Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Dan Brown's The Lost Symbol

When I went to Italy in 2004, it seemed as though half the people in our group of 50 were reading either Angels and Demons or The DaVinci Code. The DaVinci Code was published the year before, and Angels and Demons had appeal to our group since the action took place in Rome, the last stop on our itinerary. At the time, I was too deep into my third semester of graduate school, consumed by The Victorian Novel to have any idea what was all the rage in the publishing world. As I remember, I worked my way through Lady Audley’s Secret during downtime on the plane and tour bus. As soon as the semester ended, though, I borrowed the audio version of Angels and Demons from the library and enjoyed every minute of it. Later when I read The DaVinci Code, I still preferred Angels and Demons since when I read it I had just visited many of the landmarks in the novel. Typically, I am not much into reading mystery and suspense novels, but I enjoyed these because they were compelling and everyone else was reading them too. It won’t surprise anyone that I like to discuss what I’m reading with anyone who’s read the same thing.

As soon as The Lost Symbol was published I got on the waiting list for it at the library. When I first signed up, I was number 141 on the waiting list. Miraculously, it only took four months for my name to come up. I just finished the novel over the weekend and I enjoyed it. I just wish I remembered a bit more about my trips to Washington, D.C., at ages 10 and 12. I didn't know, of course, to be on the lookout for Masonic symbols then! I'll pay more attention one day when I visit again. I liked that it was less predictable for me than I thought it might be. I actually was surprised by a couple of things, and that was good.

One of the things I found most intriguing about reading The DaVinci Code was the stir it caused in some religious circles. I personally thought the nontraditional angle was interesting, and it gave me pause for sure. I haven’t heard near as many grumblings from the Masons, nor do I think I will. I have found, however, an interesting article on National Geographic's web site that brings to light some of the untrue Masonic myths that appear in The Lost Symbol.

I'm not in the habit of seeing all the movies I want to in the theater. I think it costs too much, especially considering how quickly movies get released on DVD these days. I’m a Netflix subscriber, and I think it’s a fabulous way to see movies on the cheap. I have seen The DaVinci Code, but I still haven’t seen Angels and Demons. At some point I will, and then I’ll be interested to see the movie interpretation of The Lost Symbol when it comes out. Have you read these books and seen these movies? What do you think?

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