I hope you’re not thinking that I’ve stopped listening to audiobooks due to the long gap in between audiobook reviews! As it has been almost 3 months since I’ve last posted an audiobook review. However it’s only due to the fact that I wanted to post this review as a single block, rather than monthly posts on a similar topic.
Oh my goodness! We’ve spent the last 3 months listening to the first 3 books of the Robert Langdon series by Dan Brown! Imagine that? Every night for the past 90 days, we’ve been ending each evening with Robert Langdon running around in our minds! And are we worst off for it?
Angels & Demons (2000)
This all came about when we finished Dan’s fifth and most recent book (Origin) in the Robert Langdon series, so now my wife had heard 3 out of 5 books and was now well and truly invested in the series. Thus it made sense to go back and listen to books 1 and 3 (Angels & Demons, and The Lost Symbol), to complete the story for her. While for me, I had listened to all 5 titles shortly after they were first released, so I was up for listening to them again.
When Angels & Demons commences, you’re reminded of how much Dan Brown was a newbie author back in those days, and how far he’s come since then (although he’s still far from perfect today). But for a book which is now 19 years old and was quite ground-breaking at the time of its release, (exploring the powers of antimatter; revealing insights into the Vatican; and a rush across Rome following the path of illumination), it still felt fresh and new all these years on. We can certify that it’s still a suspenseful page-turner, and although Dan’s formula is predictable enough, it was amusing to hear my wife’s guesses on who she thought the shadowy mastermind was, and Dan succeeded in keeping her in the dark right to the end, finishing his first Langdon book with a twist-on-top-of-a-twist (I had totally forgotten about the second twist)!
The Da Vinci Code (2003)
And like everyone in the English (and non-English) speaking world, we both had read/listened to the Da Vinci Code shortly after its release back in 2003, so although there wasn’t a need for either of us to re-listen to the book, since we were going right back to the beginning, it made sense to re-visit the Da Vinci Code as well. And a decade and a half on, there were definitely parts and details which we had forgotten. However on second listen, it actually felt a bit draggy at times, not as compelling of a page turner as it had felt all those years ago.
But learning of hidden secrets within Da Vinci’s most famous artworks, and re-visiting heretical claims of Jesus’ continued lineage……You can see why there was such an uproar at the time. But as a fictional novel it was fun enough. And it reminded us of how much time had passed between listens, the first time we were both at university, now we’re well and truly middle aged!
The Lost Symbol (2009)
And the last of Dan’s first 3 books (which we just finished) was the most divergent from Dan’s other books. Instead of being in Europe or the UK, Robert was based on home soil (be that at the Nation’s Capital); and instead of a story driven by hidden meanings in artwork, this time the novel was based around a single fraternal organisation. Although I’ve previously made the claim that The Lost Symbol was the worst book in the Robert Langdon series, on second listen it was actually better than I had remembered it to be. Again Dan delivered a twist on top of a twist, and again my wife was unable to work out who was the mastermind until their identity was finally revealed! And wasn’t it SHOCKING!!!
So now that we’ve gone back down memory lane with the early works of Dan Brown, I have to admit it has kept us entertained for three entire months! And I think it’s been long enough that you too can re-visit his books, it’s highly likely that you actually read (the physical novel) of his works the very first time, so this time why not try them out as audiobooks?
To listen to Angels & Demons, click HERE!
To listen to the Da Vinci Code, click HERE!
And to listen to The Lost Symbol, click HERE!