Ori­gin

The Week (US) - - 21 - By Dan Brown Janet Maslin Ron Charles

(Dou­ble­day, $30) Here we go again, said in The Wash­ing­ton Post. Dan Brown is back, along with his Vatican-flout­ing, code-break­ing hero, for “an­other thriller so mo­ronic you can feel your IQ points flak­ing away like dan­druff.” We touch down in Spain, where sym­bol­o­gist Robert Lang­don—Mickey Mouse watch still tick­ing—has joined a gath­er­ing where a com­puter ge­nius is about to an­nounce a dis­cov­ery that will in­val­i­date all ex­ist­ing re­li­gious doc­trine. But be­fore the se­cret is re­vealed, the speaker is taken out by an as­sas­sin, and with 300 pages to go, I won­dered, “Why couldn’t it have been me?” As in Brown’s The Da Vinci Code, the prose here is cringe-wor­thy, said

in The New York Times. But Lang­don’s race through Barcelona to crack an­other code gen­er­ates plenty of “gee-whiz ex­cite­ment,” and a clever use of set­tings like Gaudi’s Sagrada Fa­milia cathe­dral af­fords le­git­i­mately in­trigu­ing mus­ings about the in­ter­sec­tion of sci­ence and re­li­gion. “Brown and se­ri­ous ideas: They do fit to­gether, never more than they have in Ori­gin.”

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