I guarantee that I have read it until the end.
It has been a titanic task, because it’s a wordy huge book, badly written and I have disliked it from the very beginning.
Nevertheless I have read it until the last so welcome page.
It was not because of a form of masochism; it was because of my rational sense of logic, which prevents me from judging anything I don’t know directly.
I have always felt disturbed when people or groups judge a work, it can be either a movie or a book, without having seen or read it personally.
I think we have a kind of moral obligation to have at least a slight idea about what we talk of, to have a minimum of credibility in our always relative judgement.
I take all my responsibilities for the infinite ocean of boredom this novel made me sink into, because I had tried to read until the end the absurdly famous “Da Vinci Code”, by the same sly, shrewd and ungifted author and already at that time I had the same annoyed and disturbed feeling due to an approximate literary style and a total lack of depth of characters.
Just to avoid any possible misunderstanding, my disdainful disliking for “Da Vinci Code” was not due to any offended religious belief, since I could not be more distant intellectually from those matters. I was only deeply disturbed by the bad quality of the novel, from a literary point of view, and from the absurdity of the plot and its superficiality.
Oscar Wilde, who knew very well what he was talking about, said:
“There is no such thing as a moral or an immoral book. Books are well written or badly written.”
I suppose that the mechanism of popular success must be based on a reassuring repetitiveness, which already makes deeply shiver the individualist who is in me.
Mr. Brown is right in thinking that once he created a winning scheme, all what he has to do is repeating it.
So the ingredients to put into the magic cauldron are an improbable apprentice detective with a great physical endurance (all professors are usually gifted with great physical endurance) a confused and twisted plot based on a mixture of real and fake elements related to some important human organization, better if with some mystery and a flavour of secret society and then, last but not least the bad guy, who must be a monster in the classical meaning of the word, that is an extraordinary and amazing being, either a very cruel albino or a scaring fully tattooed giant and, of course, the bad guy must not have any nuance, but be a total summary of evil and must have suffered for lack of paternal presence or conflict with father. So it explains simply but effectively -according to Mr. Brown- the genesis of the transformation of a common person into the archetype of evil.
Once you have done that, all the rest is secondary, you can write at random in a very approximate style, in which even I, who I'm not of English mother tongue and I’m quite ignorant, can find appalling flaws.
I was totally fed up with the bizarre vicissitudes and absurd adventures of the characters, always described superficially and in a quite uninteresting way, but I could not help noticing some flagrant mistaken, presented as pure truth. Since I didn't analyse the novel, but I simply read it quickly to arrive safely to the end, always hoping to find at least a decent passage (I’m an optimist), I wonder how many other mistakes and inaccuracies are present in the book.
I simply noticed that Mr Brown makes one of his main characters declare that he devoured the Odyssey by Homer, being quite fascinated by epic fights among valiant warriors in shining armours. Unfortunately the epic fights are essential subject of the Iliad, a poem describing the war of Troy ( before Brad Pitt’s age), while there is not anything like that in the Odyssey, which treats a quite different subject.
If Mr Brown is not a fine expert in Greek classical literature, he has some limits also in philosophy.
Quoting Pythagoras he claims for sure that the great philosopher was the author of the famous aphorism
While the only sure thing is that it was carved on the pronaos of the Temple of Apollo at Delphi and it has been attributes to at least six or seven ancient Greek philosophers (personally I feel it more suitable for Socrates).
I know that there is never an end for the worst and it’s hard to claim anything in absolute. But at this stage I do think “The Lost symbol” is the worst book I have ready until the end.
Someone said rightly that no book can be completely bad and there is always a use for it.
If “The Lost symbols” had been thinner, it would have been good to put under a too short legs of a coffee table, maybe, but it’s too thick and heavy.
So far I have not found any destination for it.
I had thought to throw it out from my window, but it would have been dangerous because of its weight and definitely polluting for the environment.
So this last picture is only metaphorical.