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Showing 1-10 of 247 reviews(1 star). See all 1,735 reviews
on 19 July 2017
I didnt mind Da Vinci Code. Thought Angels and Demons was nonsense but this is just laughable. Avoid like the plague!
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on 15 March 2017
100% Crap!
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on 4 July 2017
First page was ok, but went down from there. Rambling and directionless, he takes forever to get to the point, so I skimmed pages. Characters were very two dimensional and as others have said, not very likeable. The plot was not well thought out either, so in the end I really didn't care! I wanted to enjoy it, but alas, it gave me a headache.
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on 22 August 2017
The book that propelled Dan Brown to stardom, 2003’s The Da Vinci Code, was pure popcorn reading. It was corny and its plot machinations were oh-so-convenient, yes, but the background was extremely well-researched, and despite the ‘join the dots before time runs out’ conceit sounding familiar, the novel setting for the thriller and the pseudo-art history lesson that accompanied the story, meant that very little about The Da Vinci Code felt stencilled.

Unfortunately, since he’s found fame and $$$ with The Da Vinci Code, Dan Brown appears to have stopped trying, with The Lost Symbol representing a nadir in his bibliography. That this book succeeds The Da Vinci Code and precedes Inferno in the Robert Langdon book chronology, yet was completely skipped over by Hollywood for the Tom Hanks movie series, is quite telling.

The Lost Symbol feels like The Da Vinci Code has been repackaged, so that it’s set in Washington DC rather than Paris, and the backdrop pertaining to the Freemasons, rather than famous historical paintings. The author tries to disguise this by adding a few subplots and supporting characters here and there, from unfriendly CIA agents, chatty assistant researchers to Noetic pseudoscience, but I could recognise the hackneyed outline a mile off.

The contrivances come thick and fast, and unlike The Da Vinci Code, I wasn’t so engrossed in the story that I could suspend disbelief. One of the most implausible things is how Tom Hanks’ character just so happens to be an expert on whatever Dan Brown’s pet project du jour is. I mean, I get that he’s a Professor of religious iconology and symbology, but Tom Hanks’ ability to reel off near-encyclopaedic knowledge about anything from the Illuminati, to the Holy Grail, to Freemasonry, especially in moments of extreme duress, is just too silly.

Then there’s the plot twist. Anyone’s who’s read any of Dan Brown’s previous books will recognise he has a certain way of embedding clues for the reader, and such a manner has all the subtlety of an elephant. When I clocked him using repetition of particular line of dialogue, I sussed the twist. I then spent the rest of the book impatiently waiting for Brown to drop the Big Reveal, and gave a hollow laugh when the moment invariably arrived, so ridiculous as it was.

Something else unintentionally hilarious about The Lost Symbol was how crudely sketched the antagonist, a superhuman named Mal’akh, was. We’re supposed to believe a man is capable of growing almost twice in stature and width over a few years, purely through rigorous exercise and protein shakes? OK.

All of these flaws could be forgiven, if not forgotten, if The Lost Symbol was a breezy 200-page novel that recognised it was supposed to be entertaining pulp and didn’t host delusions of grandeur. Instead, it clocks in at a weighty 500+ pages, meaning it's a chore to carry around on public transport, as well as a total time sponge. Much like the villain Mal’akh, the book strives for significance, but has no idea what its significance is.
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on 25 November 2013
That Dan Brown sure is a popular author, he sold millions upon millions of copies of `The Da Vinci Code', but this was not to be the end of the Robert Langdon legacies. Another book arrived in 2010 that would help fill the shelves of your local charity shop and later act as absorbent in your local landfill. Most of the time I shed a little tear when I think of reading material being thrown into a skip, but I may make a rare exception for `The Lost Symbol', one of the most overly long and boring "action thrillers" I have ever read.

Having read Brown's previous output, I knew what I was in for with `Lost', but whilst once he was able to balance his pseudo-academic style with decent thrills, here he has lost himself to waffle. Like many successful authors it would appear that after success Brown no longer feels the need to work with an editor. What does an editor know about successful writing? They know that you need to balance the talky boring bits with action. It appears that Brown has a tried and tested format that he has reused from previous books, but has also extended upon it.

Langdon is constantly shadowed by one ignoramus or other, this allows the character to spout some history or pseudo-science; nominally to the other character, but mostly to you, the reader. Like in previous books those parts designed to highlight Brown's ability to research are interspersed with some fun action thrills. However, this time the academic far outweighs the action; and it was already too heavily leaning towards nonsense in `The Da Vinci Code'. It would be ok, if the talking was actually interesting, but it is not. Brown writes some sort of puzzle and the answer is some gibberish plucked from Langdon's head. How is the reader meant to believe in this?

It is a real shame that Brown did not build upon the success of `The Da Vinci Code' with a novel that actually looked to solve the issues with that book. `The Lost Symbol' actually increases the problems with more none science and less action. There are too many books out there to bother reading this one.
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on 23 February 2010
Dan Brown has made a career of plagarising other folks research and literary works (most notably, Baigent, Leigh and Lincoln). I would not mind if Brown was in fact a decent writer, but the man has no writing talent or imagination whatsoever (which is why he chooses to steal other peoples research and writings). Brown's books appeal to those who can only process simple sentences, concepts and straightforward plots. Along with Rowling, (who has plagarised Tolkein and Pratchett and ripped off our youth), Brown has to be placed as an example of how hype and celebrity can screw up an art form. He should be sued, not only for plagarism, but for faulty research and bad writing as well. Terrible stuff. I would not even recommend this book to a ten-year old. Avoid at all costs.
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on 28 November 2009
The Lost SymbolI was expecting much better from Dan Brown and was very disappointed after I finished reading, the last pages were extremely boring. I found a screenplay instead of a book. A very empty story with lots of information about Masonry just to have a background. The characters are unappealing and without interest. The plot is boring. Wait for the movie you won't miss anything.
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on 27 October 2009
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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on 22 November 2009
I have been a Dan Brown fan ever since reading The Da Vinci Code and have enjoyed all his novels (especially Angels and Demons) until now. I have, of course, learned to suspend cynical analysis when reading his convoluted thrillers but this is a poorly written load of the biggest claptrap I think I have ever read. The basic plot is built around a secret that would bring down the USA if revealed. But hold on, anyone who has bothered to look at the Great Seal or American currency already knows this secret. I won't go into detail, there are obviously people who love this rubbish and I wouldn't want to spoil anything for them. Most of the mysterious twists (give me strength) are easily guessable if you have an IQ higher than a bag of frozen peas, the more obscure ones are ludicrously obscure. Oh, and that secret location? You should have worked it out by about page 300 or you're really not trying.Brown seems to have decided to write an advert for the Freemasons who are really important, very good chaps, and for a mysterious "science" that makes your average fortune teller credible.
Dan Brown has made a fortune from this book and will, no doubt, make a fortune out of his next one, but not from me. Do us all a favour, Dan, take the money and run.
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on 31 January 2011
As one of the last known supporters of Da Vinci Code I am determined to like another Dan Brown novel - but having read them all, they are pretty much the same one. This is no exception. Read it quickly, forgot it quicker. Seeing Tom Hanks at every move does not help but the storylines are just getting too similar to be interesting. I'm off now to start a race against the clock, throughout the night to solve clues before the baddies do the same and realise that Rice Crispies arranging the right order can give you everlasting life - or some tosh like that.
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