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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

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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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Same as most Dan Brown books, 16 Jan. 2011
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Any familiar with previous titles (especially the Da Vinci Code or Angels and Demons) will know what to expect from Brown in his newest "thriller". He once again drops Langdon in impossible situations (I don't have a problem with this - it is literature), which Langdon always finds the answer to.

At first, it would appear that Brown has moved away from his fascination of the Bible and all its secrets, and moved onto Stone Masons. Hes used the same formula (take old myths and elaborate on them), but still comes to a similar conclusion of other books?

Not just this, but large sections of the book seem like wikipedia entries, as he tries to explain a new plot device, or piece of science.

Very disappointed with this book, even knowing what to expect going in. Large sections of the book seem like nothing is happening, and plot twists are contrived, or flat out obvious.

mild recommendation.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A bit of a disappointment, 29 May 2011
After his other books, this one was a disappointment. It had an interesting mystery, but the resolution was pathetic. It was like that riddle about what's always coming but never arrives (Tomorrow - only this time, tomorrow never came). It was also rather ponderous without being genuinely intellectual. I think Brown would do better to cut the verbiage and give his books a more exciting driving force. In this case there was none of the sense that a lot hung in the balance, as there was in Digital Fortress, Deception Point and Angels and Demons. In that respect it was more like the Da Vinci Code, but less interesting. It has got to the point that the Dan Brown imitators are more exciting than Dan Brown himself, and that suggests that he's past his sell-by date. I was recently reading The Moses Legacy by Adam Palmer and it reminded me of all that a Dan brown book SHOULD be.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Enjoyable book, 19 July 2013
This book isn't perfect and does seem to go round in circles in parts. However, it kept me reading till the very end and is head and shoulders above most so called thrillers so I've given it five stars. If you can suspend belief it is an entertaining book and quite clever and thought provoking. Dan Brown certainly has a great imagination.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Put The Book Down With 50 Pages To Go!, 5 Dec. 2012
From fairly early on, this book did not have the thrill of the author's other adventures. It seemed like Brown thought we were after his cloudy research rather than the suspense and thrill of the story. In fact, I grew so tired of the endless repetitive references to the dreadfully subordinate plot about the tiresome lost masonic symbol itself that I put the book down with about 50 pages to go. It seemed Brown hadn't managed his usual coup of weaving symbols and codes to a thrilling story. The two clunked along together but never really fit. Picked the book up twice more to finish the final chapters, but still haven't - the (never) ending is truly tiresome and grinding.
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120 of 143 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Rather Predictible, 24 Jan. 2010
Mr. Peter Steward "petersteward" (Norwich, England) - See all my reviews
This review is from: The Lost Symbol (Robert Langdon) (Hardcover)
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.
8/ The plot twists and turns and the whole thing becomes very dull towards the end where one of the main characters acts as if nothing has happened despite the fact his son has been killed and he has had a hand chopped off (a fact he seemingly ignores as being pretty irrelevant).

Brown seems scared to geniuinely give is a catyclismic novel, preferring to lead us on, promising much but delivering relatively little. For the first half of this novel I was intrigued but it then got rather dull and predictible.
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42 of 50 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars So dull, 11 Mar. 2010
This review is from: The Lost Symbol (Robert Langdon) (Hardcover)
I quite enjoyed 'The Da Vinci Code" and "Angels and Demons", so I was quite excited to read the third book in the series.
However, it was extremely dull and became quite a chore to finish.
You do not sympathise with any of the characters whatsoever. In fact you are more likely to wish that the villan would come out on top, at least that would make things interesting.
Dan Browne has concentrated far too much on facts and figures, that end up becoming awfully tedious, and you end up feeling that you would have been better off reading an encyclopedia.
I suspect that, as can sometimes happen after an author becomes succesful, that Dan Browne has been a little lazy with this Novel.
I hate to be so negatvie, as I really do enjoy most books I read, but this book was really bad.
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37 of 44 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Great disappointment, 12 Nov. 2009
This review is from: The Lost Symbol (Robert Langdon) (Hardcover)
This book was hyped to death by the publishers and I ordered it from Amazon as soon as pre-order became possible. When I read it it was a great disappointment - the book is dull, self indulgent and turgid. I find it quite beyond belief that the solution to all the world's problems might be found under the Capitol in Washington - Washington is about two hundred years old as we know! Dan Brown will make a lot of money out of it, but I'm sorry to say that I have bought my last one of his books. The only good thing about it was that the Amazon price was incredibly cheap - a pity that it was not worth the money!
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2.0 out of 5 stars I Didn't Get Lost In It, 21 Feb. 2015
Why, oh why do I keep doing this to myself? I know Dan Brown isn't a great writer from bitter experience of reading his "Da Vinci Code" Admittedly, "Angels and Demons" was a little better, but not good enough to turn me into a fan. Yet when the opportunity to borrow "The Lost Symbol" arose, fool that I am, I took it. Part of this was that the basis for the story was freemasonry, something I was curious about as my father is a member of that organisation.

