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Thewanderingjew

Thewanderingjew

SPOILER ALERT!

The Lost Symbol (Dan Brown)

The Lost Symbol - Dan Brown Well, I read it to the end and it was a chore. I kept waiting to be enlightened. Truthfully, it disappointed me. It alternated between exciting, downright boring and then downright unbelievable. Even stretching my imagination, some of the events in this book just didn't compute.
On the positive side, the 500 pages can be read quickly since the author does have a gift for creating excitement which keeps you reading looking for more, even when the book bogs down and stalls. I thought it was too long, too wordy, too redundant and too far fetched.
In the other books authored by Brown, as with this one, I felt an undercurrent running through it which seemed to represent a message of his own personal beliefs, religious and political and which tended sometimes to override the theme of the story or make me question his true purpose in writing it. This is the question his books leave me with: Was his purpose to entertain or to instruct?
I can usually find redeeming features in a book which make me ignore the little deficiencies that might crop up. I want to like the books I read. However, I found the characters unconvincing? It was as if they were dropped from the sky with no past experience in their lives. Perhaps Brown wanted them to seem a bit nerdy, as scientists, but I found them a bit inept.
Why would Trish, the assistant, show a relative stranger anything other than what she was told to show him, especially, in a top secret facility and expect to keep her job? Shouldn't she have just taken Dr. Abbadon directly to the lab? Weren't all the pods off limits to the public?
Katherine was working in a top secret facility in which great pains were taken to hide her lab. There are holographic storage units for her data. She even has to enter in a convoluted way, in total darkness, following her instincts, yet she is letting someone she hardly knows have access to her secrets because of a text message from her brother which she has not confirmed. Doesn't that seem odd?
Langdon had been around the block a few times and yet seemed too often caught unawares. His resurrection was surreal. He seemed the most naive, albeit very bright in his field. For a minute I was reminded of an idiot savant.
Zach was troubled before he even got to prison. His grandmother wanted his inheritance withheld because of his irresponsibility and defiance. He had some deep seated mental problems. I never quite understood how he could have morphed so well into this Malakh creature. I don't think that part of the story was developed well enough. I couldn't quite get the time line straight. How many years did it take for him to do this and to get to the 33rd degree in the Masonic Lodge?
Also, doesn't it seem strange that no one even noticed any resemblance to Zach? I would think a parent might feel something looking into his eyes even if the mind rejected his existence because they had been told he was dead. My son shaves his head and no longer has a magnificent crop of black, wavy hair, but I would recognize him anywhere. I would think that there might have been a flash of recognition, a moment of insight that was rejected, but that took place. Yet, that never happened.
Katherine and her brother were described as being quite close yet she accepted the fact that he had kept secrets from her when formerly he had not.
Would you have expected Bellamy to go to such lengths, attacking the unquestioned power of Sato, the highest authority in security, in order to protect the pyramid? How did he expect to get away with it? It defied common sense.
Would you have expected the security procedures to be so lax that you could just call someone at security to allow a visitor into a secret facility without a background check or a body check or some forms to be filled out? (hmm, after the white house social secretary oversight, maybe…) Is admission just simply based on your word? Would the pods be so ill equipped with cameras? Would the lock be so easily jammed? It defied my credibility. So much technology and yet the security was second rate.
Yet, I read it to the end. The redeeming feature was that most of it was "readable" and it generated lots of excitement although it seemed like science fiction to me. Maybe it was and I didn't read it properly. I read it as a mystery.