Origin by Dan Brown

Origin (Robert Langdon, #5)Origin by Dan Brown
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

This comic book for adults is vintage Dan Brown. I don’t usually check out other reviews before writing mine, but I couldn’t help noticing that they mostly started with something along the lines that Brown can’t write worth beans but the book is entertaining. I agree he can’t write well, but I did not find the book entertaining. I read it only because my book club chose it. I thought The DaVinci Code was mildly entertaining, but I only read that years ago because it was used as the key to a puzzle I was trying to solve. I’m a big cryptology hobbyist, so maybe that made it seem interesting. Then I read Digital Fortress, his first book, and that was so bad I swore I’d never read another. That was maybe 15 years ago. Finally, my book club forced me to break that vow.

Brown’s idea of suspense is to tell you that so-and-so read/saw/heard something astounding and reacted with wonder/horror/awe but doesn’t tell you what it is. Person A whispers to person B, whose jaw drops in astonishment. A video is being presented but just as the big reveal is starting, the computer system goes blank. You get the idea. 400 pages later you finally find out what all the fuss is about. The 400 pages are populated by various nefarious characters who are trying to suppress the great revelation and maybe kill our hero, Robert Langdon who is being chased most of the time, of course accompanied by a beautiful woman.

Interestingly, I recently compared two maps of the U.S. on a state-by-state basis. One is the popularity of conspiracy thrillers like Dan Brown’s books (map provided by Audible.com) and one of Donald Trump’s approval rating (Gallup). Although not identical, they are strikingly similar, i.e. people who like conspiracy books like the Donald. Make of it what you will.

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