I went ahead and read Dan Brown‘s fun ‘n formulaic The Lost Symbol, which was a brisk guilty pleasure. It shares chromosomes with all the other Dan Brown Beach Books: cinematic pacing, Shyamalan-ish twists, elaborate world conspiracies and clunky expository dialog. These are not knocks: I wasn’t expecting Gravity’s Rainbow, I was expecting a silly paperback thrill ride, which it provided nicely.
However, I am duty-bound by my devotion to The Venture Bros. to point out that one of the main plot elements in The Lost Symbol — a shadowy clique of history’s greatest minds protecting a glistening object that can either save mankind or destroy it — seems a ripoff of the VB episode “O.R.B.”. The Venture Bros. dished up as much action and intrigue (and of course, pants-pissing humor) in that 26 minute episode than Mr. Brown did in his whole book.
Here’s a clip from [adult swim], which gives you an idea. But find and watch the whole episode for full effect.
(Hat tip to The Universe Exists for My Amusement for the funny “demotivator” image above.)