The book is already a blockbuster

Dan Brown can now breathe easy. His new novel Origin has already topped sales on Amazon. Fans of the American author are finishing up an addictive mix of conspiracies, travelogue, history, and a good slice of whodunit. The tagline is alluring as usual, with the author asking the reader the rhetorical question of whether God can survive the onslaught of science.

Robert Langdon, Brown's adventurous academic protagonist and symbologist, who loves to travel around the world, stars in the fifth book as well. The book has it all: an assembly line with instant smart-making scientific jargon, familiar heart-tensing situations, and non-stop travelogues to obscure historical locations. All of them are funneled into an ending. Critics described the latter as a contrived one.

It is a mystery why Langdon, after hunting the elusive Holy Grail, fighting the Illuminati, and almost dead from deadly plagues, would once again venture from the comfort of his fairly expensive bed. The hero, true to form, does exactly that. He forgoes the comfort of home and jets off to Bilbao in Spain. The reason? He has been invited by Edmond Kirsch, an old student. The latter has invited the symbologist to a high rating presentation scheduled to take place at Guggenheim Museum.

Kirsch, a 40-year-old billionaire iconoclast, had already created a ruckus among the world religious leaders. He had called everyone of some value to Spain for a sneak peek of the origins of the human race. He was all set to answer questions like where did humans came from and where are we going. It is no wonder he invited his former teacher to the global unveiling of what can be a potentially over-the-top announcement. The billionaire claimed that religion will lose any significance it had until now. Science will fill the vacuum.

Kirsch is assassinated and the story kicks into its heart-stopping pace. Langdon is now racing against time to find who killed him. The academic must also crack the computer password which itself is a poetry line made of 47 characters. Brown pushes in his trademark touches. A conspiracy website like Wikileaks is inserted as a plot device. One of the principal characters in the book is Winston, an artificial intelligence which helps Langdon in his quest. Kirsch designed it himself, a combination of Alfred, Batman's butler, and Apple Siri. The story, as usual, involves the visit to a number of Cathedrals.

Resources

Follow the Conversation on Twitter