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Phoebus

The Lost Symbol - Dan Brown

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What a load of bollocks !

 

I'm reading it for a group read, so I suppose I'll have to finish it, though.

 

 

 

Phoebus

 

I enjoyed 'The Da Vinci Code' - its a brainless, rollercoaster ride- its the bookworm equivalent of a popcorn movie.

 

I've never felt a huge urge to read on of his other books but I wouldn't rule it out.

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I enjoyed 'The Da Vinci Code' - its a brainless, rollercoaster ride- its the bookworm equivalent of a popcorn movie.

I agree, Jeremy, the Da Vinci Code was alright as pulp fiction goes and I confess to having enjoyed it myself. But if The Da Vinci Code is the equivalent of popcorn, I feel that The Lost Symbol makes popcorn look like haute cuisine in comparison.

 

 

Phoebus

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I've finished it, but it was a struggle. Dan Brown's latest blockbuster is the literary equivalent of Coca-Cola, says Peter Conrad. He means coca-cola after it's been through the old digestive system, surely ?

 

 

Phoebus

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I've finished it, but it was a struggle. Dan Brown's latest blockbuster is the literary equivalent of Coca-Cola, says Peter Conrad. He means having been through the digestive system, surely ?

 

 

Phoebus

Fizzy, and gives you wind? Easily digestible and doesn't mean much? Easily forgettable? Quickly consumed, without much thought?

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I loved all of Dan Brown's books so far - did those of you who aren't enjoying/didn't enjoy it like his other books or are you disliking it because it's really not your thing/you feel it's genuinely badly written? Perhaps he's a particular taste. I acknowledge it's not great literature, but I have found him hard to beat in terms of page-turning excitement. Angels and Demons has been my favourite so far, but loved the others too. He comes under my category (like Jilly Cooper and others) of "brilliant at doing what they have set out to achieve"!

 

:)

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Anne,

 

I enjoyed the Da Vinci Code. I learned quite a lot from it: history of art, French architecture, strange rites of Opus Dei, interpretations of Christianity and the Roman influence ... Even if I didn't learn all this in the novel, it motivated me to perform more research into the issues.

 

The Lost Symbol, however, is very different. I learned very little, if anything at all. It didn't question my everyday beliefs on anything at all. It didn't tell me anything about the Freemasons that I didn't already know.

 

Dan seems only to have praise for Freemasonry in the book and he hardly gives it a hard time, such as he gave Opus Dei. Quite seriously, I would even hazard a guess that he might have been in the old brotherhood's pocket on this one.

 

Ultimately, the book seems to me to be one big advert for the organisation, even if it's not a very good one.

 

 

Phoebus

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That is disappointing, Phoebus. I agree that one of the great values of books like Dan Brown's are that you can learn a heck of a lot from them, if you trust that they are well researched (and I do get the impression that his are.) I'm intrigued by the Freemasons (in a shuddery sort of way!) and would have hoped to get some insights into the group. I'm disappointed to hear that he's given them an easy ride. Perhaps he was put off by the rumours that authors that slag them off or divulge their secrets tend to meet a sticky end!

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I'm intrigued by the Freemasons... Perhaps he was put off by the rumours that authors that slag them off or divulge their secrets tend to meet a sticky end!

Sounds like you've probably read Stephen Knight's The Brotherhood (though of course his death wasn't really down to the Masons... or was it? ;) ). If you haven't, though, it's an intriguing read.

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Dan Brown's latest blockbuster is the literary equivalent of Coca-Cola, says Peter Conrad. He means the coca-cola after it's been through the old digestive system, surely ?

It rots your mind rather than your teeth?

 

Even if Brown's books were superbly written and thoroughly and accurately researched, I wouldn't read them as they just aren't my kind of thing. I am not remotely interested in the subject matter.

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Me neither, Hazel. The combination of poor writing and implausible, frenetic, conspiracy theory-ridden plots mean I'll never willingly read a Dan Brown.

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Angels and Demons has been my favourite so far

It's certainly an evocative title. It reminds me very much of the chorus to Leonard Cohen's The Window:

 

Oh chosen love, Oh frozen love

Oh tangle of matter and ghost

Oh darling of angels, demons and saints

And the whole broken-hearted host

Gentle this soul

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kc9wP9s1etc

.

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...one of the great values of books like Dan Brown's are that you can learn a heck of a lot from them, if you trust that they are well researched (and I do get the impression that his are.)
Na, they're not. During the plagiarism court case - against Baigent and Leigh - it came to light that his wife, Blythe, did the research, and what a shoddy job she did.

 

For example: Inaccuracies in The Da Vinci Code. For the writing, see Language Log.

 

Now, Eco on the other hand...

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I tend to agree with Stewart, on this one. What I learned from the da Vinci Code arose from my own research on matters that he discussed. The book nevertheless served its purpose of arousing a debate, I suppose.

 

Reading the first few chapters of The Lost Symbol really illustrates his sloppy writing. Not giving anything away, there's an underground cell used for research purposes. It's underground to avoid unwanted waves and interference. But hey, a character leaves her mobile on and makes mobile 'phone calls from there !

 

I remember reading that and thinking Dan had just blown any sense of confidence straight out of the window. I believed absolutely nothing from then on. In fact, it just got worse.

 

Dead hands opened easily with a pen without sign of rigor mortis etc.etc. (I know rigor mortis gradually disappears but it takes time and depends upon the temperature.)

 

It's worth reading, just to be able to be qualified to slate it off with conviction.

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I didn't notice anything at all wrong with the Da Vinci Code and thoroughly enjoyed it - thanks for the links Stewart. Then again in my defence, I was recovering from major surgery at the time of reading so that kind of dispensible book, badly written or not, suited my purpose.

 

Still awaiting The Lost Symbol, which is not getting a good review in the Moonchild household.

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Having started this I now - thanks to Stewarts link - realise how rubbish the prose is. Especially in comparison to the other book I'm reading, The Case for God. I'll see how long I can take it.

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As I librarian I shouldn't really be so critical. There's nothing wrong with a bit of pulp fiction; but it can be written well. As long as people are reading and engaging with ideas, that's the main thing.

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In Dan Brown's defence, he has never said - to my knowledge - that he was the greatest writer who ever lived.
What does that have to do with anything?

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I've never read Dan Brown, but I did feel motivated to post last night - but for the intervention of a bottle of wine, I would have done. But this morning, I see that Private Eye has summed up my feelings far more concisely than I could have done:

 

"The Lost Symbol is indeed rubbish, but it's harmless rubbish. Is that such a terrible thing?"

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