24 December 2010

Books: The Lost Symbol by Dan Brown (2009)

While not a train-wreck, The Lost Symbol proves once again that Dan Brown can throw a bunch of odd facts and some suppressed history into a big pot-boiler of novel and then say What if?

I sense this is the weakest entry in the Robert Langston series (the over uses of italics is perhaps this novels greatest sin) which started with Angels and Demons and followed by the mega-hit The Da Vinci Code. Generally, though, you have to take most of what is written here with a grain of salt. Brown paints Langston as a skeptic, yet the way the story is written, you get a sense that Dan Brown believes this stuff. And he does seem to take some glory in poking at our cultural boundries -religion, the secular world, both ancient and modern history are messy at best.

While the book was a huge bestseller last year, there was less attacks from the world of religion that propelled The Da Vinci Code to its popular world wide success. Which may be why the film version is still in development at Sony Pictures. The first film, while poorly reviewed, scored a worldwide $758 million gross, but Angels and Demons faired less (though, apparently, better reviewed) at the box office, taking in only $486 million (which is respectable, and somewhat on track for most sequels, who's percentages never reach the first film).

It looks like Brown himself will now write the screenplay for the film, and despite Imagine Entertainment will be producing the film version, don't count on Ron Howard returning as director (as The Dark Tower beckons), but the odds are Tom Hanks will return (but is not yet "officially" committed to it though).

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