Audiobook Section > Audiobook Reviews
ADVERTISEMENT
Audiobook Reviews
Dan Brown - The Lost Symbol - Unabridged Audiobook - Full Review
( 0 )

The Lost Symbol

by Dan Brown

Dan Brown's The Lost Symbol was, even before its launch, a record-breaking bestseller with the largest pre-launch print run for 2009. The hyped follow-up to the incredibly successful, The Da Vinci Code, and featuring the same hero, Robert Langdon.

From the very start this thriller is a page-turner. Although some of the leading-edge theoretical science, which is found throughout the story, went way over my head, the religious and artistic symbolism which also features strongly throughout, was more engrossing and digestible. The archictectural and masonic mysteries in which the novel is rich, were also a strong point. But all this, coupled with Dan Brown's undoubted skill in writing thrillers, were not enough to prevent the novel from being a major disappointment.

One accepts that an adventure tale will focus more on action than character but the characters in this novel are two dimensional and not believable. The sole exception is Sato, the senior intelligence officer who is a fierce opponent to Langdon's schemes in part of the novel. Sato is a Japanese-American woman and a veritable force of nature. She has survived throat-cancer yet still smokes and leads a unit which plays a crucial role in defending America.

Sato is Brown's most successful character in this novel, but she is ironically the poorest character for the reader Paul Michael. Paul Michael puts in a brilliant performance - and brilliant is the word - reading the book in a manner perfectly in sympathy with the text and capturing the essence of each character with his voice. Unfortunately Sato has been under the surgeon's knife and had half her voice box removed. Michael's attempt to render Sato's voice with full evidence of her disability is a wasted effort. It would have been preferable to state the fact of her disability and to leave the rest to the reader's imagination. In all other respects, as in his reading of The Da Vinci Code, Michael's performance is somewhat understated and pleasing.

For fans of The Da Vinci Code what is most disappointing in this novel is that there is no 'floating hand' moment. A point at which the reader must - if close to a computer - stop and google the reference in the book to see if what is said is actually true. The bizarre image of The Apotheosis of Washington is the nearest contender, perhaps. And there are many genuinely intriguing facts and suppositions put forward in the book. The feeling is one of reading a particularly interesting Wikipedia article. Dan Brown is a mine of obscure and astonishing facts about a huge range of subjects that encompass the symbolism of ancient religions to the role of freemasonry and pagan religious iconography in the design and building of America's capital city Washington DC, and a lot besides. And, just like reading a Wikipedia article, you never quite know if what you are being told is entirely correct and accurate.

The strongest feature of the book is the theme of religious sacrifice which is a deftly woven into the fabric of the story and which is presented in sometimes startling scenes which cause you to stop and reflect on the role that sacrifice plays in religion. Not just in the blood sacrifices of the Mayan's and burnt offerings of the old testament but altogether more significant sacrifices: the call by God upon Abraham to sacrifice his son and the actual sacrifice of Christ by crucifixion . These are powerfully moving events which even devout Christians sometimes struggle with. Not surprisingly another strong aspect of the story is its exploration of two of the most problematic relationships: that between father and son and that between God and man. Though quite what conclusions (if any) might be drawn from The Lost Symbol is something not easy to judge.

The weakest element of the novel is the plot which is sufficient only to support a short story. Dan Brown fills in the gaps with exceptionally well conceived and well written action scenes, a great deal of drama, mystery and suspense and not a little philosophical and scientic musing. None of this makes up for fact that motives of the characters, when stripped to the bone, are in the end really quite simple, and for the majority of the key characters the entire duration of the novel is taken up largely by responses to the actions of the evil mastermind of the plot, Mal'akh and not by any other more individual motives. And some of the scientific and philosphical stuff seems to connect barely at all with the rest of the novel, or with real-world science: ("The truth was that Katherine was doing science so advanced that it no longer even resembled science..."). Dan Brown also throws in a few red herrings and a touch of gruesome detail neither of which enhance the reading experience.

Published by Random House in the USA and Whole Story Audio Books in the UK. Read by Paul Michael.

Litrev Rating

Overall 2______

Suspense 3______
Characters 0______
Plot 1______
Audio 3______
Own it? Rate it!
( 2 )
 
«StartPrev1234567NextEnd»

JoomlaWatch Stats 1.2.9 by Matej Koval

Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone - Full Re

Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone by JK Rowling Read brilliantly by Stephen Fry, Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone is one of those books that demon...

continues...

Agatha Christie - At Bertram's Hotel - Full Review

At Bertram's Hotel by Agatha Christie After a promis...

continues...

Agatha Christie - Sad Cypress

Sad Cypress by Agatha Christie Opening with a ...

continues...

Agatha Christie - Sad Cypress - Full Review

Sad Cypress by Agatha Christie HarperCollins ...

continues...

Agatha Christie's Audiobook - And Then There Were

And Then There Were None by Agatha Christie Like several other Agatha Christie novels, And Then There Were None opens with a nursery rhyme - in this ca...

continues...

JK Rowling - Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire

Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire by JK Rowling If it hurts again go straight to Dumbledore. They're saying t...

continues...

Ian Fleming - James Bond - Moonraker

Moonraker by Ian Fleming UPDAT...

continues...

Daphne du Maurier - Rebecca

Rebecca by Daphne du Maurier A novel about jea...

continues...

Agatha Christie - The ABC Murders

The ABC Murders by Agatha Christie I think that I...

continues...

Graham Greene - The Third Man

The Third Man by Graham Greene A haunting nov...

continues...

More in: Recommeded Audiobooks

ADVERTISEMENT

Agatha Christie - The ABC Murders

The ABC Murders by Agatha Christie ...

continues...

JK Rowling - Harry Potter and the Goblet of F

Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire by JK Rowling If it hurts agai...

continues...

Agatha Christie - Sad Cypress - Full Review

Sad Cypress by Agatha Christie H...

continues...

Graham Greene - The Third Man

The Third Man by Graham Greene ...

continues...

Daphne du Maurier - Rebecca

Rebecca by Daphne du Maurier A n...

continues...

Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone - Fu

Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone by JK Rowling Read brilliantly by Stephen Fry, Harry Potter and the Philosophe...

continues...

More in: Recommeded Audiobooks

Agatha Christie Reviews

Agatha Christie - Taken at the Flood

Taken at the Flood ...

continues...

Agatha Christie - Death Comes as the End

You do not understand Renisenb. There...

continues...

The Labours of Hercules

The Labours of Herculesby Agatha Christie Poirot Investigates A collection of short stories.   Poirot sets himself a challenge before he retires - to solve 12 c...

continues...

Agatha Christie - The Mirror Crack'd from Sid

The Mirror Crack'd from Side to Side ...

continues...

Peril at End House

Peril at End Houseby Agatha Christie Can Poirot Stop an Ingenious Enemy?   Peril at End House is a 'Wow' kind of story. It h...

continues...

The Clocks

The Clocksby Agatha Christie A Timely Murder A hired typist, on arriving at her afternoon appointment, is shocked to discover a body sprawled across t...

continues...

A Pocket Full of Rye

A Pocket Full of Ryeby Agatha Christie   What can it mean when a man who is poisoned is found to have rye in his pocket?The s...

continues...

Agatha Christie - The Mystery of the Spanish

The Mystery of the Spanish Chest by Agatha Christie A...

continues...

Agatha Christie - Dumb Witness

 Dumb Witnessby Agatha Christie Woman's best friend    Hercule Poirot receives a letter from a Miss Arundel which leaves him perplexed.   The letter is from a woman w...

continues...

More in: Agatha Christie Audio Books