The Lost Symbol by Dan BrownThe Lost Symbol by Dan Brown

The Lost Symbol

byDan Brown

Hardcover | September 15, 2009

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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.

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.
Title:The Lost SymbolFormat:HardcoverProduct dimensions:528 pages, 9.49 × 6.35 × 1.68 inShipping dimensions:9.49 × 6.35 × 1.68 inPublished:September 15, 2009Publisher:Knopf Doubleday Publishing GroupLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0385504225

ISBN - 13:9780385504225


Rated 5 out of 5 by from Another win for Brown Although I enjoyed Angels and Demons more this was still wonderfully entertaining. Always worth a read if its written by Dan Brown.
Date published: 2018-02-14
Rated 5 out of 5 by from E-X-C-E-L-L-E-N-T!! I'm a real fan of Dan Brown, I have all his books. But there's something about THIS ONE that makes it my favorite one. Lost Symbol is PERFECT!
Date published: 2017-11-21
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Great Book As always Dan Brown never fails to keep you hooked and wanting more. This book is just another one of those edge of your seat novels. Robert Langdon is always a character you want more from as you strive to get into his head and see what he sees before it's too late.
Date published: 2016-11-29
Rated 3 out of 5 by from A bit predictable... I loved his first two robert Langdon novels so I came into this one with excitment and great expectations however I felt this one fell short. Was still a good read but was disappointed when I finished it.
Date published: 2016-11-23
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Wow! Yet another hit by Dan Brown. Love his writing. #plumreview
Date published: 2016-11-12
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Reverse Climax The starter is appealing, the main course is Michelin worthy, but it ends with Ben & Jerry's for desert.
Date published: 2015-01-28
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Good read Not my favorite Dan Brown book but it was entertaining. I would suggest any Dan Brown books to anyone to read they are easy to get in to and they hold your attention. Lots of fun.
Date published: 2014-11-04
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Lost Symbol Fast moving. Lots of action. Unexpected plot twists. A good yarn that is also informative. Well done!
Date published: 2014-09-20
Rated 5 out of 5 by from The lost symbol by Dan Brown 88% done. Looking forward to more surprises!
Date published: 2014-06-25
Rated 4 out of 5 by from The Lost Symbol Another good read.
Date published: 2014-05-04
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Once again Good good good. What can you say about Dan Brown? Other than why are you questioning just pick it up and read it! You wont regret it.
Date published: 2014-04-26
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Astonishing An awesome book that keeps u enjoying every single page till the end of the last sentence ! The first book I read for Dan Brown and of course it won't be the last one
Date published: 2014-04-26
Rated 4 out of 5 by from The Lost Symbol Captivating..... so much history!
Date published: 2014-04-22
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Totally enjoyed this book A very good read
Date published: 2014-03-02
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Totally enjoyed this book A very good read
Date published: 2014-03-02
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Lost Symbol Amazing as always
Date published: 2014-02-08
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Good book. A little slow near the end and a great unexpected twist.
Date published: 2014-01-16
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Fan Excellent book, well written and thought provoking!
Date published: 2014-01-13
Rated 5 out of 5 by from The Lost Symbol I really enjoyed this story covering the histories of lost symbols known and unknown. I recommend this read to anyone interested in understanding all the work gone into Ancient Mysteries and the changes enlightenment can bring to us all. God really does have a sense of humour! GIGGLES!
Date published: 2014-01-10
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Great Book! Dan Brown does it again! Well worth the read!
Date published: 2013-12-19
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Another great read Never imagined of seeing the nations capital in this Light.
Date published: 2013-12-07
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Took sometime to get to the point Good read but took a long time to get to the story.
Date published: 2013-09-27
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Not too bad.... Dan Brown is getting better as he goes along.
Date published: 2013-09-03
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Wonderful! Love Langdon! Keep em coming!
Date published: 2013-08-30
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Lost Symbol Another great one for Dan Brown!!
Date published: 2013-07-29
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Definitely not the best in the series But in a Godfather III kind of way. That is saying something, because they are all pretty good novels with enthralling stories. The only reason that this book is the worst in the series is because the twist was incredibly predictable from almost the beginning of the novel. With a little bit of ingenuity, you can figure out the true identity of the main antagonist quite easily. Perhaps it is because Brown has an algorithm for the way he writes, but still, I really enjoyed the book. Da Vinci Code and Angels & Demons are both way better though.
Date published: 2013-01-20
Rated 2 out of 5 by from Seriously? I've been very impressed with Dan Brown's other two Robert Langdon Books, and was very excited to read this latest one. However, I must say I was less than thrilled. Dan Brown's attention to detail was too meticulous this time, slowing the pace of his usually well-paced books. But most importantly, Dan's incredible twists were shattered in this book. It was UNBELIEVABLY predictable. Literally, from page 240 I predicted the twist that is revealed on page 500! I'm sorry Brown fans, but the first two books, were just way better.
Date published: 2011-06-10
Rated 2 out of 5 by from Langdon, is that you? Well, after two fantastic “hook and chase” novels like the Da Vinci Code and Angels and Demons (I haven’t read his other novels) expectations were high for the The Lost Symbol. In the third of the professor Robert Langdon series, our favourite symbologist gets wrapped into the heart of Masonry lore and the secret location of the Ancient Mysteries. The city of choice this time is Washington D.C. Langdon has gone to Washington to help his mentor, Peter Soloman, who is a high ranking Mason, and gets involved in a plot to steal the Ancient Mysteries, a secret, higher knowledge and truth that is only known to the highest of ranking Masons. Langdon must race against time, deal with a moody CIA agent named Sato (the most interesting character in the book) and Mr. Soloman’s sister, celebrated scientist Katherine Soloman. As in typical Brown form, the location of where the book takes place is equally, if not more, important than the story. As he did with Rome, London and Paris in his previous aforementioned novels, Brown intertwines the story with the most prominent monuments in Washington, weighing rumours and myths along the way. While the book can still be classified as a “page-turner”, as Brown has a way of adding suspense to every page, the book was a disappointment. Maybe my expectations were too high, or maybe masonry folklore and the Ancient Mysteries just didn’t stir any interest in me. I felt the book was flat and often repeated at nausea the same theories of the Ancient Mysteries. I recall in the Da Vinci Code, when the “version” of how God was a mortal was discussed, it was only referred to thereafter, we didn’t hear the story over and over again throughout the book. In this book, it felt the like the secret meanings, etc. were repeated over and over again. The last 30 pages of the book was simply a repeat of earlier dialogue. Maybe Brown expected only stupid people to read this book, with short memories. My biggest issue with this book is it seems that Brown made Langdon far less intelligent than in the two previous writings. While Langdon’s character has always been suspect of ancient rumours and myths, he never simply ignored them. In this novel, it seems Langdon is somewhat of a snob, failing to even consider ancient legends and is not nearly as intelligent in his earlier dealings. In fact, he was a bit annoying at times. Overall, the book, while thrilling and entertaining at times, was disappointing. Of course, maybe I expected too much.
Date published: 2011-04-13
Rated 2 out of 5 by from 5 years...maybe a bit too long Dan Brown fans waited patiently for 5 years for the release of this novel, we pre-ordered our copies, counted down the days, and when we were finally rewarded for it all and had our copies in our hands we devoured it in mere hours. I for one, was a bit disappointed. The writing felt too formulaic, and unoriginal. I figured in five years, it should have been a lot better. I will continue to read about Langdon's adventures, but that's the last time I get sucked into the hype.
Date published: 2011-03-09
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Good, but not the best Langdon Dan Brown is back for a third installment of the Robert Langdon series. This time Robert stays in the USA and is called by long time friend and Mason Peter Solomon to give a speech in Washington, DC. When Landon walks in to the area where he was supposed to give his speech to find his friend's severed hand, so starts his race to save Solomon's life. Langdon is told he must help uncover one of the Mason's oldest secrets and it starts with deciphering symbols found on Soloman's hand. Langdon quickly becomes involved in the mysteries of the ancient brotherhood of Masons. This includes learning more about the architecture and history of the Washington, DC area. Langdon and Solomon's sister Katherine run from the CIA as they attempt to uncover the mystery. Dan Brown sticks to the same formula that made The Da Vinci Code and Angels and Demons such a success. It doesn't get old in this book and makes for yet another page turning read. I didn't find the ending of this book as satisfying as the other two, as I was expecting for a more concrete resolution. Instead things got a but philosophical which I wasn't overly happy with. I also found there were a couple of instances where Brown dragged on explaining history or science for much longer than I cared to read. The negatives aside, this book was still a thrilling read!
Date published: 2011-01-24
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Page Turner! I actually pre-ordered this book and was one of the first ones to get it on the day of the release. One of the reason why I was so excited when i first heard that Lost Symbol is going to come out soon is because The Da Vinci Code is just absolutely brilliant and I was so looking forward to see this second book! I know some people say that usually a sequel will never be as good, and I admit that the first two chapters had given me nothing but disappointment. I left the book just sitting on my desk for nearly 4 months, before picking it up again to give it a second chance. As I got further into the book, I finally remember the reason why I love Dan Brown's book. oh waitAlthough his plots are fairly predictable after a while, but his writing style and detail facts make up for all the imperfections.
