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A lot was expected of Dan Brown in this third book with his symbologist hero, Robert Langdon. The Da Vinci Code was a worldwide phenomenon and religious fire-starter. I’ve read it numerous times and think it’s great. Angels and Demons, which came before Da Vinci Code, was a great book as well. I’ve read his other books and enjoyed them all.

So, how well did Brown follow up on his success? Financially, I’m sure he did very well. In literary terms, not nearly as well. I’m not going to rag on Brown for it. It’s tough to keep mining the same formula and continue to come up with hits every year. Just ask EA Sports with their Madden football franchise. They’ve been kicking out the same game every year for decades. Sometimes it’s good, sometimes it’s bad, but it’s typically entertaining and people eat it up. Brown’s book was entertaining, but it wasn’t good.

Let’s break down the formula Brown has used in his Langdon books. Then you’ll know what to expect from the Lost Symbol.

Smart professor knowledgeable in ancient symbols and history (sp)
Mysterious artifact (a)
Mysterious assassin with some sort of malady (ma)
Even more mysterious person pulling the assassins strings (ol)
Short chapters that make you want to turn the page (pt)

Character development (cd)

Intricate plots (ip)
Interesting locations and better –than-a-tour-guide knowledge of the location (t)
Dramatic reveal at the end of the book that you probably saw coming (r)
Bestseller (b)

Let’s clean that formula up, so other aspiring authors can use it.
(((sp + a + ma + ol) – (cd + ip)) * t) / r = b

Rating: 3 out of 5 (What’s This?)

Read on my Kindle. See my Kindle review.

Purchase this book at Amazon.com