The Lost Symbol (amazon link) releases this Tuesday.
What do people here think about that?
I’m kind of on the fence about Brown. I first read Angels and Demons and DaVinci Code in high school, interestingly way before they were even mildly popular. I liked them a lot, being younger and more foolish at the time. In fact, I likes Angels & Demons much more than DaVinci. I loved the whole idea of secret societies and clues hidden in plain sight throughout history. That stuff was so cool that it blinded me to how brazenly bad his writing is.
Later, I tried to read some of his other books, like Deception Point and couldn’t get past the first quarter of it. Without the mystique of hidden secrets and supposedly-true history, the banal nature of it was too much to handle.
But despite it all, his books are tremendously popular. *The Lost Symbol *is getting a first run of five million copies. These books are making Brown tremendously wealthy, a fact many begrudge him for. It’s sort of interesting that, while I don’t like Harry Potter books at all, I don’t begrudge JK Rowling for her billions, because she seems to have earned them by creating a vibrant universe and getting millions of kids interested in reading. I don’t know exact figures, but if I ever found out that Dan Brown has made more money from writing than Michael Crichton, a significantly more talented writer, ever did, I will probably completely lose my shit.
One interesting thing I heard on a Salon podcast is that the people of Washington DC are absolutely terrified of this book. DaVinci and Angels & Demons take place in Europe, an often prohibitively expensive place to visit, yet people have flocked to the locations of the books to try and see the same hidden whatever. The fact that many of the locations are inaccurately described in the books has become quite a headache for the tour guides trying to deal with American tourists trying to find Jesus’ kids by looking at statues and paintings.
The Lost Symbol takes place in Washington DC, though, and deals with the hidden symbology and crap in DC architecture supposedly placed by the Freemasons. If the previous two books can cause a notable disruption in European tourism, imagine what will happen to DC. Natives are concerned that they’ll be flooded with dummies who read the book and will be stumbling around trying to find the cherry tree Washington chopped down, or a map on the back of the Declaration of Independence or something. Plus, I think there are already enough people who think the Freemasons secretly control the universe, thankyouverymuch. The book will probably contribute to those ranks considerably, and our national IQ will drop another point.
I’ll probably read the book, anyway. I’ll get it for my kindle, so as not to be burdeoned with half a tree’s worth of stilted dialog. If you can treat a book like a summer movie, not taking it very seriously, they can at least be somewhat entertaining. Plus, I’m interested to see what kind of craziness will be said of DC.
Where does everyone else stand on the book, or Brown himself?