Date published: 2010-10-07
Rated 1 out of 5 by from Certainly not Brown's best I tried to enjoy this. I really did. It didn’t have the excitement and intrigue that the other books had. There were some parts in the book where it was fun and it got me turning a page or two, but, then I felt the action and excitement die down. The writing then got bland, the chase scenes started becoming redundant, eventually the entire book got downright...well..have to say it, boring. I’m not sure what else to say. I personally thought the puzzles would be more entertaining and the ending well, I think it fell short. I didn’t really force myself to finish this book. I kept going because I wanted to see if there was something exciting going to happen, if something mind blowing and catastrophic will be found out and the end of the world is nigh. Well, the book certainly put that out successfully, but you’re left with an empty feeling, a feeling as if asking: “That’s it?? that’s what it was?? I read 528 pages and ...that’s it?????” I was disappointed for sure. The story arc with Mal’akh (this name belongs in a fantasy book...not in a Dan Brown one) is all right. I’d rather figured out who he really was and although perhaps his hate and anger is justified, he’s nothing more than a spoiled brat who really did deserve to rot. Overall, over hyped and not worth the read I’m still trying to figure out where these rave reviews are coming from. Stick with either Angels and Demons (I’m not even finished and I prefer it instead of this one) or The DaVinci Code for better work from Dan Brown.
Date published: 2010-08-10
Rated 4 out of 5 by from uhh......better movie? lol I went into this book, thinking it was going to be as good as the previous two. Well, it wasn't. I was confused at the end. I am not too sure still what the Lost Symbol is. Oh well. It was a good and exciting read though. I wonder if they will make it into a movie :)
Date published: 2010-06-28
Rated 5 out of 5 by from This was awesome! This was a fantastic read!
Date published: 2010-06-21
Rated 5 out of 5 by from show up! show up!
Date published: 2010-06-21
Rated 5 out of 5 by from A huge treat! After reading Angels and Demons, seeing Da Vinci Code, I was so excited about reading this. I found The Lost Symbol to be the best story with Robert Langdon, it was very intreging and did have some good twists. And for the first it does not deal in Christian religion. A fresh story with a great setting. A must read for Dan Brown Fans.
Date published: 2010-06-07
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Best novel i ever read I couldn't stop reading non-stop. It was so good i had to know what happens. I was so engrossed with the story that I didn't even realized it was 4 a.m. Great Book!!
Date published: 2010-06-01
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Robert Langdon in Washington D.C. ... the plot thickens! A really intesesting story for fans of Dan Brown books & his favouite charcter - Robert Langdon. Made me want to return to Washington DC and really look around at all the cool buildings in the story.
Date published: 2010-05-13
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Wonderful Read Very action packed and kept you reading. Although some readers have thought it was predictable I found it to be an easy and entertaining. It was action packed and kept you wanting to turn the pages to see what was happening next. It was exciting to be on the ride that Dan Brown was taking me!
Date published: 2010-04-09
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Great book! Love Dan Brown. He never disappoints. Fast paced and full of detailed information that you can see the structures in your head as you are reading.
Date published: 2010-04-07
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Dan Brown at his best I was wary when I read mediocre online reviews about this book, but I read Lost Symbol anyway and really enjoyed it. Dan Brown does not waver from his tried and true formula, by blending seemingly unlimited non-fiction content into a fictional storyline. I think more experienced readers overlooked the depth of the book and criticized his writing style, which they find to be too easy. They may have also set expectations too high with the fame he has gained from his previous books (Da Vinci Code; and Angels & Demons, one of my personal favourite books). However, as an intermediate reader I was comfortable with the reading difficulty of his style of writing. I have previously read all of his other books, including Deception Point and Digital Fortress, and they're all excellent, very similar in style and content. The Lost Symbol is not his best work, but it is vintage Dan Brown and did not disappoint. If you expect this novel to be a similar reading experience to his previous books, you should not be disappointed either.
Date published: 2010-04-02
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Fast Paced and Fun “The Lost Symbol” was a fun paced...very short chapters that made it easy to want to keep turning the pages. The only other Dan Brown book I’ve read is “The Da Vinci Code”...and this latest Brown book was just as exciting. Sometimes I like being taken away into “adventure” without having to work too hard to get there. Brown is superb at blending a great deal of information into a very readable format. The one thing I found myself doing when I read this book, as when I read “The Da Vinci Code”, was constantly Googling certain places and concepts that were mentioned in the book, such as the Library of Congress and Noetic Science. Hoping that Brown will continue to send his main character, Robert Langdon, out on more adventures.
Date published: 2010-03-23
Rated 4 out of 5 by from True Dan Brown Formula The Lost Symbol by Dan Brown. I actually pre-ordered this book long before it came out but put off reading it until some of the early hype died down. I tend to do that with books that are hugely popular as I want to make my own decision about the book. Having said that, I certainly heard lots about this book before I picked it up to read. I've read every other Dan Brown book that he has written. He has a formula to his stories and this one is true to the Robert Langdon style. But what a style to have. The book is compelling and spellbinding. It was hard to put down once I got going with it. I learned a great deal about the Masons and what about all that crazy science that is in the book? I had to go look up some parts of it because I know that he uses a lot of fact in his books but he was referring to science that I have never even heard about! I found the ending a bit of a let down. It will be interesting to see what the movie makers do with the ending...because, you know, it WILL be a movie.
Date published: 2010-03-08
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Pleasantly Surprised When I read The Lost Symbol I had seen the Da Vinci Code movie but hadn’t read any of Dan Brown’s books so I didn’t really know what to expect. I really enjoyed this novel!! I couldn’t put it down and actually had OMG out loud moments. The story basically ends and Dan goes on for another 80 pages that are so boring I didn’t know if I could finish it. I have since read Angels and Demons (review coming) and find Dan Brown likes to rant. So far I have liked both books but think so much could be cut out to make an easier read. I would definitely run out and buy this book but be prepared for those last 80 pages!
Date published: 2010-03-06
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Same as His Previous Works Though I had a good time reading this book, I have to say Dan's style of narrating hasn't improved a bit. Not saying he is not a good fiction writer; however, the gimmick is getting old. The twrist and turns are pretty predictible, and at the end, you can't help but to feel like reading an encylopedia. Obvious Clues, questionable motive and unexplained hanger are definately working against the story. Being said that, Dan Brown did his research on Free Mason, and setting the location back to US is a great attraction to US readers; I would suggest the book to thriller lovers as a decent addition to the genre. Plus, given the hype of this book, at least you can give a try.
Date published: 2010-03-02
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Impossible to put that book down. Dan Brown knows how to captivate you with his books. Like all of his other books, this one is no exception. The fact that some chapters are very short, you're always craving to see what's next. You're at the 15th chapter without even realizing it. Although for some people Christianity and Freemasonry are two different worlds, I love the way Dan Brown blends them together. After reading that book, it made me wanted to learn and read more about symbols, mysticism and whatnot. All in all, it's an amazing book.
Date published: 2010-02-26
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Sure to be another great movie!!!! Just like the other Dan Brown books I have read I was anxiously awaiting the release of Lost Symbol. Langdon once again is drawn into a dark world where only his quick thinking and vast knowledge of symbolgy will save the day. The references of the Masonic order and how deep its roots are into everyday life is unbelievable, and the concept of Noetic science is truly amazing. I love how Brown manages to weave fact and fiction together to make a truly good read.
Date published: 2010-02-20
Rated 4 out of 5 by from I really enjoyed it! I definately wouldn't call myself a Dan Brown fan but I absolutely loved Angels and Demons. I then read the Da Vinci Code and had to force myself to finish the book, it was too similar to Angels and Demons and lacked everything that I had previously loved. I thought I would try some other works of his but again I was disapointed, until now. I don't find The Lost Symbol as good as Angels and Demons but it was one of the best books I have read in the past year and if he keeps writing like this I could be well on my way to becoming a huge Dan Brown fan.
Date published: 2010-02-02
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Great thrill I really enjoyed this addition to the Langdon series. Mystery and suspense at the turn of every page. It definitely gave me a different way to look at D.C. - a great American 'district.' The characters are great and the jacket synopsis is right - the best villain thus far. Though I enjoyed Angels & Demons more, this was a great read!
Date published: 2010-01-25
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Getting Predictable Count me among the millions who loved the DaVinci Code, and Angels and Demons - fast track this one right to the silver screen too. Prof Langdon gets sucked into another nail biting, decoding, somebody's gonna die mystery, and all the action takes place in about 24 hours. Believable? Not bloody likely. Fascinating? You bet! The masonic history of Washington is a better story than the plot!! Dan Brown has found a formula that works, and he is sticking with it, but it is starting to be just a bit too predictable.
Date published: 2010-01-25
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Another good read, but not the DaVinci Code I'll admit it... I loved the DaVinci Code; I loved it before the hype hit so I consider my love for the book to be genuine. The Lost Symbol just doesn't quite meet the lofty expectations set by its predecessor, and while that may seem unfair, that is reality. However, this is still a slick thriller with many nail-biting moments and an explainable return from the grave for one of the characters. The twist in the end was not nearly as shocking as the "Christ-had-a-family" ending in DaVinci, but it still poses an interesting theological question. A question I won't mention at this time lest I ruin this delicious book for other readers. Enjoy.
