Review: The Lost Symbol by Dan Brown and Decoding the Lost Symbol by Simon Cox

Where to begin with my thoughts on The Lost Symbol by Dan Brown?

It seems too easy to tell you that if you liked The Da Vinci Code (if you can remember back far enough to when you read it) then you will probably enjoy this book. So the short synopsis: Robert Langdon haplessly finds himself in a race against the clock to solve a mystery drawing upon his expertise as a symbologist. In this one he stays in only one well known tourist location, Washington D.C. This time the woman he teams up with is his friend’s sister, and the ancient order this book looks at is the Freemasons.

OK, I know I am being a little flip about this book, but as a blockbuster book there probably isn’t too much else to say that you haven’t already heard or read.

I don’t often read books like this anymore, but I do enjoy Langdon and his adventures because they are typically entertaining (although Robert did try my patience a few times in this book). Even when I am rolling my eyes about some serendipitous turn of events I still close up the book thinking, “that was fun.” And I can definitely say that about The Lost Symbol. I read it over the Thanksgiving holiday, which was the perfect time for me to read a book like this (Note to self – I need to figure out one for the Christmas holiday now).

Over the break (and beyond) I also read Decoding The Lost Symbol by Simon Cox, which was offered to me for review by FSB Associates. I had not previously read any of the “companion” books that were released following Brown’s other Langdon novels so I wanted to see if a book like this offers anything to the reading experience.

I find that when I read historical fiction or books like Brown’s which roll in historical information, I do want to know more about the subjects. Some authors do include a bibliography or an afterward noting where some of their research came from, and sources to get more information. Brown does not do this, so I found Cox’s book a nice resource to have after I read it (and you do need to read it after reading The Lost Symbol because spoilers abound).

The book alphabetically includes informational entries about locations, historical ideas, people, etc. from The Lost Symbol. It is written pretty conversationally, although at times I felt a little lost (not sure if it was me or the fact that some of the heavier topics needed to be distilled so much). And with each entry no more than a few pages, at the most, it offers a nice topline summary of information, as well as a bibliography at the back of the book should you want to delve deeper into a certain subject. So I did find it interesting to have a little more background on the topics Brown broached in his latest novel.

Thank you to FSB Associates for sending Decoding The Lost Symbol to me for review.

The Lost Symbol
Author: Dan Brown
ISBN: 978-0385504225
Published: September 15, 2009 (Hardcover First Edition)
Publisher: Doubleday Books
Pages: 528

Decoding The Lost Symbol
Author: Simon Cox
ISBN: 978-0743287272
Published: November 3, 2009 (Paperback)
Publisher: Touchstone
Pages: 256


3 Responses

  1. I thought The Da Vinci Code was just okay, so I’m on the fence on this one. I can’t decide if I want to take the time to read it or not.

  2. I like it okay. Liked God Machine more, which also featured the masons and a young Ben Franklin. Check it out.

  3. reading books is my hobby and Dan Brown is one of the best authors that i have known -:,

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