Origin by Dan Brown “Where do we come from? Where are we going?”

Where did we come from? Where are we going?

These are the essential questions posed in this thriller set in Barcelona where all the art and architecture is real, even if the questions are elusive. 

Edmond Kirsch, former student of Harvard professor Robert Langdon, has staged a dramatic presentation in which he plans to reveal his findings on the origin of man. Were we created? Did we crawl out of a primordial ooze? Or, is there a third possibility no one has yet understood? But, before he can reveal what he wants to share he is shot, setting forth a series of dramatic events such as only Dan Brown can write.

Two of the central characters are led by a computer with a British voice named Winston, in an often charming parody of Churchhill with his insight and witticisms. But, brilliant as the computer may be, it is still only a machine, and technology can be as fallible as the man who created it.

Brown closes each chapter with us hanging suspensefully on an unfinished idea, or unresolved event, so that we are compelled to go on to the next chapter. (You might be familiar with his techniques if you read The DaVinci Code.) He does a brilliant job of creating a scene, posing fascinating theories, and revealing the meaning behind symbols. Best of all, to me, is the way that he gave equal weight to science and religion, making a case for neither as he leaves it up to the reader to establish his own conclusion. 

Even though I tired, somewhat, toward the end, there is an implication about technology which is so stunning, and so unnerving, I think Origin is well worth the read. It makes me think of the famous quote by Mark Twain, “Truth is stranger than fiction.”

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7 thoughts on “Origin by Dan Brown “Where do we come from? Where are we going?””

  1. M, I love Dan Brown books and enjoyed this one. I always think his books are fun and filled with wonderful details about architecture, art, science, etc.. Plus, they always provide plenty of food for thought, just like this latest one with regards to technology and the origin of man. So glad you enjoyed this one 🙂

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    1. I’d hate to give anything away to those who haven’t read it yet, but one of the premises at the end (about technology taking us over) floored me. I can see it happening before our very eyes, even within the walls of my classroom. In church, our pastor said last week that people who are starving for love are settling for “likes”. It’s true, and I don’t know the grip of technology on everyone’s soul is going to let up. Or, end. This was a good book from Brown, better than Angels and Demons, to me, and almost as good as DaVinvi Code.

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  2. I do love Dan Brown’s stories and ideas and although I’m not always happy with their execution, I have to admit I was very fascinated by the idea behind Origin. It does indeed sound scary and frighteningly real…

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  3. I want to read this one. The topics you mentioned here are interesting and it’s been quite a while since I read a Dan Brown novel. What you said in the comment about your pastor’s thoughts on people settling for ‘likes’ instead of love is really, really sad. Even though most would consider Brown’s books ‘escapist’ literature, I always think he present ideas that make me think. I love it when books do that. Thanks!

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  4. Bellezza, Origin sounds like a very thought provoking book. I didn’t read The Da Vinci Code, but I read a lot about it (that counts for something) and saw the movie. Excellent review, as always.
    Have a wonderful week ahead!

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  5. I really enjoyed The Da Vinci Code and Angels and Demons, but haven’t read Brown’s more recent books. A woman in my book club was raving about this new release, but I really wasn’t interested. Until now. Your review and the subject about technology has me intrigued. I think my husband would also enjoy it for the same reason.

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