Date published: 2010-01-15
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Wish it was better... I bought The Lost Symbol hoping it would be as good as the DaVinci code or Angels and Demons but I was diappointed. It did keep me reading and Washington was an interesting background but the ending (or the lost symbol) was a let down.
Date published: 2010-01-11
Rated 1 out of 5 by from Boring I have to say that I was extremely disappointed with this book. I am a huge fan of his other work, and was eagerly awaiting my chance to read this book which ended up being a total let down. It starts off very slowly, it is excruciatingly repetitive, and when the book should have ended it just went on for way too long. Personally, I feel like Brown must have felt bad for offending all the religious fanatics with the Da Vinci Code and so he came up with this. Way to much Bible talk and bad science for my liking. I am sorry I wasted my money on this one.
Date published: 2010-01-09
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Another Great One! I just love Dan Brown's mind! This book was just as good as The DaVinci Code as far as I'm concerned. Dan's books make me think in ways I haven't before and teaches me things I didn't know before! Keep up the great work Mr.Brown.
Date published: 2010-01-07
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Typical Dan Brown Mr. Brown's books follow a formula that was fresh when Angels and Demons and then The Da Vinci Code hit the shelves but has become somewhat predictable. But still the book is exciting, well researched and a great read. I would recommend it to anyone who likes the genre.
Date published: 2010-01-06
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Super fun read! Thouroughly enjoyed to the point that I couldn't put it down, and when I did I couldn't stop thinking about it. I managed to read the entire book within 24hrs! If you're looking for a fun, easy, thought provoking read - this is it!
Date published: 2010-01-06
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Overall, a decent read I have to admit that the last 20 pages was completely dry, and plain monotonous to read. Not to mention also that the conclusion was just simply disappointing. But, other than that I would have to say the rest of the book was very interesting, and kept me turning pages. Yes, I agree that this is not the best work from the author; however, I still recommend this book.
Date published: 2009-12-29
Rated 1 out of 5 by from I'm not pleased This is by far the worst Dan Brown book I have ever read. I'm disappointed, I had very high hopes for this book and was eagerly awaiting it's release. What a huge let down it was. The villain is inconsistent, the characters are not well developed, and the story is lacking in interest and appeal. There is a lot of information about various symbols, cults and groups, which is to be expected in a Brown book, but it was all also very repetitive. Half way through it felt more like info dumps--as if the author needed to meet a certain word count so he was just typing anything, whether it made sense to the plot/characters or not. Lost Symbol was a let down. This was the first time I have not absolutely loved one of this authors works.
Date published: 2009-12-28
Rated 2 out of 5 by from Needs Improvement Why does Dan Brown feel the need to make a good storyline, but give it two dimensional characters and cliched, anti-climactic endings? I'm sorry, but as the third book with Robert Langdon, I want a little bit more character development than a Mickey Mouse watch and claustrophobia, because so far those are the only things linking this character to the other books (and references to what happened in the Vatican and Paris). The bad guy is stopped, but there's still a hundred more pages describing what the lost symbol is and where in Washington it's hidden which, honestly, just bored me. The villain's motivation seem to change constantly--why would he go to all the trouble of trying to kill someone, only to then put them in an elaborate death-trap where they can escape? Didn't this bad guy ever watch cartoons as a kid? Even children know the good guy always gets out of death traps! If you're never going to use the character again (because you never do, Mr. Brown), then why not kill off supporting characters? An unexpected death is emotional and a much greater driving force for the reader than putting a character in a death trap and then needing to explain how they survived. If your reader, even the most advanced one, thinks your explanation for survival sounds hokey, it probably is. Thank God I didn't buy this book... and too bad I bought it for a Christmas gift for someone else.
Date published: 2009-12-24
Rated 2 out of 5 by from Okay, but very repetitive in storyline details and words I couldn't put it down; to me, this is the mark of a good writer. However, I find the storyline unraveling in such a repetitive matter; by halfway through the book, I fully understand that the victim is tied to the Masons, and there are symbols, pyramids and other icons at work. Also, the word "strode" appeared far too many times. I don't know if authors take it upon themselves to make a story more complex, but he could have used a different word here and there to explain that the characted "walked" into a room. The ending was too tame and the conclusion quite predictable because of the way that the subject matter was constantly repeated and drawn out throughout the book. I was fascinated with The Da Vinci Code when I first read it, and Angels and Demons was a really good read too, but it seems to me that the Langdon novels all run the same course. I agree with some other reviewers, that Deception Point is a good book (and perhaps Digital Fortress, although I haven't read it yet).
Date published: 2009-12-22
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Great book! I loved the book, nicely written.
Date published: 2009-12-18
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Not quite as stellar as Brown's other Langdon novels but still palatable. The Lost Symbol seemed to be lacking some quality that really hooked you in. However, I wouldn't go so far as to say it is a terrible book. The characters are generally well developed, the subject matter well-studied and the story is written well... it just wasn't crafted in the same spell-binding manner as its predecessors.
Date published: 2009-12-17
Rated 2 out of 5 by from Disappointed The book was slow to start but i did find it somewhat interesting.....and ending was a huge let down. Would not recommend. I have a need to finish a book once started and that was the only reason I managed to read to the end. Okay I guess but who wants okay?
Date published: 2009-12-16
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Not what I had hoped for Like many of the other reviewers, I have read Dan Brown's previous works, and had expectations. Unfortunately, I was also disappointed. The underlining theme was discussed so repetitively that by the end of the book I felt like I had been hit over the head with it. The last 50 pages were just so difficult to finish and monotonous. It was a bit insulting to the intelligence, as if we didn't get it the first 30 times. I think the editor really let him down by not helping to remove the repetition.
Date published: 2009-12-11
Rated 3 out of 5 by from I COULD put it down When you are the author of the blockbuster The DaVinci Code...there is huge pressure to deliver another smash for its follow up. Predictably, the Lost Symbol falls somewhat short of its predecessor. I can't quite put my finger on what it was about the book that I didn't like, Brown still writes in the same voice juxtaposing action and cliffhangers with informative historical blurbs but I found something amiss and it seemed a long read with little to keep drawing me back. It picked up near the end and it was still an enjoyable read but it is no where near in the same league as DaVinci
Date published: 2009-12-09
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Words Cannot Describe... This book has to be one of the most amazing books I have ever read! Dan Brown has done it again! For the 5th time in a row! This book captures your attention right away and keeps you guessing throughout the entire book! You cannot put it down for a second because every chapter ends with a cliff hanger as it shifts from different perspectives of the other characters throughout the book! To figure out what they are talking about in the Chapter 5 you have to keep reading until Chapter 7 see figure out what is going on! It is completely amazing how the scientific perspective is related and tied to religion and faith! Many say that science destroy's our faith and beliefs, but this book actually, scientifically, backs up religious theories! The mysteries and intriguing secrets of the US Capital city, and the Freemasons, just everything blows your mind away and hooks you onto every single word! Again, this book is absolutely amazing! You definitely won't regret reading it!
Date published: 2009-12-04
Rated 1 out of 5 by from Wikipedia meets Scooby Doo Difficult to finish. BROWN moves a little with the plot, brings up a topic then runs with what seems like a Wikipedia entry or a blurb from a discussion paper. Take a Wikipedia entry and and have two characters reveal the information as a discussion, ie history of ties, history of physics, how a search engine works, what is this what is that, some things with nothing to d with the plot. Also sounds like BROWN recently purchased an IPhone. With such great literature out there, why did I pick up this movie script.
Date published: 2009-12-04
Rated 1 out of 5 by from Worst book ever I will first start by saying that I reasonably enjoyed all of Dan Brown's other (four) novels. That being said, this was the worst book I've ever been able to finish. The story is weak, the characters are impathetic (meaning I had absolutely no feelings for them whatsoever), and the ending was as boring as the beginning. If you want to read this book, borrow it from your local library, don't spend money on it.
Date published: 2009-12-03
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Too bad.... I had the honor of reading The DaVinci Code and Angels & Demons... this was a let-down in comparison. It's a good book, but a hard read. I believe someone noted it almost as a "chore", and I would have to agree. Hopefully he picks it back up with his next book.
Date published: 2009-11-26
Rated 5 out of 5 by from the lost symbol amazing one of the best books ever!
Date published: 2009-11-21
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Impossible to put down Absolutely loved this book. Visiting Washington DC is now on my bucket list. Dan Brown brought the city of Washington to live for me. His detail about the architecture and history of the buildings was written so vividly that I can't wait to go there. The story moved along as fast as any book I have read, yes it was an easy read but impossible to put down. If he ever stops writing fiction he could definitely write travel books. I hope he is working on another one.
