I don’t remember when a book made me so desperate to finish it. This one did. And I hated it.
Dan Brown got lazy. He repeats exactly the same outlines which gave him a bestseller and fame. Origin is simply put boring. If you’ve read other adventures of professor Langdon and his beautiful sidekicks, there is nothing that will shock or fascinate you. I know, desperate and boring don’t quite fit with each other but in this case – yes, they do.
On the very first pages of the book, there is a huge discovery. A secret that will be revealed in the next couple of days and will change the way we understand our existence. Which shall explain our origin and ending. And it shall end religions once for all.
Obviously, this big secret wasn’t revealed until the very end of the book but I kept reading because I wanted to know if it was worth it. Well, it wasn’t. I think Origin tries to use old tricks and plays with religion to shock the reader. But after Da Vinci Code and Angels and Demons – it doesn’t work any longer. Furthermore: this big and shocking information I spent hours to discover is not worth its discovery at all. It’s more of Brown’s desperate call to make a mess in the real world. Unfortunately, however smart the “origin” may be, the big mystery of human’s future is obvious. After description of the guide – Edmund Kirch – it is an easy guess. Unless you do want to play a fool while reading it.
Being in my teens, while reading first two volumes of the saga, they felt fresh and the world felt bigger than it actually was. Discovering all these little things in Paris by myself made me feel like Langdon and Sofia looking for the murderer. And so on. It was a different kind of gaining knowledge. It was fun and it kept my mind open for new beliefs. Now I wonder – maybe I am too old for Brown’s books?
Origin doesn’t differ from its predecessors. There’re a lot of descriptions of history, culture and technology to help the reader understand their importance. But then, at this moment all the things Brown tried to explain to me, were common knowledge. At least to me. I haven’t stopped broadening my knowledge after reading previous books. No, I kept doing it, and Barcelona happened to be on the list of my travels. And then here we are, Dan Brown tries to explain to me who Antoni Gaudi is. Seriously. Antoni friggin’ Gaudi. He could as well choose Dali or Picasso. Same difference.
And sadly there was too many such examples. I found myself reading these paragraphs very briefly and after easily guessing “THAT BIG REVEAL”, I wondered whether I am that smart or this book is that stupid. Because I can’t see how it would change reality other than the one from the pages.
About the characters themselves… The most vivid and interesting person in the story was… a computer. Artificial Inteligence got more of a personality than Ambra Vidal (the hot sidekick). Her personality was nicely described and I would enjoy her but unfortunately throughout the book she didn’t do anything what would prove such description. It was Langdon being the smartest guy in the room. Can someone put an end to this?
Apart from these things, there were plenty useless threads which only reason would have possibly been to distract readers. Myself, I hate such games. It wants to show me what exactly? That I am a moron? Because I still don’t remember any of the guards, neither which one and why got killed/arrested/freed. Furthermore there was a romance drama which, I admit, was partly reasonable but then too dramatic to my taste (and there’s some small gay plot which was completely pointless and felt like a lost bet).
But what I hated the most were assumptions. Brown keeps deceiving the reader by underlaying victims to hate or judge. He wants to prepare shocking ending but reading the book with open mind gives the answer straightaway. If it was the first book of this author I’d probably evaluate it more… indulgently. But sadly, I’ve read too many of his books.
So what I enjoyed maybe? I don’t really know. I think the only reason I actually kept reading was to give it a bad rate on Goodreads and because I do hate not finishing a book. No matter how bad it is. I’m glad that Brown’s style of writing is very pleasant and it let me finish it easily. However his schema is so repetitive it is not worth reading.
I had much more fun reading Inferno. It had way more detailed research and I loved discovering secrets of Florence than not-so-secretive Barcelona. If I were Brown I’d stop here. Until he finds creativity, at least.
PS. Kirche is a church in German.