Thursday, June 21, 2012

Angels and Demons by Dan Brown - Book Review

I have been seeing Dan Brown's books stacked up in every book shop over the years. I had always feared reading his books as they were typically bulky. This had scared me from trying any of his books as I was not sure whether I could completely read them in a short span. As it turned out, I wanted to take a break from my scheduled reading of other popular science and math books. I was searching for some nice fiction book to read as a break. Some of the forums in the Internet had rated Dan Brown's books very highly which urged me into reading his famous fiction, "Angels and Demons". The surprising fact is that I could read this book completely in just 5 days though it had over 600 pages.

This novel is about the epic quest of a Harvard professor expert in symbols, Robert Langdon, to solve some of the mysteries surrounding the Vatican city. A terror group called Illuminati, which is believed to be extinct 400 years back, wreaks havoc in the Vatican city by smuggling a secret mass destructive weapon called anti-matter from a Swiss laboratory (CERN). This group also smuggles some of the top cardinals of the Vatican city on the day when a new Pope is supposed to be elected. Robert Langdon along with a CERN scientist, Vittoria Vetra, are taken to Vatican city to solve the mysteries around the Illuminati terror group.

The best thing about this novel is that it is very fast paced and the language is quite simple. Dan Brown has the art of writing so lucidly that even those who do not have a strong English background can easily breeze through the pages. The suspense inherent in the happenings at Vatican city are maintained and keeps the reader interested in the story till the very end. The thorough research carried out by Dan Brown in the Vatican city and Rome are quite evident through the credibility he injects into the novel. I am amazed by the amount of details of each incident in which Brown definitely excels. Another aspect of the novel which impressed me was the middle path taken by Brown between science and religion.

Brown also has a love for sarcasm and humor, which comes out at many places such as those involving the BBC reporters. I watched the English movie based on this novel after I finished reading it. The movie could hardly do any justice to the novel and some of the key incidents in the novel were neglected in the movie. However, I loved the artwork in the movie more than the screenplay. Dan Brown indeed is one of the brilliant fiction writers of the recent times. This novel is just a justification of this fact. Modern Indian writers like Chetan Bhagat, who churn out heap of junk novels, have plenty to learn from the writing of Dan Brown. I even reckon that Kamal Hassan borrowed generously from this novel while writing screenplay for his movie, 'Dasavatharam'.

There are places in the novel where some of the facts mentioned are a bit melodramatic and scarcely believable. I suspect Brown has taken creative liberty in using famous names such as Galileo into controversial incidents. This might have been done in order to make the novel more accessible. Another aspect of this novel which bothered me was that it is mentioned that the incidents in the novel happen in about 6 hours. The detailed conversation of the characters and the slightly slow paced search for the anti-matter leads you scarcely believe that all these incidents could have ever happened in 6 hours. Apart from such minor logical shortcomings, this novel is a rapid page turner and a worthy scientific thriller. I strongly recommend this novel to be a part of your bookshelf.


aarlene said...

Its a good Book!!! And i'm a huge fan of Dan Brown!!!

mumbaimidlife said...


I liked your blog. I thought that we could do a few cross blog things.

Would you be interested in reviewing my new book "Love, Peace and Happiness:What more can you want?"

I could do an author interview on yours. I could also post your review on my fanpage referenced below which has more than 10,000 fans giving you a whole new set of visitors.

Let me know if this makes sense for your blog.

Rituraj Verma, author