Book Review ~ The Lost Symbol by Dan Brown

Summary ~ In this stunning follow-up to the global phenomenon The Da Vinci Code, Dan Brown demonstrates once again why he is the world’s most popular thriller writer. The Lost Symbol is a masterstroke of storytelling–a deadly race through a real-world labyrinth of codes, secrets, and unseen truths . . . all under the watchful eye of Brown’s most terrifying villain to date. Set within the hidden chambers, tunnels, and temples of Washington, D.C., The Lost Symbol accelerates through a startling landscape toward an unthinkable finale.

Whew! Class is FINALLY over.  That is how I felt when I finished the last page of The Lost Symbol last night.  I felt like the story of Robert Langdon and the Ancient Mysteries could have been told in 300 pages instead of 500+.  Most of the time the “lecturing” got in the way and distracted from the somewhat suspenseful story. 

The story had some very interesting points throughout.  The idea that God is in us and that our brain is the “higher power” interest me.  As a species we are always evolving and learning about ourselves as well as the universe around us.  I took that message from The Lost Symbol but for the most part I was simply disappointed with the story.  I never felt a sense of urgency while reading about Robert Langdon trying to beat the clock in D.C. like I did with Dan Brown’s Angels & Demons.  It was pretty cool to read a book that is set in our Nation’s Capital which is only twenty-five miles north of my house.  However I continued to figure out the “secrets” that Dan Brown was filling his book with way before the secrets were divulged tot he reader.  That was frustrating for me because I kept wondering when Dan Brown was going to announce the twist and put me out of my misery.  That was not fun. 

I really wanted to like The Lost Symbol and though I did find some of the history of our founding father’s (still haven’t fact checked everything) interesting and something kept me drawn in with a desire to find out what happened to Robert Langdon, his friends and the future of the Masons.  I liked small parts of The Lost Symbol but for the most part I could have lived without reading one of the most hyped books of the last so many years.  I do look forward to filming in D.C. if Hollywood makes a movie of The Lost Symbol.  It would bring new jobs to the city as well as bring in even more tourism, which isn’t a bad thing at all.  If The Lost Symbol sparks has and continues to spark interest in America’s history than that means the book is a success.  It made me Google some things to learn more about. 

{Rating ~ 3 out of 5}

Sunday Salon ~ May 2nd, 2010

Well, HELLO Stranger!  Man, it has been awhile since I did a Sunday Salon post.  Sorry about that!  It seems that the weekends here fly by so quickly that it’s almost mid-week before I remember that I should have written a Sunday Salon post. 

Okay, enough of the excuses.  I haven’t been lagging to badly when it comes to my reading lately.  Though it took a long two weeks, I finally finished reading Dan Brown’s The Lost Symbol.  This book is my book club’s May selection.  My club’s meeting is going to be pretty cool because we are (weather permitting) going to have a picnic lunch on the grounds of The National Cathedral in Washington, D.C.  I will be posting my review here on Planet Books closer to the date of our meeting which is scheduled towards the end of this month. 

In The Neighborhood: The Search for Community on an American Street, One Sleepover at a TimeThe good thing about finishing The Lost Symbol is that I can now read In The Neighborhood – The Search For Community On An American Street, Once Sleepover At A Time by Peter Lovenheim. 

What an interesting book!  This sociology project of sorts was executed and written by an author, who with his family, moved into his childhood home on a picturesque street outside of Rochester, NY.  After a shocking murder-suicide occurred in a house down the street, Peter wondered who his neighbors really were and why there was no sense of community and neighborhood.  His way of getting to know his neighbors is a common practice but usually among America’s youth, not their parents.  He decided to get to know his neighbors by sleeping over in their homes and observing them during a “typical day.” 

I think my interest in reading this book stems from being a first-time homeowner in a brand new and beautiful neighborhood in Northern Virginia.  It’s a very quite place most of the time, what with adults working days, children in school and busy social and television watching schedules keeping most neighbors inside or away from home.  Sure, we all wave at each other when neighbors drive by and others are checking the mail or doing yard work but I only know the names of my immediate neighbors.  I have built some kind of a relationship with the neighbors we share fence lines with and have even had our lovely neighbors on the left over for dinner and I occasionally go over and pop a squat on their couch and catch up with them, but others, as we have, have fallen between the cracks. 

I can’t wait to see what Peter Lovenheim concludes about his neighborhood at the end of his book and I’ll be curious to see if he inspires me (the daughter of very private parents who have lived in their house for 33 years this summer and still only know their immediate neighbors) to branch out and get to know the people who live in floor plans just like mine. (80% of the houses in my neighborhood are the same model as ours.)