So I haven't read Dan Brown's new one, The Lost Symbol, but I've read several reviews and can tell you it's probably a valiant effort but will not match The Da Vinci Code in societal impact. Which, um, I also have not read. But in my field you trust others to run experiments and report the results. I've read the reviews of three different reviewers and also the Wikipedia plot summary and that's amusing enough for me.
By the way, Laura Miller's review in Salon.com is by far the best review as in most informative and most appropriately skeptical of Brown's entire philosophy.
Since I think any readers of this blog have better things to do than to read 500 pages of Dan Brown's writing, I just have to pass on the cornerstone of Brown's theory this time, the secret Word of Power that characters are pursuing through Washington DC. So don't read if you don't wanna know. Straight from Wikipedia, here is the Word:
With the night's events over, Peter decides to show Langdon the true Word. He shows Langdon that it is hidden in the cornerstorne of the Washington Monument, and that the Word is actually the Bible. Peter reveals that the true Ancient Mystery is in fact the realization that people are not God's subjects, but in fact possess the capability to be gods themselves. Once they realize this fact, they will open the gateway to a magnficent future.
So Dan Brown reveals his Gnostic roots again. "Go ahead, eat that fruit, you surely won't die, you will know good and evil and will be like him!" This is just as wrong as the Da Vinci Code, but it appears to be hidden so deep this time that hopefully most people will just skate on by it. Still ... sigh ...