I can’t say that I am a fan of the thriller genre but I do enjoy Dan Brown’s style of puzzles mixing facts and fictions with a healthy or unhealthy – depends on how you see it – dose of spiritual reflection. Besides, once in a while, it is good to read a page-turner for a change and get entertained. When I learned from Amazon.com that Dan Brown has kept “The Lost Symbol” under wraps by allowing only a handful of people to have access to the manuscript, I was intrigued. I hit our national library website 3 times a day to see when this book was open for reservation. Singapore’s National Library Board has brought in 70 copies of “The Lost Symbol” and I was queue number 3. Not bad at all compares to how I did for that Kinsella Book (queue number seventy odd of I think forty odd books in total).
I have read almost all his books (except “Deception Point”, I think). I don’t think I can recall any of the storyline. What I recall though is that I have always enjoyed how Dan Brown rapidly switches plots, delaying the key story revelation, and keeping us engaged with puzzles after puzzles. “The Lost Symbol” is no exception. For maximum enjoyment, I strongly encourage you to refer to the online materials for reference as your read the book. For example, the painting “Melecolia I” is used as one of the puzzles. You could read how Dan Brown describes the painting in words. But nothing beats seeing the painting with your own eyes.
I would not dive too deep into the plot because it is not fun for those who are planning to read this book. Robert Langdon, a character from “Angels & Demons” and “The Da Vinci Code”, is back for “The Lost Symbol”. I do not think there is a significant connection with the previous novels so you do not need to read them in sequence. And like his previous works, I am often amused by how his characters can sustain such emotional tremor and physical wounds and still able to run around, solve puzzles, and intellectually discuss matters in such a lengthy manner. Personally, I think his opinion on Christianity is – as always – very thin especially after I have freshly finished reading Karen Armstrong’s latest work. I would not take his religious view too seriously. But I suspect his opinion will stir another round of controversy – perhaps lesser in magnitude compares to “The Da Vinci Code” – nonetheless.