Monday, September 28, 2009

The Lost Symbol – The Book

The title I wanted for this was “The Lost Symbol – Robert Langdon, New Girl, Stupid Law Enforcers and a Secret/Mysterious/Bizarre Brotherhood/Sisterhood/Fellowship/Society”. But I didn’t actually use it because
1. This is too long for a title.
2. I think most of us (including me) don’t know how to read out words with ‘/’ in between.

I will make do with the current title only and talk about the book that I have not read yet and later about the movie that has not been made yet.

The Book
The book is out and there are thousand reviews on internet. Here is the summary. “This is one pathetic piece of literature rife with factual blunders which you cannot put down, if you are not rational or if you know the art of suppressing your rationale. If you don’t know this subtle art, you can’t go beyond ten pages.” I for one believe in dying to go to heaven (probably hell in this case).

Apparently planes flutter their wings like a big bird before they take a heave and get lost in the misty skies while at some other place CIA is given an amputated hand as a souvenir from a crime scene where they have no business being present at and have no jurisdiction by law. See the beauty?

Many are of the opinion that Dan Brown’s books stick firmly to the formula. This is where I can happily contradict everyone. In my opinion there cannot be a formula for mass consumption which does not have big dose of sex and a very big dose of gory violence involved. Watch any Hindi movie from Bollywood that was made in late 80s and early 90s to know what I mean.

If you are more of a reader then read Sidney Sheldon. He is the king of formula and he was done passing off his genes to new generation before he started writing his 'best sellers' after he turned 50 (that is when his genes mutated). Well, I just made the gene thing up. That the only hope that my kids won’t have to read the works of any ‘legal heir of Sheldon’s legacy’ (as they would write in the reviews). I wouldn't mind more of I Dream of Jeannie though.

I do think that Dan Brown has found a new formula. Find some mystery or a conspiracy theory which is unresolved. Collect generally prevalent information (that is not easily verifiable) from Wikipedia and try to connect the dots in a super fast paced narrative that leaves people breathless. Throw in a few paragraphs of moral sermons now and then, just to give those half illiterate readers a feeling of reading something more profound than what they are actually reading (I have personally collected data to prove this). Voila! Now run to the bank.

As for the book, I will wait for the paperback to come. Will read it with absolutely no expectations and would love to be surprised. Here is a little disclaimer: I reserve all rights to go back on anything I have said before, if I find something different than what everyone else has found and what I should expect based on the two other Langdon books.

We should give credit to Dan Brown to find a formula that is ingenious and takes considerable talent, not necessarily of literary kind. We should give him credit for creating a formula which is extremely difficult to follow and will probably die with him.

Raise hands all ye who want it so.

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