I Just Finished Reading Dan Brown’s New Movie. Er – Book.

20090824-Dan-Brown-The-Lost-Symbol-Pre-Order-OfferActually, he wrote this book two books ago. I THINK he did a “Find and Replace” in the manuscript for “Angels and Demons” and replaced “Vatican” with “Washington D.C.”, “Catholic Church” with “Freemasons” and “interesting” with “fuck it, they will buy this anyway”.

I don’t think I’ve ever read a book this fast. It’s like 700 pages, printed in big type because that’s what old people like, and uses mostly monosyllabic words – that way, when he introduces a new word… like “symbolon” – it seems really cool and archaic. I think reading a Dan Brown book is like eating a Rice Cake. There’s no nutritional benefit, there’s no health benefit – and yet, technically, you’ve eaten SOMETHING. This is to make people feel better about picking up a book once every 18 months to read, and then, give them something to feel intelligent about when they walk out of the movie, so they can say, “That’s not how it happened in the book.” or “I liked the book better.”

Like all his books, this one is filled with red herrings and McGuffin’s – so many so that it feels like the book itself is a McGuffin for Dan’s latest beach house in Fiji.

At least in this book, because it takes place in the United States, we have a more multi-cultural cast of characters. There’s the short and strong-willed, all-knowing female Japanese survivor of the American internment camps. There’s the chubby computer geek, because thing girls are soooo played out. There’s the aging old, rich white guy. And his equally aged, rich white sister. There’s even a cab driver named Omar. Because that’s not a stereotype – they are all named Omar. There’s a cast of a bunch of CIA agents that, quite honestly, are the keystone cops of our generation – even with tools like infra-red goggles that show where people have BEEN, silent black helicopters and EMP cannons, they are PRETTY inept. How can a man like Langdon, er, Tom Hanks, live so long, and so many CIA agents die?

Because the plot calls for it.

And, I THINK, within the first 50 pages of the book, there were precisely 97 references to the iPhone. I can’t tell if Apple paid him for the reference (and, therefore, will show up in the movie) OR Dan was just trying to be relevant OR someone just fell asleep at the wheel, and somewhere, there’s a PostIt note with “replace iPhone with next cool phone” – and a new cool phone hasn’t been announced yet. Whatever the reason, there are dozens of YouTube videos showing 3 year olds using the iPhone so why a major plot point hinges on the fact that an older character “learned how to use the iPhone and sent a text” is such a big deal truly escapes me. (Keep in mind that this is the same mind that in many parts of the book talks about History, Religion, Advanced Particle Physics and String Theory.)

So here’s the plot – in the 2 Second Review Style:

Freemasons built America. There’s some “Ancient Knowledge” that’s tied to some “New Science” called Noetics – and the human condition is moving towards a culmination point where we are all going to change. We are all going to become Gods using our minds. And there’s a heavily tattooed guy who’s going around killing people, stealing phones, and playing everyone like chess pieces. Hands are removed, people die, then come back to life, the die again, and everyone who is in Government is a Mason. And words have multiple meanings. And all knowledge is contained in one word. And, even though there’s a guy, who’s killed everyone else, who says, “Tell me what I need to know and you’ll live” – don’t believe him, he’s still gonna kill you, so just don’t tell him anything.

Did I mention that Freemasons built America?

If you are thinking of reading “The Lost Symbol” – answer these questions:

  • Did you see “The Skulls”?
  • Did you read “Angels and Demons” or “The DaVinci Code”?
  • Are you concerned with wasting your time?

If you answered “No” to any or all of the questions, go ahead and pick it up.

But don’t say I didn’t warn you.