am 1. Februar 2007
Bei Angels und Demons handelt es sich um das erste Abenteuer Robert Langdons, Dan Browns Serien-Protagonisten.
Der Professor für religiöse Symbole wird von einem wissenschaftlichen Institut zu Hilfe gerufen, als dort Leonardo Vetra tot aufgefunden wird, auf seiner Brust ein Brandmal des Wortes Illuminati. Gleichzeitig wurde ein Behälter mit Antimaterie entwendet - eine gefährliche Bombe, die nun im Vatikan vermutet wird. Da Langdon für seine Recherche über die Geschichte der Illuminati bekannt ist, erhofft man sich von ihm eine Auflösung. Zusammen mit Vetras Tochter Vittoria macht sich Robert Langdon auf die Suche nach den Illuminati.
Dan Brown weiß ohne Zweifel wie man schreibt. "Angels und Demons" ist spannend geschrieben, angefüllt mit einem ungeheuren Fundus an interessantem "Wissen" (Vorsicht, es bleibt trotzdem ein Roman...) und regt zum Nachdenken an. Stellenweise ist die Schreibweise etwas reißerisch, ständig angefüllt mit Teasern ("wenn er aber gewusst hätte, was als nächstes kam") und Cliffhangern. Ausserdem stören die ständigen Belehrungen und kleinen Wissenshäppchen die dem Leser hier in den Schlund geworfen werden, auf die Dauer die Geschichte. Leider ist auch das Ende etwas überzeichnet und enttäuschend. Grösster Kritikpunkt sind für mich aber die Charaktere, die mir einfach zu glatt und amerikanisch geschnitten sind. Der Professor mit dem Superhirn, die schöne, sinnliche Wissenschaftlerin mit dem Genie-Hirn, der überbürokratische Leiter der Schweizer Garde ... in Dan Browns Bücher scheint es keine normalen Menschen zu geben, mit denen man sich auch mal indentifizieren könnte.
Trotzdem ist die Geschichte spannend, liest sich flüssig und bietet einiges an interessanten Denkanregungen.
am 2. November 2006
Wer eine Spannungskurve aus dem Lehrbuch erleben möchte, der muss Angels and Demons lesen. Traumhaft flüssig geschrieben, ein echter Page-Turner (was in Amerika ja ein Qualitätsmerkmal an sich ist).
Auch die Story ist klasse, ich fand mich wieder in Rom (vielleich, weil ich Rom damals noch nicht kannte) und fand mich überhaupt nicht wieder in Genf, wo der erste Teil spielte, was ich dagegen sehr gut kenne. Wer sich von gewissen Recherchemängeln und Unglaublichkeiten wie einem Sprung aus einem Hubschrauber nicht stören lässt, für den ist es genau das Richtige.
Ebenso für bestimmte Gelegenheiten wie Strandurlaub, lange Flüge oder Zugfahrten eignet sich das Buch hervorragend.
Chance: Das Buch auf Englisch lesen, denn es ist einfach geschrieben und perfekt auch für nicht-Muttersprachler geeignet.
am 7. Juli 2004
After having read the Da Vinci Code I ordered Angels & Demons immediately to read up on a previous mystery adventure of Robert Langdon. This time I found myself in Rome and yet again confronted with the intrigues of a dark, mysterious, ruthless secret society.... (or that's what I thought anyway.)
The pope died and all the cardinals are assembled to elect one among them as their new leader. However, the three most potential candidates are missing and Langdon accompanied by a very capable and intelligent female scientist finds himself drawn into a thrilling chain of events. Brutally murdered bodies duffed with the signs of an ancient secret society thought to be inexistent for centuries mark his way. There are a mere 6 hours left till mayday.. Breathtaking and full of good views on Rome and insights into art and science the adventure unfolds.
There's just one thing which stood me up yet again: What's up with Dan's endings? His "special-effect" endings just don't work for me.
am 13. Juni 2000
Harvard professor Robert Langdon and CERN scientist Vittoria Vetra have just one night to prevent the Vatican from being destroyed by an antimatter bomb. Can they do it? Of course. But the fun lies in how and why.
A sample of antimatter has been stolen from physics center CERN by the Illuminati -- the all-powerful group made so famous by Robert A. Wilson's books. Here, they are represented as being an ancient order of scientists upset with the way the Church has treated science and scientists. (Me, I always liked the bankers-as-secret-force or blood-relatives-of-Jesus explanation of the Illuminati, but this will do.) This provides for plenty of science vs. religion conversations, and Brown does a good job with them.
ANGELS AND DEMONS is a fast, but satisfying read. It rolls along unstoppably, not the least of which because the action takes place over a 24-hour span. Even if -- as I did -- you guess what's really happening half-way through the book, you'll never guess what happens in the last 40 pages.
