Friday, October 30, 2009

The Lost Symbol by Dan Brown .

I have mixed feelings about this 509 page book, that has been published in hardback. It will prove a very popular book because there was a first printing of 6.5 million (5 million in North America, 1.5 million in the UK), the largest in Doubleday history. On its first day the book sold one million in hardcover and e-book versions in the U.S., the U.K. and Canada, making it the fastest selling adult novel in history. Since its release, it has remained at the top of the New York Times Best Seller list for hardcover fiction for 6 straight weeks.

I think The Lost Symbol is good because it is easy reading, the story is very accessible. The story revolves around Freemasonry and is a tale of conspiracy involving a pyramid that could lead to the secrets of the Ancient Mysteries. The Lost Symbol is an entertaining novel that is an enjoyable read. There are many twists in the story and the reader develops doubts about all the characters. This novel explores a lot of the history of art and culture through the centuries. There has been an awful lot of research gone into this book, which is a good mix of fact and fiction. This book is good for people who are not regular book readers as Dan Brown steadily builds up his story in easy blocks, he will introduce his characters slowly, one at a time, the reader is not thrown straight in at the deep end of the plot.

I do however think The Lost Symbol is bad because for me it is the All Day Breakfast of the Pub Menu. An All Day Breakfast is okay, it is basic food but there are better meals on the menu. This book is okay, it has passed my quality threshold but I know there are far better authors in the bookstore. This story is okay but it is not as good as The Da Vinci Code , which I read on holiday in June 2007. The Da Vinci Code was the book that set me off abandoning daily newspapers and becoming a regular book reader. The characters in The Lost Symbol are all smug and display an arrogance that is typical of Americans. I did not like the personality of any of the characters and the time frame of the book is a challenge to the average reader. The basic storyline takes place in only 12 hours but the reader will take many days to consume this book, 17 days in my case. Therefore I did not get that "living with the book" feeling I enjoy with other books. I thought the ending of this book was stupid and it made this book appear as a childish fantasy to me. At the end I felt cheated and thought that this story was not credible. The storyline does not add up and I cannot believe that people would act like this in real life. What was an easy and entertaining read ended with me thinking the whole story was daft. My lasting impression of The Lost Symbol is one of watching an easily forgettable made-for-television drama. I expect a film will be made of The Lost Symbol and it will be a box office success.

I agree with the whole review of The Lost Symbol written by William Sutcliffe for the Financial Times . William ends his review with the line "This is a novel that asks nothing of the reader, and gives the reader nothing back."

I was lucky, I did not pay for this book, it was passed onto me by a workmate called Matthew. That is how I will pitch The Lost Symbol, it is an okay book to read if it is passed onto you from a friend. I do not suggest bloggers purchase a copy because there are far better books to read by far better authors in the bookstore. If you are not a seasoned book reader then you should try The Lost Symbol because it will show you the way to enjoy reading novels, an easy start. If you are passed a copy of The Lost Symbol then I suggest you read it so that you at least know what the masses are talking about!
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