I had a literature professor who HATED Dan Brown. He constantly brought up the author, telling us how NOT to write. He would make sniveling comments that any author who needed a cliffhanger at the end of every chapter did not know how to put real meaning into his writing.
Then again, the man also thought Jane Austen worthless, so guess how much value I gave to his opinions?
I will give my professor the benefit of saying that Dan Brown is not classic literature. However, there is a reason Brown has topped the bestseller lists over and again. His plots are mysterious. They draw us in and make us look at history in a way we never have before. And those cliffhangers? That’s what forces the addiction; it’s what makes us turn page after page long after we should have turned out the light.
Contrary to my professor’s scorn, I am a big fan of Brown’s books. They are extremely entertaining and intriguing for a history buff like myself.
That said, this one fell a little short of my expectations. It had all of the great things about a Brown novel, however, I could not fall as deep into the plot line as I had the previous Robert Langdon stories. I think the cause lies in the subject. Angels & Demons and The DaVinci Code both dealt with the somewhat familiar. Most of us could imagine secret societies linked to The Church or in circles of ancient artists.
In The Lost Symbol, however, the reader is forced to wrap her mind around Noetics–the study of telekinesis basically. I am a little to rational for this plot, I think. I can bend my mind to believe that we may not have all of our historical facts straight, that what I learned in history class may to be the whole story, or even close. But I have never enjoyed science fiction–I just can’t meld completely with plots outside of scientific reality.
Oh, and another problem–
Hollywood forced Tom Hanks to be Robert Langdon for all eternity in my head. Maybe he was hot in days gone by, but he is NOT a sex symbol to my generation. Thanks Hollywood for butchering the sexy academic hero I would normally picture while reading this sort of book…Tom Hanks…blurgh.
Oh and while we are on the subject, Disney, Nicholas Cage is not any better.
Harrison Ford…now THERE is a sexy academic hero.