Archive for the ‘Dan Brown: Angels and Demons’ Category

Reading experiences and my conclusion

January 10, 2010

When I read the first pages of the book Angels and Demons of Dan Brown, the first impression I had, was that it is written in the same style as The Da Vinci Code. A woman and Langdon have to save the world from a secret order. Also the beginning with the murder is the same: the father of the woman was murdered and he is also the key to disclose the secret. Of course there are some differences and it isn’t totally written in the same style but nearly.

The short captures make it easier having fun to read  about 700 pages. The effect the short captures had on me was that the suspense grows and grows it has never been boring or godawful – I kept on reading all the time. That was very impressive. But you also have to be careful because sometimes you can get a little confused. I mean if there are many short captures there are many characters, too and so you have to be a little careful not to mix up. Dan Brown gives a very all-embracing picture of the setting and he goes in the very detail. Sometimes it is a bit too long and not really important in that part but all in all this doesn’t matter.

There are some inconsistencies in the book like Glick and Chintia chasing Langdon and Vittoria. Why don’t they notice them? Sometimes it seems like Brown omits something because first you don’t know what is going on and so on. But when you keep on reading it becomes clearer and clearer.

The most exciting part in Angels and Demons is from the kidnapping of Vittoria to the end. There it seems like with every page you turn the suspense rises more. It is incredible!

After the moment the camerlengo got mad the reader notice immediately that something is wrong! He knows the way down to the antimatter that good and the entire  atmosphere Brown describes. I think this part is the one Dan Brown has written best!

The last seconds of the countdown, when the antimatter explodes and everyone thinks that Langdon is dead this is the most evocative and most melancholic moment in the book. Again it is the atmosphere which Brown describes let me feeling  this.

In my opinion it is a masterpiece. I enjoyed reading the book and I think it was very interesting. I would recommend it on all people who like Dan Brown’s book and are interested in a mix of fiction and history like me. But you always have to be careful because not all the facts Dan Brown uses in his books are true and happened like that for sure. Well, it’s just a novel and not a history book! I think there are not many book where there is suspense from the beginning to the end and that in a such high level even that it can rise higher! Also the issues including the book are very interesting. For my entries especially the information about different aspects I had to do a little research but I think it is important and maybe useful to know something about this when I tell you all the time of it.

From my side there isn’t much to say any more because I think in my reading experiences and in my other posts comment enough, so there is just a goodbye and till tomorrow at school! If you have any questions, don’t feel afraid to ask. I know there are hard topics in the book! 🙂

Yours, Eileen

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Angels and Demons

January 10, 2010

From the beginning to the end, the angels and demons appear in the text as a key note. Langdon and Vittoria go in the secret archive of the Vatican to search in Galileo’s Diagramma the clue to the first marker of the Path of Illumination. the Path of Illumination consists of the sign (Il segno), the markers and the altars of science. These show the way to the meeting point of the Illuminati – the Chruch of Illumination.  At page 5 they find that poem which is their guide to the first marker.

From Santi’s earthly tomb with demon’s hole (–> is in Chigi-Chapel)

‘cross Rome the mystic elements ( –> earth, air, fire, water) unfold

The path of light ( –> the Path of Illumination) is laid, the sacred test

Let angels guide you on your lofty quest

Angels should guide them – they do.  At every altar of science it is an angel who is the next marker. Even at the Fountain of the Four Rivers it is a dove – the alternate symbol of an angel. The angel guides them to the Illuminati, so it could be that the angel is kind of symbol for the Illuminati – pureness.

When you link the title to the course of the story you can say that in the end the angels guide to the demon. If Langdon and Vittoria haven’t  followed the Path of Illumination, they wouldn’t have found out that the camerlengo is the one who pulls the strings. For Langdon and Vittoria the end of the Path of Illumination is not the Church of Illumination but the Sistine Chapel where all becomes clear what happened and why.

Demon is for the camerlengo science. Science can creat miracle but also demon things like weapons. Vetresca thinks that religion isn’t demon in any way.  But I think the following passage can explain the camerlengo’s opinion better than I ever could.

