Origin: Number 5 of the Robert Langdon Series Hardcover – 3 Oct 2017
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"Beautifully observed and really well researched" (BBC TV)
"Fans will not be disappointed" (The Times)
"Read this if you like high stakes drama" (Evening Standard)
"Origin is an imaginative and rattling good tale, the science is accurate and comprehensible and the information on the historic buildings featured are fascinating" (Irish Independent)
"A familiar swirl of big ideas and nonstop action" (New York Times)
The spellbinding new Robert Langdon novel from the author of The Da Vinci Code.See all Product description
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Someone remind me why do I buy Dan Brown books?
All the books in the Robert Langdon series comes down to the following plot points
- An individual holds the key to a certain secret that would change the world.
- This individual is killed and Langdon is somehow brought into the picture.
- Langdon is now being chased as a suspect along with a woman.
- He should prove his innocence and the key is to decipher the secret.
- Does he succeed in deciphering the code/revealing the secret/saving himself?
Well, our man Langdon has now become an expert in that, 5 books down.
Dan Brown should actually consider changing his formula of writing stories. The only thing different in each of the books is the intensity and the power of the secret. Angels and Demons is undoubtedly the best in the series yet. The quality of the "secret" has been degrading ever since. We have reached that level of decoding where Dan Brown is explaining the Uber and FedEx logo. (Dammit!!) Robert Langdon is a character I love. Guess he's turned old now. While I thought Inferno was the least interesting in the series, Dan Brown gave us Origin. I had to change my opinion right there.
Finally, Origin is not a book I'm proud of reading but I'm happy that I did actually read it. The 3 stars are probably because of that. May be I'm getting offensive that there is no secret society like the Illuminati or the Priory of Sion anymore that puts me in shock.
I'm not looking forward to another 5 pointer plot line involving Robert Langdon, but I can see myself buying the next book nevertheless. Sigh.
Well, in the end, like Princess Elsa says, I'll just "Let it go".
Edmond Kirsch is a billionaire computer scientist and futurist who has discovered something that could end up disturbing the deeply-seated religious beliefs. Robert Langdon, one of his trusted friends, gets invited to the event in Guggenheim museum for the announcement of that discovery. In front of the entire audience, Edmond gets brutally murdered before he could announce his discovery. Robert Langdon, having prominently figured in his pre-presentation video, and Ambra Vidal, the charming director of the museum, who worked closely with Edmond to prepare for the event, are both left to run for their dear lives. Chased by what appears to be the conspiracy to eliminate every loose end, Robert and Ambra race through the architectural and historical monuments of Spain to find out Edmond’s discovery and let it be known to the world. Did they succeed? This book answers the question.
As I already said, Dan Brown is an author who weaves a lovely tapestry of tales, putting together facts from various faculties – science, history, art, architecture, religion and what-not! His ability to weave an intricate tale is never to be doubted. But somehow in this book, they are all starting to sound so routine and to some extent even hampering the flow. Brown seems to be settling into a pattern which is not good. What worked in Angels and Demons will not work always. Robert Langdon running for his dear life, trying to unravel the mysteries, accompanied by a female protagonist, giving us lessons on history and religion - it is all starting to sound so similar. Time to think of something different?
Again, neither the story nor the ending are what used to set apart Dan’s works. If you’re a fan of Hollywood movies, who also happens to read widely about science and technology, you get to predict the antagonist and the climax well in advance – at about 200 pages itself. Once the suspense is gone, what remains is another 250-odd pages of dull and uninspiring reading. Either Dan Brown has become predictable or I have gathered the uncanny knack of Sherlock Holmes in seeing beyond the obvious. To avoid sounding so boastful, I guess it is the former that is the case.
Routine, predictable and sluggish, this book reminds me of a work by Shakespeare – Much Ado About Nothing!
His last good book was The Da Vinci Code and it was a racy, edge of the seat thriller which grabbed you at the first page and didn’t let go until the last. He was at the very top of his game.
Then came The Lost Symbol and I couldn’t believe that it was written by the same man. There was no plot and it was like reading a tourist guide for Washington DC. I couldn’t wait to get to the end of it and get over the agony. It was a book which if you put it down once, wouldn’t want to pick up again. I thought that he couldn’t write a worse book than The Lost Symbol.
He proved me wrong with The Inferno. With that book I thought that Brown had surely plumbed the depth of inept writing and I was sure that even he must have realised that and would stop writing for sometime to introspect if he really wants to continue to deceive and disappoint millions of his (and Langdon’s) fans by churning out one bad novel after the other. He must have seen the light, I thought.
But, no! It is strike three with his latest offering Origin. The man surprises you with his ability to write page after page of a non-story and never, ever gets to the point. I was on chapter 25 and still getting nowhere. There were times when I wanted to scream, ‘Get to the point, dammit!’.
To those who liked this book, my unbridled admiration because you have a better tolerance for a badly written book, than I have. More power to you.
Those of you on the fence about buying this book, please spend your money on something else. Buy some ice cream, or that mobile accessory you’ve been planning to buy, or a yoga belt....anything. Spend it on a movie, even!
It is quite sad that Dan Brown has fallen into the habit of writing absolute mediocre books and looks like he couldn’t give a damn. I mean, one dud once in a while is understandable and is pretty normal. Even John Grisham lays an egg occasionally. But to churn out one dud after the other three times in a row requires a special talent. And Brown seems to be having truckloads of it.
It is a bigger pity that he has done this to a much loved character like Robert Langdon.
Brown should take a tip or two from Lee Child and ask him how he continues to hold our total attention with his Reacher novels every single time. We can’t have enough of Reacher even after 22 (yes, 22!) outings with him.
Srikanth H R
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