So, what do you think? Its been a whole month now since the arrival of the new Dan Brown opus, The Lost Symbol, and sales have been brisk to say the least. Some 3 million of you have purchased the tome and it looks like success is pretty much assured.


Lets backtrack a little. September 15th 2009 was a landmark day for me. I waited patiently outside of my local bookstore for the opening time, then entered to become to first person to purchase The Lost Symbol there. Then hotfooted it back to my house to set about a reading marathon. Lots of coffee and snacks later and some 12 hours had passed - I had finished the book. First impressions were of a slightly disappointing nature. The book didn't have the same initial impact upon me as The Da Vinci Code had, it wasn't as immediate as Angels & Demons either, nor was it seemingly as controversial. I compiled my list of some 60 factual entries and started to research. Interestingly, many of the Twitter and Facebook clues that had been released by Dan Brown and his publishers, in the run up to the publication of The Lost Symbol, were not included in the book. Many of them were undoubtedly red herrings, many were very subtle hints at actual inclusions - what it meant was that much of my early, pre-publication research was useless. I started to wade through my mountains of books that I had assembled for the research needed, and for the next two weeks started to read and write at a pretty prolific rate.


Decoding The Lost Symbol, is the fruits of those labors and its set to appear here at B&N on November 3rd.


Now, back to the question. What do you think? Having read and had time to digest The Lost Symbol, for several weeks now, I have to say that my initial thoughts about it have changed. The book is a very interesting exercise and even though it is less controversial on the surface than his previous Robert Langdon led romps, it does have a fascinating and deep core that once unlocked, leads you to interesting vistas and avenues. Brown has attempted something that not many thriller writers and populist authors have in many years. He has attempted to change the way we look at things and think about certain issues. The Lost Symbol is a book that calls for tolerance of faith, and understanding of different points of view on where we are in the universe. It is a message within a story. Subtle at first, but becoming more obvious within the last ten chapters or so. It's a good book. An interesting book and a potential gateway to another world, another way of thinking and a more peaceful and tolerant future.



I'm hosting a conference, called, Decoding The Lost Symbols, in Glendale, Los Angeles on November 8th (at the Hilton Hotel). Come along and join myself, plus authors, William Henry, Jon Rappoport, Michael Cremo, John Major Jenkins and debate some of the themes raised in The Lost Symbol. We will also have a musical interlude provided by John Payne of Asia, performing new pieces from his soon to be released CD, also to be called, Decoding The Lost Symbol. It promises to be a great day full of information and intelligent debate. Details about it can be found on my website.





Let me know what you think about The Lost Symbol. Was it worth the wait? Did it hold up to Brown's other books?

by Moderator dhaupt on ‎10-19-2009 10:00 AM

Hi Simon, this has been a very active discussion on the Mystery board here at B& I can't wait to read decoding.

I LOVED it. However many like you were disappointed. Here's my theory about that. When TDC was released Mr. Brown was a successful writer and had many best selling books, however, no-one could have possibly known the impact that TDC was going to have on the reading public or how many religious facets would come out and publicly denounce the book, which of course will increase it's popularity tenfold, or over how many water coolers or coffee klatches or under hair dryers or wherever the book was getting talked about and marketed without the big expense of an Ad agency.

So in saying that I think that we the reading public were just a little, okay a lot, hyped about this new book and it's been talked about and hyped by the pros for months now and I think that may have caused some of the disappointments. 

Me I just read it like it was any old new release and really enjoyed it.

Professor Langdon is just as clueless as ever in regards to the female of the species, he's just as anal about his profession and interests and I absolutely loved the villain in this novel. I didn't know who he was until he revealed himself and almost fell off the sofa when he did. His characters were all really well developed and interesting. I thought the plot was wonderful. 

So those are my thoughts Simon.


by on ‎10-19-2009 12:19 PM

I also loved the book, Simon.


I don't need controversy to enjoy a book;  the thrilling action, mysterious unfoldings, and thought-provoking concepts in the text were more than enough for me to enjoy it.


And, being a peace-loving person, I thought that the lack of controversy was rather refreshing and the ending was hopeful.


I agree that the author attempted to change how we look at issues regarding tolerance of faith and the nature of the soul.  In my case, however, he was merely reflecting views that I already had on the subject, so he was, in essence, preaching to the choir.


