The Lost Symbol by Dan BrownThe Lost Symbol by Dan Brown

The Lost Symbol

byDan Brown

Paperback | May 1, 2012

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Famed Harvard symbologist Robert Langdon answers an unexpected summons to appear at the U.S. Capitol Building. His planned lecture is interrupted when a disturbing object—artfully encoded with five symbols—is discovered in the building. Langdon recognizes in the find an ancient invitation into a lost world of esoteric, potentially dangerous wisdom. When his mentor Peter Solomon—a longstanding Mason and beloved philanthropist—is kidnapped, Langdon realizes that the only way to save Solomon is to accept the mystical invitation and plunge headlong into a clandestine world of Masonic secrets, hidden history, and one inconceivable truth . . . all under the watchful eye of Dan Brown's most terrifying villain to date. Set within the hidden chambers, tunnels, and temples of Washington, D.C., The Lost Symbol is an intelligent, lightning-paced story with surprises at every turn--Brown's most exciting 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:PaperbackDimensions:624 pages, 8 × 5.14 × 1.06 inPublished:May 1, 2012Publisher:Knopf Doubleday Publishing GroupLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0307950689

ISBN - 13:9780307950680


Rated 5 out of 5 by from Fabulous as always Love this book, great addition to the series. A bit more intense that some of his others but nonetheless very captivating!
Date published: 2017-07-25
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Love this story Another exciting installment with our beloved character.
Date published: 2017-06-20
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Not My Favourite Dan Brown Not my favourite Dan Brown novel. I found it quite long and drawn out but it was still an interesting concept. He is an excellent writer
Date published: 2017-06-07
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Loved it! I loved this book and couldn't put it down. Very entertaining!
Date published: 2017-05-18
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Interesting A very interesting book that weaves religion, science and history to tell a very powerful story. I enjoyed it and would definitely recommend.
Date published: 2017-05-08
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Another goody For a third in a series that doesn't seem to be ending, Brown needs to keep it creative. I love how factual his books always are yet brings it into the world of great fiction. Must read if you've followed Langdon on his first journeys
Date published: 2017-05-05
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Okay It's pretty mesmerizing as a read, but nowhere near as good as The Da Vinci Code
Date published: 2017-05-05
Rated 4 out of 5 by from good read solid read, Dan Brown at his best
Date published: 2017-05-05
Rated 4 out of 5 by from captivating and fast read I really like all the dan brown books except deception point. They are intriguing and an easy read.
Date published: 2017-04-27
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Excellent! Loved the fast pace! A real page turner!
Date published: 2017-04-18
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Liked it Thoroughly enjoyed the mystery and fast pace
Date published: 2017-04-06
Rated 4 out of 5 by from it makes me want to visit Washington I haven't visited Washington but after reading this book, I would really like to visit and see myself if what all that is mentioned in the book is actually true or piece of fiction. Another amazing work from Dan Brown
Date published: 2017-03-28
Rated 5 out of 5 by from So good!!!! Excellent addition to the series! I loved it just as much as the first books
Date published: 2017-03-18
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Really enjoyed this one Have read all of Dan Brown's books including this one and this one was not my favourite but thoroughly entertaining. Would recommend.
Date published: 2017-03-17
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Great Book After reading the Da Vinci Code. knew that Dan Brown would not disappoint .
Date published: 2017-03-17
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Dan Brown does it again! Great read, like with all the other Robert Langdon books - if you're a fan of the others, like the "The Da Vinci Code", etc., you'll like this one too. Started a bit slower than the others, but soon picked up!
Date published: 2017-03-09
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Difficult to start with Found this difficult to start with but once I got into it I was hooked
Date published: 2017-02-28
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Good I find it interesting, absolutely, but it's important to always acknowledge that Dan Brown's "history" is mostly unbacked theories! That being said, I did enjoy reading the book but I understand why some will find it repetitive.
Date published: 2017-02-28
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Not Robert Langdon's best adventure At this point, Dan Brown is who he is. He churns out these easy to read mystery/adventure stories. Far from being high literature, it at least is entertaining enough. While the Lost Symbol is not as good as his previous Langdon books, it is at least a decent read.
Date published: 2017-02-12
Rated 3 out of 5 by from It was okay Lacks epicness and felt like a slow read
Date published: 2017-02-10
Rated 2 out of 5 by from The Lost Symbol is a huge disappointment. The Lost Symbol is disappointing, boring, and disorienting at times. This book isn't as interesting as its predecessors because Brown ventured away from the hidden mysteries to focus more on action. The Lost Symbol has an intriguing premise. The freemasons and all their hidden messages and mysteries found in Washington D. C. However, Brown only focuses on a few mysteries that are stretched thin from the beginning of the novel to the end. I was looking forward to exploring different pieces of art and decoding hidden messages within them. That is featured within the book, however not nearly as much as the previous novels. The few moments that are spent decoding mysteries are thrilling and kept me glued to the page, but they were too few. The other characters aren't that interesting. I found myself skimming through their chapters so that I could return to Robert as quickly as possible. Those characters' opening chapters were slow, boring, and didn't offer anything immediate to the story making it a chore to read. Overall, The Lost Symbol is a huge disappointment. It didn't feature hidden mysteries and decoding as prominently as it's predecessors making it dull and boring.
Date published: 2017-02-03
