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Book of the Fortnight: The Lost Symbol

Cut to October 2008: I am contemplating starting a blog. There are lots of topics swimming around in my head - Psychology, Exploring Mythology, Make Up, or Books and Literature. I was trying to make up my mind.

Cut to today: Well, you guys know very well what got chosen. Make Up.

However that did not mean at any point that I gave up my passion for the other 3. I even started a blog on psycology called "According to Freud" but since I was falling short on time and both blogs were suffereing I gave up one and stuck to the other.


Books still remain a big passion for me. And to give you an idea - there are more books strewn around my place than make up. I am even a member of an online library and an avid reader and read upto 2-3 books every month

I read all kinds of genres. Fiction, Mythology, History, Chick-lit (Bridget Jones - ahh, she is the best) and  SFF (Science Fiction Fantasy) as my favorite (Any Douglas Adams or Terry Pratchet Fans here?).

I don't like romance novels like Mills & Boons though. Just a personal preference.

Cover of "The Lost Symbol"Since I read so many books, as you can tell by now, I am quite opininated I thought I would share my reviews of these books with you. I do realise that all of you may not be fond of reading - my request to those readers is to just indulge these posts - they will just be making an appearance once in a fortnight or so. The blog still is about make-up.

And those of you who do like reading, well, we just found another topic to bond over :-)

My first review is for Dan Brown's The Lost Symbol

I just got done reading this about 10 days ago. The book released in September 2009 with a lot of media attention thanks to its predecessor  - The Da Vinci Code. (which I loved btw).

A big book at 509 pages, reading this in bed was made more worse by the fact that this was sold only in hard cover. But I was still excited when the library sent the book (finally!) to my place.

I'll try not to give the plot away here. But the story is similar to other Robert Langdon novels. Symbologist find himself embroiled in the middle of a mystery involving a secret society. Sounds similar to Angels & Demons & Da Vinci Code? I don't blame you. 

I sat down excitedly waiting for secrets to tumble. And they did. The Lost Symbol is based on The Law of Attraction. (For those of you who have read The Secret - this may ring a bell) The narrative even goes as far as to the world of spirits and demons being invoked in rituals by pagan practitioners, the Freemason rituals and even touches upon a new science - Noetic Physics. It is written in typical Brown style with breathless pace and twists and turns at every stage.

However despite all the above exciting mix of theories I still didn't enjoy it as much as I thought I would. Maybe I had inflated expectations after Da Vinci, But this book doesn't even come close to that. It is long, tends to plod and has little humor or lightness about it. The ending is labourisly long and I almost gave up at the second last chapter. I didn't want to read anymore and just wished that Brown would wrap it up all.

Frankly the book was a little bland.

Would I re-read this: No way. A one time read is more than enough.

Would I recommend this to you: It is a good one time read. Kind of like Time - Pass, it is just ok. But it doesn't come close at all to the Da Vinci Code (which you can tell by now, I just loved and have read it many times over). I didn't even like the ending of Angels & Demons, actually. Even that I felt was very long and could be drastically edited.

Have you read this book? What did you think?

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Comments

  1. I love reading books. Infact, the first thing that people notice when they visit my home is books. :P I also never liked Mills and Boons. I am a big Ayn Rand fan and have read almost all of her work. Lord of the rings, harry potter series, Gabriel Gracia Marquis, Ayn Rand, Douglas Adams,Irving Stone etc remain my favourite.I mostly enjoy reading fiction and there was a time when i used to eat books. Now don't get much time. :( But still like to pick up a book once in a while.

    Never picked up Dan Brown because his books are pretty hyped. But will take a look at it now. :)

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  2. Hi Tanveer,

    I am not a voracious reader but yes desire to read is always in my heart.There are time when i will complete books like gone with the wind,god father ,Atlas shrugged followed by time when i wont read any thing other then blogs...

    I read secret and applied it too but didnt work for me:)..When ever there are any book fair in Delhi I get stocks of book for my self but its hard to complete all of them..

    Books in my wish list is latest Dan brown and i want to read suitable boy as well.But will need lot of courage to read those fat books.

    I liked your review and keep posting what you read so that we too get motivated.:)

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  3. I HATED IT. Was the most boring book I have ever read. If that was a twist near the end..well, I already guessed it, so there wasn't even a jhatka at the end and definitely not helped by the fact that it wasn't really the end..it dragged and dragged some more before the pages ran out. I think I ranted enough. Thankfully, I didn't waste my money buying it..was borrowed from a friend.

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  4. Rati - Suitable Boy is a beautiful book. I have read it so many times over. To be read slowly and will definitely take ages to finish but so worth it. I read he is writing a sequel to it..hope thats equally good.

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  5. Ooops that last one was for Anamika, not Rati.

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  6. yaa even i was surprised ...i thought you calling your name Rads and Rati are similar naaa:P at-least 1st 2 initials are...

    will try it for sure :)

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  7. @Rati: I read the Fountainhead by Ayn Rand. Never got down to reading her other books. I figured u were a fan from yr username on TG :)

    I too love HP! It is my favorite series ;D.. From Dan Brown only Da Vinci Code is what got me interested. Rest all is pretty bland.

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  8. @Anamika: I read the suitable boy about 5 or 6 years ago. It is a really, really big book. It takes its own sweet time, but if you have the patience - it is an excellent novel. I really enjoyed reading it a lot :)

    I will definitely be posting book reviews once a fortnight. I am currently reading Terry Pratchett - "Making Money" and "The Perfect Mess - the hidden benefits of disorder"

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  9. @Rads: I didn't have such an extreme reaction to the book, but I can understand why you feel that way.

