BOOK REVIEW: Angels & Demons

Angels and Demons by Dan Brown

By Alexa K.
Phoenix, AZ

Imagine being on a mystifying adventure through Europe. Who is your companion? The infamous Robert Langdon, whom you may recognize from the best-selling novel The Da Vinci Code. This prequel, however, is just as gripping and fantastic. Initially readers may pick up this book because of the movie success of Da Vinci, but Angels and Demons turns out to be a hidden gem eclipsed by Brown’s other work.

Unlike Da Vinci, Angels and Demons leans more toward the science geek, as well as being packed full of Brown’s trademark historical details. This book is an enticing read enjoyable for all ages and is a must-read for those who take pleasure in twisted cliffhangers with a grand bombshell at the end.

As with Da Vinci, the style keeps readers in suspense, and they are compelled to continue turning pages. The story goes quickly, leaving readers hungry for more. The first chapter reveals a scene so lurid that audiences are instantly captivated. Angels and Demons reels readers in as easily as children to an ice cream parlor, and the experience is just as sweet.

In addition to the twisting appeal of Angels and Demons, one has to respect Brown’s skill; he is indisputably one of the most historically correct authors of this decade. The tone of this book changes appropriately, setting the story’s pace. Countless readers have stayed up well past their bedtime to uncover the next scene, which can almost never be said about a novel that presents historical facts.

Angels and Demons can be enjoyed by religious idealists and scientists alike. Who knew these groups would have a common topic to discuss at the water cooler?

Play the detective on a whirlwind journey that will leave you staggering with each roadblock. You’ll find yourself swooped up in an adventure that drops you off in another world.

Anyone interested in the talents of Dan Brown should pick up Angels and Demons immediately.

This piece has also been published in Teen Ink’s monthly magazine.

Alex brings up the “fact” that Angels & Demons is historically correct or accurate. I wonder if she was paid by a friend of Dan Brown to write this favorable piece, or maybe she hasn’t done her homework? Seriously, this is less a review and more a work of praise. And don’t you just love the line that indicates this book is something believers and scientists can share in common - as if religion and science are opposed to one another?

So, anyway, this is what young readers are being told, I guess, about Angels & Demons.

Eh. The review is way too praiseworthy. It is correct in that it does portray an accord between religion and science, and Langdon does come to a spiritual conclusion, but the plot is also simply ludicrous, the historical errors are many (there is a reason tvtropes.com has an entire section devoted to being “Dan Browned”), and it just feels very strained throughout. I mean, if you were looking for book to read on a cruise, its a cut above the five-dollar paperbacks you’d find on the ship’s store, but it isn’t anything that special.

It’s absolutely brilliant IMO, one of the best books I’ve ever read.

It is better than The Da Vinci Code but I am not sure that I would go so far as to say that it is the best book I have read. That is a subjective type of thing though. He does have a good writing style, fast paced and it keeps you hooked.

I am waiting to see how they pull off Langdon’s jump from the helicopter in the movie that is coming out. :smiley:

God bless

I’ll admit I found it (along with D.C.) to be extremely quick reads. They did pull me in and keep me turning pages.

But historically accurate? Yeah, I guess there’s a pope and there are catacombs. But beyond that…

Someone should ask this reviewer a list of the historical accuracies that she thinks is found in the book.

catholicleague.com/release.php?id=1569
“ANGELS & DEMONS”: THE ANTI-CATHOLIC AGENDA

March 4, 2009

Catholic League president Bill Donohue exposes the anti-Catholic agenda of “Angels & Demons” (the movie opens May 15):

“John Calley, co-producer with Brian Grazer of both ‘The Da Vinci Code’ and ‘Angels & Demons,’ told the New York Times that the former movie was ‘conservatively anti-Catholic.’ According to the Times, Grazer wants ‘Angels & Demons’ to be ‘less reverential’ than ‘The Da Vinci Code.’ Which means he wants it to be liberally anti-Catholic.

“Author Dan Brown says of his latest film, ‘It’s certainly not anti-Catholic.’ So could it be that he simply finds Catholicism fascinating, and loves to weave dramatic tales about it, harboring no animus whatsoever? The evidence suggests otherwise.

“Besides the fact that both producers admit their films are anti-Catholic, we now know, thanks to Father Bernard O’Connor, that their sentiments are typical of those working on the latest movie. O’Connor hung out with the film crew last summer for two days when they were filming in Rome; he was dressed casually, so no one knew he was a priest.

