The Lost Symbol by Dan Brown
My rating: 3 of 5 stars
May Contain Slight Spoilers
Dan Brown writes a good mystery, and I love suspense! He usually has a “twist,” and The Lost Symbol is no exception.
On the other hand, some of the novel was slow-moving. The novel could be cut by 20% and still tell a suspenseful, if unrealistic, story.
I don’t believe Brown ever explained to my satisfaction how or where Sato got her information. How did she know about the videotape before the hidden camera was discovered? She obviously had knowledge prior to the incident with Peter’s hand, yet what knowledge she had and how she received it was never fully explained. Also not explained to my satisfaction was what happened to Mal’akh in the end. Once the climax of the story was reached, the novel dragged painfully on and veered off into too much philosophy.
Additionally, having Peter blindfold Robert to go to a national monument was far too dramatic than was necessary. And why wasn’t Peter with his son or taking care of his wound at the hospital before trekking off to a national monument? This required a complete suspension of belief as did the helicopter crashing into the skylight on the Temple. Actually, quite a bit of the novel was unrealistic.
Some descriptions were a bit too graphic, and I am not easily disgusted. Peter’s hand? Mal’akh’s rituals? Some of the graphic nature of the novel had to do with the Masons. My father was a dearly loved man and Freemason, and there were just some things I would rather not know about their Fraternity and Traditions. That’s why they are kept secret, for members only.
Which makes me wonder where Dan Brown got his information and just how accurate it is. A true Mason of any character would never reveal some of the things that Brown describes. If he were a Mason himself, with firsthand knowledge, he would be breaking sacred oaths with some of his revelations. As it is, someone had to give him that information if it is, as he claims, true. What kind of FreeMason would do that?
And shame of you, Dan Brown! If the video you describe in the novel is an issue of national security, then shouldn’t your novel also become an issue of national security? And how dare you reveal secrets of the Masons, particularly since you have no way of truly verifying their accuracy, not having been initiated yourself. You have taken things out of context to shed a poor light on the Brotherhood of FreeMasons, which is what you accuse others of doing. Who shall cast the first stone, Mr. Brown?
Brown does a poor job of distinguishing fact from fiction, casting all of his information as fact, which it is not. He tells a good “story,” and I love the suspense, but Mr. Brown, for some of this novel, you simply should be ashamed of yourself.
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(This is a repost of my 2009 review of The Lost Symbol.)