Mythbusting DC, The Features

The Wait, What? I’m Lost Symbol

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I see the future, I bend my thought to it: millions turning to these words and taking meaning from them, imbuing them with personal meaning; individuals comprehending “untold” mysteries written secretively in every building; a double decker bus with a speaker, the supreme leader shouting interpretations through the streets. That’s right, I see… The Lost Symbol Tour of DC. Now, this providential power of my mind to see this eventuality would be, in the world of Dan Brown’s The Lost Symbol, dramatic and surprising, never-before considered proof of the illimitable powers of the human mind. Use a heavy hand of the occult dressing and the secrecy sauce, and you can see the face of the Madonna in any piece of iceburg lettuce. This is Mr. Brown’s recipe–smash together enough philosophical minds, add a secret society, some underground passageways and a beastly sadomasochistic villain and you’ve got $1 million in first-day sales. Unfortunately the devices so intoxicating in The Da Vinci Code are ultimately working for a less sexy philosophical revelation in this latest installment. I raced along with the now-familiar “every-professor” Robert Langdon, pushing him on, only to arrive at the finish line going, “Wait. That’s it?!”

This is all sad to say, because I was really rooting for D Brown. I feel like it has to be hard being D Brown. This is a man who sat in undergrad creative writing courses at Amherst with a man who has been heralded as one of the great literary minds of our generation, David Foster Wallace. He then went on first to a Barry-Manilow-esque, short-lived music career in LA, before writing 187 Men to Avoid under the pseudonym Danielle Brown. He wanted to be a writer, and he got his wish– but even as millions of educated individuals voraciously consumed his thrillers, they castigated his writing. He’s no Hemingway. That’s no Faulknerian prose. Then again, maybe I shouldn’t feel bad– The Da Vinci Code sparked an international fervor, making Brown a household name and assuredly making him something few writers become, a rich man. After myriad criticisms relating to not only Brown’s writing but his research–its factuality and originality–you could see why the man would take 6 years to write, and presumably carefully edit, the next installment. Continue reading

Essential DC, Life in the Capital, The Daily Feed, The District

The Lost Symbol Can Now Be Found

Dan Brown’s long awaited book The Lost Symbol hit stores today.  The latest in Brown’s series of books involving super sleuth Robert Langdon (Tom Hanks) takes place here in D.C., the city we all love so much.  According to Wikipedia:

“The book’s story takes place over a period of 12 hours in Washington, D.C., with a focus on Freemasonry. Langdon is summoned to Washington by his mentor, a Mason named Peter Solomon. When Solomon goes missing and a ghastly clue is left, Langdon is sent on a rapid chase through the concealed passages of the city. He joins forces with Solomon’s daughter, Noetic scientist Dr. Katherine Solomon, while matching wits with a tattooed and brilliant villain who is in search of an ancient source of power.”

I can’t wait to see what crazy underground tombs of evil Brown has in store for us.  Perhaps the Washington Monument is actually a giant handle that when pulled will rotate the entire city by a magical 33.3 degrees, awaken the founding fathers from their graves who will then rewrite the Constitution to suit today’s needs?  Maybe the Capitol has a secret basement that only a select group of senators know about, containing an ancient recipe for half smokes topped with chili and melted cheese?

I bought my copy today, did you?

The Daily Feed

The Lost Symbol: Tomorrow

Photo courtesy of
‘Mona Lisa’
courtesy of ‘Michael_Lehet’

One of the most anticipated books of the fall, a book that could perhaps give declining book sales a legitimate bump, is out tomorrow. It’s Dan Brown’s The Lost Symbol, which follows the main character of his previous hits The Da Vinci Code and Angels & Demons through a new mystery, which takes place in – of all places – DC. Yours truly has invested he $9.99 required to have a copy automatically delivered to my Kindle, and I will be coming back with thoughts later this week. Let me say I’m in the Skarsgard camp when it comes to DB. If the past books are any indication, here is what we can look for in this newest installment:

Main character Robert Langdon gets summoned some place against his will to solve mystery. Bobby meets seductive/mysterious/intriguing yet brilliant woman to fall in love with later. Mystery deepens via disturbing incidents. Robby L works to solve mystery, lady friend is endangered. R-dawg saves woman, solves mystery (turns out it was that person you never suspected because they were a “good guy”!!). Tom Hanks Prof. Langdon gets woman and they ride off into the sunset on the presidential helicopter with Barry O in the drivers seat. Nick Cage moves over from National Treasure francise to star in film adaptation, which will diverge greatly from the book but be equally as bad entertaining.