Tuesday, 20 October 2009
The Lost Symbol - An opinion
Finally I have read, after a long gap in my reading habit, the intriguing book by Dan Brown, The Lost Symbol. You can read this article, it reveals nothing about the book that will spoil the thrill of reading the book if you have not read it yet.
The first mistake anybody would do is to compare it with other writings of Dan Brown, especially the ones featuring Robert Langdon. Let me do that mistake, I am no exception. When it comes to detailing of the characters, of history and the story, all his five books get equal points. Looking at the 'fast-pace' perspective, this one is behind Angels and Demons and Digital Fortress and on par with The DaVinci Code. The style, he uses his trademark style of writing, i.e Novel divided into chapters, chapters run parallel stories, each story runs back and forth in time and in different timelines and all the stories destined to converge on one platform. Boy, I like this style, impressive!
Robert Langdon chases a secret, the secret of the Ancient Mysteries, that is hidden 'somewhere out there'. Although you dont feel the urgency in the need to find out the secret for the first half of the book, but then it catches the pace and the anxiety increases. Ah yes, the secret, that is a secret that could give you ultimate wisdom, a secret that could transform you into no one but god, a secret that could bring order in chaos, the greatest secret, the untold secret, the best-kept secret, the word 'secret' is repeated no less than 230 times in the book. A few places it becomes a little frustrating and you ask yourself, "What the heck is this secret!!!" The secret is no-where as shocking as the one in Da Vinci Code.
Coming to the puzzles or codes, I liked all of them except two. You cannot even guess and even if you do it will always be wrong! My knowledge in the history of religions, US of A and freemasonry is zero, so atleast I couldn't guess.
And the philosophy involved in the book, hmm, I dont agree with it. Although, Dan Brown, through his characters, kept on insisting his philosophy, which even made a strong personality like Robert Langdon to think, and the emphasis that this philosophy is "followed in all religion", I think in Islam, this philosophy is regarded the greatest sin. As a muslim I can speak of Islam, as I know. No where in the Holy Quran or the Hadith, ever it is written of this philosophy, not even indirectly. It is just that Dan knows the etymology of words or history of symbols which have mostly Greek or Latin origins, but yes No where in this book he says that Islam also speaks of this philosophy. He gives a general statement, "in all religion". Dont worry, the book is not about Islam, I am just presenting my perspective. :)
And one final point, that I am very happy about is that I can relate to Dan Brown in one important point. This book urges the people to do one thing that I urged when I wrote a post about "Angels and Demons" and another post, "Why do we fast?" The request, by both of us is the same. :)
Finally I hope you will now read, for the sake of the secret, for the intricacy of ancient puzzles, for the thoughtfulness of the philosophy or just for the love of books or to find out why did I highlight the word 'read' in bold. :)
Do let me know if this was a nice review, I tried to create the curiosity among you, what a review must do! And my review of this book starts and ends in the title... The Lost Symbol is an opinion.