Date published: 2009-11-20
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Not as good as the other two I remember pre-ordering The Lost Symbol on the day it was announced. I had a reason to be so excited over the new release, since I thoroughly enjoyed two previous books about the infallible Harvard professor. Neither took me too long to read, but I cannot say the same about this one. There are a lot of things wrong with this novel. Many other reviewers mentioned that if felt very formulaic, and I have to agree. If you’ve read both Angels & Demons and The Da Vinci Code, then none of the plot’s twists and turns would surprise you. The big revelation about the villain’s identity was very predictable, for example. The villain’s secret source? Piece of cake. I didn’t experience the same surprise and shock as I did while reading the prior installments. The characters seemed very familiar. An elderly genius attacked by the bad guy in the beginning? Check. The genius’ female relative who becomes an “intelligent love interest” of Robert? Check. A psychopathic villain who likes to walk around naked and praising himself? Double check. This time Robert Langdon asks more questions than he finds answers. Most riddle solving is done by other characters, which rather negates the importance of Langdon as a lead character. It felt like others around him kept saying: “Don’t you get it, Robert? It’s right in front of you!”. I dared to find explanation to what Dan Brown tried to achieve here. The book’s main theme is of course the humanity wondering in the intellectual dark, waiting for the enlightenment that would change the world forever. Could it be that Brown tried to parallel Langdon’s experiences to the theme, as the latter remained skeptical throughout the book only to open his eyes in the end? Either way, the attempt did not register as strong in my book (pan unintended). Langdon’s stubbornness and disbelief annoyed me quite a bit, and I did not feel like the character grew through his experiences. Katherine Solomon, the present strong female heroine, was obviously wearing the pants in this adventure, since most of the puzzle solving was done by her. She was annoyingly passionate about her super-duper secret research, and she felt like it was necessary to share her super-duper secret discoveries with everybody. Peter Solomon, the great keeper of the pyramid and the strong female heroine’s brother, contradicted himself numerous times preaching complete secrecy about the Lost Word, yet revealing it’s true nature and location to non-Mason Langdon, when even most of brotherhood had no idea about it. And don’t get me started on the villain. His weak reasons for pursuing the treasure and endless rants were unconvincing and plain tiring. I mean come on, a TV show? Overall, Lost Symbol is very repetitive and could do without at least 200 pages. The characters have random theological and scientific conversations that last for pages, while on the run from CIA and a maniac. Significant blood and limb loss apparently doesn’t slow them down. Phrases like “My God! and “It cannot be!” are overused. I understand that what you’re doing there is groundbreaking, but please stop fainting of excitement every time you discover yet another inscription on the box. And yes, the villain sucks. I just had to point that out again.
Date published: 2009-11-20
Rated 5 out of 5 by from What can I say....Dan Brown did it again I could not put it down, the way he just takes you on the journey to the capital of USA,it just makes you feel youre right there with langdon. Who knew there was so much history in the capital. I cant wait for another one to come out from him
Date published: 2009-11-20
Rated 1 out of 5 by from Good start to a disappointing finish. The book opens up pretty well, and has some very interesting topics. The plot is interesting up to roughly halfway through. Then the "evil one" becomes too obvious for words, the plot disintegrates, and there is no big bang finish. When I finished reading it, my only thought was: "I anticipated this?" This book is in the same vein as Da Vinci and Angels & Demons, but in NO way the same caliber. Disappointing in the extreme. Should I ever read another book by Dan Brown, I'll either borrow it, or wait for it to be drastically reduced in price.
Date published: 2009-11-17
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Great read. I had a hard time putting this book down. The setting was interesting. I have read all of Dan Brown's books so far and this one did not disappoint.
Date published: 2009-11-16
Rated 1 out of 5 by from Don't waste your time & money. One of the worst books I've ever read. Waste of time.
Date published: 2009-11-16
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Amazing Once again, Dan Brown brings Robert Langdon back in time to discover secrets only known by the Elite of this world. Great job!!!
Date published: 2009-11-12
Rated 1 out of 5 by from Not Worth the Wait or Price Da Vinci Code was tough enough to read but this was so ponderous it was a chore. Deception Point and other non-Langdon books are much better stories. Go back to them Dan!!!
Date published: 2009-11-12
Rated 2 out of 5 by from Very Disappointed I can't believe this same author wrote Da Vinci Code and Angels and Demons. Reading this book felt like a drag. I am very disappointed.
Date published: 2009-11-11
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Not Bad Perhaps not as good as the Da Vinci Code, but it's always hard to top a success like that. It's the same formula, so nothing surprising there. I enjoyed it, it was an exciting read.
Date published: 2009-11-11
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Absolutely great A must read. Dan Brown won't disappoint you on this one. After I finished reading it the first time, I had to read it again.
Date published: 2009-11-10
Rated 1 out of 5 by from Very bad I have read De Vinci Code and Demons and Angels previously, which were very entertaining books, easy for reading, something that one cannot put down...and was quite anxious to read lates Brown's book. Dear Lord! I am not sure that the same writer wrote this, as I have not read something this bad in a long time. I believe that people should get their money back for this purchase, as it is pure waste of money. Beside bad story, which is a total overkill in glorifying some imaginary American culture and failure to portray US nation as God-like-super-brainers and such nonsence, this book leaves one with impression of reading passages from Wikipedia about free masons or simple facts about Washington, noetic science etc. Explanations are so long that one must skip it, as totaly boring and unnecessary. This book is simply bad read, no other ways to put it, and it is sad to see this writer, who is not bad at all, to write such garbage just to make more money or meet his publisher deadline. True writer should rather wait for inspiration than produce such bad story, as we know he can do much better, much much better....
Date published: 2009-11-09
Rated 2 out of 5 by from Not that interesting. I can't help but agree with the majority of your readers regarding the superflous incidents and descriptions in the middle of the story. I really enjoyed Angels and Demons along with Deception Point. This book, not so much.
Date published: 2009-11-06
Rated 4 out of 5 by from i Enjoyed it i really enjoyed this book. most times I could hardly put it down. I liked the fast pace jumping in and out of different situations
Date published: 2009-11-06
Rated 1 out of 5 by from I went in cold....uh. somewhat cold. I didn't read any pre-release reviews. I wanted to have a clean slate for this book. The only thing that might have tainted my reading of this would have been The Davinci Code. Which is nothing to sniff at. I can't in good conscious say this held my attention like the Davinci Code did. I suppose if I read the Lost Symbol first, I would be more lenient (for lack of a better word) and would have liked it a lot more. The reason I keep bringing the Davinci Code up is because you get the feeling that Brown's agent, publisher, family & friends all put pressure on him & told him to tell the Davinci Code over again. Hey, it's worked once already. (Angels & Demons don't count. First drafts are never suppose to count. Someone tell Stephenie Meyers' agent that, please). The new twist this time around is it'll be homegrown mysticism and legends of yore. Therein lies the problem. We've already seen it before, it's called National Treasure. The Lost Symbol tries too hard to recapture the magic from DC & ruins it with unbelievably easy puzzles and a lacklustre race against time. I won't ruin it for you. Well, at least not anymore than I have already. It's cliche, obvious and perfect waste of money. No thinking required. After all this, I still would recommend you read the book. See for yourself. Maybe I'm completely off my rocker. Read it, lemme know what you think. After you do read the DaVinci Code. That way you can see where I'm coming from.
Date published: 2009-11-04
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Okay, I guess. This is the new entry into the exciting life of Robert Langdon - university professor. He again finds himself in the midst of trying to solve an ancient mystery in one short night. Again, the story is well written and a page turner and is fun to read, but this is the same story as Davinci Code and Angels & Demons - Langdon gets stuck with trying to solve some ancient riddle, he meets a woman who joins him on his quest against some evil figure trying to use that knowledge to expose to the world and bring organized religion to its knees. Not bad - borrow it, don't buy it.
Date published: 2009-11-03
Rated 2 out of 5 by from A Good Read It was a good read. If there hadn’t been so much hype for this book I’m sure I would have enjoyed it more. I liked the book enough to recommend it but then some parts annoyed me. Like: Huge tension, running, running, no time! , and then: “Dominated by eight Doric columns, the atrium…” It seemed odd in the context of the narrative to suddenly stop it to describe the architecture at the pinnacle of tension. He does that a lot. Similarly someone once told me that they read all of Daniel Steele’s novels even though she believed that every book was the same plot and only the names of the characters where changed. Reading this novel I kind of felt the same thing since I have read all of Brown’s novels. Or perhaps it was when Brown himself publicly disclosed his “formula” for writing when he was on trial for plagiarism that has stuck in my head. And finally i dont really see any resolve in the plot. All that information about the Masons and then - so what. Regardless, lots of information to be learned (if any of it is true i dont know) and a good page turner.
Date published: 2009-10-31
Rated 2 out of 5 by from A book I could put down. An avid fan of Dan Brown long before he exploded into pop culture with the Da Vinci Code I was waiting with baited breath for the next adventure. Unfortunately where Angels and Demons soared and the Da Vinci Code roared, the Lost Symbol just kind of squeaks. What I love from his storytelling is the tapestry of fact, fiction and historical interpretration that he weaves together to create a rich and luscious landscape that you lose yourself in. Unfortunately The Lost Symbol lacks the richness of Brown's previous endeavors. The characters were flat with the story not adding anything to their development while the backdrop was simply plopped into the main character's arms like some road map with start here and end here to fulfill the requirements of the novel rather than his previous stories where the character is actually propelled by the story and the backdrop unfolded along with the story and the characters. If you like Dan Brown, you'll like the book though I'd be surprised if it's your favorite considering his other works. If you've never read Dan Brown then I'd suggest reading something else as this book had lots of press and little substance.
