Daniel Gerhard Brown, is a contemporary American bestselling author, known for his famous thriller novels. He was born in New Hampshire, on June 22, 1964.
Now that we’re done with the proper wiki-worthy introduction, let’s move on. Dan Brown, is my second favorite author after Ray Bradbury. I became acquainted with his works in early, or not so, 2017, and just fell in love with his unique style of writing. I love how broad and extensive his works are. Every time I read one of his books, I literally feel like I’ve finished a course in university, because except for presenting conspiracies and fiction, his books are full of symbolism, cryptography, historical, cultural, scientific, Christian facts and events, each affecting a different sphere.
So far I only read the Robert Langdon series, so everything I’m writing now relates to it. I’m pretty sure everyone has at least heard of the famous “The Da Vinci Code”, “Angels and Demons” or “Inferno”, as they have also been adapted into movies, which, frankly, I didn’t quite like, because they’re half as good as the books, they miss lots of important information, + the poor choice of actors, especially the one of Langdon himself. I love Tom Hanks, he’s a great actor, love lots of his movies, but for me, he isn’t plausible for this role.
Anyway, I got carried away as usual, let’s get back to the books. Why I love them so much, is very simple: they’re interesting, they’re entertaining, when you finish a chapter, you want to read one more, as you’re eager to find out the secret mystery, the hidden truth. Each book takes place in a different country and city, so except giving you a “proper education”, it also becomes your guide in all these cities, telling about their history, architecture and culture. I’d personally classify these books not only to thriller, but to action, historical and detective genres as well.
If you look objectively, you’ll obviously notice lots of similarities between his books: Langdon gets involuntarily involved into another mystery which threatens to become a world’s catastrophe, and along with a smart female companion he starts finding clues and solving the puzzle, while being chased by different people and organizations and not knowing who’s on their side and who’s the enemy. But believe me, this is one of those few cases, when the general information given in the plot is so immense and significant, that you don’t even pay attention to some minor repetitiveness. And even though the books are quite long, they’re very easily-read and the whole 600-700 pages go on in an instant.
The books go in order, which I didn’t know while reading, hence why I read them chaotically. However it doesn’t make much difference, because each book is a separate story, not connected to its prequel or sequel, so I guess you can read them as you want. I’ll introduce them from my most favorite to the least one, and the right order will be at the end of this post. So, without further ado, let’s start with the discussing of books separately.
1. Angels and Demons. This is my favorite part which also happens to be the first one of the series, and it takes place in Rome, Italy. I could describe Angels and Demons in just one word-clash. And not just one, but two. First, it’s the conflict between religion and science (mostly physics), here you see different opinions on the universal truth, how the world started, what’s more important and what’s the “engine” of our world and lives. I really liked the idea of its outcome, with science and religion being allies and not enemies, both being right, both presenting the same thing in different aspects. Second clash is between Christianity and Illuminati, and this was also really interesting to learn, how this relationship went on through years and centuries, and how illuminati were intertwined with science, and what was their mission after all.
2. The Da Vince Code. This was the first book of the series I read, having absolutely 0 expectations to like it, as I already knew it included a great amount of history, and history was something I thought I hated the most in my life. This part takes place in France, Paris and tells about the battle between Priory of Sion fraternal organization and Opus Dei Catholic institution about the theory of Jesus Christ having a child with Mary Magdalene. It also involves legends of Magdalene’s role in Christianity, the mystery of Holy Grail and Christianity in general, and Leonardo Da Vinci’s works, which contains clues about this possible hypothesis. If you like different conspiracy theories, you’re definitely gonna love this book, as it’s full of them, presenting all the plausible facts, that for a while you even forget that it’s a fiction and not a documentary.
3. Inferno. As you may have guessed from the title, this one is centered around the famous work of an Italian poet Dante Alighieri, Divine Comedy, mostly its first part-Inferno, and takes place in Florence, Italy. So in order to read this, I think you have to be familiar with the content of the original book itself. It also focuses on the issue of overpopulation, as one side believes that it is the source of all evil, and tries to fix that problem. Inferno is the most distinctive one among all his books in many ways. It starts in an unusual way: a major part of the action has already happened, but Langdon gets a retrograde amnesia and doesn’t remember a single thing about his adventures the night before, so this time we have absolutely no idea how and why he got involved in this story, so we learn everything anew, little by little.
4. Lost Symbol. This book takes place in Washington, D.C., and it’s mostly about Freemasonry, the history and background of masons, how they originated and what influence they had in history. Along with Langdon we discover Masonic secrets and ancient hidden places, leading to the secret Mason’s Pyramid, and try to find the Lost Word, which will supposedly give new power to masons. At the end we discover, that everything is much simpler than what we thought, and that masons were closely connected with Christianity and Bible, believing that Bible was a set of instructions on becoming enlightened. I really enjoyed learning about masons and compare this story with the theories we hear and read in real life, as the conspiracy of masons is one of the biggest and most discussed ones.
5. Origin. The most recent book, and my least favorite one. It takes place in Barcelona, Spain and, as the title hints, is about the origin of humankind and its two most asked and most important questions: “where do we come from? and “where we’re going?”. It questions everything we allegedly knew about how life started on Earth, along with Darwin’s theory of evolution. Seems like a very interesting topic, so why was it my least favorite? Because it gave very little information. I can safely say, that it was more about Barcelona, Spanish culture, art and architecture than the issue of origin itself. It was more a pure action, running from here to there, and only the end provides us with the long-awaited theory and answers to those questions. If taken alone, that part, the 30-50 pages I really enjoyed, but it’s definitely not a book I’d gladly reread. However, I still recommend this, because again, it was interesting to see his theory of our long journey in this world.
So here they are, all the parts of Langdon series. These are the books I’d recommend to anyone, despite their genre preferences, because they’re really fascinating and quite intriguing, + they’re just perfect for broadening your horizons. Hopefully you will find something new and entertaining for you.
p.s. as I was checking the right order to write down here, I noticed that it almost corresponds with my list, only with one distinction. Nevertheless, here’s the official order, enjoy!
- Angels and Demons
- The Da Vince Code
- Lost Symbol