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Angels & Demons: A Novel [Hardcover]

Dan Brown
3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1,039 customer reviews)
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Book Description

July 1 2003 Robert Langdon
From the #1 New York Times bestselling author of The Da Vinci Code comes the explosive thriller that started it all.
An ancient secret brotherhood. A devastating new weapon of destruction. An unthinkable target. When world-renowned Harvard symbologist Robert Langdon is summoned to his first assignment to a Swiss research facility to analyze a mysterious symbol -- seared into the chest of a murdered physicist -- he discovers evidence of the unimaginable: the resurgence of an ancient secret brotherhood known as the Illuminati...the most powerful underground organization ever to walk the earth. The Illuminati has now surfaced to carry out the final phase of its legendary vendetta against its most hated enemy -- the Catholic Church.
Langdon's worst fears are confirmed on the eve of the Vatican's holy conclave, when a messenger of the Illuminati announces they have hidden an unstoppable time bomb at the very heart of Vatican City. With the countdown under way, Langdon jets to Rome to join forces with Vittoria Vetra, a beautiful and mysterious Italian scientist, to assist the Vatican in a desperate bid for survival.
Embarking on a frantic hunt through sealed crypts, dangerous catacombs, deserted cathedrals, and the most secretive vault on earth, Langdon and Vetra follow a 400-year-old trail of ancient symbols that snakes across Rome toward the long-forgotten Illuminati lair...a clandestine location that contains the only hope for Vatican salvation.
Critics have praised the exhilarating blend of relentless adventure, scholarly intrigue, and cutting wit found in Brown's remarkable thrillers featuring Robert Langdon. An explosive international suspense, Angels & Demons marks this hero's first adventure as it careens from enlightening epiphanies to dark truths as the battle between science and religion turns to war.

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From Amazon

It takes guts to write a novel that combines an ancient secret brotherhood, the Swiss Conseil Européen pour la Recherche Nucléaire, a papal conclave, mysterious ambigrams, a plot against the Vatican, a mad scientist in a wheelchair, particles of antimatter, jets that can travel 15,000 miles per hour, crafty assassins, a beautiful Italian physicist, and a Harvard professor of religious iconology. It takes talent to make that novel anything but ridiculous. Kudos to Dan Brown (Digital Fortress) for achieving the nearly impossible. Angels & Demons is a no-holds-barred, pull-out-all-the-stops, breathless tangle of a thriller--think Katherine Neville's The Eight (but cleverer) or Umberto Eco's Foucault's Pendulum (but more accessible).

Harvard symbologist Robert Langdon is shocked to find proof that the legendary secret society, the Illuminati--dedicated since the time of Galileo to promoting the interests of science and condemning the blind faith of Catholicism--is alive, well, and murderously active. Brilliant physicist Leonardo Vetra has been murdered, his eyes plucked out, and the society's ancient symbol branded upon his chest. His final discovery, antimatter, the most powerful and dangerous energy source known to man, has disappeared--only to be hidden somewhere beneath Vatican City on the eve of the election of a new pope. Langdon and Vittoria, Vetra's daughter and colleague, embark on a frantic hunt through the streets, churches, and catacombs of Rome, following a 400-year-old trail to the lair of the Illuminati, to prevent the incineration of civilization.

Brown seems as much juggler as author--there are lots and lots of balls in the air in this novel, yet Brown manages to hurl the reader headlong into an almost surreal suspension of disbelief. While the reader might wish for a little more sardonic humor from Langdon, and a little less bombastic philosophizing on the eternal conflict between religion and science, these are less fatal flaws than niggling annoyances--readers should have no trouble skimming past them and immersing themselves in a heck of a good read. "Brain candy" it may be, but my! It's tasty. --Kelly Flynn --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Publishers Weekly

