Tag Archives: the lost symbol

Book review: Dan Brown’s “Inferno”

Dan Brown’s announcement back in January of this year that he would be coming out with a new Robert Langdon thriller was immediate headline news, stoking excitement and anticipation not just from fans but from the publishing world as well.

And why wouldn’t it be met with excitement? Dan Brown’s 2003 thriller, “The Da Vinci Code,” was an international success, and by 2009 had already sold 80 million copies around the world. It has been translated in over 40 languages, and has even been adapted into a blockbuster movie.

The book hasn’t just inspired a movie adaptation, it has also spurred the growth of cottage industries as well. Aside from inspiring several “guides” to the symbols and conspiracies outlined in the book, the “The Da Vinci Code” has also inspired themed tours through Rome, Paris, and London.

The novel that came after “The Da Vinci Code,” 2009’s “The Lost Symbol,” achieved similar success, becoming the fastest selling adult novel in history, with one million hardbound and ebook copies sold on its first day in stores.

It’s not wonder that everyone is looking for “Inferno” — which was released worldwide last Tuesday — to perform. Now that it’s out in the world, will it grip readers’ imaginations the same way “The Da Vinci Code” did? Or has the time come for Robert Langdon to hang up his Harris tweed and call it a day?

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Book review: J. K. Rowling’s “The Casual Vacancy”

When the “Harry Potter” series came to an end five years ago with “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows”, it would be an understatement to say that the world was interested to find out the next phase in J. K. Rowling’s writing career.

The publication of “The Tales of Beedle the Bard” in 2008 generated blockbuster sales, with initial sales estimates for the slim volume at $7.6 million. Her announcement in February of this year that her first post-Harry Potter novel would be for adults, and the subsequent announcement in April that the novel would be named “The Casual Vacancy”, was enough to garner headlines.

Within hours of its release last Sept. 27, “The Casual Vacancy” skyrocketed to the top spot on Amazon’s Book Chart in the United States, while the Irish Independent revealed that   first week sales of “The Casual Vacancy” was the second highest “since records began”, bowing only to Dan Brown’s “The Lost Symbol”.

But while the commercial success of “The Casual Vacancy” isn’t that surprising — it’s Rowling’s first book since “Harry Potter” — its critical reception is something that is less secure. Will “The Casual Vacancy” cast the same spell on readers as “Harry Potter” did? Or will Rowling end up like A. A. Milne, whose work after “Winnie the Pooh” was roundly panned by critics?

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