A quick review here, just so I have a record of the books I’ve read and it motivates me to keep reading instead of playing video games (which is what I’ve been doing for the last 3 days).
Angels and Demons takes place in the same world as The Da Vinci Code, with the same main character, Robert Langdon. I think that Dan Brown is secretly in love with his fictional character, and loves the name “Robert Langdon.” He always writes about Langdon’s deep manly voice and awesome tweed jacket. And instead of using pronouns, it’s “Robert Langdon touched the pope’s hat, because it was shiny and Robert Langdon liked shiny things. Robert Langdon communicated Robert Langdon’s intense appreciation for the church in that single touch.”
This also demonstrates how badly written Angels and Demons is. If you’ve read The Da Vinci Code and cringed, Angels and Demons is even more simply written. With all this said, it doesn’t really get in the way of keeping you reading and interested. The book takes place in real-time, never jumping forward or backward in time (except for flashbacks), so it’s as intense as an episode of 24.
The historical “facts” are obviously not facts. While you may feel like you’re learning something while reading this book, it’s actually making you dumber. For example, a critical plot point is that nobody could figure out how to make words read the same whether they are upside down or right side up (ambigrams). Yet…Dan Brown and Friends were able to come up with a whole bunch for this book (and the awesome cover for it pictured here). It’s really cool to see these ambigrams in the book, but I doubt that a fiction author is the first person in history to create them.
Still, if you go in expecting an intense novel that’s more science fiction than art history textbook, it’s a very entertaining read.
On a side note, I hear that Brown is being sued over The Da Vinci Code. A non-fiction book was written a while before Da Vinci which dealt with the same topic, and the author of that book is angry that Brown stole the idea. Brown admits to using it as a source. Now, last time I checked, fiction authors were allowed to use non-fiction sources to check their facts, and that’s not plagarism. If I write an erotic story about squirrel sex, The Discovery Channel isn’t going to sue me because I saw squirrels boinking on TV. And this is (supposedly) fact…if Brown hadn’t even read this book and had done his own research, he (supposedly) would have come to the same conclusion. Since facts are, arguably, objective.
Whatever. I’m just looking forward to the Smart Car chase in the movie version of The Da Vinci Code. Yay Smart Cars!