Sunday, 27 May 2018

Book Review: Origin by Dan Brown

Overview:
 The whole world is intrigued as the world renowned Visionary is all set to announce the biggest scientific breakthrough since Darwin and Copernicus. But it all begins to fall apart as he is shot minutes before his findings are presented and the whole world is stuck between grief and curiosity. It is now up to Robert Langdon and his associates to ensure that the destiny of the great Visionary is fulfilled.




Details:
Book Name: Origin
Author: Daniel Gerhard Brown
Genre: Mystery Thriller
Publisher: Doubleday
Pages: 461

About the Author:
 Daniel Gerhard Brown is an American author of thriller novels, most notably the Roberts Langdon series. He is known for his storytelling style where Robert Langdon goes on a 24 hours adventure, usually triggered by a murder. Three of his books (The Da Vinci Code, Angels and Demons and Inferno) have been adapted into Films.

Origin:
  After the release of Philosopher's Stone in 2001, the characters of the movie were etched in the mind in a way that every subsequent book was read by picturizing the actors as the characters. As is the case with Origin where every book is read by picturizing Tom Hanks in mind (Not as you picturize other actors in your mind at times) as Robert Langdon.
  Robert Langdon finds himself in the middle of yet another murder, and goes on a 24 hour journey with yet another pretty looking lady. Yes, Robert Langdon, in his 50s, known for wearing turtle necks and Harris tweed jackets manages to roam with yet another pretty lady for a whole day. There's something fishy! He's doing this for 5 books now.
  The story begins with a really big pilot and takes nearly 1/5th of the book to only set up a foundation. To give a gist, Edmond Kirsch, (btw, no spoilers) a genius computer scientist and Visionary is about to make the biggest scientific breakthrough which could change the very foundation of every society, religion and culture. He proposes to answer the life changing questions as to, “Where do we come from?” “Where are we going?” And as anticipated, he has a contradiction from Religious leaders around the world . He hosts an upscale event with influential people at the Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao to present his findings where he is shot minutes before he plans to announce his revolutionary breakthrough.
  Being said that, our Super Hero, Tom Langdon, manages to be present at the right place and at the right time, goes on a quest to release his friends' (oh. Btw Kirsch was a student of Robert Hanks and his dear friend) breakthrough by finding the cloud server where the findings are stored. Like many Super Heroes he has a pretty female side kick too. This time its the charming Ambra Vidal, who happens to be the director of the Guggenheim Museum and fiancee of the future king of Spain. Not just her, he is also accompanied by an Omniscient A.I. called
'Winston' which was created by Kirsch and helps Robert Tom Langdon in his quest.

Ups:

  • Yet another book with every chapter ending with an edgy cliffhanger, leaving the readers to read that one more chapter.
  • 'All art, architecture, locations, science and religious organizations in this novel are real'. Having said that right in the beginning, the books fill the readers with alluring facts about the art, architecture, technology, history and even the future. (that Robert Tom really is a big head!)
  • With Logic vs Faith in 'Angels and Demons', overpopulation in 'Inferno', Dan Brown has given  yet another issue to ponder upon, the future of humanity by its dependence on technology. Go ahead, read that again, take a minute and start thinking.
  • The book touches upon edgy topics like the extinction of religions, homosexuality, infertility and the extinction of humanity, which is quite forward in terms of a Dan Brown.

Downs:
  • The introduction takes forever to set up and too many sub-plots were started by the time the entire foundation is constructed.
  • 'Groundbreaking revelation', 'Revolutionary breakthrough', 'Next Darwin and Copernicus', 'more than 200 million people around the world awaits the discovery' having hyped so much for more than half of the book, the revolution turns out to be a really long speech. (say your principal motivating you to study better to avoid being thrown out of the school in the future)
  • Just like its predecessors, this is yet another maze where Robert Hanks Langdon dodges death at every milestone and finds the password which is only accessible by riddles and guessworks.


The MCU resemblance
  This may be far stretched, but when it comes to storylines in the MCU and the Robert Langdon series, there are way more similarities than just co-incidences. To begin with the book in question, Edmond Kirsch, a billionaire, genius, playboy, philanthropist is a visionary who builds the A.I. Winston, which has a British accent throughout the
book. The uncanny resemblance to Tony stark extends where his A.I. with a British accent, Jarvis has the same way of working and features as Winston.
 Yet another similarity is the point where the A.I. Winston (ok. Spoiler alert) makes an extended plan to kill his master Edmond 'for the greater good of humanity' which was the base of the movie, Avengers: Age of Ultron where Ultron (though a lot more bad guy attitude) decides to kill his makers “for humanity”.
  It doesn't stop there, remember Inferno? The book had the plot where Bertrand Zobrist(Thanos) thought that he could bring balance in the world (universe) by solving the overpopulation issue by releasing a virus (infinity gauntlet) that would destroy 1/3rd (½) of the population.
  Apart from this Brown uses 'Religion vs Science' in most of his books, which could be a parallel to 'Shield vs Hydra' and maybe few others here and there (found any? Do let me know!)

  Now lets keep everything else aside and think about this for a minute! Comment section open for discussions! 

(Also I read the Hardback version and it had that book aroma, so brownie points for that!)


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