I recently took Dan Brown’s Master Class and he talked a bit about his novel, Angels & Demons. I saw the movie years ago, but decided to read the book.
Well, I found it a bit tedious. I never felt engaged with any of the characters. I wasn’t rooting for anyone (although at one point, I did get excited that the Catholic Church might be taken down). Of course, having seen the movie, I already knew the outcome…
It’s interesting to me that the novel has a number of problems and issues. Brown talks a lot during his class about the ticking clock, and while this novel certainly has clocks ticking, the amount accomplished in Rome during each of the hours leading up to the climax seems terribly unrealistic. I’ve been to Rome and getting around the streets takes a lot of time, then add fighting bad guys, being locked in places, and traveling more through tunnels and such, well, just not at all plausible.
The bigger issue for me was the lack of empathy I felt for the characters. I just didn’t care all that much about them, so the 10 or so hours I spent reading this work didn’t offer an emotional pay off. I like books with well-developed characters and this left me wanting something more.