HOME READING. DAN BROWN "THE LOST SYMBOL" chapters 1-5
The aim of the lesson is to express the impression a piece of fiction produces on you, analyzing the author's selection of details and lexics.
1. Read the book review by the bestseller expert Erin Collazo Miller and express your opinion of the Dan Brown's previous books.
'The Lost Symbol' by Dan Brown - Book Review
The Lost Symbol by Dan Brown is Brown's third Robert Langdon thriller. In Brown's first two Langdon books -- Angels & Demons and The Da Vinci Code -- Langdon uncovered conspiracies within the Catholic church that involved art and science. The Lost Symbol takes place in Washington D.C. and explores the secrets of Freemasonry.
Brown is not the first to use the Masons as a launching point for a thriller. Indeed, I couldn't help but compare my experience reading The Lost Symbol with watching National Treasure. I enjoyed the movie more because it took itself less seriously than The Lost Symbol and enjoyed a visual advantage (always nice to be able to see the symbols and buildings involved in a conspiracy). Still, there is plenty of Mason folklore to go around, and The Lost Symbol does a fine job of creating another mystery in our nation's capital.
So why do I consider The Lost Symbol merely an average read? First, Brown does not create anything new -- no new character development, no big surprises in plot trajectory.
Furthermore, his signatures "twists" are not nearly as tantalizing as in his previous books. After so much build up, I found myself let down by the reality of the secrets revealed in the end. Finally, there are several points when it seems as if Brown is trying to make his book more intelligent or profound than it actually is. Langdon's rants about religion and truth, when not directly tied to the mystery, are tedious and even a little preachy. In fact, the last 50 pages of the book try a little too hard to be enlightening.
My recommendation: If you're planning a trip to Washington D.C. in the next year, this would be a fun read to accompany your tour. Otherwise, unless you're a die hard Brown fan, I'd get on your library list or wait for the paperback release.
By Erin Collazo Miller, Bestsellers Expert
2. Translate the passage from the book. (chapter 4)
"The U.S. capitol building stands regally at the eastern end of the national mall, on a raised plateau that city designer pierre l’enfant described as «a pedestal waiting for a monument.» the capitol’s massive footprint measures more than 750 feet in length and 350 feet deep. housing more than sixteen acres of floor space, it contains an astonishing 541 rooms. the neoclassical architecture is meticulously designed to echo the grandeur of ancient rome, whose ideals were the inspiration for america’s founders in establishing the laws and culture of the new republic.
The new security checkpoint for tourists entering the Capitol Building is located deep within the recently completed subterranean visitor center, beneath a magnificent glass skylight that frames the Capitol Dome. Newly hired security guard Alfonso Nuсez carefully studied the male visitor now approaching his checkpoint. The man had a shaved head and had been lingering in the lobby, completing a phone call before entering the building. His right arm was in a sling, and he moved with a slight limp. He was wearing a tattered army-navy surplus coat, which, combined with his shaved head, made Nuсez guess military. Those who had served in the U.S. armed forces were among the most common visitors to Washington."
3.What charecters are used in these chapters? Which of them do you consider the central ones?
4. Find in the text of chapter 1 the detailed description of Robert Langdon's outfit. Find in the chapter 3 the description of his morning habits and read it aloud. Render it in your words.
5. Give the full list of Washington's places of interest. Pay attention on the pronounciation. What is the national Mall?
6. Read aloud the extract from the chapter 5 describing Katherine Solomon and sum it up.
"Katherine Solomon had been blessed with the resilient Mediterranean skin of her ancestry, and even at fifty years old she had a smooth olive complexion. She used almost no makeup and wore her thick black hair unstyled and down. Like her older brother, Peter, she had gray eyes and a slender, patrician elegance.
You two might as well be twins, people often told them.
Their father had succumbed to cancer when Katherine was only seven, and she had little memory of him. Her brother, eight years Katherine’s senior and only fifteen when their father died, had begun his journey toward becoming the Solomon patriarch much sooner than anyone had ever dreamed. As expected, though, Peter had grown into the role with the dignity and strength befitting their family name. To this day, he still watched over Katherine as though they were just kids.
Despite her brother’s occasional prodding, and no shortage of suitors, Katherine had never married. Science had become her life partner, and her work had proven more fulfilling and exciting than any man could ever hope to be. Katherine had no regrets."
7. Find the corresponding phrases in the original. Say if the translation is adequate or falls short of your expectations.
- Тридцатичетырехлетний соискатель рассматривал человеческий череп, внутри которого алело вино
- Роберт Лэнгдон подскочил на мягком кожаном сиденье, стряхнув остатки сна
- Она игриво покосилась на его одежду. – Форма выдает вас с головой.
- Ну а в наши дни этот элемент военного обмундирования носят конторские воители – в надежде запугать врага в ежедневных офисных битвах.
- Но главное украшение города было дальше – тот самый обелиск, который Лэнгдон увидел еще с воздуха
- Несмотря на незначительную разницу в возрасте – двенадцать лет, – Питер Соломон был ему не только другом и наставником, но и заменил отца