Angels and Demons

Much is said about Dan Brown’s work –  amateurish, moronic in the factual mistakes he makes, one-dimensional characters and  implausible plots. However, I have enjoyed both Angels & Demons and The Da Vinci Code. The former introduces Robert Langdon, the Harvard symbologist, who is also the main character in the latter. Angels & Demons is also the first novel credited to have used ambigrams.

Harvard symbologist Robert Langdon is shocked to find proof that the legendary secret society, the Illuminati – dedicated since the time of Galileo to promoting the interests of science and condemning the blind faith of Catholicism – is alive, well, and murderously active. Brilliant physicist Leonardo Vetra has been murdered, his eyes plucked out, and the society’s ancient symbol branded upon his chest. His final discovery, antimatter, the most powerful and dangerous energy source known to man, has disappeared – only to be hidden somewhere beneath Vatican City on the eve of the election of a new pope. Langdon and Vittoria, Vetra’s daughter and colleague, embark on a frantic hunt through the streets, churches, and catacombs of Rome, following a 400-year-old trail to the lair of the Illuminati, to prevent the incineration of civilization.

In spite of their macabre purpose in the novel, I enjoyed the ambigrams. Even if geographically inaccurate, many will enjoy visiting Rome through this book. The the conclave that was held after death of Pope John Paul II last year also echoed through the book, and I found myself fascinated by the inner workings of the Vatican.

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5 Responses to “Angels and Demons”

  1. I actually enjoyed this more than Da Vinci Code. More violent, less didactic 🙂

  2. I read this after the Da Vinci Code and must confess I preferred the Code. Interestingly, I had a friend who read this before the Code and found A&D to be more enjoyable. Makes me wonder if the choice between the two is dependent on which one of them is read first.

  3. @ Parth / Niranjan – you have a point. i read the Code first, and enjoyed it overwhelmingly. every other page in the Code seemed to be bristling with new insight and revelation – maybe that sort of leaves you jaded, and A&D appears tame. also the helicopter jump survival story was the hardest to stomach – the Code didn’t stretch disbelief like that – only the imagination.

  4. I read A&D after The DaVinci Code, i enjoyed both of them equally but I somehow found A&D a little more enjoyable to read. Both books are equally brilliant novels from Dan Brown.
    – Kris

  5. Khriez, i agree.

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