Entertainment & Media
The Robert Langdon Series
By John McCarthy
Volume 1 Issue 2
November 24, 2020
Image provided by Amazon
Dan Brown, a historical fiction writer, crafted an alternative reality featuring Harvard professor of symbology, Robert Langdon, who solves world crises by solving riddles with his extensive knowledge of art history. Langdon finds himself in intense situations spanning different historical cities such as Rome, Paris, and Washington D.C. Five bestsellers comprise the series: Angels and Demons, The Da Vinci Code, The Lost Symbol, Inferno, and Origin. Being the son of a mathematics teacher and a church organist, Brown emphasizes the struggle between science and religion in many of his books. Here is a quick description of each book featuring Robert Langdon. The great thing about the series is that no information from prior books is needed to understand the plot of next, meaning that the books do not have to be read in order. Simply start with the novel that intrigues you most!
Angels and Demons
The first book to feature Robert Langdon, Angels and Demons, takes him and Vittoria Vetra on a journey throughout Rome trying to thwart the plans of the infamous Illuminati who have planted a weapon of mass destruction in Vatican City to destroy their enemy, the Catholic Church, and ensure science prevails. The murder of Leonardo Vetra, a Catholic scientist at CERN studying the beginning of the universe, a controversial topic for worshippers and non-believing academics, brings Langdon to Europe for this predicament. Vetra, branded with the famous Illuminati stamp, compelled CERN to recruit Langdon to investigate the murder. As the day goes on, Langdon realizes this is much more than a murder case. Can he and Vittoria find and defuse the destructive device before time runs out?
The Da Vinci Code
The Da Vinci Code is the most popular book of the series, selling over 80 million copies worldwide. Langdon, along with cryptologist Sophie Neveu, investigate the murder of Louvre curator, Jacques Saunière. Saunière’s body, peculiarly distorted, sends Langdon and Neveu on a hunt to find and protect the Holy Grail, intertwined with the history of the Priory of Sion, an ancient secret society for elite intellectuals. However, Silas, an albino monk, makes it his mission to seize the Holy Grail at all costs as a payment to his God and his anonymous “teacher”. Moreover, the French police believe Langdon murdered Saunière because he was scheduled to meet with the curator the night before. The police chase adds extra difficulty to Langdon and Neveu’s objective. The #1 bestseller culminates with a stirring controversy that challenges the beliefs of many Christians.
The Lost Symbol
Arriving at Washington D.C. for a guest speech at the Smithsonian, Langdon finds that his former mentor’s severed hand lies tattooed in the middle of the lobby. Symbolic, the tattoos intrigue Langdon and augments his desire to help his friend. Navigating the elaborate history of the U.S. capital, Langdon, with Katherine Solomon, the sister of Langdon’s mentor, to try to identify Peter’s kidnapper and find Peter! On the other hand, Peter’s kidnapper has murder on his mind. Amidst the man hunt, Peter’s valuable artifact, a sacred pyramid of the Freemasons, which Langdon possesses must not fall into the wrong hands.
Based in Venice, Inferno relies on the extensive works of Dante Alighieri. Langdon, who wakes up in a hospital with no recollection of last night’s events or how he arrived in Italy, barely escapes with his life, assisted by Dr. Sienna Brooks. They need to stop the release of a dangerous virus, justified to solve the problem of overpopulation. Working against an organization determined to carry out the wishes of their maniacal client, Langdon needs to prevent the release of the virus and remember the events of last night, crucial to solve his predicament. The virus, contained in a hidden location, is set to release. Langdon can decipher clues to find that location, but can he and Dr. Brooks, do so in time?
Langdon is now in Spain to attend a presentation from Edmond Kirsch, an atheist, world-renowned computer scientist, and former student of Langdon’s. The presentation, Kirsch says, will answer two of the most asked questions about human existence: Where did we come from? and Where are we going? Our origin and our destiny. However, Kirsch never gets to finish his presentation. Langdon, alongside Ambra Vidal and Kirsch’s creation, Winston, does the best he can to unveil the discovery by any means possible. A mysterious informant causes severe controversy, claiming the Catholic Spanish royal family had something to do with silencing Kirsch’s presentation. Will Kirsch’s presentation ever see the light of day? If it does, the consequences for current religious beliefs will be immeasurable.