Sunday, September 20, 2009
Dan Brown's, 'The Lost Symbol'
Dan Brown's latest novel has a lame title and limps out of the blocks before gathering speed and confidence. The book displays all the elements we associate with the author of The Da Vinci Code: a plot that unfolds in an extremely compressed time-span, cutting between multiple locations; chapter endings that keep the reader hooked and turning the pages; secrets buried, literally and figuratively, for centuries; a secret society with powerful members; a security chief with an agenda; a giant, beast-like killer with a fondness for self-mortification; a hero turned fugitive; mystical symbols hidden in plain view inside familiar monuments; and cyphers waiting to be cracked by the protagonist and his accomplished, good-looking female partner.
The novel reaches a climax around page 380 with a shocking passage in which Brown raises his mediocre descriptive skill a few notches above anything he has published previously. At this point, The Lost Symbol is transformed into something more than an enjoyable reworking of a successful formula. I won't disappoint you with details of what happens in the subsequent 130 odd pages. The book itself does a pretty good job of that (disappointing you, that is).