Date published: 2009-10-30
Rated 1 out of 5 by from disappointing! What a disappointing read. Too much information about random things. If you would take out all the truly unnecessary info you would end up with not even a third of the book. It takes away from the story. Having said that, that might have been on purpose since the story is a disappointing B-rated watered down copy of the DaVince Code. At some points I felt I was struggling through a high school textbook with no end in sight.
Date published: 2009-10-26
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Engaging Following along in the same fashion as his other books, but with a '24' type flair which had you racing along with Robert Langdon. Enough twists that kept you thinking that perhaps mysticism might finally convert Dr. Langdon in the end. It sure makes you think over any personal views about Washington DC's monuments. Wholly satisfying or a rainy afternoon read, and even a few thought provoking passages that will have you examining your own beliefs.
Date published: 2009-10-25
Rated 2 out of 5 by from Who keeps the Martians under wraps? WE DO! (No, there aren't any aliens in this book) I probably would've enjoyed Dan Brown's latest Robert Langdon title if I hadn't just read it 2 weeks before when it was called the DaVinci Code. Let's see what we have here....Unstoppable freakshow assassin? Check. Powerful authority figure always getting in the way? Check. Robert Langdon stumbling around, wondering why he's involved, until he cracks the puzzle with seconds to spare? Check. Dan Brown going off into tangents about items that have no relation to the plot but that he probably thought were really neat when he researched them? Check. The most annoying thing I found about this book was how it was laid out. The longest chapter weighs in at 4-5 pages at the most, and every chapter ends on a cliffhanger, which is then resolved 2 pages later. It's almost as if Dan Brown had "movie script" in his mind as he was writing it. That being said, the book wasn't a total disaster, I certainly ripped through it quickly. I had just hoped for a lot more considering the epic hype behind this title. Maybe now Dan Brown could move on to doing puzzle books. He could do for puzzles what Will Shortz does for crosswords. Or failing that, now that he's covered the Illuminati, Sons of Priory, and the Freemasons, I want to see a book about the Stonecutters. Attach the Stone of Triumph!
Date published: 2009-10-24
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Brown does it again I loved this book. Being a Freemason I was waiting for this book for the last 2 years when Dan Brown announced it would be centered around the Masons. It was interesting how much Brown teaches us about this great fraterity with out revealing any of the accual secrets of freemasonry. I enjoyed reading about all the history around the freemasons in Washington and the founding fathers that build the U.S.
Date published: 2009-10-22
Rated 3 out of 5 by from I was disappointed with the ending. I was looking forward to The Lost Symbol because I am a big fan of Dan Brown. The book was intriguing and interesting as expected of the author. The twists in the plot really take you by surprise and leave you at the edge of your seat. It is hard to put down because you just want to continue reading to find out what happens next. Brown keeps you in suspense and wanting more. Despite my interest in the rest of the novel, I did not enjoy the ending at all. Even though he was tying up the loose ends in the last few chapters, those pages were extremely long & dull. The story ended but there were still a few unnecessary chapters to go through...
Date published: 2009-10-22
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Dan Brown at his usual self Excellent thriller as usual but is Dan Brown trying to appease his religious critics from Da Vinci Code with this sequel?
Date published: 2009-10-21
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Fantastic It is incredible how this author keeps you on your toes from the beginning to the end. I recommend it to anyone who adores suspence and a good mystery.
Date published: 2009-10-20
Rated 3 out of 5 by from A nice read, but... ...not as gripping as his previous works. I don't want to put in spoilers, so to sum up, I thought that the main story line and characters were predictable and not enough puzzle solving for me.
Date published: 2009-10-19
Rated 5 out of 5 by from The Lost Symbol Never fear...Dan Brown is back and better than ever. I could not put it down from the first chapter. Excellent Read!!!
Date published: 2009-10-17
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Langdon Returns! Since everyone compares Robert Langdon books to each other (with the general consensus being that Angels and Demons was better than the Da Vinci Code), I might as well continue the tradition here: for me, "The Lost Symbol" falls somewhere between the two. I still think Angels and Demons was the better book, but that doesn't mean that "The Lost Symbol" falls flat in any way. The action started immediately with Langdon being drawn into a madman's desperate search for the Masons' lost treasure, which only the worthy can find with the help of an intricate pyramid talisman. This treasure is a lost word that is said to change the world, unfortunately, in the wrong hands, it can do great harm. Langdon is persuaded to comply with the madman’s request in a desperate bid to save his kidnapped mentor. It seems like Langdon can trust no one and before you know it, everyone is in a mad rush to meat their own agenda. With fast paced action and short chapters, it was hard to put the book down at times and I highly encourage anyone seeking a good mystery to pick up “The Lost Symbol.”
Date published: 2009-10-16
Rated 1 out of 5 by from Save yourself the time and money Full disclosure: I didn't enjoy the Da Vinci code either, but at least it focused on a topic that hadn't been beaten to death already. Seriously, the MASONS? Did Dan Brown enter a retro phase? But anyway, on to the book. It's sad to say but Dan Brown's writing hasn't improved since his last book. It reads like Ayn Rand trying to write an action movie, using Wikipedia as her only source. In pacing and scene setup it resembles a movie script more than anything. All the dredged up conspiracy theories are as implausible as ever. Finally, the book is far longer that it needs to be. Was every single detour really necessary? The book should have been slashed by 200 pages. Don't bother paying for it. Don't bother reading it.
Date published: 2009-10-13
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Great story but the ending was 'meh' Fast passed and lots of action. Then it got to the end and it was just 'meh" Very disappointed. Very anticlimatic and kind of dull.
Date published: 2009-10-13
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Amazing! Great suspense, a new twist every chapter; outstanding novel! Most definetly surpasses the Da Vinci Code!
Date published: 2009-10-12
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Trilogy? Another conspiracy, another adventure. For a professor, Robert Langdon sure knows how to keep things interesting. I agree with other reviewers, that the previous two books were much better than this one, but you have to take it for what it is; a light read/an adventure. While reading this book, there came a point where I thought for sure this would be the final book in the series. After finishing, I'm not so sure. Good things come in threes. Let this be the last Robert Langdon novel, before we are beaten to death by it. Honestly, what more can this character do? He's smart, athletic and well-liked with good connections. Please don't let him be eighty and gallivanting around the world solving world mysteries. Update: after writing this, I heard that there will be another installment. *sigh*
Date published: 2009-10-10
Rated 2 out of 5 by from Meh......the other two Langdon books were much better I read "Da Vinci Code" and "Angels and Demons" and both were very good. There was mystery, history, art, mythology and more. And the books were both fast paced and interesting. I wish I could say the same for the third book starring Brown's, Robert Langdon. The book isn't terribly bad but it is not nearly as good as the other two. In this one Robert is pulled into the world of Freemasons, Noetic Science and something known as the Ancient Mysteries. Unfortunately Brown's book is kind of cut and paste of his past works, only now with less excitement. You have the smart, woman side kick that Langdon must work with, the evil and odd looking bad guy who is obsessed, the annoying person in authority who always seems to get in Langdon's way and rarely believes him, etc, etc. I just wanted more from the book. I thought having the story set in the "New World" would be better. And I found the ending to be both predictable and anti-climatic.
Date published: 2009-10-08
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Not as good as expected... This was the follow-up to the Da Vinci code, which was excellent and widely read. This follow-up was, for me at least, a letdown. Dan Brown is a wonderful author who deserves all of his popularity. He is a storyteller- and a good one at that. I felt that this novel did not showcase what he is capable of and it had a weak ending that seemed to fizzle out slowly. As the story opens, our favourite Harvard symbologist is swimming laps in the empty Harvard pool, before returning to his place to hand grind sumatra coffee beans...then his unexpected adventure begins. His dear mentor-slash-father-figure has asked him at the last minute to fill in to perform an evening lecture in the U.S. Capitol building. Langdon is solo on a flight and a journey that he couldn't see coming this morning. Yes it's the same as we've seen before but what fan doesn't love this premise once again? The journey is not what it seems. A severed hand (yes, it's gross) is discovered in the Capitol Building pointing straight up to the ceiling. The fingertips are tattooed with ancient symbols. Yes Langdon knows what they represent. Langdon's Mentor is a prominent Mason- and this book really focuses on the Masons- and he is kidnapped. Langdon spends the novel trying to save his mentor and to follow the clues. (note that, for me, Langdon came across as much less helpful and wise than he usually is and that the clues were nowhere near as intriguing or interesting as we are used to from Dan Brown.) I absolutely adored The Da Vinci Code and Angels & Demons and think that Dan Brown is brilliant...but this novel definitely falls short. It sticks to the old formula in many ways, but ends up much weaker. I found the novel less challenging, less interesting, less readable, easier to put tdown, easier to forget. Yes there are twists and surprises to be found. A few of them are fairly well executed. Many of them are not. This is not what I was expecting- this is the weakest novel in the series- and now, as a loyal Dan Brown fan- I have fingers crossed that the next one will be back to his trademark perfection.
Date published: 2009-10-07
Rated 3 out of 5 by from More of the same, no real surprises For Dan Brown fans this has been a long wait, and it is sort of worth it, but not entirely. This book has all of the fast-paced writing and interesting facts on art and history that send us all to our favourite search engines, as well as an interesting story and a couple of good accessory characters. A few of the secondary characters and too one-sided and the twists and turns that are Brown's signature are there, but there are so many that the book seems predictable in some parts. Overall a good book, but not the heart pounding page-turner that we have seen in the past from this author.
