I have to sincerely apologize for being absent from my blog. I knew that I would be busy but between shopping for a wedding and taking care of my son AND falling sick (who says we are facing global warming!), I haven’t been able to catch a few minutes to sit down and write a post. My book lover friends must be thinking that my fascination with makeup must have made me forget about books, but that is not the case at all. I read regularly but being a mother has had me gravitating towards light reading the last couple of years, nothing worthy enough to be starred in a blog post. This post is different because one doesn’t post a retraction everyday. Read on to know what I’m talking about.As you may all know, my first blog post ever was a review on Dan Brown’s Inferno (you can check it here). And I clearly stated that I enjoyed this book much more than Dan Brown’s last venture The Lost Symbol which I found to be complete bore. So when my sister asked my opinion on reading this book you can imagine what my answer was. But then she went ahead and bought the illustrated version of the novel as she was getting it real cheap and went ahead and read it. The first thing she asked me after she finished the book was Why didn’t I like it as she thought it was an engaging read and you know, I couldn’t remember why I disliked it as I didn’t remember the plot at all. Usually its not a good sign for a book’s fate if you can’t even remember what its about. My sister suggested I reread it as she found the pictures quite helpful in visualizing the whole plot and so I thought about giving it a try.
Rereading a book because you loved it so much is a well known concept among book lovers but rereading a book because you DISLIKED it, well that’s new. But with positive reviews from my sisters and all the interesting pictures in the book, I plunged into the book.
The hero of the plot is Dan Brown’s and everyone’s favorite symbologist Robert Langdon. Robert is invited on a short notice by his old friend and mentor Peter Solomon to deliver a lecture in the U.S Capitol building on symbology in Washington D.C. Little does he know that the assitant who pretended to call on behalf of Peter Solomon to fix the lecture is his kidnapper and has involved Robert unwillingly into discovering an ancient secret of the Freemasons (Peter Solomon is a highly placed member of the Freemasons group in America). To make Robert believe that he means business, he sends him a gruesome souvenier in the Capitol building and puts him on a deadline to decipher a mysterious pyramid. Robert along with Peter’s sister Katherine run around Washington D.C finding clues in the architecture of the various buildings in order to unmask this secret. Tantalising enough?
For a country that’s relatively new in the world history (just 250-years old), there is a lot of mystery in the American history itself. Apparently the founding fathers of America, George Washington, Benjamin Franklin among others were publicly declared members of the Freemasons. The Freemasons is an existing not-so-secret, secret society that started out of UK/Scotland and moved to America during its independence. They started out as stonemason and than branched out into acquiring knowledge about various old and occult sciences. Their symbols can be found in the American dollar bill, the numerous buildings of America’s capital Washington D.C. Just picture Robert Langdon to be Nicholas Cage from National Treasure but infinitely more smarter and bookishly handsome.
I am putting up some pictures from the book to show you how enticing a non fiction historical thriller be with pictures.
And here are a couple of pictures that depict the inspiration of American architecture from older cultures.
And than some more that show the ideology and symbology of Freemasons on the American dollar bill and American architecture.
Aaand ofcourse no Dan Brown novel is complete without some artwork and hidden clues in them.
Another thing I enjoy about Dan Brown’s novels are the odd yet true facts like the largest squid placed in the Smithsonian Museum and the true meaning of the word Apocalypse.
Except for the ending which was a bit flimsy compared to the strong exciting plot, the book was very enjoyable. And yes, except for the setting of the novel I didn’t remember anything else so for me it was like reading the book for the first time. The pictures, set every couple of pages away made it a true visual delight.
Even now I’m not sure why I disliked the book initially. Maybe because it came after the super blockbuster The Da Vinci Code, the expectations for it were very high and it quite didn’t deliver the punch as its predecessor did but after reading numerous books from the same genre, I have come to accept that not every book with an enticing mystery can be as good the The Da Vinci Code and we just need to cut a little slack for the authors.
Is it a Hit? I think the Illustrated Version of the book makes it a total hit as the pictures keep the interest alive even at dull moments which are few in between the novel.
Is it a Miss? Definitely not as good as The Da Vinci Code and Angels and Demons and slightly on a slow track compared to the two. The ending was not as fulfilling compared to the exciting plot. The illustrated version is quite expensive compared to the paperback novel but if you can order from online websites like FlipKart, its comparatively cheaper.
I definitely recommend for you all to read this book in its illustrated version form. In fact I enjoyed this format so much that I will go out and purchase the first two Langdon novels in their illustrated form and read them again.
Hope you enjoyed this post and give this book a try.
Till Next Time,