I long resisted jumping on the Dan Brown bandwagon, but curiosity got the best of me.
I decided to postpone The Da Vinci Code, and start Robert Langdon’s adventures from their chronological beginning with Angels & Demons.
Although mass-hype tends to spoil my enthusiasm for anything, I found myself quickly pulled into Brown’s world of religious intrigue and scientific fanaticism.
In the tradition of Indiana Jones, the combination of archeological and academic themes, with action and adventure is a recipe for success.
Although the novel wasn’t always able to suspend my disbelief, overall, I was impressed with the inventiveness and originality of the story.
The major gripe that I had with Angels & Demons was that the protagonist, Langdon, was allowed to pursue an investigation in Vatican City at all, with his sole qualification being his profession as “symbologist”, an expert in ancient symbols and runes. Somehow, it all seemed a little too convenient. The matters at hand seemed way out of his league, at times.
Overall, I recommend Angels & Demons for the Indiana Jones fan in everyone. Richard Poe, the narrator on this one, is fantastic and adds a lot to the narrative.
He seemed very comfortable with portraying several different accents and delivered the Italian phrases nicely. His tone was perfect for the ominous and foreboding material in the book. I was sufficiently impressed with this book to make The Da Vinci Code my next listen.
(As a side note, check out John Langdon’s site, who was the inspiration for the main character’s name, and created the ambigrams for Angels & Demons – an ambigram is a graphic that reads the same upside-down and right-side-up – it’s a very cool site!)