The book is laced with fun facts about electing a pope and the Vatican, like that St. Peter's bones are not in the golden casket in St. Peter's Basilica, but two stories under it. Brown knows the layout. And that the artist Raphael's last name was Santi. He also knows how marble statues were carved. Brown's no Irving Stone (THE AGONY AND THE ECSTACY), but he does manage to inform without being pedantic.
As Vittoria and Langdon race around Rome, we get quite a tour, with great descriptions. (Pick up a paperback copy next summer and bring it to Rome. Take the Brown tour.) What's interesting is that all the places and pieces of art in this book really exist. So Brown has played a version of the Sherlockians' Great Game by linking them all with his "history" of the Illuminati and their doings. No small feat.
Several of the plot elements have to be taken with a grain of salt. First, there is the fact that everyone in this book is absolutely amazed by amibgrams (these are words which can be ready the same upside-down as right-side up -- the book's dust jacket has the title in ambigram). They play an important role in the story, and everyone who encounters them is practically struck dumb the fact that even exist. They "seem utterly impossible." I guess no one else in the story (including symbol expert Langdon) remembers that OMNI magazine ran an ambigram contest in the 1980s and published dozens of the thousands of entries they received, I imagine that by now there must be a software program or web site that can make them for you (and make an acrostic that spells out your girlfriend's name). In short: they aren't that amazing. Then there are things like the fact that Vittoria (a physicist) isn't familiar with the classical four elements of earth, air, fire, and water. Come on.
Great literature? No, but you sure keep turning the pages to see what happens next.
am 4. Dezember 2004
No, it really is an enthralling mystery and suspense novel, no doubt; a turn-the-pager (I read it over a weekend and simply could not stop).
It is only that Da Vinci was so very good, that the minor flaws of this prequel stand out more openly: this plot is not as plausible (huh, WHAT is going on inside the Vatican there?? oh, falling from a helicopter out of great height does THAT to you? hmmm, girls DO fall in love with you so quickly??) and plausibility was what made Da Vinci so fascinating to me.
Da Vinci had more of the early X-Files: made you wonder if it could really be true that... Angels and Demon is too clearly fictional in contrast.
Anyway a good read and money well spent on an outstanding mystery novel.
I do prefer Robert Langdon over Indiana Jones, btw. More of an intellectual. :)
am 20. März 2005
The first chapters of the book are so entangling that I could not put the book down, so I carried it with me all the time to be sure I could read on during any "dead" moment of the day.
The setting, the characters, the eternal debate of conciliating Religion and Science... offer powerful elements of narrative-- which are pitilessly ruined by some obviously unreal and unbelievable events. It is amazing how the author manages to ruin a potentially good plot. The characters are real, but the outcome of physical fights, of parachuting some km down from a plane with a small piece of fabric held with bare hands (?!?), a physicist not realizing mobile phones don't work underground... These and similar elements add a twist of American-film type of plot which the intelligent reader could gladly do without.
am 25. März 2005
Ich habe das Buch als sehr spannend empfunden, da es immer wieder durch neue Wendungen andere Figuren in den Mittelpunkt rückt.
Zu Beginn wird mit bestimmten technologischen und wissenschaftlichen Begriffen hantiert, die diesen Roman für mich in den Bereich Science Fiction rücken. Die Story wird im weitern Verlauf bodenständiger. Was sich aber nicht als Nachteil auswirkt. Im Gegenteil.
Manche Stellen beschreiben für mich interessante Sichtweisen auf die katholische Kirche und das Christentum.
Diese Fiktion schafft meiner Meinung nach einen guten Spagat zwischen Wissenschaft und Religion.
Nervig fand ich, dass nach dem Showdown seitenweise immer noch was hinterhergeschoben wird, als müsste man noch eine bestimmte Anzahl Seiten vollschreiben.
Bis zum Showdown 4,5 Sterne. Danach 3-3,5.
am 10. Dezember 2007
die diesen Roman für mich in den Bereich Science Fiction rücken. Die Story wird im weitern Verlauf bodenständiger. Was sich aber nicht als Nachteil auswirkt. Im Gegenteil.
Manche Stellen beschreiben für mich interessante Sichtweisen auf die katholische Kirche und das Christentum.
Diese Fiktion schafft meiner Meinung nach einen guten Spagat zwischen Wissenschaft und Religion. Nervig fand ich, dass nach dem Showdown seitenweise immer noch was hinterhergeschoben wird, als müsste man noch eine bestimmte Anzahl Seiten vollschreiben!! Ich empfehle auch, Ein wirklich unglaublich spannender Thriller--The Fates von Tino Georgiou.