“But the demons of the past were demons of fire and abomination … they were enemies we could fight  – enemies who inspired fear. Yet Satan is shrewd. As time passed, he cast off his diabolical countenance for a new face … the face of pure reason. Transparent and insidious, but soulless all the same.” … ” Tell me, Mr. Kohler! How can the church condemn that which makes logical sense to our minds! How can we decry that which is now the very foundation of our society! Each time the church raises its voice in warning, you shout back, calling us ignorant. Paranoid. Controlling! And so your evil grows. Shrouded in a veil of self-righteous intellectualism. It spreads like a cancer. Sanctified by the miracles of its own technology. Defying itself! Until we no longer suspect you are anything but pure goodness. Science has come to save us from our sickness, hunger and pain! Behold science – the new God of endless miracles, omnipotent and benevolent! Ignore the weapons and the chaos. Forget the fractured loneliness and endless peril. Science is here ! But I have seen Satan’s face lurking…I have seen the peril …”

But the fact is that Vetra proofed with the demon the existence of god, religion and demon science get closer together. I think that with the stigma of the Illuminati Diamond the conflict ends. The Illuminati and the Church bridged the gap and are unified in demon so the camerlengo embodies demon with all his sins and bitterness.

Conflict: religion vs science

January 10, 2010

In Angel and Demons the conflict between religion and science is the key issue. Dan Brown wants to show in his book that science and religion cannot be tie together but that the wish of being possible is great. Dan Brown portrays that there have been many people who want bridge the gap between science and religion but that it mostly ended up in a greater one than before. I think that Dan Brown wishes too that religion and science would be tie together somehow because he grows up without any conflict of religion and science.

P. 360 ff the church explains why they believe in god although there would be reasons to doubt.  It’s a conversation between the camlerengo and a Swiss Guard boy.

” I don’t understand this omnipotent-benelovment thing.” ….” I understand the concept but there seems to be a contradiction”

“Yes. The contradiction is pain. Man’ s starvation, war, sickness…”

“Exactly! Terrible things happen in this world. Human tradegy seems to proof that God could not possibly be both all-powerful and well-meaning. If he loves us and has the power to change our situation, he would prevent our pain, wouldn’t he?”

“Do you have children Lieutenant?” – “No, signore!”

“Imagine you had an eight-year-old son … would you love him?” – “Of course”

“Would you do everything to prevent pain in his life?” – “Of course”

“Would you let him skateboard?” – “Sure, I’d let him skateboard, but I’d tell him to be careful.”

” So as this child’s father, you would give him some basic, good advice and then let him go off and make his own mistakes?”

“I would run behind him and mollycoddle him if that’s what you mean.”

“But what if he fell and skinned his knee?” – “He would learn to be more careful.”

“So although you have the power to interfere and prevent your child’s pain you would choose to show your love by letting him learn his own lessons?”

….

But on the other side there is the character Maximilian Kohler  in the book whose life was destroyed by faith. His parents didn’t want the doctors giving him medicine because they thought it is against god’s will. They only prayed that their son will get better soon, but they didn’t see that he struggle for his own life. If a doctor hadn’t give him an injection secretly he would have died. But in the end he got paralysed because his parents refused the doctors to give Kohler medicine. During he was having a temperature he doubted the existence of god and since he has known that he is paralysed he hates god, the church and religion! He loves science and thinks that only science is the real thing and that only science can proof everything which exists on earth. That that all hasn’t created god but science! 

On the way from the helicopter landed in Vatican City to the camerlengo’s office he says:

” What truth do these people possess? What proof, damn it! A book of ancient fables? Promises of miracles to come? Science creates miracles every day! …Tonight I may die at the hands of religion,… . But it will not be the first time”

 

So the conflict between religion and science that one we already know: who proofs what and how the existence of  creatures can be explained. The church explains that god acts like any human but we don’t see him – he is in our heart and science says we can remake everything what you say god has been done. So the matter is that the church can’t proof the existence of god and what he has done, but science can proof everything. This conflict exist not only in the book it exist also in our everyday life.