“A person self-described as a ‘production official,’ told the Canadian priest that Brown spoke for the majority of those working on the movie when he said, ‘Like most of us, he [Brown] often says that he would do anything to demolish that detestable institution, the Catholic Church.’ He credited the media for the ‘demise’ of the Church. This same person opined that the Catholic Church ‘is humanity’s chief enemy,’ adding that this sentiment is reflective of those in Hollywood.

“So the cat is out of the bag. We will soon publish a booklet I wrote that will give the public all the evidence it needs to learn how demonic ‘Angels & Demons’ really is. If anyone associated with the movie wants to debate me on anything I’ve said, I would be glad to do so.”

Copyright © 1997-2009 by Catholic League for Religious and Civil Rights.
*Material from this website may be reprinted and disseminated with accompanying attribution.

As you read more, you’ll find the bar for brilliance raised much higher than a genre hack like Dan Brown could ever hope to clear.

– Mark L. Chance.

She could start with dannyscl.net/2005/01/dan-brown-is-fraud-list-of-errors-in.html.

– Mark L. Chance.

Maybe lol…but I think it might be hard to beat
:smiley:

My favorite line in the review was this:

“In addition to the twisting appeal of Angels and Demons, one has to respect Brown’s skill; he is indisputably one of the most historically correct authors of this decade.”

This is either a sad commentary on the historical accuracy of all writers in this decade, or an indication that the reviewer is fairly unfamiliar with even the basics of history.

I’ll go out on a limb and guess you haven’t had AP English yet… :rolleyes:

As for the reviewer’s characterization of Brown as perhaps the most historically accurate author of the decade… WOW. Just, WOW! You really gotta wonder about some things that get printed nowadays.

Folks, if you want a respectable historical fiction novel, see the Michener section in your library. If you want lively action and exciting contemporary plot ideas, Clive Cussler kicks Brown’s booty 10 times over.

I have…
:wink:

I loved Angels and Demons, it’s what a page turner should be.
:smiley:

Best fiction book ever?

How quickly can we refute this claim? I’ll start the bidding with Fahrenheit 451.

“Microserfs” by Douglas Coupland for me. I can read that book over and over.

I haven’t read “Angels and Demons” but a friend of mine who’s plowed through all of Brown’s books before said that they all seem to follow the same pattern, that of a secret that can destroy an established institution, intrigue in trying to hide and reveal it, and a deus ex machina near the end.

Staying in the same page-turner-suspense/adventure type genre, I’d nominate most of Tom Clancy’s books (especially Sum of All Fears and before), as well as anything by Clive Cussler.

I am glad that I can read a book and enjoy it without worrying about the “inaccuracies” it may contain. I thoroughly enjoyed “Angels And Demons” but I took it for what it was worth…a book of fiction. How sad that others have to worry about the correctness of a book of fiction.

Kathy

It may be sad, but it is definitely necessary. The only reason that many of us worry about the “correctness” of Brown’s books is because we are forced to by those who are unable to do what you did and take it for what it’s worth.

For evidence of this, look no further than the review linked to in the OP which praises Brown as the most historically accurate fiction writer of this decade. That is what is most sad about the whole Dan Brown hoopla: the fact that some people actually take him seriously.

Those of us who know better feel obligated to bring his historical flubs to the fore and shed some much needed light upon them. If there weren’t people out there who took Brown seriously (as the author of the above review does), then we could most happily give Brown the attention he deserves - which is no attention at all.

The problem is that Brown claimed to be accurate, which is not true at all, and that his mistakes were insanely silly. To those who are knowledgeable in some of the fields (such as the geography of Rome, science, and the way that the Church elects popes), the mistakes were as glaringly obvious as saying that Martin Van Buren was the first president of the United States.

Like I said it is FICTION. ANd the last I knew that meant “not true” in all regards.
In any case as far as I am concerned, fiction is fiction and I am glad I know that.

kathy

I enjoyed Angels and Demons more that Di Vinci code though I enjoyed them both. Angels and Demons had a better plot that seemed to flow better. I think we must realize that both of these books are works of fiction and appreciate them as such. It makes you think a little also and that’s not a bad thing. If you are sure in your faith there is nothing in either book that should shatter it. Enjoy them for what they are. Fiction.

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