“my mother’s unwavering zealotry has a lot to do with my abhorrence of religion. I call it-‘Newton’s Third Law of Child Rearing: For every lunacy, there is an equal and opposite lunacy.'” Edmund
Dan Brown’s Origin Robert Langdon is one of those books you either dislike it or enjoy it right out of the gate. I picked up a paperback copy of Origin at one of the local big box stores while waiting for my small library of boxes to arrive during a move. Origin kept me entertained.
We must be willing to get rid of the life we’ve planned, so as to have the life that is waiting for us. – Joseph Campbell
The above quote was what drew me to the book, besides the synopsis. Probably because I was in the process of moving. Seemed fitting. This is the first of several quotes the reader encounters. It is right before the Prologue. There are poems as well as references to famous books. It is a Dan Brown story, what else do you expect?
Some Spoilers…just a few.
The story takes Harvard professor, Robert Langdon to the Guggenheim Museum Bilbao. He receives an invitation from a former pupil. Edmund, his former pupil is an ultra-rich, genius, 40-year-old who specializes in game theory(a field of mathematics) and computer modeling. Edmund is hosting an event at the Guggenheim to release to the world something which will change the way the world views all religions and science. Robert Langdon is unaware of what Edmund is planning, or what trouble lies ahead for him as he enters the Guggenheim for the event. All he knows is he has been asked to attend a formal event and soon learns the future Queen of Spain is not only in attendance, but she is also the host. Robert Langdon is excited to hear what Edmund has discovered. Of course, something goes wrong…
In typical Brown style, the rest of the story unfolds with exuberant amounts of the history of Spain especially Barcelona, the controversial art and architecture created by Gaudi, poems, religions, science, the conflicts between the two, codes, and symbols. A murder, religious and science conflict, Langdon trying to save the day with a beautiful woman are all there, as well. What is not to like?
The whole story centers around these two questions:Where did we come from? Where are we going?
I enjoyed Origin. I learned a lot about Spain, especially Barcelona. I found myself stopping every few pages and looking some little tidbit up to see if it existed. This was the best part, for me. I enjoyed Origin because I not only read a decent work of fiction, which kept me entertained, but it made me want to find out more information about the places, people, and subjects in the story.
At times it does read like a local guidebook for Barcelona, the Guggenheim, and the art of Gaudi. This might turn some readers off. All of this description, history, and information take up a lot of pages. If you are looking for a book which is fast-paced without a lot of description, this is not the book for you. The characters do not appear to get the same depth as the above do.
Origin kept me entertained, piqued my interest in the art, architecture, history of Spain and asked several questions about religion and science which I am still thinking about today.