 

Leonardo Vertra and his daughter Vittoria are the typical persons who don’t say that bridging the gap between religion and science isn’t impossible. They both believe in god and are passionated scientists. Leonardo Vetra explained Vittoria that the fact that you can’t see god isn’t the answer at the question if god exist. He explained this to her by explaining it in “sciencists’ language”.  This is a symbol that the union of religion and science is possible.

“Father, why do you bother to pray? God cannot answer you.”

“My daughter the sceptic. So you don’t believe God speaks to man? Let me put it in your language.” … “As you probably know, Vittoria, human beings normally use a very small percentage of their brain power. However, if you put them in emotionally charged situations – like physical trauma, extreme joy or fear, deep meditation – all of a sudden their neurons start firing like crazy, resulting in massively enhanced mental clarity.”

“So what? Just because you think clearly doesn’t mean you talk to God.”

“Aha! And yet remarkable solutions to seemingly impossible problems often occur in these moments of clarity. It’s what gurus call higher consciousness. Biologists call it altered states. Psychologists call it super-sentience. And Christians call it answered prayer. Sometimes, divine revelation simply means adjusting your  brain to hear what your heart already knows.”

Also the creation of anitmatter is an important part of the try bridging the gap between science and religion. Vetra proofed the big-bang and consequently the existence of the church’s god. Antimatter would have mad it possible to connect science and religion because now it is proofed that the bible is real and the stories too – everything the church telling the people would be proofed and therefore true.

But the camerlengo doesn’t see the progress, so he destroy the plans of the Pope and Vetra. He think it is dangerous and total nonsense! He thinks that science is devil and that only the words of the chruch are true. He thinks that the existence of god mustn’t be proofed because god is a creation and a part of the people’s heart.

So the opposite of religion and science are adhere in the book although everything  it would be possible to live in peace side by side. Dan Brown shows us all possibilities of the confilct and a possible solution, too, but he shows also that it is only a wish bridging the gap and that  there would be never real peace because the gap is too big.  

In general

January 9, 2010

The plot

The plot is in general about the try of the Illuminati to destroy the Catholic church. Actually they don’t want to destroy the church, CERN and the Pope want to converge science and religion. More issues of the book are conspiracy, betrayal, conclave and gained rules of the Vatican.

The plot takes place at only one day and in the present.

There are different settings of the plot: Switzerland (CERN), Italy (Rome) and especially Vatican City.

Narration style

In spite of the 668 pages there is nearly every time suspense, so that you keep on reading automatically. The suspense arises out of the many and also short captures and the parallel  settings.  So you read more and more because you want to know what is happening next at this special setting.

It is the omniscient narrator. The language is not easy but when you keep on reading you will  understand everything. Although there are some facts and history it isn’t boring because of the fiction and action Dan Brown create. But I have to say also that the facts Dan Brown uses and pretends being true are mostly untrue. So you have to be careful what you believe and what you deny.

Main Characters

Robert Langdon

Robert Langdon is a professor of art history/symbology at  Harvard University. He always wears his Micky-Mouse watch which glows by darkness. The watch has a calming effect on him and he has it from  his childhood.

Vittoria Vetra

She is physicist and marine biologist of CERN. She is the adoptive daughter of Leonardo Vetra.

Leonardo Vetra

He is particle physicist of CERN, was a priest and still believe in god. He and his daughter create the antimatter, which should be the energy source of the future.  His life dream was always to bridge religion and science.

Maximilian Kohler

He is the director of CERN and he hates the church because it is why he has been paralysed since childhood. His parents who believed in god, didn’t want that the doctors give him medicine. If  a doctor hadn’t give him an injection secretly he would have died. Regrettably Langdon and Vittoria thought that he is “Janus” and so he died because he wanted to reveal the truth.