Pitting scientific terrorists against the cardinals of Vatican City, this well-plotted if over-the-top thriller is crammed with Vatican intrigue and high-tech drama. Robert Langdon, a Harvard specialist on religious symbolism, is called in by a Swiss research lab when Dr. Vetra, the scientist who discovered antimatter, is found murdered with the cryptic word "Illuminati" branded on his chest. These Iluminati were a group of Renaissance scientists, including Galileo, who met secretly in Rome to discuss new ideas in safety from papal threat; what the long-defunct association has to do with Dr. Vetra's death is far from clear. Vetra's daughter, Vittoria, makes a frightening discovery: a lethal amount of antimatter, sealed in a vacuum flask that will explode in six hours unless its batteries are recharged, is missing. Almost immediately, the Swiss Guard discover that the flask is hidden beneath Vatican City, where the conclave to elect a new pope has just begun. Vittoria and Langdon rush to recover the canister, but they aren't allowed into the Vatican until it is discovered that the four principal papal candidates are missing. The terrorists who are holding the cardinals call in regarding their pending murders, offering clues tied to ancient Illuminati meeting sites and runes. Meanwhile, it becomes clear that a sinister Vatican entity with messianic delusions is in league with the terrorists. Packing the novel with sinister figures worthy of a Medici, Brown (Digital Fortress) sets an explosive pace as Langdon and Vittoria race through a Michelin-perfect Rome to try to save the cardinals and find the antimatter before it explodes. Though its premises strain credulity, Brown's tale is laced with twists and shocks that keep the reader wired right up to the last revelation. (May)
Copyright 2000 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Customer Reviews

Most helpful customer reviews
8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good But Dec 9 2004
By Darlene
Format:Mass Market Paperback
Like many people, I discovered Dan Brown through The Da Vinci Code (The Da Vinci Code and "A Tourist in the Yucatan" were my favorite thrillers of the year). As much as I enjoyed the just-one-more-page-before-I-turn-out-the-light qualities of this book I still prefer The Da Vinci Code. Angels & Demons is the prequel for The Da Vinci Code and I could truly see Brown's growth as a writer in his later work. I would consider his plotting skills in Angels & Demons good, but by the time he went on to write The Da Vinci Code I believe they were perfected.
Angels & Demons still possesses the page turning, fast paced plotting present in The Da Vinci Code. However, in my opinion, some of the plot twists, while being thoroughly entertaining, were also entirely unbelievable. I don't believe that fiction needs to be exactly like real life, but I can only suspend disbelief so far without falling out of the story.
If this was your first Dan Brown, and you enjoyed this one, I would highly recommend picking up a copy of The Da Vinci Code. If you've already read The Da Vinci Code, you'll probably like this one too, just know before you begin that you've already read the best, now you're going back for the rest.
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12 of 14 people found the following review helpful
By A Customer
Format:Hardcover
After the hero jumps out of a helicopter at 15,000' using only a tarp as a parachute, surviving an anti-matter explosion on the way down, only to land safely in the river where coincidently a doctor sees him land and revives him. (His third or fourth time he has escaped death today). All the while, the "pope", who had a parachute, is pretending a miracle has happened as he has landed atop St. Peter's to the roar of the crowd. JEEEEEEZ Get me outa here!!! Even as a movie, this would get boos.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Interesting, But Not Original Feb. 27 2006
Format:Hardcover
Having read "The Da Vinci Code", I was quite exited to dig into "Angels & Demons", Robert Langdon's first adventure. I found out, however, that I was reading the same book. Robert was yet again with a female "sidekick", the ending "twist" had the same elements, and the villian had the same mindset. Only the location and a few plot elements changed.

Having that being said, I would like to say that "Angels & Demons" is still an interesting read. Dan Brown seems to do his research while writing his novels, and since the chapters are short, I kept saying "Just one more chapter" as I read the book. I managed to finish it in two days.

Robert Langdon is awaken from his home in the United States due to a phone call by Dr. Kohler, the President of CERN, a Swiss science facility. There, Langdon sees the dead body of a CERN scientist with the word "Illuminati" burned onto his chest. Shortly thereafter, they discover one of the deadly projects the scientist was working on has gone missing; anitmatter. Anitmatter has the ability to power the continental United States with just one pound of it, or become the most dealy weapon ever made. Later, they discover that the canister is somewhere in The Vatican, the Illuminati's ultimate enemy.

