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The Lost Symbol

by

The Lost Symbol Cover

ISBN13: 9780385504225
ISBN10: 0385504225
Condition: Standard
Dustjacket: Standard
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Reading Group Guide

1. How familiar were you with Freemasonry before reading the novel? How did your impressions of the organization shift throughout the book, from the chilling prologue to Peter Solomon's philosophical comments near the end?

2. How do Peter Solomon's students (including Robert) reconcile their admiration for him with the knowledge that he is a Mason? Did it surprise you to learn about well-known American historical figures who were Masons and to read about scientists who were intrigued by mysticism and other occult belief systems?

3. Discuss the novel's grand theme of architecture. How did The Lost Symbol change the way you think about the way buildings are designed and the intention of their architects (creators)? What most surprised you about the tributes to the past—and visions of the future—that are captured in the landmarks of Washington, D.C.?

4. Mal'akh considers the polarity of angels and demons noting that "the guardian angel who conquered your enemy in battle was perceived by your enemy as a demon destroyer." What does this indicate about Mal'akh's perception of himself in the world? How can his evil nature be explained? Why is he only able to consider his own suffering, while relishing the suffering of others?

5. How did you react to Katherine Solomon's work in Noetic Science? What motivates her to investigate the tangible aspects of the human soul (attempting to weigh it, even)? How would it change the world if there were more tangible evidence of the spiritual world? How is Katherine Solomon's perception of science different from Robert Langdon's?

6. At the heart of the novel is a quest to unlock wisdom, and the need to keep it "locked" because it can be used for destructive purposes. Do you believe that freedom of knowledge (Wikipedia, a world wide web) is a blessing or a curse?

7. The novel's epigraph, from Manly Hall's The Secret Teachings of All Ages, encourages readers to become aware of the meaning of the world. What mysteries about the world, and life, do you think are the most important ones to explore?

8. How did Mal'akh amass enough power to turn his personal plot into a national security threat? What does his rise to power indicate about the potential of mind over body and a human being's ability to play a variety of roles for unsuspecting audiences?

9.

The final chapter raises intriguing questions about the possibility of a multi-faceted God and the potential to find God in all of humanity. Can there be a universal definition of enlightenment?

10.

While interpreting the Masonic Pyramid's final inscription, Robert Langdon tries to bring order out of chaos by interpreting each symbol as a metaphor. Peter Solomon instructs him to be literal and accept the inscription as a true map. What does this exchange say about the best way to interpret all sacred messages?

11.

What truths do Katherine Solomon and Robert Langdon experience in the epilogue, at sunrise, atop America's ultimate symbol? From your perspective, what does the Capitol symbolize?

12. What does The Lost Symbol indicate about the power of the Word—both ancient texts and bestselling twenty-first-century novels?

13.

What common thread runs through this and each of Dan Brown's previous works? What makes The Lost Symbol unique? How has Robert Langdon's perspective changed from Angels & Demons and The Da Vinci Code?

What Our Readers Are Saying

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Average customer rating based on 15 comments:

kaylo56, January 29, 2012 (view all comments by kaylo56)
As usual Dan Brown has done it again....a book that you just can't put down but at the same time don't want it to end!!!
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dmard, November 20, 2011 (view all comments by dmard)
Dan Brown does what few other can. He writes books of the highest caliber every time. In the The Lost Symbol, he has collected amazing details about the Masonic legends and woven them into a fascinating tale that contains as much fact as it does fiction. If you enjoyed any of his other books, you will love The Lost Symbol too. Those who had issues with the religious implications of The DaVinci Code may find that this book changes their minds about Dan Brown's work. It is not blasphemous, it's just some of the best fiction ever written.
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(2 of 3 readers found this comment helpful)
Jason Weekly, May 27, 2010 (view all comments by Jason Weekly)
Dan brown has done it again!! he leads to pact when it comes to drawing your intrest in a book. hi writing style is something truley gifted. i would recommend everyone read this book. it was insightful and thrilling to knwo the information it holds about the free masons and mosonic. if you have a love for the history of our fourfathers as in modern times this book will appeal to you.
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Product Details

ISBN:
9780385504225
Author:
Brown, Dan
Publisher:
Doubleday Books
Author:
Dixon, Richard
Author:
Eco, Umberto
Author:
Khoury, Raymond
Subject:
Thrillers
Subject:
Washington, d. c.
Subject:
Suspense fiction
Subject:
Historical
Subject:
Popular Fiction-Contemporary Thrillers
Copyright:
Edition Description:
Hardback
Publication Date:
September 2009
Binding:
HARDCOVER
Grade Level:
from 12
Language:
English
Illustrations:
approx 30 bandw illus
Pages:
528
Dimensions:
9 x 6 in 1 lb
Age Level:
from 18

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Fiction and Poetry » Popular Fiction » Contemporary Thrillers

The Lost Symbol Used Hardcover
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Product details 528 pages Doubleday Books - English 9780385504225 Reviews:
"Staff Pick" by ,

While the rest of the world seems disappointed in Dan Brown's newest Robert Langdon book, I enjoyed it immensely. Yes, it follows a similar pattern as the previous books and, yes, Langdon again is called upon to save the world from some menacing threat that only he can uncover, but I didn't go into it expecting Brown to surpass The DaVinci Code — that just might not be possible. However, The Lost Symbol is a fun read, full of the usual codes and symbols that only Langdon can decipher, that takes us on a fascinating journey into the secrets of the Freemasons. Full of twists and turns, it's worth the read.