Carlo Ventresca (the camerlengo)

He was growing up by his mother Maria. He growed up in a very catholic way and loves his mother. At a bomb attack his mother died and he was the only who survived. Then the future Pope take him and cares about him. He has very conservative viewings on the world and so it comes that he has an argument with the Pope because the Pope has told him that he has a child. This was the catalyst of his illegal way of life. At the end it becomes clear that he is “Janus”.

summary p.469 – the end

January 9, 2010

Before you read I have to say something. Dan Brown has written this book and especially the further story very believable. You read this and you think “oh my god, what is going on there!” It seems to you very mystic and incredible. Here the suspense rises another time, because the further you read the more it become clear that something is wrong and it is!

But I decide to tell you the last part by telling you right away what is going on because elsewise it would be too complicated and in the end you wouldn’t understand anything.

… But they can’t bring the camerlengo to hospital because he begins to simulate that god is talking to him. Everyone, the people at St. Peter’s Square, see this mystic event. He runs down the necropolis of St. Peter’s Basilica and Langdon, Vittoria, some of the Swiss Guard and Glick and Chinita from BBC with their camera follow. The camerlengo explains that god tell him where the antimatter is and that he has to take it with him upstairs. Then he and Langdon fly with the helicopter short before midnight – they fly just high and not forward. When they are high enough the antimatter explodes and nobody gets hurt.

The camerlengo has jumped out the helicopter with a parachute a few seconds before the explosion and Langdon also could save himself. He has jumped without a parachute but landed safely in the Tiber river and is brought to hospital. There he watched the video of Kohler for the first time. It shows the confession of the camerlengo. He confesses the murder of Leonardo Vetra and the Pope and also that he organized an assesin. For that reason Langdon goes back to the Vatican and shows the cardinals the video. They are very shocked! Further more the camerlengo tells them that the Pope had a child. This was another motive for the murders except of his antipathy against science. The Illuminati were only a pretext to terrify the people. But Mortati , who is a cardinal, tells them the wholly truth about the  fatherhood of the Pope. The Pope didn’t beak any rule, it was only test-tube fertilisation and the camerlengo is the child of the Pope. The camerlengo didn’t know that.

 In front of public the camerlengo is burning himself  because nothing has happened as he wanted to. All the ones who are interfered in the spectacle swear not to tell everybody the truth. Langdon gets the Diamond of the Illuminati as a present and goes with Vittoria to Hotel Bernini to rest some time in peace and to enjoy their love.

Information about different aspects in my book

January 9, 2010

I think it is useful an important for you to know a little about the organisations and buildings which are mentioned in Angels and Demons.

CERN

CERN is an organisation near Geneva in Switzerland and gets the short form from its usual name: Conseil Européen  pour la Recherche Nucléaire. There scientists do very multifaceted physical basic research. Especially their big particle accelerator (=Teilchenbeschleuniger) are very famous. Today there are 20 member states. There are about 3 400 workers in CERN therefore it is worldwide the biggest research center of particle physics. More than 8000 visiting scientists of 85 nations work there at CERN experiments. 

 
The Illuminati
 
http://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Illuminatenorden
I have thought that it is better giving you a link so that you can inform yourself  better of the Illuminati who have existed really. There are so many complicated facts and history so that is would be a little too much information for you. But if you are interested  in mystic history and conspiracy theories than read this article. I think it is very interesting. The article is in German because in English it is nearly impossible to understand all the facts. When you read it you will find some differences about the Illuminati like Dan Brown portrays them, like the 1 dollar bill for example.  Have fun!
 
Symbols of the Illuminati
 
 All the symbols are in perfect symmetries which is typical for science.
 
 
at the 1 dollar bill you can see the pentagram and the pyramid         
 
   
  this is the ambigramm of the Illuminati – the sign  
  of the order
This is the Diamond of the Illuminati – the sixth sign. It includes all four elements: earth, air, fire and water. When you look at it very intensively you can see the elements 😉
 
 
 
Bernini and the buildings of the Path of Illumination (= the Path of Illumination is the way to the Church of Illumination – the hidden meeting point of the Illuminati)
 
Bernini
 
 
Gian Lorenzo Bernini was born at the 7th december 1598 in Nepal and died at the 28th november 1680 in Rome. He was one of the most outstanding Italian sculptors and architects of the baroque.
 
