by Dan Brown

Overview: In keeping with his trademark style, Dan Brown, author of The Da Vinci Code and Inferno, interweaves codes, science, religion, history, art, and architecture into this new novel. Origin thrusts Harvard symbologist Robert Langdon into the dangerous intersection of humankind’s two most enduring questions, and the earthshaking discovery that will answer them.

Deanna Boe (03/16/19): There are some authors that by simply picking up a book and starting to read it you know immediately who wrote it and what the plot line will follow. This is true with this novel. I read his first and most famous novel, The De Vinci Code, and also, Angels & Demons. Like most people I really enjoyed The De Vinci Code because it was very unusual and kept you intrigued right up until the end. By the time I had finished with Angels & Demons I could see a pattern, and in this case, simply lost interest in Brown’s writing. When I saw this novel on the shelf at the library I decided to give Brown another chance since it had been years since I had read Angels & Demons. Am I sorry, yes and no?

This is the fifth book using the character Robert Langdon. It follows basically the same pattern as his other books. Langdon is invited to attend a major art show, and listen to a former student who is going to reveal a phenomenal secret he has been working on for years. It deals with the relevance of God/Science and the creation of the world. It will be earth shattering, and even causes the deaths of two foremost leaders of the Jewish and Muslim’s faith. But, even more shattering is the assassination of the man delivering his bombshell discovery. In short, he wants to expose the “hodgepodge of ancient fictions, fables, and myths.” The point of his talk deals with “where do we come from….and where are we going?” As we all know that has been a universal question by mankind since the beginning of time.

Brown is obsessed with God and religion and his need to refute them. There was a part where he ranted on and on using scientific facts etc. that it not only became confusing but also boring – I skipped most of those pages. I did love the detail where he used one of my favorite quotes I always displayed in the front of my classroom: “Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it” by Santayana.

Brown drives home his point with the following: “Would you rather live in a world without technology … or in a world without religion? Would you rather live without medicine, electricity, transportation, and antibiotics….or without zealots waging war over fictional tales and imaginary spirits?”

In the epilogue Brown has Langdon thinking where he “could not imagine the landscape of the future ….he sensed that the miracles of religion would have an increasingly difficult time competing with the miracles of technology.”
Rating: ***

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