In "The Lost Symbol", Robert Langdon has been called to Washington to give a lecture as a favour to a friend, Peter Solomon. He soon discovers he's been duped when Solomon's severed right hand appears in the Capitol Building. This is swiftly followed by Director Inoue Sato of the CIA, someone who seems to know more about Langdon's arrival in Washington than he does. There is also a demand from Peter's kidnapper, Mal'Akh, for Langdon to help solve a mystery in return for Solomon's life. The CIA are immediately suspicious of Langdon's appearance, especially as Sato feels Langdon isn't telling her everything he knows.

Langdon teams up with Solomon's sister Katherine, whose work in Noetic science is also being targeted by this Mal'Akh. Their main concern is to solve the mystery to save Solomon's life, but the CIA have other plans. They are interested only in protecting the secret Mal'Akh is after, regardless of what happens to Solomon. So Langdon and Katherine are trying to outwit and beat the CIA as well as solving the mystery racing against Mal'Akh's deadline.

If much of the above sounds familiar, it probably means you've read Dan Brown's work before. In writing a story that involves solving a mystery against the clock to save life, whilst being chased by someone else and working together with a woman who is somehow involved, Brown has essentially given us "Da Vinci Code 3" here. Indeed, about the only things that distinguish this from that earlier novel are the setting and the basis for the mystery. In all other aspects it is pretty much the same basic plot rehashed again. At least Brown is smart enough to know to play to his strengths and go with what worked so well the first time around.

Unfortunately, this means that Brown also continues to play on his weaknesses and it is these which make "The Lost Symbol" a poor novel. As with Brown's other novels, there is a weakness in the characters that prevented me from getting properly involved in the story. The characters are all very two dimensional, on both sides of the plot, which meant I never really cared what happened. Late on, when there was a revelation about one of the characters, I found myself unable to care what had happened and that whole part, which should have been an important turning point, completely passed me by in terms of its potential importance to the plot.

That plot itself is a little all over the place as well. The whole sub-plot with Katherine's Noetic science escapades seems to be slightly tacked on and feels a lot like filler at many points, serving only as an excuse for the book's one huge explosion which may be only a nod to the potential film adaptation, but did absolutely nothing in terms of fitting in with the plot. Perhaps the intention with this whole story was to make the bad guy seem worse, but he was otherwise so two dimensional that it really had next to no impact on me.

This is a major problem the whole way through the story, in that the characters are very poorly drawn. We never really get a full picture of any of them and many, particularly the supposedly tiny yet fierce CIA director and the blind priest, feel like caricatures. They may well look quite interesting when the book makes its inevitable way to the screen, but with only words to power them, they are very weak. This made it difficult to get too involved in the story and meant that many of the things that happened to them and the events they were a part of didn't have the impact they might have done.

The other thing that has previously annoyed me in Brown's writing and does again here is that he insists on spoon feeding his audience. He explains the solutions to some of the clues in excruciating detail that feels, especially towards the end of the book, as if the reader is being patronised or lectured to. For me, this meant that parts of the book that could have been more exciting were dragged out as Brown showed off his knowledge at the expense of pacing or the plot and made the book quite unevenly paced at points, again most noticeably at the end when what could have been a big finish was ruined when information took over the plot.

To be fair to Brown, this is a quite a readable book, as the short chapters and the simplicity of the writing mean the pages turn quite quickly. When the focus of the story is on the chase plot rather than the characters or the clues, the story moves along quite quickly and it's easy to keep reading. Whilst this does happen quite a lot, the inconsistency of the pacing and the introduction of more characters and clues does mean that the longer the book goes on, the more of a slog it becomes.