Date published: 2009-10-07
Rated 3 out of 5 by from So So I loved most of his previous books so it was a no brainer for me to go out and pick this up. I have to say I was disappointed with it. The storyline never really caught me and it was very easy to put the book down and walk away. Normally I could have finished the book in a day and it took me almost two and a half weeks. Worth the read but wait till paperback or the library.
Date published: 2009-10-06
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Another hit! The Lost Symbol has everything that Dan Brown is known for: great research, historical intrigue, a nasty villian and of course, everyone's favourite bookish hero Robert Langdon. This was a fun read that will keep you guessing until the very end. Not as good as Angel's and Demons in my opion, but still an entertaining page turner!
Date published: 2009-10-06
Rated 3 out of 5 by from More Fun from Dan Brown As usual, Dan Brown does his homework and puts forth a few new histories, secrets, and sciences for us to mull over. Assuming his research is accurate, The Lost Symbol makes for a fascinating read and made me think about a lot of things, like the things we believe, what faith is supposed to mean, the potential of the human mind, where science and religion can take us.... but then again, this was supposed to be a suspenseful page-turner a la his successful DaVinci Code. I found that The Lost Symbol turned me on (mentally), but just didn't cut it in the fast-paced , super entertaining, nail-biting fiction department. (The villain was a little too predictable if you have read the DaVinci Code or Angels and Demons...disfigured... crazy...outcast, on a personal sort of faith-driven mission) Don't get me wrong, I really liked this book, but not for the reasons I thought I would. If you're looking for something thrilling, this isn't the book for you, but if you're looking for something truly interesting that might get the hamster in your mind's wheel going, pick it up.
Date published: 2009-10-05
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Incredible Dan Brown redeemed himself for me with this book. Angels and Demons and the Da Vinci Code were great reads but his other stuff wasn't half as interesting. With this book Brown keeps you entertained with a range of very different characters, all with unique stories and all who have an important role to play in this novel. So go out and read this book! I read it in two sittings and then listened to the book on tape and enjoyed myself thoroughly. I know you will too!
Date published: 2009-10-05
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Good - not excellent! I was so excited to read this book that I had pre-ordered it. Unfortunately, I was a bit disappointed. It didn't live up to DaVinci or Angels & Demons in my opinion. As many others have noted, the story went on too long, and there was a bit too much detail. At times, I actually felt lectured to! I found myself putting it down and not as compelling as his others books. Still a good read, just not his best.
Date published: 2009-10-05
Rated 2 out of 5 by from Could be much better! Having read and see Da Vinci Code, Angels and Demons, I was quite disappointed with The Lost Symbol. Usually I cannot put down Dan Brown's works, but this book,.... If you are looking for a very easy read and can easily predict what is coming next, then this book is for you.
Date published: 2009-10-04
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Pretty good. Of all Dan Brown's books, preferred "Angels & Demons" the most. However, "The Lost Symbol" was a good read for those who enjoy this genre. It was more of the same Dan Brown that we've all come to know and love. Some expected twists and turns and Robert Langdon hasn't changed at all. I must admit, a few nice surprises worked into the plot which were very creative and ingenious with an unsuspecting ending, as usual - which was the icing on the cake. Enjoyed the read overall.
Date published: 2009-10-04
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Well worth the read Like many people, I was highly anticipating this latest of Dan Brown's Robert Langdon books. I know it took several years for him to complete it, and I'm glad that he took his time. It showed in the level of detail that, for me anyway, didn't take away from the story. The pace was good and the characters interesting, keeping me eager to read more and not even blinking at the 500+ pages. I chuckled at the little dig at himself that he put in when someone who recognizes Langdon says that she recognized him because of what he was wearing, what he always wears (turtleneck, tweed coat, loafers). Like in the other two books, though, I managed to figure out two big plot points well before the characters: one early on in the book, the other about half way in. Not that that takes anything away from the book, but it still makes me wonder if I've read/watched too many thrillers over the years! After the climax of the book's main plot, the last few pages do seem a bit extraneous, if a bit preachy. I don't recall that in the other two books, so I may need to go back and check in case I missed it!
Date published: 2009-10-04
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Good but... Another Dan Brown novel and although it is very good, I have to admit it is not as good as his other novels. Angels and deamons in my favourite followed by Deception Point then Da Vinci and then this one. I found it slow to get through the first 100 pages and then it started to roll. He is still a great author.
Date published: 2009-10-03
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Pretty much what I expected. The Lost Symbol is another vintage Dan Brown thriller. He has the formula down to a science and it works darn well in his newest novel. Each short bite-sized chapter has a page-turner ending that makes it hard to put the book down. I had to force myself to read only 100 pages a day or I would have read the whole darn book in a sitting. This time around Professor Robert Langdon is involved in a life or death situation involving kidnapping, murder, conspiracy, Freemasonry and cutting edge science. Once again there are ancient mysteries that will shake civilization as we know it if they come to light. Pretty standard stuff, eh? Man, I've known lots of Professors but none of them ever had the bad luck Langdon has. He's in the wrong place at the wrong time yet again and has to solve a series of clues hidden in artwork and architecture to prevent a murder. Rather than Paris or Rome, in The Lost Symbol he's running around Washington D.C. digging through American history trying to solve a centuries-old puzzle. The American government and Freemasons and the CIA are all threatened by a bloodthirsty madman and his cronies. The villain of the book is a thoroughly creepy character - something like the DaVinci Codes' Albino monk - but with a nasty streak a mile wide. Langdon is still a likeable knowitall with a habit of attracting violence. The book will be tremendously popular but the DaVinci Code is a tough act to follow and it shows. In Angels & Demons Langdon prevented a conspiracy against the Catholic church. In DaVinci Code it was a conspiracy that threatened the beliefs at the very heart of Christianity. How do you compete with that? You can't. The Lost Symbol is nowhere near as thought-provoking or profound as DaVinci Code but it's still a whole lot of fun. It's a fast-paced thriller that delivers another exciting Robert Langdon adventure. Pretty much what I expected.
Date published: 2009-10-02
Rated 2 out of 5 by from Totally Disappointed I have read and enjoyed all of Dan Brown's books and I have too say this was not his best...The story line was interesting however, he took such a long route too get to the end's almost like his publisher said give me 500+ pages as he repeated himself over and over changing the wording but meaning the same thing. I found myself skipping over a lot of the villian's became blah blah blah. The twist at the end was a bit predictable.
Date published: 2009-10-02
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Great I don't normally read this style of books, but found this an interesting read and loved the twist. Could not put it down.
Date published: 2009-10-02
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Dan Brown's best book yet AMAZING! Definately his best book so far. Exciting, hard to put down, fun and a good rush. Definately worth the read. Keep writing DAN!
Date published: 2009-10-02
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Expand your mind. And have fun! I have read all of Dan Brown's most popular books, and this was my favorite. He seems to have honed his skills since earlier novels (see Deception point, which was also good). Many linguists, academics, and other purists criticize Brown's style, but I would never let this prevent me from reading his work. While he may lack the skills of other acclaimed authors, Brown's books sell for a reason. They are consistently entertaining, addictive, and adventurous. The ideas Brown puts forth in all his novels are largely based in conspiracy theory and pseudo-science - tricky territory, to say the least. However, he always manages to link the skeptical areas to concrete places, events, and world affairs. While much of the book will immediately be wrote off as rubbish in terms of scientific content, I always find his insight incredibly interesting. It is better to focus on the adventurous and wondrous spirit that permeates Brown's novels and not on the precise merit of his stabs at scientific validity. The message in Brown's books never fail to appeal to conspiracy theorists. But don't get caught up in this. It is better to see behind the science, technology and scandals. Try to see the motive behind Brown's novels. He is a very intelligent author who aptly weaves plots of great complexity, depth, and realism. Meanwhile, he manages to instill his personal theories on life, religion, science, and a greater power. And, somehow, it's still a light and fun-filled adventure. Go figure!
Date published: 2009-10-02
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Couldn't put it down ... Brown's best yet! I have read All of Dan Brown's books and this is by far his best! Altho a wee bit out there, I would recommend it to anyone that loves a serious mystery
Date published: 2009-10-01
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Dan Brown's best yet! When I started reading this book, I found it very hard to put down. The story is set in Washington, and is interwoven with interesting glimpses into the world of Freemasonry. It is fast-paced, exciting, and intriguing, with a few interesting twists at the end.
Date published: 2009-10-01
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Still strong I have just finished this book and it was good. It was in the same style as his others so if you liked his two other books you will like this one. There is a twist that I was not expecting which made it all tie in nicely. Good book but not great.
Date published: 2009-10-01
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Wow! Didn't know what to expect from Dan Brown this time around even though it felt for a few chapters like it was dragging, it definitely hit the point where it got more exiciting and then just took off and I didn't want to put it down for fear of missing something while I did!
