Book of the Day
Review by E.J. Boyd
Everyone’s favorite unintentional sleuth is back! Witness to the murder of a former student and good friend, Robert Langdon finds himself once again in a mad dash, against impossible odds and a ticking time clock, to solve the code, save the girl and … well, not save the world this time. Actually, what he is trying to find out just might devastate the world. But, the truth will out – and with the entire world watching there is not a moment to lose.
Dan Brown’s style is as recognizable as the works of the artists in his books. One may be able to recognize the art of Bernini, Da Vinci, Dante or Gaudé by their signature style, but that does not diminish their work. The details are what make each piece sui generis. Origin has all of the classic elements of a great Langdon novel – a race against time, a beautiful (but unavailable) woman, an unknown mastermind, a zealot, a pawn , a wealthy/powerful friend, his Mickey Mouse wristwatch, the pivotal moment where some element of his swimming prowess saves him from disaster, the works of a famous artist, and the puzzle. But, it is the details that Brown weaves so eloquently into the story that really draws the reader in.
Where do we come from? Where are we going? These are the two questions mankind has tried to answer since time began. Every culture has its own genesis and apocalypse story. The religions of the world are based on these stories. But science has failed to find a definitive answer – until now. Billionaire, futurist, former student and dear friend of Robert Langdon—Edward Kirsch, has found the answers and despite the havoc, his revelation may cause, he is about to share his discovery live and on camera with the whole world. The story begins in Spain at the Guggenheim Museum Bilbao where Kirsch and museum director Ambra Vidal have spent weeks planning the event at which he will launch his presentation. SPOILER ALERT! At the penultimate moment, Kirsch is murdered. To solve the murder of his friend and carry out his last wish to share his discovery, Langdon and Ambre Vidal must discover the 47 character password that will launch the presentation. They know the password is a line from Kirsch’s favorite poet. But they do not know who that poet is or which poem it might be from. Help comes in the form of Winston, an incredible interactive computer program developed by Kirsch.
Religion versus science, tradition versus innovation, love versus obligation—Origin touches on many of the theological, political, and social arguments currently fueling debates around the world. Readers that are open to such debates will enjoy this book immensely. As always, Dan Brown’s books are well researched and loaded with so many factoids that one must read them at least twice to catch them all. Alas, the burdens we must bear…