Dan Brown has been around for a while. Almost no one missed his book, The Da Vinci Code, not unless you lived under a rock.
It was a clever effort, I might add. Combining archaeological history with fiction to come up with a book that offended just about every Christian who hadn’t read that book. People who could make a fuss about a work of fiction in not being able to make that distinction in the first place.
It was also a time when my questions for the truth compounded not because of the book’s wild claims but people’s reactions to something unbelievably trivial.
Of course, a movie starring Tom Hanks was made, and a couple more books were released… and Dan Brown wasn’t so much of a controversial figure after that.
But the theme of his books remain the same: exploring secrets of the past, treasure hunts, secret organizations, secret codes and the exploits of the fictitious symbologist, Robert Langdon. The only difference however, with “The Lost Symbol” is that it’s about the Freemasons….
Just Another Treasure, Just Another Thriller?
If you look closely and get past the pages of this book (that’s assuming you got a hard copy), one can easily draw parallels to The Da Vinci Code, both in terms of characters and content.
Some like the book – find it riveting enough as an entertaining thriller while others so pretentiously pick apart his choice of words, his cheesy characters and description and the way he chooses to present a friendlier secret society compared to his previous book.
(Yes, of course, he thought about the Pulitzer Prize when writing the book but not the millions of copies he could sell, in being obviously formulaic.)
Speaking of a secret society, and as mentioned earlier, The Lost Symbol is about revenge, finding an ancient source of power by following a trail of clues and symbols, a severed hand but most of all, a ‘weak’ ending.
Even if the protagonist, Malakh, which isn’t his real name threatens to not only kill Peter Solomon, Langdon’s mentor, but also reveal to the world the deepest and darkest secrets of Freemasonry by posting a video of government officials performing Masonic rituals over the internet.
Again, the ending of this book is a damn squib. It’s no different from The Da Vinci Code, but with a twist and that looks at the Bible differently rather than commands from a deity.
As for the Freemasons, Brown spoke about representing them kindly in this novel, considering the misinformation that surrounds the secret society for ages. I just think its inclusion in the story has a lot to do with its sales, thanks to people’s love for puzzles, suspense (even if it’s badly written) but most of all, conspiracy theories.
Is reading The Lost Symbol worth your time? As far as I’m concerned, if you’re not comfortable with reading too many big words or facts taken as if from an encyclopedia and spun into fiction, then this novel won’t be your cup of tea.
Other than that, you can’t help but admit that Dan Brown is, of course, a money-making machine.