If you already read "The Da Vinci Code", you can see the similarities. However, one of the things about Dan Brown is that he writes in such a way that we already know the outcome, we just want to see how it happens. "Angels & Demons" is well worth a read, but if you are new to Dan Brown, or, more importantly, Robert Langdon's universe, I strongly reccomend that you read "The Da Vinci Code" first, as that is a superiour novel and the ending won't be known before you start the second chapter.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A PAGE TURNER Sept. 1 2005
Format:Mass Market Paperback
One of the most absolutely fabulous books I have ever read. It kept me trapped during a trip to South Africa. I was always looking for an opportunity to read it. Every free moment had to be used - while in the train, the bus, the plane, in my hotel room, the park. I couldn't stop until I had completed it. This book is a DECEPTION POINT,real page-turner.Also recommended: UNION MOUJIK,DISCIPLES OF FORTUNE,THE IDIOT
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Devilishly good March 26 2005
Format:Mass Market Paperback
I enjoyed this book greatly despite some of the negative things I've heard. True, it's not my usually cup of tea, and our book club doesn't usually read this type of thing, preferring instead something more "modern" and literary such as McCrae's CHILDREN'S CORNER or that great read, THE LOVELY BONES. But we decided to give Mr. B a shot and the result was none too bad. After Robert Langdon, a professor of religious iconology at Harvard, receives a fax showing a brutally murdered corpse branded on the chest with an anagram of the word 'Illuminati,' he begins his exciting and suspenseful adventure. He travels to CERN, a highly advanced scientific research facility and meets the director, Maximilian Kohler, who sent him the fax. AT CERN Langdon learns that the corpse in the fax belonged to Leonardo Vetra, a christian scientist at CERN, and that he was murdered by an underground antireligous group who called them selves The Illuminati. Before he was murdered Leonardo Vetra and his adopted daughter had created a deadly substance called antimatter. Vetra and his daughter had successfully created a quarter gram of this antimatter which is capable of blowing up and entire city but find that it had been stolen. They find that it has been planted inside the Vatican City and will detonate at midbight. Furthermore, a Hassassin has captured four cardinals, the prefereti, and will kill one at a time every hour until midnight. The hassassin will also brand each murdered cardinal wtih an ambigram of the four elements, wind, water, fire, anmd earth on their chest. This leads to a chase through Rome with puzzles and clues to the location of the next murder. ANGELS & DEMONS, a prequel to THE DA VINCI CODE, is really exciting and suspenseful. I would recommend it to anyone who is looking for a fast, exciting read and likes suspense.
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Most recent customer reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars
This is one of my favorite authors. He keeps the readers wanting more.
Published 5 days ago by Audrey Crowe
4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars
Good
Published 20 days ago by C. T. Shaw
5.0 out of 5 stars Wow. I don't even know where or how to begin to describe my emotions.
My Thoughts:

1. The book had me hooked right from the start. The storyline had me captivated the entire time; there was never a dull moment.

2. Read more
Published 2 months ago by Sandra L
5.0 out of 5 stars A wonderful novel.
Characterization, vivid descriptions of scenes and mesmerizing plot. Someone who has been there might appreciate the locations, but as someone who has not, one feels although you... Read more
Published 6 months ago by Connie Blenkinsop
1.0 out of 5 stars Angels and Demons
Having read this book I have resolved never to read Dan Brown again. The man can't write his way out of a paper bag. Amateurish. Execrable.
Published 10 months ago by PATRICK HERTEL
5.0 out of 5 stars Very nice edition!
The book was very nice presented and the quality looked outstanding. I would surely recomend it to any passionate collector or reader.
Published 11 months ago by Dragos Pauna
5.0 out of 5 stars love love love
I'm only 16, and I know girls my age like to read 'teen' romance books, but I absolutely love Dan brown and the Robert Langdon adventures. Read more
Published 13 months ago by allie1496
3.0 out of 5 stars enjoyed the experience
I read this book from cover to cover on a long flight. I enjoyed the experience of reading it just like one would enjoy an action movie. Read more
Published 15 months ago by A. Vango
5.0 out of 5 stars Awesome!
This thriller is incredible! Dan Brown built the whole story with a consistent base on everything que wrote. From CERN to Vatican City, everything is breathtaking.
Published 16 months ago by Wictor Hugo de Souza Silva
5.0 out of 5 stars For my friend
This was a Xmas gift for a good friend. I didn't read it yet, but she did and she loved it, as she loved the first one. Very nice presentation.
Published 17 months ago by Garden flower stickers
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