Monday, April 14, 2008

Angels and Demons - Book Review

Angels and Demons
By Dan Brown
Pocket Books 2000

An ancient secret brotherhood.

A devastating new weapon of destruction.

An unthinkable target...

Angels and Demons was the first story about symbologist Robert Langdon. I first read it about the same time as The Da Vinci Code came out. So when I finally got my own copy of DVC, I had some previous knowledge of Robert Langdon. I have read this again, and it was just as exciting as it was the last time.

Angel and Demons is the classic (and the second best after COSMOS) story on the science versus religion debate.

A Scientist at CERN has discovered how to make ANTI-MATTER, the stuff of Science Fiction and Star Trek. This scientist is murdered for his discovery and his one small sample of anti-matter (stored in a special magnetized container) is stolen. The batteries for this special container last only 6 hours before they MUST be recharged, or the magnetism will fail. The murdered scientist has an unusual tattoo branded on his chest.

The director of CERN calls Robert Langdon to fly to Geneva (in a special plane built by CERN that travels at Mach 5 and takes just one hour from NYC to Switzerland) to dicuss the meaning of the tattoo. The trail leads to the Vatican City where the cardinals are preparing to go into Conclave to choose a new Pope, the previous pope having died two weeks earlier. There is also the matter of four missing cardinals.

The murdered scientist had a daughter, Vittoria. Langdon and Vittoria fly to the Vatican City and have just four hours to find the cardinals and the antimatter before the magnetism fails and the inevitable explosion occurs.

Langdon, Vittoria and the Swiss Guard must follow a trail around Rome - to 4 different churches - all with sculptures by Bernini. And then to one last final place that leads to the hiding place of the antimatter.

One last note - Angels and Demons is currently being made into a movie - due out in 2009. I cant wait to see it.

The Angels and Demons Tour of Rome
A funny blog post of the tour with photos of the churches and sculptures.
A list of Bernini's works in Rome

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