21 June 2006

Brown, Dan. Angels and Demons. 2000: Atria Books, New York

By now you’ve heard of The DaVinci Code. Maybe you’re planning to see The DaVinci Code. Maybe you’ve even read The DaVinci Code. If you have read it, you have probably also read Angels and Demons, Dan Brown’s first book about Harvard professor of religious symbolism, Robert Langdon.

This page-turner starts when Langdon is recruited by the Conseil Europeen pour la Recheche Nucleaire to investigate a murder. Who died? The inventor of a process to produce commercial quantities of anti-matter. Even worse, the anti-matter is missing. Why call Langdon? The evidence points to an ancient, long-defunct group, the sworn enemy of the Catholic Church and the subject of Langdon’s most recent book: the Illuminati.

Langdon has twenty-four hours before the anti-matter containment system collapses. It is hidden somewhere in the Vatican, where the Cardinals have gathered to elect the next Pope. Langdon’s knowledge of Renaissance art (and a lot of help from the Vatican archives) allows him to locate and follow the Illuminati road to enlightenment, chasing one step behind the killer. He doesn’t make it, though, and the explosion is beautiful. Yet The DaVinci Code follows this story. Read Angels and Demons yourself to see how.


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