From the Introduction:
The Lost Symbol contains a big surprise. Not only is the lost symbol found within the context of the novel, but according to Dan Brown this lost symbol is out there for every one of us to find for ourselves. This is a book which he wants to have real impact on our lives. For some readers it may even be life-changing—and that’s not what we expect of a thriller.
Readers haven’t known quite what to make of The Lost Symbol. Early reports—for example reader reviews on Amazon—have shown in roughly equal numbers reviews which are very positive and those which reveal the reader’s disappointment or confusion. There seems to be a consensus of sorts that as a thriller this book is better than the average page-turner, but that it nonetheless has plot holes and shortcomings. For many it does not live up to expectations, though in view of the plot weaknesses of all previous Dan Brown books it is perhaps surprising that the expectations were so high.
Yet there is something about The Lost Symbol which lifts it from the status of just another fast-paced thriller to something which warrants consideration as a serious work of literature. For in this book the characters go in search of what is in effect a Holy Grail—the lost symbol—and in a break with the tradition of the genre they really do find the lost symbol. By the end of this book this symbol is not only found but is made available to every reader. It is a quest both for the characters and for the readers, and a quest where for both the goal is really reached. If you read The Lost Symbol you too can find the Lost Symbol—and perhaps it can change your life.
My view is that The Lost Symbol is no ordinary thriller, and those who seek to evaluate it solely as a thriller miss the point. Rather this is a book where we are invited to follow the hero Robert Langdon on a journey of personal development, a voyage into the mysteries of faith.
In this book l I offer some additional information and reflection aimed at following up on the quest set by Dan Brown, and perhaps helping a few more people find what Dan Brown is showing us. Taking The Lost Symbol section by section this book offers an exploration of Dan Brown’s themes, his plot and characters, and explores some of the references in this work which Dan Brown calls “fact-based fiction”. It looks also at his presentation of the Masons and how Dan Brown’s own life influences his book. Most of all it looks towards finding the lost symbol, helping to unlock the potential of the novel and bring to the fore its message of hope for humanity.