Thursday, October 18, 2012

1/50: The Lost Symbol

The Lost Symbol, by Dan Brown
2/5 stars
This is my 1st book in Rex & Jake's 50-Book Reading Challenge,
which Rex leads 7-1. Full list can be found here.

Fuck you, Dan Brown. Fuck the dimpled smug shit-eating grin that drapes your soft New England skin every time you think you've just shoved what you think is a twist inside an already capable story. I just want you to get to the sawing a lady in half trick and you keep pulling quarters out of my ears and gasping surprise as if I should be letting you put your fingers in my mouth while I struggle to announce, "My god, have you seen this wizard inside my face? He's amaaaaaaaaaazing!"

Dude, I may have been down for the thrills with The Da Vinci Code (Jesus bloodline?!) and Angels & Demons (the return of the Illuminati?!), but I need more than a pyramid being rumored about local feds and conspiracy theorists to get my literary boner at full sail. Do you know why those books worked and this one didn't in the end? Because you didn't write The Hours or Revolutionary Road or some other honorable human drama that made me feel like killing myself because the weight of existence is too much. NO. You wrote a thriller, which means the payoff better be goddamn supreme. I should throw this fucking book across the room because, holy shit, that's what this entire genre that you've been exploding on for years now is based upon almost solely and entirely. I should be visiting a doctor to see if I'll ever feel anything again or maybe Dan Brown finally ravaged my nerves once and for all with his unbelievable action plots and curious revelations and wild twists and unforeseen turns and oh my fucking god whatever else is necessary to be a modern-day thrill writer who doesn't want to be stomped out by the critics who can very easily rip you to shreds.

You're supposed to be a firework show with a grand finale, not some hot mysterious babe who kisses your ear a few sensual times and promises you sex that sounds like it's for demigods and sadists but then bails early because, whoops, she forgot it was her brother's birthday at Red Lobster.

"Oh shit, everything's happening," I said at the beginning of this book when, lo and behold, a mad man had done something mad and Robert Langdon, everyone's favorite tweed-wearing yokel swimmer symbolist, was called to the nation's capitol to save everything. Hey, I have a question. WHY THE FUCK DOES HE NEVER BELIEVE ANYTHING IS POSSIBLE? He had to fight the entire Catholic church in his first adventure, save the entire Catholic church in his second, but, oh bloody dicks, he can't possibly imagine that the Freemasons could build a fucking pyramid.

"How could that clown possibly make a puppy dog out of balloons? It's so unfathomable," your central character probably mumbles to himself but loud enough for everyone at the children's party to hear. Oh, what's that, Robert Langdon has an opinion? Grand, grand! Tell us what's so impossible now, you charming but cynical yet somehow optimist elitist schmuck.

"No, that's ridiculous," Mr. Langdon cheerfully/dickishly scoffs at a constant, wishing he could somehow make yet another Harvard-Yale rivalry joke to impress babes that aren't there and wouldn't care anyway. Robert Langdon is like Indiana Jones with erectile dysfunction and we're all just supposed to pretend this guy is popular with every person ever. No, dude. That's not how it works. The ending of this book was literary erectile dysfunction, and you're prancing around like you just got the entire book world pregnant.

Meanwhile, the first and second acts of this book were tremendous. Hell yes, I said to the book on several occasions. What's that, a hidden passage? What's this, a secret order? Well, that's great, because I love everything about that shit. "Not so fast," Dan Brown tells me around the time my adventure through Washington, D.C.'s hall of secrets should be wrapping up, before quietly adding, "I'd prefer it if I just sucker-punched you and left you wanting."

Thanks, Dan Brown. Thanks for giving me hope that Robert Langdon could yet again reveal some insane ancient mystery that should blow me away so hard that I land in the adjacent room weeping with teenage joy and spinning with senior citizens delusions, unable to talk about anything else with my barber that barely speaks English except for knowing the high tales of your adventures. Instead, I have to be reminded that I read a Dan Brown book. Thanks for giving my heart and soul blue balls, you literary equivalent of college grad dry-humping. Ugh. GOOD DAY, SIR.

1 comment:

Rex said...


1. You are losing so bad.
2. Those E.D. metaphors are to die for.
3. Welcome to the competition.