Date published: 2009-10-01
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Another fast paced riddle A good read and my title says it all. No doubt many will say that it doesn't match the Da Vinci code. Well, of course....everyone knows about Jesus, Mary Magdelaine, etc. But not many know of the obsure group of fellows who call themselves Freemasons. And what is out there, is mostly falsehood or just plain ignorance. This book will educate you about the Freemasons, their beliefs, their reason of existance; and too will reveal some of their initiation rites. Some are embellished, but hey....a writer's privilege, eh ? At least he got it right that it goes back to the time of King Solomon. The Brits insist it only goes back to 1717 and started with the medieval cathedral builders. So much for the background. I give it a thumbs up.
Date published: 2009-09-28
Rated 2 out of 5 by from Meh ... It was OK, but not great. I think Dan Brown may have been pressured by his publisher to write another ultra best seller and sadly this book is more of a miss than a hit for me. I found that there were several inconsistencies in the narrative and honestly, he should have stopped writing when the story ended. His editor should be fired, and perhaps even forced to work a salt mine in Siberia for a few years because he let this book go WAY too long. If you are going to read the book, then take my advice and stop reading when you feel the story end. The epilogue goes on about 100 pages too long and it really doesn't have a purpose or contribute anything new to the novel, it simple seems that the author was experimenting with methods of tempting his readers to slit their wrists. I think I should send the publisher a bill for the bits of my life I can never get back. This book was OK, but certainly not great.
Date published: 2009-09-28
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Not as good as I'd imagined While this was an entertaining read, I found it resembled Davinci Code too much. I usually "inhale" Brown's novels in less than a day, but this one took me a few weeks...I kept putting it down. Borrow it or wait for the paperback.
Date published: 2009-09-28
Rated 1 out of 5 by from slogging through it I like thrillers and was looking forward to this one. I've read all of Dan Brown's other books and found them to be highly entertaining but this one is a slog. I don't know if I'll be finishing it.
Date published: 2009-09-26
Rated 4 out of 5 by from If you like thrillers, give it a read! Once again we are on a journey with Robert Langdon to try and solve one of the world’s great mysteries. Robert is brought to Washington DC under false pretences where he is quickly told to find the Ancient Mysteries of the Masons or his friend Peter Solomon (a high ranking member of the DC Masons) will die. Robert does not believe that there is such a thing as the Masonic pyramid to lead to the Ancient Mysteries, but he does believe and that the kidnapper/killer is delusional. To save his friend Robert is soon working with Peter Solomon’s sister to follow the trail to find the treasures that it may lead to. Robert needs to find the clues and solve the riddles before more people die, and the world is forever irrevocably changed. Ok, so Dan Brown is not the world’s best writer, but the storey is good. I find it very repetitive to leave one chapter on a clip hanger, and the very next page you recap it for the start of the next chapter. (My attention span in not that short). Lot’s of twists, and some are predictable. I know that some people find the topic of the Masons to be very intriguing; I would have preferred something like the search for the Alexandria library. Overall this is a really fun read. If you like thrillers, especially ones where you learn a little about history, this will be perfect for you.
Date published: 2009-09-25
Rated 2 out of 5 by from Not the epic we expected. The Lost Symbol starts out well. It's exciting and mysterious and extremely suspenseful. All kinds of new information is delivered and it made me want to go research more about the Masons and Eastern Star and Noetic science. At the beginning I thought, wow, this is a great book. About half way through I started to lose interest. It was still suspenseful but it was becoming almost repetitive. Every chapter ended the same way and Brown played off of Langdon's fears almost too much. Yeah, we know he is claustrophobic but not everything has to be a phobia. It makes the reader wonder if the situation really is that scary. Not everyone is scared of small, dark spaces. Try some regular old fear sometimes. Also, and this is something I loath in a book, there were a lot of redundancies. If I hear or read the word esoteric again, I might have to throw the book away. If something is actually esoteric then chances are you don't need to describe it as that. People are already going to be baffled by the name of the thing itself. When the final 'national crisis' is revealed at the end it felt a little bit anti-climactic. This could be for two reasons. One: The crisis would have meant nothing to me except as something fascinating to watch. I did not feel a sense of dread at the thought of this happening. Two: It could have been because it plays very much on American paranoia. His other books have out comes that very much effect the world as a whole but this one really seemed to target America. it just didn't strike me as something all that horrific. And last but not least, the very end of the book was similar to the last Lord of the Rings movie. It seemed to go on forever. With tying up all the lose ends, the book felt like it had multiple endings. Thrillers should end on the same note that is carried through out. Quick and dirty. Leave your readers feelings raw and energized. Not lethargic and content. Over all, not the best book I have ever read.
Date published: 2009-09-23
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Excellent Book! I could not put it down for the day and half that I was reading it always the mark of a good read!
Date published: 2009-09-22
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Not the road less travelled by! Dan Browns latest book was predictable and the characters and situation seemed vaguely familiar. He seemed to be recycling some ideas and trying to tie up loose ends from other books. The plot was a little too transparent and He should have ended the book at the climax and not had Langdon running all over creation for another ten chapters plus an epilogue. That being said, I did not put the book down until I was done, it does capture the attention of the reader and you can easily see how this book will translate to the big screen very easily. I may wait until it comes out on video, though.
Date published: 2009-09-21
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Dan Brown Still Delivers Dan Brown returns (finally) with his latest Robert Langdon adventure. Unlike the first two Langdon novels, The Lost Symbol doesn't deal with the history of the Christian church. This time round it is the mythology of the Masons. Langdon is summoned to Washington, D.C., by a mysterious phone call that he thinks is coming from his old friend and mentor Peter Solomon, head of the Smithsonian. As a favour to Solomon, Langdon agrees to be the last minute substitute speaker at a Smithsonian fundraiser at the Capitol building. But when he shows up, there's no fundraiser and no speech, and his friend has been kidnapped. Let the race begin. Langdon has only a few hours to discover something that might not even exist: a Masonic pyramid that harbors the Ancient Mysteries, “a body of secret knowledge that was amassed long ago” and that “enables its practitioners to access powerful abilities that lie dormant in the human mind.” Throughout his quest for this mystic lore, Langdon confronts the usual battalion of public servants trying to stop him. As with the first two books, Langdon also finds himself teamed up with a female sidekick, this time older than usual, and who, as a specialist in Noetic Science, the science that explores the idea that human consciousness can affect the physical world, even gets a chance to lecture him for a change. Otherwise, the “Da Vinci” template remains largely intact. Where, in the previous book, the savagery was committed by a massive albino monk, this time it is committed by a massive, tattooed eunich who is threatening to bring about “a cataclysm from which this country might not recover.” The plot of The Lost Symbol is fast paced, but despite the fact that his friend's life is at stake, you don't get the same sense of urgency as you did with the first two books. There aren't as many twists and turns this time round either and I found the revelation about the identity of Mal'akh, the bad guy, rather predictable. Fans of Langdon will be happy to learn he's still wearing his Mickey Mouse watch and still doesn't like elevators or other tight spaces. Speaking of enclosed spaces, fans will also be in for some harrowing pages, but I don't want to spoil it for you. All in all, Brown has provided a fun and entertaining (and possibly enlightening) read. I'm sure The Lost Symbol will do for Washington, D.C. what Angels and Demons did for Rome. While I practically flew through this book, I did find that it helped to take the time to google some of the places and things Brown writes about. For example, very early in the book, Mal'akh is preparing for his big night of evil by listening to Verdi's Lux Aeterna. Google it, you will recognize it I'm sure. I found it added to the experience to be able to see and hear what Brown describes and I look forward to the illustrated version of this book when it is becomes available.
Date published: 2009-09-19
Rated 5 out of 5 by from PHENOMENAL BOOK!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Definitely Dan's best book yet!!! Couldn't put it down!!!
Date published: 2009-09-17
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Not a bad read Don't let the 2-dimensional characterizations scare you off. This book quickly turns into the page turner of the decade. And not just because of the skillful way Brown ends each chapter with one cliffhanger better than the last, or surprises you by playing on your assumptions.
