The Lost Symbol is another super masterpiece from one of the most read authors of all time, Dan Brown. After reading this particular piece, I totally understand why a few of his books have been banned in certain parts of the world. This book is mind-blowing in both good and bad ways! The plot was fab, as usual; the story was super engaging and high-paced, and the ‘facts’ distilled were so mind-gripping, it almost got out of hand. In 509 pages, Dan Brown and his usual protagonist, Robert Langdon, took us through a lot of codes, Religion, Freemasonry, and conflict. Talk about Human Apotheosis.
Here’s a rundown of the story without any actual spoilers (trust me, you don’t want any for this book). In the book, Robert Langdon is forced into a dicey situation to decode stone-age codes in order to please the mad-man that has captured his friend and is on a mission to kill what’s left of his friend’s family. However, the content of the unravelled code, which is actually a symbol, poses as a threat to national security. So, as the CIA tries to ensure that there isn’t any collateral damage, Robert has to choose between saving his friend and saving the world. Typical. One Symbol at a time and one partner-in-crime or more by his side, he advances throughout the story, further gaining illumination and decoding bits and pieces.
For the aspect of Symbology (which isn’t actually a real thing), everything felt right. The author was able to take us carefully through an evolution. The item to be decoded, went from being a simple object, to part of a larger one, exploding to recreate itself to something else, a coded map, and so much more until it was just words. All in a bid to finding the lost word. The author didn’t lose the reader at any point in the ‘ritual’ through the labyrinth of trying to find point “X”, and that is something only top authors can pull off.
Then it gets to the creepy part. The part with all the free mason mumbo jumbo and spiritual confusion. Heck, I started doubting everything at some point. We had actual mason rituals explained to us; some more graphic than others. We also had tad-bits of information dropped within the story – enough to make the reader stop and think every time. A central topic was on the idea of humans being gods. Believe me when I say the author was really convincing.
“The only difference between you and God is that you have forgotten you’re divine…”
“Our brains, if used correctly, can call forth powers that are quite literally superhuman”
The book was a cluster of symbols, mysticism, Noetic science, mythology, spirituality, actual science, and magical arts. If there’s anything I am absolutely in awe of, it is the fact that you actually get to learn stuff. In this book you’ll learn about the Pigpen cipher, out of body experiences, and a few random bits of information. The criticism, however, for this book goes beyond me. Asides the usual display of a little too much showing (he describes even things we don’t really need or care about), some of his so called “truths” are terribly biased. Both as a religious individual or even just a reader.
“Religious texts are nothing but old stories fabricated by man and then exaggerated over time… ”
A few things being misleading as well. But, we have to give it to him. The book was convincing, his message was consistent all through, the story was mind-blowing, and all in all it was a superb read. I recommend it for only those interested in any of the kind of stuff I mentioned and those looking for a good read without taking things too literally.
I rate it a 4 out of 5. You can give it your own rating below.
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About the Author
Daniel Gerhard “Dan” Brown (born June 22, 1964) is an American author of thriller fiction who wrote the 2003 bestselling novel The Da Vinci Code. His novels are treasure hunts set in a 24-hour period, and feature the recurring themes of cryptography, keys, symbols, codes, and conspiracy theories. His books have been translated into 52 languages, and as of 2012, sold over 200 million copies. Three of them, Angels & Demons (2000), The Da Vinci Code (2003), and Inferno (2013), have been adapted into films.