Real question: Why are we all still reading Dan Brown novels? I mean, sure, we all read The DaVinci Code and then re-read it when someone told us that Angels and Demons was even better but then we figured out it was exactly the same story. I think it was an FAA regulation at one point that required us all to carry one of these things on a plane. But now there are five… FIVE books in this Robert Langdon series, and like what are we all doing with our lives? This same psychology plays into my life when every single year I think the Dodgers might actually win the World Series and Democrats might learn how to play politics – but seriously, 2018 for both. I am addicted to disappointment. I could write a 5,000 word treatise on how stupid and pointless these books are, and I promise you that I will also keep buying and reading them as long as he can churn them out. Issues.
Rant over(ish), the new book is called Origin and it is not going to change your life, but it may entertain you in the lobby of the doctor’s office while you wait for your Tamiflu prescription. Robert Langdon, our favorite Harvard professor of symbology (not a real thing) is back, and this time we are in Spain! See, this is different than France and different than Italy so please stop saying he’s repeating himself. Robert has been summoned to Spain by a former student of his, Edmond Kirsch (thinly disguised Elon Musk) who has promised a Major Announcement of a Groundbreaking Discovery that will change Every Single Thing About the Whole World. Hyperbole, his. This discovery will explain the origin of the universe and answer all questions of human existence. Got it.
The rest writes itself (probably) – the plan goes awry, there is a murder, there is a brilliant and beautiful woman who’s every movement and line of dialogue requires adjectives about said beauty, there is a chase and there are a million puzzles along the way to give Robert opportunities to explain things to us. There are cryptic passwords and sketchy priests and enough Artificial Intelligence to scare the crap out of you. I am a sucker for short history stories and science so easy to understand that even I get it – so obviously I found it enjoyable even as I was aware that my brain was not actually functioning on full throttle. But honestly, who cares? They can’t all be up for a Pulitzer and sometimes you just want to unwind and think about Barcelona. I figured out who the killer was, because I am a genius and can solve small, non-complex problems without paper some of the time.
Origin – Grade C+