for popular fiction although it follows a very well established Dan Brown sequence of mysteries and puzzles unfolding, I do find it intriguing enough to want to keep on and wanting to find out what happens next quickly from one chapter to the next. The subject matter is interesting and I had not known some of the masonic contexts of the establishment of Washington buildings etc, and this in itseld is interesting and even if woven into fiction, it is interesting from the perspective of me as someone who has visited Washington as a tourist and on business, and to see it in a somewhat different light.

There are times that you do wish Dan Brown got to the point in some parts of the story (for example when some details are statements of the obvious), and also I found myself not liking Langdon character as much as in Angels & Demons or even in DVC - for some reason between his last fictional outing and this one Langdon has become a little thicker :o) and those around him a little cleverer and quicker to figure things out - anyway perhaps that was intentional on the author's part

The baddie in this story reminds me a bit of the one in Red Dragon. The thriller elements of the novel are very good and the way the narrator reads and characterises is excellent. I would recommend going for the unabridged version if you choose the audiobook.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Predictable, 19 May 2013
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This review is from: The Lost Symbol (Robert Langdon) (Hardcover)
I have always enjoyed Dan Brown's books but The Lost Symbol (the third installment in the Robert Langdon series) was rather predictable.

As always Robert Langdon had a pretty, yet smart sidekick whose contributions to the mystery are vital to his success. The revelations and descriptions are enlightening but nothing compared to Angels and Demons and The Da Vinci Code. The symbols and artwork seem to glorify the significance of America as one of the best countries in the world, which i found very distasteful. The storyline as i said before, was very similar to the last books but i found it very frustrating. When something of relevance was revealed, the story would jump to another underlying plot line leaving you wanting to know the answers. That would have been bearable, maybe even enjoyable if the answers were not so predictable and if it didn't happen as often as it did. However, the predictability of the book may have come from the my previous readings of Dan Brown and i could have just learned to never take any of the characters in his books at face value.

Overall the book was average. It didn't hold me as much as his previous books and failed to surprise me, which i expect from Dan Brown. It would have been an easier read had it not contained so many frustrating jumps in the plot line and glorification of America. Here's me hoping that Inferno will restore my faith in Dan Brown.
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49 of 57 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Dire, 27 Oct. 2009
By 
Carol Haynes (North Yorkshire UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Lost Symbol (Robert Langdon) (Hardcover)
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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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Yarrr...there be spoilers below..., 9 Sept. 2010
I agree with quite a lot of the other negative reviews and don't have much more to add so I'll keep it brief.

1. This story had me gripped for the first 60 pages or so and then quickly released me as I realised that it's exactly the same as the other Robert Langdon novels.

2. This book is very, very preachy and the constant chapter ending cliffhangers get really annoying and are quite anticlimatic as was the big "reveal".

3. There isn't even really any actual treasure and as no-one on Earth seems to know how to decipher the coded science in the bible (in this novel that is) then what was the point of the whole story?

4. We never found out what would have happened if the evil tattooed nutter had succeeded.

5. You can be tortured and lose a hand but not be kept in hospital for observation/medical attention.

6. You can run around after been drained of half your blood.

7. Most people will see the 'twist' coming a mile off.
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