Thoughts on books and other assorted topics.
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My name: Brian Martin
If the mystery at the heart of Angels & Demons doesn’t quite pay off the way we would have liked, Dan Brown at least provides an unexpected and unusual solution that saves the novel from Good Book, Awful Ending status—though it leaves us, really, with two stories. One is a breathless race against time through Vatican City and Rome: an antimatter device capable of wiping out everything within a half-mile radius of its location has been stolen by the Illuminati, an ancient secret society with a grudge against the Catholic Church, and placed somewhere in Vatican City; Harvard symbologist Robert Langdon is tapped to trace its location by following centuries old Illuminati clues spread throughout Rome in its art and architecture. The second story is about the Church itself and Brown’s pessimistic belief that it survives on the strength of its secrets. If the marriage of the two is not exactly a happy one, still each shares with the other a sense of mystery, suspense, and vast conspiracy that make Angels & Demons, if not a great novel, at least a pleasing diversion.