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Tuesday, October 23, 2018

Dan Brown's Origin


I happen to quite enjoy Dan Brown's work from a relaxed reading perspective. The subject matter is terribly interesting and I like being challenged with learning new things. Origin is no exception.  

Edmond Kirsch has discovered a secret that will change the how humans believe in supernatural forces. He claims it will even turn the masses away from religion. The winderkind computer scientist, a former student of Robert Langston’s, is about to present his discovery to the world when he is shot down moments before hiring “play” on his presentation to the world. Langdon (as usual, frankly) is immediately suspected and must go on the run with the stunning Ambra Vidal, curator of the museum and fiancĂ© of the future King of Spain, also suspected in the gruesome plot to kill her friend Edmond. What was Kirsch’s discovery, and what other secrets was he keeping that deeply affect the future of mankind — and what does his militant hatred of religion have to do with it all? 

How on this green earth does Langdon find himself in these ridiculous quagmires? Exactly how many times in the span of a decade must be run for his life while solving a great mystery that puts the fate of millions in his hands? While I quite enjoyed this book, I had to wonder as I was halfway through how much longer Brown can put Langdon in these odd positions without us starting to catch on. I mean, how am I supposed to trust Tom Hanks the next time I see him? I am definitely not getting on a plane with that guy. 

All that being said, I quite enjoyed this book. While I don’t think it’s necessarily one of Brown’s intellectual best thrillers (I leave that still to Angels and Demons), I was quite fascinated by his weaving together a tale around the origins of life, which were actually quite plausible. By the time we got to the heart of the matter, which was Kirsch’s discovery of the origins of life (I will say no more), I was ready to jump into the science of entropy. I appreciated Brown’s ability to come up with such an intricate and heady scientific concept, and I was digging it. (As one guy I only went on one date because, well, you see, he constantly said, “I Dog, I dig.” Like, always twice in a row. I’m giggling now as I write this.)

There were some eye-roll inducing parts, such as Brown’s constant reference to the discovery that would shake religious belief forever — see, this went on for the better part of the book and I wanted to just tell, “Tell is the fuck about it already.” It was quite overwrought and we could have dealt without the melodramatics by, I would guess, 40%. But hey, this is Brown’s book and not mine. 

Weaving together this detailed story, it was nice to see it all come together at the end into a semi-loose narrative. There were some things that I think were extra (like motivations of red herrings, and you will just have to accept my lack of spoilers here), but overall I enjoyed myself and that’s really why I come to Brown’s novels when it comes down to brass tacks. 

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