Sat 26 September 2009, The Guardian

Timbers remain unshivered

" The Lost Symbol demonstrates no stylistic improvement on its predecessors," William Sutcliffe observed in the Financial Times. "It is filled with cliché, bombast, undigested research and pseudo-intellectual codswallop. Yet complaining about Brown's prose is a little like reproaching Proust for a lack of car chases. In a Dan Brown novel, plot is everything." "There's surprisingly little in the way of action," John Preston objected in the Sunday Telegraph. "The biggest problem, however, is that there's no decent pay-off. You keep steeling yourself for a climactic Da Vinci Code -style shiver-my-timbers-of-belief moment – except that it never arrives." "Not many people will be buying this for its literary style," Peter Millar said in the Times. "Bizarrely, amid all this there is the kernel of a good story, a human one about families, fate and relationships, that produces a genuinely shocking moment of climax. Prematurely, 50 pages before the end."
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