The Lost Symbol

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The Lost Symbol

by Dan Brown

Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group | September 15, 2009 | Hardcover

3.3727 out of 5 rating. 110 Reviews
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In this stunning follow-up to the global phenomenon The Da Vinci Code, Dan Brown demonstrates once again why he is the world''s most popular thriller writer. The Lost Symbol is a masterstroke of storytelling-a deadly race through a real-world labyrinth of codes, secrets, and unseen truths . . . all under the watchful eye of Brown''s most terrifying villain to date. Set within the hidden chambers, tunnels, and temples of Washington, D.C., The Lost Symbol accelerates through a startling landscape toward an unthinkable finale.

As the story opens, Harvard symbologist Robert Langdon is summoned unexpectedly to deliver an evening lecture in the U.S. Capitol Building. Within minutes of his arrival, however, the night takes a bizarre turn. A disturbing object -artfully encoded with five symbols-is discovered in the Capitol Building. Langdon recognizes the object as an ancient invitation . . . one meant to usher its recipient into a long-lost world of esoteric wisdom.

When Langdon''s beloved mentor, Peter Solomon-a prominent Mason and philanthropist -is brutally kidnapped, Langdon realizes his only hope of saving Peter is to accept this mystical invitation and follow wherever it leads him. Langdon is instantly plunged into a clandestine world of Masonic secrets, hidden history, and never-before-seen locations-all of which seem to be dragging him toward a single, inconceivable truth.

As the world discovered in The Da Vinci Code and Angels & Demons, Dan Brown''s novels are brilliant tapestries of veiled histories, arcane symbols, and enigmatic codes. In this new novel, he again challenges readers with an intelligent, lightning-paced story that offers surprises at every turn. The Lost Symbol is exactly what Brown''s fans have been waiting for . . . his most thrilling novel yet.

Format: Hardcover

Dimensions: 528 Pages, 6.3 × 9.45 × 1.57 in

Published: September 15, 2009

Publisher: Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group

Language: English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10: 0385504225

ISBN - 13: 9780385504225

Found in: Fiction and Literature

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– More About This Product –

The Lost Symbol

The Lost Symbol

by Dan Brown

Format: Hardcover

Dimensions: 528 Pages, 6.3 × 9.45 × 1.57 in

Published: September 15, 2009

Publisher: Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group

Language: English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10: 0385504225

ISBN - 13: 9780385504225

About the Book

The eagerly awaited follow-up to his #1 international phenomenon "The DaVinciCode, The Lost Symbol" once again features Brown's unforgettable protagonist, Harvard symbol expert Robert Langdon.

Read from the Book

PrologueHouse of the Temple8:33 P.M.  The secret is how to die. Since the beginning of time, the secret had always been how to die. The thirty-four-year-old initiate gazed down at the human skull cradled in his palms. The skull was hollow, like a bowl, filled with bloodred wine. Drink it, he told himself. You have nothing to fear.  As was tradition, he had begun this journey adorned in the ritualistic garb of a medieval heretic being led to the gallows, his loose-fitting shirt gaping open to reveal his pale chest, his left pant leg rolled up to the knee, and his right sleeve rolled up to the elbow. Around his neck hung a heavy rope noose—a "cable-tow" as the brethren called it. Tonight, however, like the brethren bearing witness, he was dressed as a master.The assembly of brothers encircling him all were adorned in their full regalia of lambskin aprons, sashes, and white gloves. Around their necks hung ceremonial jewels that glistened like ghostly eyes in the muted light. Many of these men held powerful stations in life, and yet the initiate knew their worldly ranks meant nothing within these walls. Here all men were equals, sworn brothers sharing a mystical bond.As he surveyed the daunting assembly, the initiate wondered who on the outside would ever believe that this collection of men would assemble in one place . . . much less this place. The room looked like a holy sanctuary from the ancient world.The truth, however, was stranger still. I am just blocks aw
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From the Publisher

In this stunning follow-up to the global phenomenon The Da Vinci Code, Dan Brown demonstrates once again why he is the world''s most popular thriller writer. The Lost Symbol is a masterstroke of storytelling-a deadly race through a real-world labyrinth of codes, secrets, and unseen truths . . . all under the watchful eye of Brown''s most terrifying villain to date. Set within the hidden chambers, tunnels, and temples of Washington, D.C., The Lost Symbol accelerates through a startling landscape toward an unthinkable finale.

As the story opens, Harvard symbologist Robert Langdon is summoned unexpectedly to deliver an evening lecture in the U.S. Capitol Building. Within minutes of his arrival, however, the night takes a bizarre turn. A disturbing object -artfully encoded with five symbols-is discovered in the Capitol Building. Langdon recognizes the object as an ancient invitation . . . one meant to usher its recipient into a long-lost world of esoteric wisdom.

When Langdon''s beloved mentor, Peter Solomon-a prominent Mason and philanthropist -is brutally kidnapped, Langdon realizes his only hope of saving Peter is to accept this mystical invitation and follow wherever it leads him. Langdon is instantly plunged into a clandestine world of Masonic secrets, hidden history, and never-before-seen locations-all of which seem to be dragging him toward a single, inconceivable truth.

As the world discovered in The Da Vinci Code and Angels & Demons, Dan Brown''s novels are brilliant tapestries of veiled histories, arcane symbols, and enigmatic codes. In this new novel, he again challenges readers with an intelligent, lightning-paced story that offers surprises at every turn. The Lost Symbol is exactly what Brown''s fans have been waiting for . . . his most thrilling novel yet.

