12 September, 2012

Something's lost, but not just a symbol

Dan Brown

Curiously i had recently read on-line that this was the most borrowed book in libraries last year when i happened to see it in the local library, so i picked it up; after all, i enjoyed each of Brown's other books, though they were formulaic, so why not this one? I am now in a position to answer that question: Because it is more farcical than believable, more ridiculous than clever, more pointless than a broken pencil. Because i enjoyed his previous books, though they were, to an extent, predictable, and because i respect his success (both financial and on my strict, single criterion) i regret having to write this review, but The Lost Symbol was laughable; literally, at points during it, i was laughing ~ from embarrassment at how bad it was, at the ridiculous things he was expecting me to accept, at the mistakes of fact he made, at the absurd ways his characters behaved in order to further his plot twists.

When i started reading the book i really had to work quite hard to get into it; indeed, it has been three weeks since i took it out of the library, and i started it the day i took it out. I felt guilty because i was not being gripped by the story, desperate to turn the pages, as i had been when reading his other works. It was not until well over halfway through that i felt i was going to be able to make it to the end: Though i knew intellectually i would, as i do with practically every book i start, i didn't know it emotionally, i wasn't excited about reading it. Because of my previous experience, i confess that i thought there was something wrong with me, with mine understanding, mine involvement. I was clearly, very mistaken. There was something wrong, all right, but it was with Brown and his book, not me. Sadly, this sequel is an absolute indictment of the idea that because one book has been successful, another in the same vein must be, too. Certainly it was popular when it came out, i remember the displays; i bet, however, if he were to write another about Robert Langdon not half the people that read this one would rush to pick it up ~ assuming that, like me, they felt it was, rather than a can't put it down, a can't pick it up book. Brown should have stopped after The Da Vinci Code, while he was ahead.

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