Dan Brown's The Lost Symbol - Masonic Symbols, the Secrets of the Secret Society Free Masonry
Just a 12 hours passing in the life of few people, the incidents happening in their one evening to the next day‘s dawn in Washington D.C. compiles the whole story of the 500+ pages in this book, Dan Brown (also called as diabolus Dan Brown by many) novel, The Lost Symbol.
Robert Langdon - you all know him very well, and Tom Hanks gave also a visual effect for this character, in Da Vinci Code as well as Angels and Demons, searching for symbols and meanings, was summoned to conduct a lecture, which was to be conducted by another person, but got sick. The summon was sent to him by one of his mentors Peter Solomon, who is a 33rd degree (highest level) in free masonry. Free Masonry is a Secret Society, consisting of even higher authorities of all departments and fields. The Masonic symbols and secrets are explained well in the book, all over.
The lecture was to be conducted in the Capitol Building, Washington D.C., and Robert was not given much time to decide, as the lecture has to be happen on the same day's evening, the summon was sent to Robert Langdon. Robert thought of getting some clarifications and details, try to reach Peter Solomon, but in vain. He was not able to reach Peter directly, but managed to get in touch with Peter‘s assistant, who helps him with all instructions which Peter was supposed to give Robert. Robert gets the private jet arranged by Peter to reach the Capitol Building to conduct the lecture in the evening. Peter also sends the message requesting Robert to bring a pack which he gave to him years before to keep safely. Robert accepts Peter‘s summon and reaches Washington D.C. in the evening for the lecture.
But to Robert‘s surprise and shock, he didn‘t find any audience for the lecture to be conducted by him in the lecture hall. He goes in search of the hall, thinking he might have entered a wrong one. But he fails. After a long search in the building, he calls to Peter's number,. But this time too it was again attended by Peter's assistant, who sarcastically says that he kidnapped Peter Solomon, the close friend and mentor of Robert and wants Robert to do a job for him, to release Peter. Meanwhile, Robert hears screaming of a kid from the nearest hall. There he finds Peter's severed right hand mounted on a stick in the middle of the hall. In the each finger of the severed hand, Robert found ancient symbols as tattoos trying to symbolize something. The kidnapper of Peter wants Robert to unlock a secret pyramid, which he thinks a way to get enormous power. He want Robert to do this before midnight.
The chase and search starts here. The head of CIA's office of Security Inouse Sato comes to the scene. Inouse Sato, well known for strictness and discipline speaks to Robert over phone, whom Robert thinks as a rough man, by hearing the voice. But to his surprise, it was a woman, short and small, but yes of course with a lot of strictness and too much of smoking habit.
With the help of the security head of Capitol building, Robert and Inouse Sato find a room in the underground basement which belongs to Peter. There to their surprise and confusion, find a small pyramid made of stone. Meanwhile, Sato with the help of x-ray scan done in the entrance of the Capitol Building, finds that Robert carries a small pack having a pyramid. She thinks that Robert didn't reveal about it purposely and tries to take Robert in custody, neglecting the truth that he is not aware of the packs content and he never opened it before. But before leaving that dark room and taken into custody by Sato, Robert was made to escape by Warren Bellamy, the Architect of the Capitol building who is also a highest level member of Freemasonry and close friend of Peter Solomon.
Another character, Katherine Solomon, sister of Peter is a scientist in the Neotics field. She did a lot of tests in this field, in a lab constructed by her brother for her and observes lots of unbelievable results, which could change humans life forever. Neotics mainly involves the study of human behaviors. The kidnapper of Peter, who named himself as Mal'akh, wants to destroy Katherine's lab (which is the sole place holding all her tests and results) and wants to kill Katherine too. He does not want her Neotics discoveries help the human kind to change their way of living, to get into betterment. He wants the life to be same, with false beliefs and thoughts. But Katherine manages to escape, as Robert alerts her by calling in her mobile, just before Mal'akh reaches her. Mal'akh manages to destroy her lab entirely and kills her assistant Trish Dunne. Katherine joins along with Robert and the duo sets in search of the truth as well as Peter.
The secret unveiled at one stage takes them to next level of search and finally they manage to find out who the Mal'akh was in real. That was a real twist, a U-turn in the story. Mal'akh was nothing but Zachary Solomon, son of Peter, who was a drug addict and was thought to be killed in a jail in Turkey long before. But the real fact was, Zachary turned against his father, when he happened to over hear his father‘s argument with the jailer and refusing to pay money to the jailer for releasing Zachary. Instead, Robert wanted to move legally for his release. Zachary thought his father is too bad to leave him in jail and did injustice to him. So he managed to escape with the help of the same jailer who asked for money, by paying the money he has on his own account (the billion dollars, which was given by his father Peter Solomon on his 18th birthday, as the customs of Solomon's family).
The jailer and Zachary kills another prisoner in the jail, defacing him and makes everyone to believe that the dead was Zachary. Peter and family broke by this news and Peter‘s wife leaves Peter forever, thinking he is the reason for the death of Zachary. He later kills the jailer too, who was the only witness of his survival. Though he moved to Greece and lived a luxurious life, he felt some emptiness. The few details his father shared with him on his 18th birthday regarding masonry and secret pyramids comes into his mind and there he set off to find the rest of the secrets, leading to all the distress and disasters happing in the past 12 hours.
Zachary (Mal'akh) takes his father Peter to the freemasonry building, and forces Peter to kill him (Mal'akh). He thinks it to be the best punishment for his father, as well as the way to reach the highest level of demons. But Peter refuses to do it and meanwhile CIA locates the place with the help of Robert. Mal'akh gets killed by the CIA. Later the book keeps saying about what the real truth Mal'akh was searching for, but mistook to something else.
So, what are the interesting key notes this book holds for you?
1. The way the author described every scene gives you the feel that you are watching it lively, and traveling with each character, observing silently.
2. Though the story goes back and forth, with lots of flashbacks, the flow of the happenings in the books is given without any confusions.
3. The different views and meanings given for the few incidents mentioned in Bible (explaining the human brain with the feast and food given by GOD, etc..), the explanations about Vedas and the truth associated with few Indian - Asian beliefs.
But, I am sure, no short story lover is going to like this book, as each and every scene, each and every character, each and every item is explained in detail. Sometimes, you can understand the story, even after skipping two or three pages in the middle, where it starts explaining something, like a person or building‘s interior architecture. So, those people, wait for "The Lost Symbol" movie, soon with Tom Hanks once again.
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