October 27, 2009

'The Lost Symbol' Review


The plot is good; the visual imagery is cliché to Dan Brown – bloody and thrilling; the flow – simply hooks up the reader. As they say, art and literature are a reflection of contemporary trends – so this too is – specifically about the global quest for spirituality, spiritism, and the application of science to it - noetics.

Weaving a story around a plethora of symbols, symbolisms and ancient artifacts is Brown’s forte. His signature style is in the sparking-up of the controversial coincidental-connections between these symbols and major world institutions, mostly religious.

Having said all that, ‘The Lost Symbol’, to sum it all up in one word is simply Lost. Well, I’m being awfully critical, right?!? That’s because when the purpose of a novel goes beyond literary purposes and ‘a good read’, it also needs to be as critically looked upon.

The weirdest part about Brown especially in the three novels featuring Robert Langdon is that he tends to get very philosophic and preachy about few subjects, debate of Science vs. Religion for instance in Angels & Demons; unproven details behind the holy grail in The Da Vinci Code; Noetics in The Lost Symbol. This only makes readers put it down for a while, like I did, another mini-discourse, let me take a quick break. But, I guess, it’s to do with the character – Langdon’s a professor.

As I finished reading, I was just saying to myself “What!!! So much mystery ‘just’ for this bit? Such a calm and all absorbing climax to all this suspense built-up?” The end is on a ‘note of ‘hope’’. Sigh! Well, all The Da Vinci Code readers must have been bit ready for such a thing, because even that ended in a no great climax, instead a ‘fatherly kiss’ from Prof. Langdon.

At a point in the novel, it seems as if Brown is making up for the damage by quoting & supporting The Holy Bible so much that he’d done with his writings in The Da Vinci Code. All of the hype around this NY Times’ bestseller has come to an end for me.

Going beyond ‘The Lost Symbol’, to be candid, if there’s so much criticism about Brown’s novels, I believe it has to do with the fictionalization and presentation of profound subjects as mentioned above in mere plainness.

Talking about the author – I have a feeling that Brown is somewhere caught in the spiritual realms and not able to find his way out. But, as the novel points in the end – ‘There is hope’.

Dear Brown - hope you’ll find ‘the way’ in the spiritual realms...
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