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10 of 10 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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25 of 28 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 22 months ago by C. Winterburn


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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A pretty mind blowing read!, 18 Aug 2010
By 
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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25 of 28 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars a bit of a drag, 25 Feb 2013
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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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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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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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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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120 of 143 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Rather Predictible, 24 Jan 2010
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Mr. Peter Steward "petersteward" (Norwich, England) - See all my reviews
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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
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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 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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3.0 out of 5 stars A bit 'samey', 26 Jan 2010
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When I first read the Da Vinci Code I loved it. It opened up a new intrigues for me and got me facintated in history generally, I refuse to get into the 'religious' debate that kept so many arguing thats as bad as banning Monty' Phythons 'The Life of Brian' to me and I just say to that, Jeez, it's FICTION people.

I read all his other books after the Da Vinci and equally found them compelling and interesting read.

Dan writes like it's a film and I quickly find I am able to visually see the characters and places, it helps nowadays as I actually have been to the majority of the places mentioned.

However, much as I wanted to be wowed all over again, I found it was rather predicatable this time. Sure there are lots of things I did not know about washington, but thanks to his other works and my own readings I had already started to consider some of the angles he introduces us to.

I am pretty sure Morgan Freeman is up for the african american character who is the guy who has access to the whole smithsonian, and the Robert character is synonimous now with Tom Hanks, plus the usual highly intelligent, beautiful but not too young parts for the women and a nutter, who this time reminded me of the Ralph Fiennes, red dragon one due to the major tattooing. This time guessing the baddie was too easy, as was the special tank, which had been highligted in the film abyss years ago.

So I am drawing on images and ideas/concepts from other major offerings and the same formula as previously experienced, which is now not so thrilling, I am used to the code cracking methods and none of it seemed quite so intriguing this time around.

Overall, if I had not read all his other works, I would have been probably more impressed, however I don't think thats his fault, just mine for moving up a notch in the thinking and education stakes.

It's got the racey pace and same formula as before and frankly thats what the audiences and the studios want, so should work OK and we learn a few intersting things about Washington that many of us would not know.

So all in all its OK, I've just been spoilt!
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2.0 out of 5 stars Yet another disappointment, 28 Dec 2009
I'm really not a fan of Dan Brown's novels and this was just a case of déja vu. A recent British television documentary about the novel's claims regarding Freemasons concluded that the vast majority of what Brown has stated about them is complete and utter drivel. This isn't all that surprising but it's difficult to attribute positive aspects to an author when they clearly do minimal research for their novels and dream up the rest of the plot from some strange fantasy.

Brown really needs to start varying the plots of his books more as people will get tired of the same storyline and won't want his next book to be a Da Vinci Code Mark III (with this book being the Mark II). Robert Langdon has grown to be a tiresome character and once again bonds almost romantically with a heroine in a ridiculously short space of time. I've never given much praise to any of Brown's books as he is arguably the most over-rated author the world has ever seen. Yet again we witness another bizarre conclusion here, although nothing can top the farcical conclusion of Angels and Demons. It's recommendable to stop reading with about fifty or so pages still to go as the only thing that can be possibly labelled as a 'revelation' is revealed long before the book's rather tediously philosophical climax.

Basically this is the same as The Da Vinci Code but about Freemasons instead of the Illuminati and done at slower pace. This is arguably Brown's second best book after the Da Vinci Code but that's not saying a lot. It's readable but yet again, too far-fetched and lacking in a strong, compelling conclusion.
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3.0 out of 5 stars Lacking in ooooomph !, 10 Dec 2009
Whether by ingenuity or by chance Dan Brown has happened upon a very lucrative formula, his previous bestsellers all seemed to proceed along the same route to a fairly flaccid conclusion. However we buy these books by the millions, so who can blame Mr.Brown for sticking to what he knows best and churning out another mediocre tale of high stakes in a historical setting.

Peter Solomon is one of the most powerful men in America, he's also a very dear friend to Robert Langdon, so when his expertise is requested in Washington Langdon has no hesitation in flying to his friends side. Inside the Capitol Building all is not what it seems, instead of giving a presentation on symbology to a group of Freemasons, Langdon receives an invitation, a rather grotesque one, refusal will carry a deadly price. The arrival of Sato the CIA officer brings an edgy atmosphere to an already tense situation, her confrontational manner coupled with a steely determination to get the job done at any cost is a stark contrast to the philantropic nature of Robert Langdon. Brute force and quiet contemplation proving uneasy bed fellows.

The mystery of Peter Solomons whereabouts deepens and soon the concern of his sister Katherine becomes unbearable as events in her lab take a sinister and disturbing turn for the worst. Katherine and Robert are united in their quest to save Peter but divided on how best to proceed.The ancient secrets must be protected at all costs, but the forces of darkness are gaining momentum and still the authorities flounder.

I found this book relatively fast paced and entertaining, a page turner in the traditional sense but somehow one can always predict where the plot is going. It definitely lacked a certain something, some oooomph perhaps. Lets see what the film makers do with it !!
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The Lost Symbol Illustrated edition
The Lost Symbol Illustrated edition by Dan Brown (Hardcover - 11 Nov 2010)
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