All I need to be entertained are cats within ear-scratching distance and a good book . . .OK, maybe that's not ALL I need, but it's a good start.

I love to read. And I love to get recommendations for books to read.

I started Cats and a Book to share the books I read with others. Some I love, some I don't, but you may love the ones I don't, so you're welcome to post your own comments and suggestions.

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Happy reading!

Saturday, May 29, 2010

The Lost Symbol, by Dan Brown

Dan Brown’s The Lost Symbol is the latest in a line of suspenseful, written-for-the-big-screen novels featuring the intrepid Robert Langdon, professor and symbologist. Langdon was the hero of Brown’s Angels and Demons and The DaVinci Code, portrayed by the actor Tom Hanks in the film versions. It’s not difficult to imagine Hanks in the lead role of Langdon in The Lost Symbol, nor picture the scenes as they might unfold at the theater soon.

The book features a goon (the bad guy, obviously), good guys (or are they bad guys?), a wise mentor or two, and a potential love interest for Langdon. The plot centers around a “lost symbol” which is the key to the “Ancient Mysteries.” Langdon, of course, needs to decode a message which will 1) save his friend Peter Solomon from the goon, and 2) expose some information that, in the wrong hands, would cause grave and irreparable harm. Following the formula in the previous two books, there’s no time to lose and only Langdon can solve the mystery.

What Brown did less effectively in this book was the second of these two objectives. The information to be revealed included secret rites associated with the Masonic Order and that important people in Washington, D.C. were taking part in them. The ramifications of this information being revealed didn’t feel as devastating as Brown wanted to convey, but perhaps many in his audience would react differently. Brown does touch on topics such as eternity, the evidence of the soul, and Unitarian principles, and perhaps these topics might invite more emotion in some readers.

If you are claustrophobic, a particular passage—you’ll know it when you get there—may cause you anxiety. If you want to avoid those pages altogether or learn how it’s going to turn out, email me once you’ve gotten your ragged breathing under control and I’ll fill you in.

The Lost Symbol is what Dan Brown does best. A terrific beach read, The Lost Symbol is fast-paced and gruesome at times, but offers an exciting mystery that is hard to put down.

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