Review Round Up: Origin by Dan Brown

Dan Brown brings Robert Langdon out for a brand new adventure – but are critics thrilled with the new novel? Love London Love Culture rounds up the reviews here…


Robert Langdon, Harvard professor of symbology and religious iconology, arrives at the Guggenheim Museum Bilbao to attend the unveiling of a discovery that “will change the face of science forever”. The evening’s host is his friend and former student, Edmond Kirsch, a forty-year-old tech magnate whose dazzling inventions and audacious predictions have made him a controversial figure around the world. This evening is to be no exception: he claims he will reveal an astonishing scientific breakthrough to challenge the fundamentals of human existence.

But Langdon and several hundred other guests are left reeling when the meticulously orchestrated evening is blown apart before Kirsch’s precious discovery can be revealed. With his life under threat, Langdon is forced into a desperate bid to escape, along with the museum’s director, Ambra Vidal. Together they flee to Barcelona on a perilous quest to locate a cryptic password that will unlock Kirsch’s secret.

The Guardian: “There’s a winning innocence to Brown’s work, especially as rather than just produce a chase thriller with added sudoku, he is determined to take on the most fundamental issues of human existence. Dan Brown: novelist of ideas.”

The Times: “Dan Brown likes spectacular settings. The Da Vinci Code famously opens with a murder in the Louvre, and his new novel, Origin, uses the Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao as a backdrop.”

The New York Times: “Part of the fun in reading Brown comes from not taking him too seriously as a stylist.”

The Telegraph: *** “One reason why this book is more interesting than some of his more recent efforts is that there is less action, fewer puzzles and cryptograms, than usual: he concentrates more on intellectual ideas, which are what really excites him.”

Entertainment Weekly:  “As he does in all his novels, Brown spackles over any weaknesses in the plot with the richness of his true-to-life details. His extensive research on art, architecture, and history informs every page.”

Washington Post: “Brown may not have discovered a secret that threatens humanity’s faith, but he has successfully located every cliche in the world.”

The Real Book Spy: ” While it does take a while to get going (as the author lays down the groundwork and sets the tone for the rest of the novel), Brown’s latest does become certifiably unputdownable once the plot takes off.”

Hindustan Times: “There’s little to say again about Brown’s skills but that doesn’t mean it shouldn’t be acknowledged that he is still, after seven cracking plots, a terrific storyteller.”

The Straits Times: “Origin is not as original as it would like to be, so don’t expect it to shake your world. Still, it makes for a pretty entertaining few hours.”

USA Today: “But despite exploring some seriously big concepts about creation and destiny in its Spanish-set central mystery, Origin spawns a dizzying parade of scientific jargon, nonstop travelogues and familiar tropes that all lead to a fumbled ending.”

Dead Words: “Prepare to reveal the discovery, but midway through, interrupt it with your murder. You can choose your generic “never met the protagonist” murder, or for higher stakes, splash out on an old acquaintance or colleague.”

 Origin by Dan Brown is available to buy and download from Amazon now. 

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