From the Jacket

"Dan Brown brings sexy back to a genre that had been left for dead…His code and clue-filled book is dense with exotica…amazing imagery…and the nonstop momentum that makes The Lost Symbol impossible to put down.  SPLENDID…ANOTHER MIND-BLOWING ROBERT LANGDON STORY."-Janet Maslin, New York Times

"THRILLING IN THE EXTREME, A DEFINITE PAGE-FLIPPER."-Daily News (New York)

"Call it Brownian motion: A COMET TAIL-RIDE of beautifully spaced reveals and a socko unveiling of the killer's true identity."-Washington Post

"The wait is over.  The Lost Symbol is here--and you don't have to be a Freemason to enjoy it….THRILLING AND ENTERTAINING, LIKE THE EXPERIENCE ON A ROLLER COASTER."-Los Angeles Times

"ROBERT LANGDON REMAINS A TERRIFIC HERO, a bookish intellectual who's cool in a crisis and quick on his feet…. The codes are intriguing, the settings present often-seen locales in a fresh light, and Brown keeps the pages turning."-Entertainment Weekly
 

About the Author

Dan Brown is the author of The Da Vinci Code, one of the most widely read novels of all time, as well as the international bestsellers Angels & Demons, Deception Point, and Digital Fortress. He lives in New England with his wife.

Editorial Reviews

"Dan Brown brings sexy back to a genre that had been left for dead…His code and clue-filled book is dense with exotica…amazing imagery…and the nonstop momentum that makes The Lost Symbol impossible to put down.  SPLENDID…ANOTHER MIND-BLOWING ROBERT LANGDON STORY."-Janet Maslin, New York Times

"THRILLING IN THE EXTREME, A DEFINITE PAGE-FLIPPER."-Daily News (New York)

"Call it Brownian motion: A COMET TAIL-RIDE of beautifully spaced reveals and a socko unveiling of the killer''s true identity."-Washington Post

"The wait is over.  The Lost Symbol is here--and you don''t have to be a Freemason to enjoy it….THRILLING AND ENTERTAINING, LIKE THE EXPERIENCE ON A ROLLER COASTER."-Los Angeles Times

"ROBERT LANGDON REMAINS A TERRIFIC HERO, a bookish intellectual who''s cool in a crisis and quick on his feet…. The codes are intriguing, the settings present often-seen locales in a fresh light, and Brown keeps the pages turning."-Entertainment Weekly 

Bookclub Guide

1. How familiar were you with Freemasonry before reading the novel? How did your impressions of the organization shift throughout the book, from the chilling prologue to Peter Solomon''s philosophical comments near the end?

2. How do Peter Solomon''s students (including Robert) reconcile their admiration for him with the knowledge that he is a Mason? Did it surprise you to learn about well-known American historical figures who were Masons and to read about scientists who were intrigued by mysticism and other occult belief systems?

3. Discuss the novel''s grand theme of architecture. How did The Lost Symbol change the way you think about the way buildings are designed and the intention of their architects (creators)? What most surprised you about the tributes to the past-and visions of the future-that are captured in the landmarks of Washington, D.C.?

4. Mal''akh considers the polarity of angels and demons noting that "the guardian angel who conquered your enemy in battle was perceived by your enemy as a demon destroyer." What does this indicate about Mal''akh''s perception of himself in the world? How can his evil nature be explained? Why is he only able to consider his own suffering, while relishing the suffering of others?

5. How did you react to Katherine Solomon''s work in Noetic Science? What motivates her to investigate the tangible aspects of the human soul (attempting to weigh it, even)? How would it change the world if there were more tangible evidence of the spiritual world? How is Katherine Solomon''s perception of science different from Robert Langdon''s?

6. At the heart of the novel is a quest to unlock wisdom, and the need to keep it "locked" because it can be used for destructive purposes. Do you believe that freedom of knowledge (Wikipedia, a world wide web) is a blessing or a curse?

7. The novel''s epigraph, from Manly Hall''s The Secret Teachings of All Ages, encourages readers to become aware of the meaning of the world. What mysteries about the world, and life, do you think are the most important ones to explore?

8. How did Mal''akh amass enough power to turn his personal plot into a national security threat? What does his rise to power indicate about the potential of mind over body and a human being''s ability to play a variety of roles for unsuspecting audiences?

9.

The final chapter raises intriguing questions about the possibility of a multi-faceted God and the potential to find God in all of humanity. Can there be a universal definition of enlightenment?



10.

While interpreting the Masonic Pyramid''s final inscription, Robert Langdon tries to bring order out of chaos by interpreting each symbol as a metaphor. Peter Solomon instructs him to be literal and accept the inscription as a true map. What does this exchange say about the best way to interpret all sacred messages?



11.

What truths do Katherine Solomon and Robert Langdon experience in the epilogue, at sunrise, atop America''s ultimate symbol? From your perspective, what does the Capitol symbolize?



12. What does The Lost Symbol indicate about the power of the Word-both ancient texts and bestselling twenty-first-century novels?

13.

What common thread runs through this and each of Dan Brown''s previous works? What makes The Lost Symbol unique? How has Robert Langdon''s perspective changed from Angels & Demons and The Da Vinci Code?



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