 
Santa Maria del Popolo –> earth
 
  
 
Chigi-Chapel                                             
 
 
   
 
 
 Habakkuk and the Angel –> marker of the Path of Illumination
 
   
 
 
St. Peter’s Square –> air
 
 
 
Santa Maria della Vittoria –> fire
 
 
 
Fountain of the Four Rivers –> water
 
 
 
Castle St. Angelo –> Church of Illumination
 
 

Summary (p.236 – p.468)

January 8, 2010

… After they got to the Pantheon and finally have found the tomb, they notice that they are wrong here. Meant is the tomb Raphael created and not where he is buried. The first altar of science is in the Chigi-chapel in Santa Maria del Popolo. Unfortunately they get there too late, so they can’t save the first cardinal of death and getting the stigma earth – the first element of science.

The assassin has told Glick and his team what is going on and so they notice that there is something more interesting to report than conclave. They follow Vittoria and Langdon to the next altar of science: air! The statue in the Chigi-chapel which is called Habakkuk and the Angel shows the direction to the next altar. The next murder will be on St. Peter’s Square. As usually there are many people on the square and so they don’t notice the murder. They notice only because a little girl find the branded cardinal bleeding to death. She is screaming and so Langdon and Vittoria get attentive.

Now the media all around the world report about the riot in Vatican City and spread the rumor that the last Pope was venomed. Vittoria and the camerlengo find out that it is true during Landon discover the altar of science of the element fire, which is in Santa Maria della Vittoria.  But like the last times they get there too late and the third cardinal, also branded,  is burning to death. Ollivetti is getting shot be the assassin and Vittoria is kidnapped. Langdon was trapped under a sarcophagus where he was hiding because the assassin wanted killing him. He was unconscious as he was saved.

The carmalengo disrupts conclave by announcing the victory of science over the church and explains this by calling the person in charge being out of faith and orientation.

Langdon find out that the altars of science build something like a cross and that the last altar of science has to be the Fountain of the Four Rivers – water. That time he get there just in time. Even so he cannot save the cardinal of being drown. Langdon know that Vittoria is in the Church of Illumination. But he doesn’t notice the marker at first. It was the dove upon the obelisk which is some kind of alternate symbol of an angle. The dove shows the way to the Castle St’ Angelo. Just in time he arrives there to save Vittoria but they have to kill the assassin to save their own lives.

Maximilian Kohler has arrived in Vatican City as the Samaritan of the Eleventh Hour. They think that he is Janus, the leader of the Illuminati and that there exist one last brand which he is going to use for the camalengo. Langdon and Vittoria want to warn the camerlengo! As they enter the room where Kohler and the camerlengo are talking, the camerlengo has already the stigma – the Diamond of the Illuminati, which includes all four ambigrams. In believe that Kohler is Janus they shoot at Kohler who gives Langdon a camcorder with a message which he shall give to the media. But Langdon thinks that it is better to keep it  by his own for the moment. Vittoria and Langdon try to get the camerlengo to hospital…

summary from p. 3 to p. 236

December 8, 2009

The book starts with a murder. Leonardo Vetra who was a physicist and former theologian was discovered murdered in is bureau in CERN. CERN is an organisation in Geneva in Switzerland, where very good scientists work and do important research. Vetra’s head was turned round and one of his eye is missing. On his chest is burned the ambigramm of the Illuminati.

So Maximilian Kohler who is the director of CERN wants Robert Langdon to come to Geneva. Robert Langdon is a symbolist of Harvard University and symbols like the ambigramm of the Illuminati is his subject. Kohler shows Langdon the corps and what is so special because of the eye and the ambigramm. Then Vetra’s adopted daughter Vittoria Vetra landed with the helicopter at CERN. She also belongs to CERN because of her work as physicist and marine biologist. But Kohler and Langdon don’t tell her what happened exactly to her father. She explains that her father wanted the unification of science and religion. He created antimatter and simulate in a canister the big bang in a lower level. It was Vittoria’s idea to create with her father a quarter of a gram of antimatter. If this mass of antimatter gets in contact with matter, there will be destruction in radius of one kilometer. They go to the labour in the underground. Vittoria was shocked when she sees that they used her father’s eye for the scanner to get inside the labour. Also the canister of antimatter was stolen. The problem is now, that there is only energy for 24 hours to stabilize the magnetic field. If the energy is used up, antimatter will hit matter.