Rated 2 out of 5 by from The Lost Symbol is a huge disappointment. The Lost Symbol is disappointing, boring, and disorienting at times. This book isn't as interesting as its predecessors because Brown ventured away from the hidden mysteries to focus more on action. The Lost Symbol has an intriguing premise. The freemasons and all their hidden messages and mysteries found in Washington D. C. However, Brown only focuses on a few mysteries that are stretched thin from the beginning of the novel to the end. I was looking forward to exploring different pieces of art and decoding hidden messages within them. That is featured within the book, however not nearly as much as the previous novels. The few moments that are spent decoding mysteries are thrilling and kept me glued to the page, but they were too few. The other characters aren't that interesting. I found myself skimming through their chapters so that I could return to Robert as quickly as possible. Those characters' opening chapters were slow, boring, and didn't offer anything immediate to the story making it a chore to read. Overall, The Lost Symbol is a huge disappointment. It didn't feature hidden mysteries and decoding as prominently as it's predecessors making it dull and boring
Date published: 2017-01-28
Rated 5 out of 5 by from The Most Underrated Book in the Series Lost Symbol gets no love, yet it's probably the second best book in the series, after Angels and Demons.
Date published: 2017-01-26
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Langdon Not as fun when Langdon is running around Washington, rather than Rome, Paris or London
Date published: 2017-01-19
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Loved It Wow, another blockbuster by Dan Brown. I really hope this make a movie out of this book. Very well done!
Date published: 2017-01-17
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Couldn't Put It Down As usual, I loved another Robert Langdon book and I'm very excited for Origins later this year! This one was a great mix of some of his earlier work and combining that with the Robert Langdon series.
Date published: 2017-01-17
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Good book! Not the best in the series but still very good!
Date published: 2017-01-04
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Good stuff enjoyed it as in-flight read
Date published: 2016-12-07
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Enjoyable Book Like the storyline and the new "bad guy" character....good ready as always
Date published: 2016-11-29
Rated 2 out of 5 by from Weak Link in the Series Not a fan of this book in the series about Professor Robert Langdon.
Date published: 2016-11-24
Rated 2 out of 5 by from Maybe we just will forget about this one... A typical Robert Langdon novel, but lacks the intrigue and imagination of DaVinci Code or Angels and Demons.
Date published: 2016-11-23
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Loved it Suspense, mystery and keeps you guessing!
Date published: 2016-11-23
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Loved it! It's true that his books seem to be similar to each other like they follow a formula but for some reason I still find them very exciting! I can never put them down! Can't wait to read the next one!
Date published: 2016-11-21
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Best one so far This is a terrific novel that keeps you guessing. Combines suspense and mystery wonderfully and impossible to put down. Must read.
Date published: 2016-11-20
Rated 4 out of 5 by from One of my favourite Dan Brown novels Great read that keeps you interested throughout.
Date published: 2016-11-15
Rated 5 out of 5 by from The Lost Symbol This is probably my favorite Dan Brown book. It's clever and keeps you on your toes. Great read.
Date published: 2016-11-10
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Illustrated Versions are Always a Good Investment Like others I too feel that this was not Mr. Brown's best work. Whenever I read his novels I endevour to read the illustrated versions to better associate with the locations, pieces, and symbology. Compared to the thrills of Angels & Demons or Digital Fortress, perhaps Brown was being forced to write faster than his usual pace, and the book suffers for that. Since the America's history isn't as far reaching into the past as Europe I was confused by his choice to place his characters there. Why not Spain? Why not Istanbul? But a lovely read none the less, a grab-and-go, if you will. I'm sure others will like this one if they have read other Dan Brown novels but it won't be anyones favourite.
Date published: 2016-07-16
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Lost in D.C. For me, this book did not live up to the calibur of Dan Brown books I've grown accustomed to. Set in Washington, D.C. there certainly were enough landmarks and historical sites to uncover no shortage of mysteries. However this book was all about the Masons, there were almost too many layers to the symbology we learn about, and there wasn't nearly enough of the chase from landmark to landmark that Brown usually treats us to. The book was definitely a page-turner from the start. Short, terse chapters keep the reader up late. But the ending probably wrapped up about 4-5 times before revealing yet another layer, and before finally coming to an end. As to that ending, I found it a little lacking and unsatisfactory given the build-up. That said, one 'ah-ha' moment I didn't expect made this read worthwhile. This was a relatively entertaining read ... but not as good as the last one (DaVinci Code) or the next one (Inferno).
Date published: 2013-07-05
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Really great book for thrill seekers Another great book by Dan Brown. The style and the plot has Dan's name written all over it. A really good page turner that keeps you attached to the book. I have to admit though, I was disappointed at the end. The ending of the story didn't live up to all the mystery/thrill that started from the first page. Also, there's one mystery that I think either he forgot to explain or I didn't understand :-)
Date published: 2012-08-21

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

This guide is intended to enhance your book group’s discussion of Dan Brown’s The Lost Symbol, the thrilling follow-up to The Da Vinci Code.


Editorial Reviews

“Impossible to put down. . . . Another mind-blowing Robert Langdon story.”    —The New York Times“Thrilling in the extreme. . . . A definite page-flipper.”     —New York Daily News“The wait is over. The Lost Symbol is here. . . . Thrilling and entertaining, like the experience on a roller coaster.”     —Los Angeles Times “Dan Brown is a master of the breathless, puzzle-driven thriller.”    —Richmond Times-Dispatch“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.”    —The New York Times “Call it Brownian motion: a comet-tail ride of beautifully spaced reveals and a socko unveiling of the killer’s true identity.”    —The Washington Post “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 “A fascinating pleasure. . . . Upends our usual assumptions about the world we think we know.”    —Newsweek “A roaring ride. . . . A caper filled with puzzles, grids, symbols, pyramids and a secret that can bestow ‘unfathomable power.’”    —San Francisco Chronicle “[The] Indiana Jones of intellectuals, Robert Langdon, rides again. . . . Revelations connecting faith and science . . . add dimension to this page-turner’s thrills.”     —People