With the release last week of Dan Brown’s new book, the lost symbol – which I am part way through reading as I write! – I thought it might be interesting to look back at one of Brown’s earlier efforts.
Angels and Demons is the first book in the Robert Langdon series. It finds a Harvard Professor of Symbology being summoned first to the CERN research centre in Switzerland, and then to the Vatican, to help solve a crisis that threatens to bring down the very heart of the Catholic Church.
From a distance, it seems like a fanciful plot, ridiculous, some might say. But somehow, Brown pulls it off, you never feel that any lines are crossed. This is fiction after all, who says it has to be realistic? What makes it work, you feel, is that Brown has taken some historical truths that do indeed exist in time, and has taken a liberal helping of fictional license with them. What I really like about it, is that it is a book set in the modern day, but it is also a work of the past – the plot is set in the present, but stepped in thousands of years of history. Is it fiction, or non fiction? The nexus between the two is Brown’s forte.
Of course this book has been greatly overshadowed by the Da Vinci Code. Which is a great shame, as it is a cracking read, and probably more readable and more enjoyable than Brown’s more famous work. More people are bound to pick up this book thanks to the film based on it.