The story starts at Switzerland's largest nuclear research facility CERN, as a body branded with the word ILLUMINATI on his chest, has been found. The victim, Leonardo Vetra, who worked together with his daughter Vittoria on an invention of a kind of an antimatter. The antimatter is supposed to become the greatest source of energy and it already is tremenduosly powerfull in a small mass of its annihilation. The problem has been even grater, when the CERN director discovers the stealling of a considerable amount of the antimatter from Vetra's lab by his murderer.
So not to waste the time, he early in the morning calls in Harvard for professor and expert on religious symbology, Robert Langdon. Langdon has extensive knowledge about the Illuminati and their symbols. He teams up with Vittoria trying to solve this mystery and find the murderer of her father. There is trouble brewing, not only that they have to find the stolen antimatter quick, but they also have to find four kidnapped cardinals within the hours on the eve of the election of a new pope.
Angels and Demons tells the story about a clandestined group, called Illuminati, that was formed ages ago by men of science who were threatened and punished by the church due to their discoveries, most of them against the catholic paradigm. Now, they return for the revenge on their own using the ultimate weapon by CERN to destroy Vatican City.
I really enjoyed this book and I liked the plot of Angels and Demons very much, because of its absorbing and tense, as Robert and Vittoria decipher ancient clues and travel great distances across Rome, racing from place to place, fast on the heels of the suspected man. Apart from this, there are a lot of twists which I could not foresee until the very second they happened. This makes for a book very hard to put down.
In my opinion, this book is a quick and clever read full of riddles and mistery. Well done Dan Brown.
am 17. Juni 2011
Angels and Demons
Corgi, Paperback, 2001.
12mo. 620 pp.
First published in 2000.
Angels and Demons, expectedly, is very similar to Da Vinci's Code, or vice versa if you like to follow the order in which the books were originally published. Robert Langdon is irresistible to the gentle sex but made of iron, again. He is chasing works of art and solving symbolic riddles again - only not in Paris, but in Rome instead. The writing style is informal, chatty and gripping, again. The characterisation is sketchy but quite good enough for a thriller, again. The pace is breath-taking and nerve-racking, again. The historical and actual background are overwhelmingly sumptuous and adroitly managed, again.
Yes, it's pretty formulaic. But who cares? It delivers the thrill and the suspense splendidly. It takes you in from the first page and it doesn't leave you get out until the last one. Well, at least that's what happens with me. Seriously, I find it difficult to imagine a better reading for pure relaxation than a novel by Dan Brown: just intellectual enough not to offend your vanity (unless it's too huge), but fabulously entertaining.
There are, however, two aspects where to my mind Angels and Demons falls short of Da Vinci's Code. First, the plot here is a trifle too scientific as to be really engaging. Despite its terrific explosive power, antimatter is obscure enough to be somewhat dull; certainly, it does not in the least have the wide human appeal that a well-known story from the Bible, let alone the one of Christ himself, by definition has. And second, the ending is too improbable to be believed. Indeed, towards the end Dan Brown seems to get carried away with the action and he finishes with an amazing stunt which, however, is a bit too much even for seasoned thriller lovers; mild improbabilities may, and do, abound and these I readily accept of course. But one has to admit that Dan Brown has improved significantly on both fronts in Da Vinci's Code.
Interestingly, this time I read the book first and then saw the movie, whereas in the case of Da Vinci's Code I did exactly the opposite. It is perhaps a worthy matter of desultory speculation whether this was the reason to like the movie less than the book, which in turn I liked less than the previous one. (In the case of Da Vinci's Code I may say that I liked both mediums equally, surprisingly and unexpectedly.) The eternal conundrum ''first the book or first the movie'' enjoys something like a world-wide fame and there is usually something to be said in both directions. So is the case here. On the whole, after reading Angels and Demons, the movie seems rushed, too heavily cut and with dialogue much too clipped, though the cast (save the totally miscast assassin) is good and the sets are of course magnificent; and there are few nice surprises in the plot that those familiar with the novel might not expect. As for Da Vinci's Code, I had already seen the movie when I came to the book; I loved both and the fact that I knew the plot in detail did not at all diminish my pleasure. So, on the whole, I am certain that the second novel is the better one but whether the same holds for the movie adaptation, or I was simply prejudiced to the screen version of Angels and Demons because I'd read the novel before, I would not venture to say. Or would I have had different opinions of both novels had I read them in their original order? Or of both movies? Funny stuff that, the relationship between a novel and a movie, and especially between both and the book/movie lover, together with the order of experience in which he experience them.
Anyway, junk literature or not, religious mass hysteria or not, hideous hype or vulgar vogue, I couldn't care less: in my second encounter with Dan Brown, he remains stupendously entertaining read. I wonder if he would hold that well next time I read something of him as well.