The Lost Symbol should have stayed lostLike many people who enjoyed The Da Vinci Code and Angels and Demons, I was eagerly awaiting The Lost Symbol, Dan Brown's latest thriller starring symbologist Robert Langdon, everyone's favorite turtleneck-clad genius professor with a nice sense of humor and the ability to work under pressure.
Was I disappointed! I crunched through it in a night, snorting in a very unladylike way (I'm glad my mother wasn't there to hear) during the more egregious parts. It felt like either Brown was rushed to press way to soon by an overeager publisher who needed to pay the mortgage on their second home, or he indulgently let the intern write a big part of it. I'm all for culturing new talent, but there wasn't any in here.
Was the book interesting? Kind of. The female characters were shallower than usual, the prose stilted (something I have admired with Brown is his preview ability to smoothly transition into giving the historical background about an object or idea) in the "let's stop the action to talk about the Capitol Building now - oh, action again!". Did the mean female CIA agent have to be Asian, with a mustache, with throat cancer surgery so she sounds like a man? Does that seem misogynist to anyone else, particularly when coupled with the other shallow female characters? The villain was bizarre, even after you find out the plot twist (I gasped and then realized there was no inner shock because I had seen it coming). For someone who likes Washington or is really, really, really into the Freemasons this could be a great stocking-stuffer, but right now it feels more like the Halloween scary gift (because you won't get back those hours of your life that you've wasted reading it).