Narrator: Paul Michael
Published by Random House Audio Publishing Group on October 3, 2017
Length: 18 hrs 16 mins
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Robert Langdon, Harvard professor of symbology and religious iconology, arrives at the ultramodern Guggenheim Museum Bilbao to attend a major announcement--the unveiling of a discovery that "will change the face of science forever." The evening's host is Edmond Kirsch, a forty-year-old billionaire and futurist whose dazzling high-tech inventions and audacious predictions have made him a renowned global figure. Kirsch, who was one of Langdon's first students at Harvard two decades earlier, is about to reveal an astonishing breakthrough . . . one that will answer two of the fundamental questions of human existence.
As the event begins, Langdon and several hundred guests find themselves captivated by an utterly original presentation, which Langdon realizes will be far more controversial than he ever imagined. But the meticulously orchestrated evening suddenly erupts into chaos, and Kirsch's precious discovery teeters on the brink of being lost forever. Reeling and facing an imminent threat, Langdon is forced into a desperate bid to escape Bilbao. With him is Ambra Vidal, the elegant museum director who worked with Kirsch to stage the provocative event. Together they flee to Barcelona on a perilous quest to locate a cryptic password that will unlock Kirsch's secret.
Navigating the dark corridors of hidden history and extreme religion, Langdon and Vidal must evade a tormented enemy whose all-knowing power seems to emanate from Spain's Royal Palace itself . . . and who will stop at nothing to silence Edmond Kirsch. On a trail marked by modern art and enigmatic symbols, Langdon and Vidal uncover clues that ultimately bring them face-to-face with Kirsch's shocking discovery . . . and the breathtaking truth that has long eluded us.
In the middle of Kirsch’s presentation regarding a breakthrough that will change the way we look at humanity’s past and future, he’s killed. And he, of course, is the only one who can release the rest of the presentation, so Langdon and the beautiful woman, this time around it’s museum director Ambra Vidal, have to follow clues to find out how to let the public know about Kirsch’s discovery. They are also helped by Kirsch’s amazingly advanced AI, Winston.
This time the art is modern, which is a world Langdon isn’t quite as comfortable with, but did make for an interesting change of pace. And I loved the tour of Spain. As always, Brown touches on history and religion,which is part of what I enjoy about his thrillers. His writing may be a bit repetitive and sometimes gives us information that we should probably already know, I enjoy them. There’s nothing wrong with something that’s just entertaining.
I do tend to listen to his books on audio rather than read them in print. 638 pages seems way too long for the plot here, but on audio it doesn’t require my full attention. It’s one of those books where it’s easy to do dishes, use the elliptical, etc., while listening.
There are two reveals at the end. The first is Kirsch’s findings which I felt a little meh about. It just wasn’t that ground-breaking and it wasn’t going to impact the world’s religions. The second was who killed Kirsch and I kind of loved the solution to that one.
Reading this book contributed to these challenges: