Angels & Demons – The Book

I finished reading Angels & Demons yesterday. I had been interested in reading it since I read the Da Vinci Code three years ago. But I don’t read much fiction so I didn’t really have a reason or the time to get to it. So with the movie coming out, I figured it would be best to read it before seeing it.

Now I was a big fan of the Da Vinci Code. I found the subject matter and claims that they made very interesting. I also found it to be a very interesting thriller traipsing across Europe. A real page-turner. I liked it so much that I read it a second time in part to better understand the claims that were made about history. So I had quite big expectations for the prequel.


While I again enjoyed some of the topics that were talked about, they weren’t quite as interesting as those in the first one. In fact I would say that it even made me think less about the Da Vinci Code. Why? Well it started about a third of the way into the book. I started noticing strong similarities between the plots of the two stories. First, Langdon makes this journey with a brilliant woman who’s father figure (not actually her father) is mysteriously murdered. Someone who brought her up when she was an orphan or was orphaned. He was killed for something he knew or had. The story revolves around something damaging to the image of the Catholic church of someone actually trying to damage the Catholic church. There is some mysterious murderer lurking around who is doing this for religious reasons. They come into contact with a police figure who at least initially gives them a hard time. Then there is some enlightened soul who helps them along the way, but in the end turns out to be the real villian. And we might as well throw in a main character who is a cripple and wake up Langdon to begin the story.

The parallels would probably not have bothered me in and of themselves, but I suppose after reading the Da Vinci Code twice, I was very very familiar with Brown’s tricks for setting up the suspense and the plot. Very often it seem like the story was telegraphed. The suspense seemed to be lacking because I felt I had a good idea of where the story was going. Or maybe I just wasn’t loosing myself in the story because of it. Very often I felt like I could see that the story was made up. Yes, of course every story is made up, but that doesn’t necessarily mean you find yourself thinking that while you’re reading it. Thinking back now I would have to say that one reason I enjoyed the Da Vinci Code was because I really did believe the story. At least until the cheesy ending.

That said, I will likely go to see the movie or at least rent it if we run out of big screen summer blockbuster to see. It’s always interesting to compare how you see the story with how someone else actually creates them. Plus it’s interesting to see how they modify the story to fit a different format.

Next up on my fiction list is Devil in the White City as soon as I finish reading up for my LEED certification.


~ by Frank on June 3, 2009.

One Response to “Angels & Demons – The Book”

  1. Stunning.

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