"Publishers Weekly Review" by , "After scores of Da Vinci Code knockoffs, spinoffs, copies and caricatures, Brown has had the stroke of brilliance to set his breakneck new thriller not in some far-off exotic locale, but right here in our own backyard. Everyone off the bus, and welcome to a Washington, D.C., they never told you about on your school trip when you were a kid, a place steeped in Masonic history that, once revealed, points to a dark, ancient conspiracy that threatens not only America but the world itself. Returning hero Robert Langdon comes to Washington to give a lecture at the behest of his old mentor, Peter Solomon. When he arrives at the U.S. Capitol for his lecture, he finds, instead of an audience, Peter's severed hand mounted on a wooden base, fingers pointing skyward to the Rotunda ceiling fresco of George Washington dressed in white robes, ascending to heaven. Langdon teases out a plethora of clues from the tattooed hand that point toward a secret portal through which an intrepid seeker will find the wisdom known as the Ancient Mysteries, or the lost wisdom of the ages. A villain known as Mal'akh, a steroid-swollen, fantastically tattooed, muscle-bodied madman, wants to locate the wisdom so he can rule the world. Mal'akh has captured Peter and promises to kill him if Langdon doesn't agree to help find the portal. Joining Langdon in his search is Peter's younger sister, Kathleen, who has been conducting experiments in a secret museum. This is just the kickoff for a deadly chase that careens back and forth, across, above and below the nation's capital, darting from revelation to revelation, pausing only to explain some piece of wondrous, historical esoterica. Jealous thriller writers will despair, doubters and nay-sayers will be proved wrong, and readers will rejoice: Dan Brown has done it again." Publishers Weekly (Starred Review) (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
"Review A Day" by , "World-renowned symbologist and all-around cool guy Robert Langdon is summoned to an Imposing Architectural Landmark, where something Really Yucky has been left in a way only he can recognize. You know, as a clue. Langdon snaps into action, and it isn't long before he's uncovered more clues that lead to a Secret Society full of Famous Dead Guys. There's a Super-Duper Secret, and the fate of the universe is at stake, but thank goodness Langdon has help from a Foxy Brainiac, which he needs because he's up against a Major Freak. Langdon and the Foxy Brainiac race through more Imposing Architectural Landmarks, pausing only to lecture each other about symbols and whatnot, and try to win a Race Against Time against the Major Freak." (read the entire Oregonian review)
"Review" by , "[Dan Brown is] bringing sexy back to a genre that had been left for dead....In the end it is Mr. Brown's sweet optimism, even more than Langdon's sleuthing and explicating, that may amaze his readers most."
"Review" by , "Brown's narrative moves rapidly, except for those clunky moments when people sound like encyclopedias....The Lost Symbol is more like the experience on any roller coaster — thrilling, entertaining and then it's over."
"Review" by , "As a thriller, The Lost Symbol is exciting, although readers of The Da Vinci Code will notice that some of the same stock characters and creaky plot devices pop up."
"Synopsis" by , Da Vinci Code symbologist, Robert Langdon, returns in Dan Brown's highly anticipated new thriller, The Lost Symbol.
"Synopsis" by ,
An ingenious, fast-paced historical thriller from the author of the New York Times bestseller The Last Templar

On a cold, bleak day in 1916, all hell breaks loose in a mining pit in the Ural Mountains. Overcome by a strange paranoia, the miners attack one another, savagely and ferociously. Minutes later, two men—a horrified scientist and Grigory Rasputin, trusted confidant of the tsar—hit a detonator, blowing up the mine to conceal all evidence of the carnage.

In the present day, FBI agent Sean Reillys search for Reed Corrigan, the CIA mindcontrol spook who brainwashed Reillys son, takes a backseat to a new, disturbing case. A Russian embassy attaché seems to have committed suicide by jumping out of a fourth-floor window in Queens. The apartments owners, a retired physics teacher from Russia and his wife, have gone missing, and further investigation reveals that the former may not be who the FBI believe him to be.

Joined by Russian Federal Security Service agent Larisa Tchoumitcheva, Reillys investigation of the old mans identity will uncover a desperate search for a small, mysterious device, with consequences that reach back in time and which, in the wrong hands, could have a devastating impact on the modern world.

Packed with the twists, intrigue, and excitement that Khourys many fans have come to expect, Rasputins Shadow will keep readers turning pages long into the night.

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