    I had really high expectations from The Lost Symbol, but it was not gripping enough, neither were the characters well fleshed out, despite that fact that it was a 500 page plus tome. I just could not understand the motive behind M'akhail's actions & reactions.

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  10. I guess I should have taken off the capitals!! Please do keep posting about the books you read...would love to get your opinion/recommendations on them...well makeup too :-)

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  11. I love reading too and have quite a good collection of books on different subjects-with main ones being English Classics, Spiritual, Fiction, Art and Architecture.

    Love works of Jane Austen, Chitra Banerjee, Shashi Tharoor, Jhumpa Lahiri etc. Currently reading "In the Land of Invisible Women" by Dr Qanta Ahmed

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  12. Hey cool.. our common link (books).The lost symbol:the reason I didnt read it was that I felt it would be a repetition of the earlier books,I mean similar format and lenghty..

    I guess as u say its a one time read.Thanks for the cool review..will look out for it

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  13. Hey Tanveer,

    Nice post...I love reading too...Congrats on this introduction..

    Shweta

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  14. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  15. google ate up my comment! grr. lemme type again.
    i am an ardent reader of books. ARDENT. i have two large cupboards filled with books. doesn't necessarily mean that i am an intelligent reader. sometimes i like to pretend i am little again and read books for teenagers. :)
    i don't like romantic stories as well. mills and boons never attracted me. i read the entire danielle steel series a couple of years ago. when i look back, i wonder why i wasted so much time reading all the books. they all have the same plot anyway!
    and you won't believe how happy i am to know about your interest in psychology. are we long lost sisters? too much similarity. :D:D:D

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  16. Hey tanveer,

    I am a bookworm as well. But my interest is more of contemporary, historical and paranormal. I love JR Ward, Christine Feehan and I must have read them about 50 times :) .

    I did like da vinci code and I am looking forward to read this book

    Charan

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  17. One thing that i have the most interest besides makeup is BOOKS.. to be true i can live without makeup but not books, i mean i have to read something.. i am so desperate to read that if i cant get my hands on somthing.. i will even read my 9th standard brothers textbook..ya i do that every year.. i read his hindi and english textbook..lol

    my study table, side drawers, cupboards evrything is scattered with books..

    Im reading The Secret right now..but dont know cant go past the first 50 pages.. i guess its not time yet for the secret to come to me.. it will reveal in its own sweet time..

    My last read was the twilight series by stephanie meyer.. and im an avid paulo coelho fan.. i love love love his books. though havent got around reading all of them.. i sometimes read classics aswell.. got pride and prejudice and wuthering heights for myself will be reading them soon..

    I will be buying some new books and lost symbol was on top of the list since i so like his writing style..

    Let such posts coming.. loved it..

    P.s.: i guess people who love makeup love reading as well.. that is what i can conclude by the comments here..:)

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  18. Its really nice that u started this post too!!
    You already know wat I read- I hav The Lost Symbol but it will be quite sometime b4 I can get down to reading it! Am currently trying to finish India Partition - Jinnah!!
    Looking forward to reading more of this!

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  19. Haven'r read this. Started watching the movie n stopped after 10 mins. Will try watchin it again.. maybe. I did read about 20 pages of Angels n demons after reading Da Vinci Code (which I couldn't put down) n seeing the movie, but I just cudn go through with it! I got bored :D . Mills n Boons are the worst! hehe..

    ♥xx♥

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  20. @Rads: i will.. thks :)

    @Poornima: I too really like Jane Austen. I have the video of the BBC version of this book - the one that has Mark Darcy played by Colin Firth & I just love watching that :)

    @Gurupreet: You are right.. it is lengthy and actually very same like DVC..

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  21. @Shweta: Thks a lot. It started coz of you. It was your idea after all :)

    @Rima: LOL... we could be long lost sisters. Maybe once your exams are done we cld have a few chats on psychology.

    @charan: I am yet to read any of the authors you mentioned! God, I must buck up on my reading skills.

    @Priyanka: Wow, textbooks! U r a bigger book buff than me for sure.. my sister is a big fan of twilight, haven't read that tho.. & even i love Paulo.. Wuthering Heights is my fav novel of all time - do let me know what you think of it :)

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  22. @Simran: Good luck - i hope u finish that Jinnah book soon :).. it looks quite huge.

    @CZ: where did u watch the movie on Lost symbol? I don't think it has been made yet. I think you meant DaVinci Code. Yea, I didn't like that movie too much either - the book is much much better. A&D sucked according to me too.. but somehow plodded through it for the sake of it. Had heard such rave reviews

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  23. Oh sorry I got confused...I meant I started watching Angels n Demons.. :D . Yup Da Vinci Code~ the book was better than the movie for sure

    ♥xx♥

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  24. Yep, me too started a blog on philosophy - was called philo-sophie :), but somehow didnt invest time in it. Sometimes it gets too abstract and am not sure how many people would read, so gave up on it.

    Yep, the Lost Symbol was quite a let down. There are some decent concepts and some nice twists, but overall i think he stretched it too far. The book refused to end!...and that man loves conspiracy theories, he is US's version of Ekta Kapoor I sometimes think- he is not a writer really, he just puts interesting old age concepts and mystical stuff about long forgotten sects together to create some buzz around his books...

    Anyway, enough ranting about Dan Brown, but i lovvve reading too....love Ayn Rand, Harry Potter, Sherlock Holmes, P.G.Woodhouse, God of Small things and quite a few others. Somehow never got around to reading terry prattchet and douglas adams, is terry prattchet the same lady who wrote a hatful of sky?

    And its nice to know so many people who love reading :-)

    Anamika K

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