Angels and Demons

May 5, 2017 at 4:54 pm Leave a comment

Review by Catherine Hume

I came to Angels and Demons already a fan of Dan Brown. Sure, he’s not going to win any prizes for a blindingly outstanding literary style, but that’s part of what I love about reading Dan Brown. Dan Brown writes as though he already has a blockbuster film in mind – which is how a lot of writing tutors encourage novel writers to think these days – and he writes in an immediate and pacy way. This means we keep turning the pages. He is also clever in that most of the time, his novels have three or more storylines and these are interspersed throughout the novel, and so if you want to find out what happens next, it sounds silly, but you have to keep reading – reading for another three chapters beyond the other storylines.

What I also love about Dan Brown novels is that they are chock-full of ideas. If you have an enquiring mind, Dan Brown novels are for you. He manages to make a “who dunnit” into six hundred pages of science or sociology or history, and with Dan Brown having access to some of the most private buildings on the planet, we get to know about them, too. And this is where Dan Brown’s genius lies. If we know these places, such as the Pantheon in Rome, we feel like we are in these places close to all the action of the novel, and if we don’t know these places such as the vaults under the Vatican, Dan Brown’s description is so good that we can see the places we are not allowed to see in reality.

Angels and Demons is the first in the Robert Langdon novels – the character played by Tom Hanks – yet the film adaptation came out after The Da Vinci Code due to the popularity of The Da Vinci Code as a novel. I remember a Christian friend of mine saying that Tom Hanks will be cast down by God for appearing in yet another Dan Brown film. I don’t know if this friend had read The Da Vinci Code (I had) or Angels and Demons at that point, but really, I got a pleasant surprise reading Angels and Demons. It’s very sympathetic towards the Catholic Church and all faiths. The premise of Angels and Demons is that science is about to show the world that God really does exist and that the Genesis story was true – something can be made out of nothing. However, in the experiments to create matter out of nothing, anti-matter was created, and anti-matter could be used as a weapon. You’ve guessed it, anti-matter goes missing from a science lab with the scientist murdered and “Illuminati” branded into his chest. And so we’re off on an adventure through time and Rome to find out who the Illuminati are, to save the day and to discuss the relationship between faith and science.

Galileo, Raphael, Saint Theresa and little known chapels and monuments all point the way – literally – across Rome as Langdon follows the clues that lead him to the Illuminati Lair. I would happily return to Rome with a copy of Angels and Demons and let Robert Langdon take me around Rome complete with Robert Langdon’s knowledge of Rome’s history and legends. I recommend Robert Langdon’s tour of Rome to everyone!

Catherine Hume



Publisher: CORGI BOOKS

Entry filed under: Reviews. Tags: , , .

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