I can see how "The Lost Symbol" may translate well into a film and it may be good for summer beach reading, but as a novel it just didn't do an awful lot for me. It's a well researched plot, but wrapped up in poor characters and pacing and too much showing off from the author to be ultimately successful. However, there are worse books out there, so for a week of lying on a beach with nothing else to do, the page count alone makes it worth a few pence, even if the quality of the contents makes it one better off borrowed, as you're only likely to read it the once and you may find even that is once too often.

This review may also appear, in whole or in part, under my name at any or all of,,, and
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1.0 out of 5 stars A particularly weak mystery with totally ungriping and unsatisfying end/solution., 15 July 2014
I can't believe Mr Brown got this published and find it hard to describe how threadbare it is compared to his previous work. He relies on his usual 'super interesting mystery to be solved' formula, but unfortunately abjectly fails to find one this time round. Having decided on his particularly weak mystery he then founders around trying to create a storyline around it.

Most of his explanations about the origins of words and phrases are interesting so one star for this but the rest of the book is so contrived to fit the mystery that it is painful to read. The book also spends an inordinate amount of time portraying the Masons in the United States as the most altruistic organisation on the face of the planet. So much so that I wonder if Mr Brown was somehow encouraged to portray them this way: I felt that I was being preached at in some sections of the book.

When I finished this one, and I really struggled, I felt I had wasted my time and would have spent it better decorating. For me it had a particularly laboured and unsatisfying end so I won't be reading any more of Mr Brown's efforts until he gets over his 'suck up to the Masons' and 'lets all be good Christians' phase and spends a bit more time finding a genuine/plausible mystery.

Post script - having just finished a Clive Cussler "Dirk Pitt" thriller (I read anything) I had a light bulb moment and felt the need to add to the above. Clive writes out and out fiction and readers know and accept his tales of fabulous hidden treasures are simply good yarns. Dan, on the other hand tries desperately hard to get readers to believe his mysteries are somehow factually based, thus severely limiting his scope to write a rollicking adventure anyone wants to read. He is caught between writing something exciting and a desire to keep his image as a 'higher brow' author. Higher brow is fine when you actually have decent plausible mysteries (i.e. Da Vinci Code) to explore, but it falls flat when you don't, as in the case. I suggest Dan needs to choose between non fiction/fiction and if he chooses the latter, loosen up, go with his imagination and write a more interesting and dare I say less pretentious rollicking yarn.
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3.0 out of 5 stars Starting to get a bit formulaic, 21 Feb. 2014
I know people like knocking Dan Brown. He's successful and therefore also the target for some envy, but he's also not an amazing writer. What he does do really well, though, is write stories that appeal to many people.

Whereas The DaVinci Code and Angels and Demons both had a feel of originality about them (although he ripped off a lot of the seemingly original bits in The DaVinci Code from "Holy Blood, Holy Grail", perpetuating the Plantard Priory of Sion hoax), in "The Lost Symbol" you do start getting the feeling that you've read The Lost Symbol before: the landmark-to-landmark chase for clues, misunderstood secret societies, symbology 101, dramatic omissions of information, the cliffhangers, the repetitions of things you've already been told just a few paragraphs earlier, a bit of quasi-philosophy and pseudo-science thrown in for good measure.

If you're in the right mood for it it is a bit captivating, for sure, and there are some nice bits in it that can make people think in new ways - not necessarily a bad thing. Personally, I didn't know anything about Washington DC architecture and art, so it's nice to get a quick introduction through a novel.

By the way, who is Katherine Solomon's cell phone provider? I mean, who doesn't want to be on a network that can get a text message through a dome that even blocks out photons and into a lead-lined concrete bunker inside that dome. I might not be a scientist, but I think the fact that she can receive a text message there would invalidate all the results of her experiments.

Everything else aside, though, I did enjoy reading the novel - when it all comes down to it, that is its purpose. If you read it expecting to be awed, you might not. If you read it trying to find things to knock, you will find them. If you read it to pass the time without any prejudices, perhaps on a long journey like I did, you might find it reasonably satisfying.
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The Lost Symbol (Robert Langdon)
The Lost Symbol (Robert Langdon) by Dan Brown (Hardcover - 15 Sept. 2009)
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