Tuesday, January 08, 2013

i've been reading

have you been wondering where i've been?  probably not.  but i'll tell you anyway.  i've been in washington dc, solving a set of cryptic riddles and puzzles made generations ago by freemasons trying to protect some ancient, secret knowledge. 



okay, not really. 

but i did stay in a holiday inn express last night.

okay, not that, either. 

but i did read a book about it.  not the holiday inn express, but the first one.  it was by dan brown, the author of the davinci code (insert the sound of christian fundamentalists shaking with a peculiar mix of fear and rage here), and the book is somewhat of a  mystery to me because it was being used as a riser under some Christmas decorations that shannon had on our piano. when we put away the decorations, there was this book.  i had never seen it, or even heard of it, before.  but there it was. the lost symbol.  so i started it on saturday night.  and 508 pages later, i finished it this morning.  see this is my problem.  i'm a compulsive reader.  once i start a book, i don't want to do anything but read it ferociously.  things like hygeine, meals, work, and meetings will have to wait.  i don't have time for these trivial obligations when i'm trying to read a book! 



so, having said all that, that's where i've been the last few days.  the book was...um...interesting.  it was certainly intense at parts, and it held my intention, but it isn't for everybody.  it is dan brown at his finest, mixing symbols and meanings across cultures with little context, all to suit the purposes of his story, led by protagonist robert langdon.  along the way, some of the sacred symbols of various traditions get usurped and commandeered.  it is a fun ride down a gray road between fiction and historical fiction, and as long as you remember it is indeed a ride, you will likely enjoy it.  unless you hate long sections of exposition trying to explain away centuries of theology, various religious traditions and scientific work.  yeah, if you're not into that, i wouldn't read it. 

still, despite my sarcastic comments, i seriously enjoyed the ride, but now that i've stepped off, i'm glad to be back in reality, where books seem to materialize on my piano out of thin air.  now it is on to a frederick buechner novel. 

5 comments:

Cmilinovich said...

I think I told you about that book! Glad you finally read it!

Anonymous said...

personally, i don't get the reaction. it is a NOVEL. i thought it was a good story and left it at that. fiction. and pretty darn good fiction, if you ask me. :)
Erin

Gregory Milinovich said...

yeah, its certainly a novel, but it is pretty clear from the long and didactic sections of exposition that it is somewhat more than a novel, too, a chance for dan brown to try and convince his readers of some of his postmodern omnireligious beliefs.

is it pretty good fiction? parts of it, yes. i mean, the suspenseful excitement, the way the story is woven together and the use of puzzles and codes is all great stuff. but the exposition is extremely heavy handed at times, to the point that i felt like i was reading a textbook. also, you have to take some pretty serious leaps at times to believe that characters would actually behave in certain ways. not that those were leaps i wasn't willing to make, mind you, or that i thought it ruined the book. i mean, i couldn't put it down.

also, i feel very much compelled to go to washington d.c. now, and tour some of the buildings and sites that he described.

Crafty P said...

see I think if I read this book I would just be mad the whole time and want to throw the book.
I'll skip dan brown.
But I did just finish the secret keeper by kate morton and it was very good. I love her past/present switch backs (that's my fancy word for how she goes back and forth between the two) and how she weaves all the characters together. I also liked The Forgotten Garden by the same author.

I get the SAME way with books, but it's really hard to ignore 5 children, so... they usually win.

Crafty P said...

see I think if I read this book I would just be mad the whole time and want to throw the book.
I'll skip dan brown.
But I did just finish the secret keeper by kate morton and it was very good. I love her past/present switch backs (that's my fancy word for how she goes back and forth between the two) and how she weaves all the characters together. I also liked The Forgotten Garden by the same author.

I get the SAME way with books, but it's really hard to ignore 5 children, so... they usually win.