Date published: 2009-04-30

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 away from the White House.This colossal edifice, located at 1733 Sixteenth Street NW in Washington, D.C., was a replica of a pre-Christian temple—the temple of King Mausolus, the original mausoleum . . . a place to be taken after death. Outside the main entrance, two seventeen-ton sphinxes guarded the bronze doors. The interior was an ornate labyrinth of ritualistic chambers, halls, sealed vaults, libraries, and even a hollow wall that held the remains of two human bodies. The initiate had been told every room in this building held a secret, and yet he knew no room held deeper secrets than the gigantic chamber in which he was currently kneeling with a skull cradled in his palms.The Temple Room.This room was a perfect square. And cavernous. The ceiling soared an astonishing one hundred feet overhead, supported by monolithic columns of green granite. A tiered gallery of dark Russian walnut seats with hand-tooled pigskin encircled the room. A thirty-three-foot-tall throne dominated the western wall, with a concealed pipe organ opposite it. The walls were a kaleidoscope of ancient symbols . . . Egyptian, Hebraic, astronomical, alchemical, and others yet unknown.Tonight, the Temple Room was lit by a series of precisely arranged candles. Their dim glow was aided only by a pale shaft of moonlight that filtered down through the expansive oculus in the ceiling and illuminated the room's most startling feature—an enormous altar hewn from a solid block of polished Belgian black marble, situated dead center of the square chamber.The secret is how to die, the initiate reminded himself."It is time," a voice whispered.The initiate let his gaze climb the distinguished white-robed figure standing before him. The Supreme Worshipful Master. The man, in his late fifties, was an American icon, well loved, robust, and incalculably wealthy. His once-dark hair was turning silver, and his famous visage reflected a lifetime of power and a vigorous intellect."Take the oath," the Worshipful Master said, his voice soft like falling snow. "Complete your journey."The initiate's journey, like all such journeys, had begun at the first degree. On that night, in a ritual similar to this one, the Worshipful Master had blindfolded him with a velvet hoodwink and pressed a ceremonial dagger to his bare chest, demanding: "Do you seriously declare on your honor, uninfluenced by mercenary or any other unworthy motive, that you freely and voluntarily offer yourself as a candidate for the mysteries and privileges of this brotherhood?""I do," the initiate had lied."Then let this be a sting to your consciousness," the master had warned him, "as well as instant death should you ever betray the secrets to be imparted to you."At the time, the initiate had felt no fear. They will never know my true purpose here.Tonight, however, he sensed a foreboding solemnity in the Temple Room, and his mind began replaying all the dire warnings he had been given on his journey, threats of terrible consequences if he ever shared the ancient secrets he was about to learn: Throat cut from ear to ear . . . tongue torn out by its roots . . . bowels taken out and burned . . . scattered to the four winds of heaven . . . heart plucked out and given to the beasts of the field—"Brother," the gray-eyed master said, placing his left hand on the initiate's shoulder. "Take the final oath."Steeling himself for the last step of his journey, the initiate shifted his muscular frame and turned his attention back to the skull cradled in his palms. The crimson wine looked almost black in the dim candlelight. The chamber had fallen deathly silent, and he could feel all of the witnesses watching him, waiting for him to take his final oath and join their elite ranks.Tonight, he thought, something is taking place within these walls that has never before occurred in the history of this brotherhood. Not once, in centuries.He knew it would be the spark . . . and it would give him unfathomable power. Energized, he drew a breath and spoke aloud the same words that countless men had spoken before him in countries all over the world."May this wine I now drink become a deadly poison to me . . . should I ever knowingly or willfully violate my oath."His words echoed in the hollow space.Then all was quiet.Steadying his hands, the initiate raised the skull to his mouth and felt his lips touch the dry bone. He closed his eyes and tipped the skull toward his mouth, drinking the wine in long, deep swallows. When the last drop was gone, he lowered the skull.For an instant, he thought he felt his lungs growing tight, and his heart began to pound wildly. My God, they know! Then, as quickly as it came, the feeling passed.A pleasant warmth began to stream through his body. The initiate exhaled, smiling inwardly as he gazed up at the unsuspecting gray-eyed man who had foolishly admitted him into this brotherhood's most secretive ranks.Soon you will lose everything you hold most dear.Chapter 1The Otis elevator climbing the south pillar of the Eiffel Tower was overflowing with tourists. Inside the cramped lift, an austere businessman in a pressed suit gazed down at the boy beside him. "You look pale, son. You should have stayed on the ground.""I'm okay . . ." the boy answered, struggling to control his anxiety. "I'll get out on the next level." I can't breathe.The man leaned closer. "I thought by now you would have gotten over this." He brushed the child's cheek affectionately.The boy felt ashamed to disappoint his father, but he could barely hear through the ringing in his ears. I can't breathe. I've got to get out of this box!The elevator operator was saying something reassuring about the lift's articulated pistons and puddled-iron construction. Far beneath them, the streets of Paris stretched out in all directions.Almost there, the boy told himself, craning his neck and looking up at the unloading platform. Just hold on.As the lift angled steeply toward the upper viewing deck, the shaft began to narrow, its massive struts contracting into a tight, vertical tunnel."Dad, I don't think—"Suddenly a staccato crack echoed overhead. The carriage jerked, swaying awkwardly to one side. Frayed cables began whipping around the carriage, thrashing like snakes. The boy reached out for his father."Dad!"Their eyes locked for one terrifying second.Then the bottom dropped out.Robert Langdon jolted upright in his soft leather seat, startling out of the semiconscious daydream. He was sitting all alone in the enormous cabin of a Falcon 2000EX corporate jet as it bounced its way through turbulence. In the background, the dual Pratt & Whitney engines hummed evenly."Mr. Langdon?" The intercom crackled overhead. "We're on final approach."Langdon sat up straight and slid his lecture notes back into his leather daybag. He'd been halfway through reviewing Masonic symbology when his mind had drifted. The daydream about his late father, Langdon suspected, had been stirred by this morning's unexpected invitation from Langdon's longtime mentor, Peter Solomon.The other man I never want to disappoint.The fifty-eight-year-old philanthropist, historian, and scientist had taken Langdon under his wing nearly thirty years ago, in many ways filling the void left by Langdon's father's death. Despite the man's influential family dynasty and massive wealth, Langdon had found humility and warmth in Solomon's soft gray eyes.Outside the window the sun had set, but Langdon could still make out the slender silhouette of the world's largest obelisk, rising on the horizon like the spire of an ancient gnomon. The 555-foot marble-faced obelisk marked this nation's heart. All around the spire, the meticulous geometry of streets and monuments radiated outward.Even from the air, Washington, D.C., exuded an almost mystical power.Langdon loved this city, and as the jet touched down, he felt a rising excitement about what lay ahead. The jet taxied to a private terminal somewhere in the vast expanse of Dulles International Airport and came to a stop.Langdon gathered his things, thanked the pilots, and stepped out of the jet's luxurious interior onto the foldout staircase. The cold January air felt liberating.Breathe, Robert, he thought, appreciating the wide-open spaces.A blanket of white fog crept across the runway, and Langdon had the sensation he was stepping into a marsh as he descended onto the misty tarmac."Hello! Hello!" a singsong British voice shouted from across the tarmac. "Professor Langdon?"Langdon looked up to see a middle-aged woman with a badge and clipboard hurrying toward him, waving happily as he approached. Curly blond hair protruded from under a stylish knit wool hat."Welcome to Washington, sir!"Langdon smiled. "Thank you.""My name is Pam, from passenger services." The woman spoke with an exuberance that was almost unsettling. "If you'll come with me, sir, your car is waiting."Langdon followed her across the runway toward the Signature terminal, which was surrounded by glistening private jets. A taxi stand for the rich and famous."I hate to embarrass you, Professor," the woman said, sounding sheepish, "but you are the Robert Langdon who writes books about symbols and religion, aren't you?"Langdon hesitated and then nodded."I thought so!" she said, beaming. "My book group read your book about the sacred feminine and the church! What a delicious scandal that one caused! You do enjoy putting the fox in the henhouse!"Langdon smiled. "Scandal wasn't really my intention."The woman seemed to sense Langdon was not in the mood to discuss his work. "I'm sorry. Listen to me rattling on. I know you probably get tired of being recognized . . . but it's your own fault." She playfully motioned to his clothing. "Your uniform gave you away."My uniform? Langdon glanced down at his attire. He was wearing his usual charcoal turtleneck, Harris Tweed jacket, khakis, and collegiate cordovan loafers . . . his standard attire for the classroom, lecture circuit, author photos, and social events.The woman laughed. "Those turtlenecks you wear are so dated. You'd look much sharper in a tie!"No chance, Langdon thought. Little nooses.Neckties had been required six days a week when Langdon attended Phillips Exeter Academy, and despite the headmaster's romantic claims that the origin of the cravat went back to the silk fascalia worn by Roman orators to warm their vocal cords, Langdon knew that, etymologically, cravat actually derived from a ruthless band of "Croat" mercenaries who donned knotted neckerchiefs before they stormed into battle. To this day, this ancient battle garb was donned by modern office warriors hoping to intimidate their enemies in daily boardroom battles."Thanks for the advice," Langdon said with a chuckle. "I'll consider a tie in the future."Mercifully, a professional-looking man in a dark suit got out of a sleek Lincoln Town Car parked near the terminal and held up his finger. "Mr. Langdon? I'm Charles with Beltway Limousine." He opened the passenger door. "Good evening, sir. Welcome to Washington."Langdon tipped Pam for her hospitality and then climbed into the plush interior of the Town Car. The driver showed him the temperature controls, the bottled water, and the basket of hot muffins. Seconds later, Langdon was speeding away on a private access road. So this is how the other half lives.As the driver gunned the car up Windsock Drive, he consulted his passenger manifest and placed a quick call. "This is Beltway Limousine," the driver said with professional efficiency. "I was asked to confirm once my passenger had landed." He paused. "Yes, sir. Your guest, Mr. Langdon, has arrived, and I will deliver him to the Capitol Building by seven P.M. You're welcome, sir." He hung up.Langdon had to smile. No stone left unturned. Peter Solomon's attention to detail was one of his most potent assets, allowing him to manage his substantial power with apparent ease. A few billion dollars in the bank doesn't hurt either.Langdon settled into the plush leather seat and closed his eyes as the noise of the airport faded behind him. The U.S. Capitol was a half hour away, and he appreciated the time alone to gather his thoughts. Everything had happened so quickly today that Langdon only now had begun to think in earnest about the incredible evening that lay ahead.Arriving under a veil of secrecy, Langdon thought, amused by the prospect.Ten miles from the Capitol Building, a lone figure was eagerly preparing for Robert Langdon's arrival.

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?

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