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Angels & Demons: A Novel [Abridged, Audiobook] [Audio CD]

Dan Brown , Richard Poe
3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1,038 customer reviews)
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Book Description

Sept. 14 2010
An ancient secret brotherhood.
A devastating new weapon of destruction.
An unthinkable target.
When world-renowned Harvard symbologist Robert Langdon is summoned 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 even 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.
An explosive international thriller, Angels & Demons 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
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
Format:Mass Market Paperback
Well, I am finally getting around to reading Mega Bestselling author Dan Brown, what a rush! This book is an incredible thriller, a tour guide to Rome, and an educational adventure all rolled into one. I've never learned so much from a work of fiction. Having Taken some art class last semister, I appreciated so much the references to art from the Renaissance. I think the book suffers a bit from Crichtonism. That being defined as "when an author can't decide what to do at the end so he throws out the most ludicrous thing he can think of." The ending does stretch ones ability to suspend disbelief. In spite of the poor ending I am looking forward to reading the "Da Vinci Code." I also recommened "A Tourist in the Yucatan" for a cool, arcehological thriller, that is very belivable!
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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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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars special illustrated edition is a must March 8 2007
By Wolfman
While it does not read like a literary classic, this book will be one of my favorites for a long time. The plot, characters, and setting are all good enough to make you keep your nose deep in this book. The special aspect of this book is the religious debate Brown intertwines within the story line. Of course people sensitive to having their beliefs discussed will be put off, but if you are open minded (religious or not) you will love this aspect of the book.

It is inevitable to compare A & D to The Davinci Code. I think this book is just as good if not better. The illustrated edition for both books allows you to see all of the architecture, famous art, and historic people without having to search the net, which was of course invented by the scientific institution featured in A & D. Enjoy!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great read June 21 2006
Format:Mass Market Paperback
Contains extremely interesting historical and architectural facts. It made me want to go to Rome just to see everything Dan Brown has written here. The plot is interesting, the book is riveting. Kind of predictable though, but the way the story was structured makes you want to see how it turns out. Kudos to the author, Brown's really an extremely talented story-teller.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Riveting, Thrilling, Suspenseful, March 11 2006
Format:Mass Market Paperback
Angels and Demons is one suspense packed thriller that you just can't put down! Dan Brown has managed to combine The Vatican, the secret brotherhood of the Illuminati, murder, assassins, the Swiss research facility - CERN, a Harvard symbologist, stolen antimatter, a dead priest / physicist's daughter who helped develop the antimatter, the Swiss Guard, and super high speed aircraft, (from Boston to Switzerland in 1 hour! ) all in a race against time.
This book is riveting, as the plot thickens and intensifies and I found myself "peeking" into the next chapter - something I NEVER do! The suspense was too much - but excellent! I just could not put this book down and had to let everything fall around me as I raced to finish all 430 pages! The ending will blow you totally away - and just when you think you had it all figured out - It will stun you!
I found the history of the Vatican, the information on the conclave in electing a pope, as well as all of the history, combined with the history of the Illuminati totally fascinating. My interest never waned throughout this fast-paced, compelling story. I really don't want to retell the story, as you can read it in the above editorial review.
Robert Langdon, a Harvard professor of religious iconology and Vittoria Vetra, a physicist are in a race against time to save Vatican City from a diabolical plot - revenge and hatred from the ancient brotherhood of the Illuminati against the Catholic Church. With the Pope murdered, the four favored bishops are found missing from the conclave. At precise intervals, the Illuminati inform the Vatican that the bishops will be murdered. It is up to Langdon and Vittoria to try and figure out the "clues" from the Illuminati and save the bishops.
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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
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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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 2 months ago by Audrey Crowe
4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars
Published 2 months 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 4 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 8 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 12 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 13 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 15 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 17 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 18 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 18 months ago by Garden flower stickers
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