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Lost for words

Lost Symbol by Dan Brown

Lost Symbol by Dan Brown

I’ve just finished reading The Lost Symbol by Dan Brown and I’m now going to write down my feelings.

OK, so this is actually a book review, but I’ve decided the way I will do book reviews is the way I listen to music. My GF (and my little one!) is able to recount a story word-for-word … then he said .. then she said … then he said … when a song comes on the radio they put it on full blare and sing along with the words. Unfortunately my talents lie elsewhere. I cannot do that.

But I can tell you how I feel about it. I remember music like I remember the perfume of a loved woman. I listen to the melody of a song and it instantly transports me to the time I fell in love with it. I remember the way the sounds twirl around each other, how the relentless cadence of the bass notes urges on the staccato tones of the guitar. Most of the time I have no idea who the singer is or what the words are. But the memory is sealed in my heart.

So, apart from the fact that I finished the book (which is an accomplishment in itself) what do I remember?

I remember the last quarter very well. The beginning was, well, just a pile of characters being set up on stage.  Drawing on an obviously large pool of information – I have no idea if any of Mr Brown’s assertions are correct though – Mr Brown intersperses his story with lots of interesting titbits to keep the reader interested. He has to: there is nothing else to do. But then he starts revealing his story line at three quarters through the book.

Here I have to digress for a minute. A dear friend of mine, Willie Scholtz, once said to me that words are what makes us important as humans to God. He said that in the Bible, Genesis 1 in fact, is says that in the beginning the was the word. I checked it, Gen 1:3 says “God said”.

So it wasn’t a big leap of imagination for me to identify with the characters in the book and their search for “The Word”, and I thoroughly enjoyed the wordplay introduced by Mr Brown and how he unpacked his different characters’ views of what exactly The Word is supposed to be. And while Mr Brown occasionally seems to raise his gaze onto the spiritual world, he only does so by repeating the common language of the spiritual leaders of today. He doesn’t add anything new.

Nevertheless, I will remember the book for telling a story that I enjoyed in a way that kept me occupied for a few hours. Good stuff.

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