First review of Dan Brown's 'The Lost Symbol'

6a00d8341bf6c153ef011570de1436970c-800wiThe New York Times’ Janet Maslin has posted a glowing review of Dan Brown’s The Lost Symbol, which goes on sale Tuesday. “Too many popular authors (Thomas Harris) have followed huge hits (The Silence of the Lambs) with terrible embarrassments (Hannibal),” writes Maslin. “Mr. Brown hasn’t done that. Instead, he’s bringing sexy back a genre that had been left for dead.” According to Maslin, the new book is replete with plot tricks and twists, codes, secrets, and explorations into ancient philosophies and the occult.

SPOILER ALERT! Maslin says that Brown’s hero, Harvard symbologist Robert Langdon, has been lured to Washington, D.C., to give a speech on behalf of his old mentor Peter Solomon at the Capitol—only to find Solomon’s severed hand atop the Capitol Crypt. The mystery/treasure hunt that ensues does, as has been rumored, prominently feature the Freemasons. Only they do not occupy the villain role that Opus Dei played in The Da Vinci Code. According to Maslin, the villain this time out is a sinister psycho named Mal’akh.

Observant types will remember that back in 2003 Maslin also had the first review of The Da Vinci Code — and it was a rave as well. “Not since the advent of Harry Potter has an author so flagrantly delighted in leading readers on a breathless chase and coaxing them through hoops,” she wrote. Brown later admitted that “people called and said, ‘Is Janet Maslin your mother, because she never says stuff like that?’”

Comments (20 total) Add your comment
  • coolhandkate

    “bringing sexy back”?

  • Laura

    I expect better from The New York Times. Who, other than Justin Timberlake and maybe Joel McHale (for ironic effect), uses the phrase “bringing sexy back?” And in a book review no less? I will likely read “The Lost Symbol”, but this review makes me question reading The Times again.

    • Joel McHale


    • Justin Timberlake

      I hate smug people

    • Will

      I don’t hate smug people, just Laura. Maybe she is just bringing snobby back.

  • rome114

    If this reviewer found The Da Vinci Code a really good book (which taking all the Jesus-Magdalene suppositions aside), is a very bad book in my opinion, The New York Times should consider another reviewer for hiring. asap.

    • Alone

      Rome, your way off base. Just because you didnt enjoy it, doesn’t make it a bad book.

    • Amanda

      Rome, you sound very closed minded. Bet you voted for McCain.

  • Bill

    rome114 – The Da Vinci Code was a huge best seller! The obvious evidence shows that you’re a very poor reviewer of books.

    • Alyssa

      Being a best seller doesn’t make a book good. A lot of relly bad books get onto the bestseller lists, while a lot of really good books do not make it, or don’t make it very high up. Judge a book by what’s inside, not by what it ranked on a bestseller list.

      • pm

        Alyssa, Science, Physics, metaphysics are good books. Would you rather read them ??

  • kvanwyk

    Now I can’t wait to lay my hands on a copy!

  • Andy

    Well, I will read the book because I want to read it, regardles of good or bad reviews.

  • Cole9219

    I agree with both sides. Just because the DaVinci Code was a bestseller doesn’t make it a good book but that doesn’t mean every bestseller isn’t a good book. I loved the DaVinci Code, I couldn’t even read Pygmy (by Chuck palahniuk.)

  • Emily

    I agree, this was a bad review. However, that doesn’t mean we have to act like idiots about it. I am excited about the book–6 years is a long time.

  • Michi

    Janet Maslin was hired by the NYT to review more commercial books that they previously didn’t review.

  • Kim

    I love how she described Brown as using “dashing” for Langdon as an adjective and a verb!

  • eddy

    i m reading the book and it s an interesting book but Dan Brown hasn t really gone deep enough as usual into the legend that his story is based on in other word he didn t explain where did the mason came from what s the legend of their creation or the father of masonry Hiram Abiff his death the temple of solomon their support of the templar the mason have a rich history theat he didn t explain and why the forefather believed that the Mason belief were the best cornerstone to our nation.

  • Mannie Harrison

    The Lost Symbol is a good read- far better than The Da Vinci Code but not as good as Angels and Demons. It is clear from reading all three novels that Dan Brown was far easier (almost an apologist) on The Masons than he was on the Roman Cathoic Church. I was surprised he did not point out that America’s first third party – The Anti-Masonic Party- came on the political scene in 1832 when a journalist and critic of the Masons was found murdered. Both Andrew Jackson and Henry Clay – the Presidential candidates of the Democratic Party and Whig Party- respectively,were Masons. Enter the Anti-Masonic Party. It had to fold its tent when it was discovered that even its Presidential candidate- (William Wirt)was a MASON. Dan Brown treats too lightly the far reaching tentacles of the Masons.

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