The Lost Symbol by Dan Brown

by

Author: Dan Brown

Title: “The Lost Symbol”

Genre: Adventure

Publication Date: September 2009

Number of Pages: 504

Geographical Setting: Washington, D.C.

Time Period: Contemporary

Series: Series character, Robert Langdon

Plot Summary:  Robert Langdon returns to use his brains to help out an organization as the reader is toured around a detailed set of Washington, D.C..  Langdon finds that he has been called to the Capitol building to help out a long-time friend, Peter Solomon, and to return a mysterious packaged item that has been entrusted to him.  He arrives only to discover that the severed hand of his friend has been tattooed and set up in the middle of the room, pointing upwards.  Peter’s sister, Katherine, joins the search for her brother.  The CIA join as well, except that that are not concerned with finding Peter’s captor, but will do anything to get the package held by Landon, which is said to reveal all the secret knowledge held by the legendary secret society, the Masons .  Questions litter this tale: Who has captured and tortured Peter?  Is he alive?  How has he come to know all that he does?  How did the CIA get involved?  Whose interests do they have at heart?  What exactly is this secret knowledge that has been guarded vehemently for centuries?

Subject Headings: Washington, D.C., Secret societies – Masons,

Appeal:  fast paced, relentless, series character, eccentric villain, complex storyline, investigative, plot twists, informative details, detailed depiction of Washington D.C. architecture, historical details, contemporary setting, political backdrop, dangerous, dangerous mood, conversational language, natural description, resolved ending, easy yet researched

3 terms that best describe this book:  Historical, Exciting, Dangerous

Similar Authors and Works
3 Relevant Non-Fiction Works and Authors:

“The Secret Architecture of Our Nation’s Capitol:  The Masons and the Building of Washington, D.C.” by David Ovason.  This text notes several important founders who were involved in the construction of D.C, such as James Hoban (designer of the White House) and notes how their designs reflect well-known Mason symbols.  This may in fact be a source Dan Brown used for his own text, as it was published in 2002.

“Insight Guide Washington, D.C.” by Insight Guides.  A great resource for Washington architecture, offering plenty of historical details and little bias.

“Secret Societies: And How They Affect Our Lives Today” by Sylvia Browne.  This text documents sixteen different societies, offers a brief history of each, and whether or not it is known to be active today and how.

3 Relevant Fiction Works and Authors:

“The Kabalyon Key” by Charles Westbrook.  A religiously controversial tale of secrets and conspiracy wherein the world is threatened as historical secrets are revealed.  Westbrook peels the layers of mystery similar to Dan Brown so that the reader is taken on an exciting adventure.  Historical facts and illustration are also used to supplement the story.

“Spartan Gold” by Clive Cussler.  Like Brown, Cussler chronicles the hunt for a secret treasure (once belonging to the ancient world and then again to Napoleon) while two parties race to solve the clues to finding it.

“The Doomsday Key” by James Rollins.  This text intertwines history and science (like The Lost Symbol does).  Scientific experiments are explored that have the magnitude to change mankind, offering high suspense.  Also similar is the usage of series characters, for those who appreciate comfort with their narrator.

Name:  Melissa

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