Angels & Demons is an effective page turner, with a fast-and-furious plot involving our protagonist Robert Langdon becoming embroiled in scary events at the Vatican involving antimatter stolen from CERN and the sudden re-emergence of the supposedly-extinct Illuminati. There’s really nothing like a secret and all-powerful brotherhood to add that touch of class to a novel.
The embedded discussions of the history of the long enmity between the Illuminati and the Catholic Church are interesting, and the attempts by several characters to consolidate the differing world views of science and theology provide some food for thought.
Brown’s writing style is effective and mostly gets out of the way of the plot, which as it happens is the novel’s Achilles heel. While it is as mentioned above certainly fast-paced and embroiling, the basic premise of antimatter stolen from researchers at CERN and planted in the Vatican for nefarious purposes is just a bit too James Bond, and the trials and tribulations of Langdon and his super-hot genius scientist soon-to-be girlfriend stretch suspension of disbelief a bit too far. There are too many near-disasters and too much sheer activity. Some breathing room in the plot would have been nice, as well as some more humanizing of Langdon–he is simply too bright and too good.
As, for that matter, are the nefarious evil-doers. The foul deeds people get away with make you think some people really need to beef up the staffing procedures for their security forces. Again, shades of James Bond.
But as long as you don’t think too much about it, Angels & Demons is a fun ride. Strap on your seatbelt–it’ll get bumpy.
Posted Tuesday, 12 October, 2004 by Nic Lindh
Another book roundup, including some stellar athletes and soldiers, what might be the most jaded, soul-weary protagonist ever, and some grimdark fantasy.
The Internet is getting creepy, and Nic is breaking out his tinfoil hat after newspaper paywalls push him over the edge.
Nic is tired of tech sites obsessing over Apple’s financials and business strategy. So very tired.
Nic reads a book about the processed food industry and is incensed.
Computers are complicated. This brings out the irrational in people.
Nic proposes the loan word Rechthaberei be incorporated into American English.
The Core Dump is back! Books were read during the hiatus. Includes The Coldest Winter, Oh, Myyy!, Tough Sh*t, The Revolution Was Televised, The Rook, Mr. Penumbra’s 24 Hour Bookstore, Gun Machine, Fortress Frontier, Standing in Another Man’s Grave, and The Memory of Light.
This site will return in February.
From a true patriot to a world-weary detective, a dead god, and a civilization about to sublime from the galaxy, this book roundup spans the gamut. Includes Where Men Win Glory, Wild, Inside the Box, The Black Box, Three Parts Dead, Red Country, and The Hydrogen Sonata.
Springsteen gives a concert in Phoenix. It’s fantastic.