Suddenly someone from the Vatican calls and tells Kohler that someone has the antimatter hidden somewhere in Vatican city. So Robert Langdon and Vittoria Vetra fly to Rome. Now the extend the threatend explosion would have becomes obvious. The Illuminati would destroy their big enemy the catholic church and the cardinals who are congregating in the Sistine Chapel because of conclave would be dead, too.  After telling Olivetti, the commander of the Swiss Guard, and the camerlengo what could happen, the assassin of the Illuminati calls and tells them that he has kidnapped all four favourites of the cardinals. From eight till to the explosion there will be in each hour one cardinal dead. He wants to kill them at the altars of science in Rome. In the same time the assassin calls a BBC reporter whose name is Gunther Glick, so that he can use the media for his terror attack to make the “new world” without religion public.

Langdon knows where they have to search references about the path of illumination. It’s in Galileo Galilei’s “Diagramma della Verità” which resides in the archive of vatican. The path of illumination includes the four elements and leads to the meeting place of the Illuminati. On page 5 they find a little poem with four verses. 5 is the number of science and the first verse is the way to the first altar of science. Langdon thinks that they have to get to the Pantheon because there is Raphael’s tomb of whome the first verse is about. They tell Olivetti and go there.

Dan Brown and his work

November 20, 2009

Dan Brown was born at the 22nd June in 1964 in Exeter, New Hampshire. He is married and lives with his wife in Newlon in Newland. He’s known as a famous American author of thriller fiction

He had been an English teacher before he began to write books. Because his father was a eminently respectable professor in maths at university and made church music, science and religion were no things which doesn’t belong in any way to each other – for him they aren’t totally disparate. This aspect you  nearly come always across in his books and also in Angels and Demons. People think that this makes his books popular and  this is why he has so much success. Because of the book The da Vinci Code he has become on of the most successful authors in the world. Also Angels and Demons reached to the top of the most wanted books in the world.

During his studies (Spanish history and culture in Sevilla) he got in contact with Leonardo da Vinci and the theory that he has hidden secret messages in his works. After his college degree he began a carrier as singer and songwriter, so he produced a cassette with songs for kids. 1991 he moved to Los Angeles to get more success as a musician. In that time he earned money by teaching Spanish at the Beverly Hills Preparatory School. After a little time he succeeded as musician and SynthAnimals was produced and then was available in nearly all the United States and his album has also been produced yet. 1995 his second album Angels and Demons was out, but he refused to perform his songs – he doesn’t like the spotlight, he only wants to write songs. But they wanted to force him, but he refused anyway. So for him this kind of carrier was finished.

After finishing his carrier as songwriter he is only devoted to writing books. In the thriller Digital Fortress he broach the issue of security in the internet and damage the privacy of the American people. Digital Fortress appears in february in 1998. For that he got into trouble with the NSA. For researching to get material to write  Angels and Demons he travelled a lot. Angels and Demons appears on market in april in 2000. Publicity was his own business and also his books were much criticised because of what issues his books contain.

In his books he always gives a simple answer on complicated topics like for the popularity unknown conflicts or conspiracy theory. He connects historical facts with fiction. This is the point why he is that much popular and why he is so hard criticized. This is very comprehensible because of the christian religious elements and the indirect in the case maybe direct criticism against church or religious fusions which he makes clear using mystic and criminalistic aspects.

In May 2006 The da Vinci Code was transformed into a movie where Tom Hanks got the role of the protagonist Robert Langdon. But not only The da Vinci Code is available as movie, but also Angels and Demons now.

His most important works:

  • Digital Fortress (1998)
  • Angels and Demons (2000)
  • Deception Point (2001)
  • The da Vinci Code (2003)
  • The Lost Symbol (2009)