After reading the book, I reflected a good deal on what the effect might be if the soul was to be proved to have measureable mass.  I concluded that my own reaction to that would be one of elation and that people similar to myself would probably feel the same;  it would be cool to have some proof of something that I choose to believe in through faith alone. 


At the same time, though, I also concluded that this would no doubt prompt religious zealots to simply increase their passions for their own interpretations of religion, with the probable result of decreased tolerance for others' views. 


In addition, those who do not believe in the concept of a soul would still be just as skeptical as ever, attributing the mass to some kind of dissipating life energy, of no value once it is out of the body.  


So, I came to the conclusion that the world would not be changed for the better if such a proof existed, and possibly might be worse.  Having come to that conclusion, my initial elation turned to sadness.   The status quo would be preserved, I'm afraid. 


I'm still intrigued about the concept of powerful thought processes as mechanisms of physical and social change, though.    I actually have a friend who got involved in a brotherhood of TM (transcendental meditation) practitioners in the 60's who subsequently spent the next 40 years of his life in group TM efforts to bring about world peace.  They meditated for at least half a day every day of the year to bring about the change.  Did they have any success?  Hard to tell!  The world is not a peaceful place, to be sure, but somehow we've thus far avoided our worst nuclear nightmares;  perhaps the world would have been far worse off today if they had not put in that effort.   It's food for thought, anyway!


I'm looking forward to reading your book!



by Moderator dhaupt on ‎10-19-2009 12:27 PM

Psychee, may I say Amen! ;-)

Plus I also agree with you about hope in the end.


by on ‎10-19-2009 06:40 PM



I do agree with you, on this look at Dan's book.  I vacillated, at times.  But, as Debbie and Psychee have said they loved it, I wasn't that enthralled.   I liked it, but, I didn't love it.


I think, as we've all said, we were looking for that next adventure, but I, for one, was looking for the next real controversy, I think.  Dan did point out, iron out, and explain the controversies [in this book], what he didn't in TDVC.  He left you with an agenda.  His agenda.  As I think I'd mentioned on the Mystery board, you say words in a sentence, words like "hope", but you had better be able to convince your readers that there is that 'hope'.  I wasn't convinced by his writing. 


I thought it was a fun read, at times, but other times I was bogged down in repetative dialogue, and interpretive science therory.  I love science like this, but it could have been edited down about a hundred or more pages.


The pace wasn't fast enough for me, I'm afraid.  I find a lot of science based novels have to be character, and plot, the same time.  This one stalled with mundane dialogue, and character description, to the point of yawning, science. 


Noetics is a mystery, one to be solved.  The soul is a mystery, one mystery I think will never really be solved, because people would want to pin point it.... it's like pieces of personality,  It's what ultimately drives us....but we can't see it, or understand it enough to weigh it.  It's all a matter of matter...brain matter.  You can point to your brain, your heart, your eyes....but you can't point to a soul.  


If Dan had taken that science, and pulled it to it's ultimate end in discovery, even if it was fiction in the present time, I think he would have had a better novel.  We had a bad guy, who was evil, and took that evil to it's limit, and yet was loved.  I don't want to love an evil character.  I want to say, good riddance.   


There was a lot of meat in this novel, a lot to think about, and work through....but it just didn't feel like it had enough seasoning.  I had to work too hard to try and find it.  But, I didn't write this book, and I'm sure if I had, I'd get just as much criticism!  :smileyvery-happy:



by Cyncynct on ‎10-24-2009 03:37 PM

Firstly, I'd like to say that I really enjoyed "The Lost Symbol" and I wasn't disappointed. However, I would like to confirm that I am with Simon in regard to the Twitter and Facebook clues leading up to the release of the book. The clues rarely matched its content, if at all. However, oddly enough, I noticed a very distinct connection vis à vis the FB clues and Charles L. Westbrook's "The Kabalyon Key". You might find this book more to your liking since you already researched many topics that Mr. Westbrook touched on in his book due to the Dan Brown clues. I think that "The Kabalyon Key" should be read in conjunction with "The Lost Symbol" to get a more in depth picture of topics that Dan Brown only lightly touched on in his book. Cheers!

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