Very enjoyable, I had as much fun reading it as I did The Da Vinci Code years ago. I loved "going around" Barcelona and recognizing the different spots Langdon and Co "visit". I liked reading bits of Catalan and Spanish dialogue when Catalan or Spanish characters talk (yes, with their English equivalent). The plot's fantastic and to a certain extend it reminded me of the book Genesis by Bernard Beckett, mainly the bits about AI. Definitely a story worth my time....Continua
For most of the novel, the "religious" guys seem to be the "bad" guys. The novel certainly has the ambience of atheism against religion (or superstition). Having read quite a few of Dan Brown's novels (always of Prof. Langdon's !), the author's tactic always seems to me to be that, at the beginning of the novel, the author raises a mystery of the kind that is the most extraordinary and consequential. This keeps you guessing and feeling intrigued. These days, I tend to think that I would almost always feel disappointed after I find out what that "mystery" is at the end. The author's job is to try to make you feel not so disappointed at the end :-) In the middle, the author went through a lot of history, conspiracies, or fantasies. Very often during the course of reading, I'd almost shout "Can you cut the crap and just tell me what it's ?!!"
At the end, the so-called discovery is actually the result of a successful version of Monte Carlo Simulation of the "Miller-Urey Experiment" that leads to DNA—the basis of life (p.399, 9th line from the bottom). The crucial element that makes this simulation successful is the addition of MIT physicist's (Jeremy England) insight or theory that "matter self-organizes in an effort to better disperse energy" so that "Nature—in an effort to promote disorder—creates little pockets of order" (p.397, lines 9-11).
At the end, what Edmond Kirsch called the most startling outcome of the simulation is that human beings will evolve into a "hybrid species—a fusion of biology and technology" (p.411, 12th line). It's not that big a deal when we have finally come to it and it's certainly an anti-climax after all the vaunt or advance "advertisement". Saying that homo sapiens goes extinct is certainly just a way to pigue people's interest or curiosity. At least, I'm disappointed to this so-called earth-shattering answer to the question of "Where we are going".
In the novel or in Edmond Kirsch's simulation, it seems to imply that the same kind of DNA of Homo Sapiens was created out of the Miller-Urey Experiment or simulation, which then eventually evolved into Homo Sapiens and dominated the Earth. There have been many accidents since life first appeared on Earth until Homo Sapiens finally dominated. J. England's thermodynamic constraints alone wouldn't necessarily achieve the complex outcome as of today. Of course, it's just a novel and the author hasn't filled in the details here.
Overall, I can't but say that I have enjoyed reading the novel. But even though I couldn't quite guess what Edmond Kirsch's final discovery is, I still had a hunch or predicted that I would likely feel disappointed after all the boasting or tricks that the author has manipulated to lure us to keep on reading. Because it's become a pattern of the author's novels in this series of Prof. Langdon's....Continua
Dan Brown is as formulaic as it gets. You know what you are going to get before starting. This one has all the positives and all the negatives of all other Langdon books - fast paced short chapters keep you stuck to it until you finish.
Massive logic missteps, not a great writing, paper thin characters..
What disappoints more than usual is the actual mystery - not much to solve here...Continua