Origin by Dan BrownOrigin by Dan Brown
Narrator: Paul Michael
Published by Random House Audio Publishing Group on October 3, 2017
Source: Library
Genres: Thriller
Length: 18 hrs 16 mins
Format: Audiobook
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Bilbao, Spain

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.


About Dan Brown

Dan Brown

Dan Brown is the author of numerous #1 bestselling novels, including The Da Vinci Code, which has become one of the best selling novels of all time as well as the subject of intellectual debate among readers and scholars. Brown’s novels are published in 56 languages around the world with over 200 million copies in print.In 2005, Brown was named one of the 100 Most Influential People in the World by TIME Magazine, whose editors credited him with “keeping the publishing industry afloat; renewed interest in Leonardo da Vinci and early Christian history; spiking tourism to Paris and Rome; a growing membership in secret societies; the ire of Cardinals in Rome; eight books denying the claims of the novel and seven guides to read along with it; a flood of historical thrillers; and a major motion picture franchise.”

The son of a mathematics teacher and a church organist, Brown was raised on a prep school campus where he developed a fascination with the paradoxical interplay between science and religion. These themes eventually formed the backdrop for his books. He is a graduate of Amherst College and Phillips Exeter Academy, where he later returned to teach English before focusing his attention full time to writing. He lives in New England with his wife.


      • Like BermudaOnion I have a hit-miss relationship with this author’s books and alas I’ve found his latest books all a bit, well, meh! really. Not convinced this one will be any different but i’ll doubtlessly find myself drawn in by the multitude of copies that will find their way to a charity shop.

  • The Dan Brown books that took place in Paris and the Washington, D.C. area were especially amusing because I know the area. Once my daughter & I drove past one of the special locations just to see what was in the book. I don’t know Spain very well so I wonder how this one would grab me! Anyway I may have maxed out on his special approach to thrillers.

    best… mae at maefood.blogspot.com

  • I agree that there are some books that work really well in audio. I can imagine Dan Brown books would be excellent (providing the narrator/voice actor is good!). I’ve only read two of his so far (with my eyes). Personally, plot heavy books are easier for me to follow when listening.

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