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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Angels and Demons
Everywhere there is suspicion of conspiracy. What might be offputting to some readers is the extravagence of the violence towards inncent victims, but then again it is no different to in the other books. This particular story finds demons emerging out of religion and inhabiting a select group of scientists, the Illuminati, a group supposedly long disbanded, but appearing...
Published on 14 Jun. 2012 by Isaac-E

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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars As an anti-matter of fact...
...(yawn) yes, I'm yet another who bought this on the back of You Know What, and rather wish I hadn't. Basically, it's possible to say that you only need to buy ONE of these two novels, as one forms a template for the other. Brown seems to have invented a modern-day form of 'self plagiarism' (for most of us who read The DVC first) because the similarities between the two...
Published on 2 Aug. 2005 by O E J


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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars As an anti-matter of fact..., 2 Aug. 2005
By 
O E J - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (TOP 500 REVIEWER)   
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This review is from: Angels And Demons (Paperback)
...(yawn) yes, I'm yet another who bought this on the back of You Know What, and rather wish I hadn't. Basically, it's possible to say that you only need to buy ONE of these two novels, as one forms a template for the other. Brown seems to have invented a modern-day form of 'self plagiarism' (for most of us who read The DVC first) because the similarities between the two story lines are almost comical.

A&D starts out interestingly enough, with touches of science fiction and fast pacing. Well, that was until I got to, er, page three or thereabouts. It then started to annoy me, and frankly it was a nuisance for the remaining 600-odd pages, despite the story's time coverage of little more than 24 hours. I suppose you've got to hand it to the guy - his books sell in the many millions so he must be doing something right - but whereas after The DVC I thought I'd discovered a great new writer, after reading this I won't be buying any of his work again. Best to stick to James Bond - at least he doesn't take himself too seriously, and he has a sense of humour...not only that, if Bond jumped out of a helicopter at 2000 feet (whatever) with no parachute, in pitch darkness, you know he'd make it and not question why or how. But when a cordruoy-jacketed university lecturer (with elbow-pads) does exactly the same thing, complete with pipe-and-slippers no doubt, it's stretching things a bit too far unless this whole yarn was aimed at teenage boys - which it might well be.

Anyway Dan Brown's credibility fell even faster than Langdon when he virtually duplicated the structure of one book and 're-created' it in another. Somehow I can't help but feel that Vittoria Vetra (from Angels & Demons) and Sophie Neveu (from The Da Vinci Code) use the same perfume and have similar vital statistics.... might even be sisters.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Angels and Demons, 14 Jun. 2012
Everywhere there is suspicion of conspiracy. What might be offputting to some readers is the extravagence of the violence towards inncent victims, but then again it is no different to in the other books. This particular story finds demons emerging out of religion and inhabiting a select group of scientists, the Illuminati, a group supposedly long disbanded, but appearing in a very dangerous form. There is adventure, even impossible adventure, a hero and heroine, and even romance.
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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 This book is why the da Vinci code was so well received..., 7 Aug. 2013
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I heard it said that after this book Dan Brown was approached by Hollywood to write a more fast paced action packed story that would be more suitable to translate to a script, that turned out to be the da Vinci code. The funny thing is after reading all of Brown's offerings about two or three times I still think Angels and Demons is far more exciting, intense and packed with suspense, mystery and drama than its sequel, not to say it's sequel is not good however. It is a shame in my opinion then, that after the success of the da Vinci Code's outing in the cinemas, Hollywood just decided to cash in by making a poor adaptation of this to film, butchering the book completely.

I believe many people were introduced to the character of Langdon via the success of the da Vinci Code and may not have read this book, and the poor film adaptation which focused more on the religious aspects rather than the scientific may have put many off...however if they gave it a chance they would find a truly fantastic thriller here with plenty of original mystery thrown in for good measure. The story begins with a gruesome murder in the modern home of the scientific world, then the revelation that a new breed of super weapon has been stolen and will be used to lay waste to the Vatican during the election process for the next pope... the further threat, that on every hour one of the candidates in line will be publicly executed in an horrifically twisted manner almost born from the mind of the Saw creators. Brown slowly increases the intrigue by introducing an ancient enemy, the Illuminati into the mix by way of a failed assassin acting on command from an invisible entity believed to be a high level Illuminatus and also a Vatican insider...this is a true page turner full of Brown's usual wealth of knowledge of art history, symbology, and clandestine groups, and is a fantastic start to the Langdon series.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Dan Brown - Angels and Demons | Review, 17 July 2013
By 
Oh boy, 620 words - where to start. Alright, well first off, I'd like to explain - I don't hate Dan Brown. Oh sure, I've complained about him before, notably in an essay I co-wrote with a friend called '(The Lack of) Originality in Modern Literature' in which we slated his formulaic writing style.

But having said that, his novels actually aren't that bad - they're like fast food for the brain, the type of book that people read because it's easy despite having plenty of pages. And they have a plot-line, too - in fact, this has one of the better ones.

That said, the novel does still have its fair share of irregularities, stuff that's explained scientifically but still doesn't sound legitimate, like when Robert Langdon dives out of a helicopter and survives the fall. All of the stuff about antimatter is difficult to believe at times, too - it's cool, but is it realistic?

Well, luckily for you, I've done some research and discovered that it isn't - antimatter takes more energy to create than to produce, which would cripple our ability to manufacture it, and over the last twenty years, only 10 billionths of a gram of antimatter has ever been produced at CERN, the equivalent of a firecracker in explosive strength.

I've never found Langdon likeable, either - don't get me wrong, I'm no fan of the antagonists, although it's interesting to see how deviously their plans are woven, but I often find that the protagonists are one-sided and often sanctimonious.

Now that the negativity is out of the way, let's explore why it still received a 7/10 rating. For a start, the hassassin and the disguised character of Janus are terrifying, there's a sinisterness about them that leaves an uneasy feeling in your stomach as you tentatively turn the pages.

And in places, the characterisation of the extended cast of characters, those who don't really fit in to the classic 'good' and 'evil' categories, is actually impressive, and each has their own eccentricity.

Take, for example, Maximilian Kohler, the Hawking-esque director of CERN who, confined to a wheelchair, relies on an extensive array of electronic gadgetry including a computer, a telephone, a pager, a video camera and a gun. With added depth, he also blames religion for his paralysis because his pious parents refused to seek treatment for his condition.

And in a cool case of self-reference, the novel features ambigrams that were created by a man called John Langdon, a typographer. One can't help but wonder whether a little of Robert Langdon's character is based upon his namesake.

I'm not sure how much I buy in to the Illuminati, though - sure, I know that the Illuminati existed, but I'm not convinced that they still exist today, secretly manipulating the movements of the world's major players from behind the scenes. I doubt that Brown does either, using them as a plot device, but I know a few people who genuinely believe (and fear) the Illuminati, and I blame the book for their ignorance.

That said, it's one of those books that's worth reading just to find out what the fuss is about, and it is enjoyable up to an extent - it's certainly the best Dan Brown book, although that's not necessarily saying much. It's also well worth reading if you're thinking about starting with his new one - if you're going to read about Robert Langdon, you might as well know his history.

Just make me a promise not to tell me what happens in Inferno - I might dislike Dan Brown on principle, but I'm still going to go read it and review it.
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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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This review is from: Angels And Demons (Paperback)
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
By 
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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