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Old 03-05-2013, 02:57 AM   #1
Gazella
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Books similar to Dan Brown's

I'm looking for novels where the main protagonist tries to decipher codes and symbols and solve riddles, also I'd be very much interested if the story contains historical/scientific references. Any recommendations?
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Old 03-05-2013, 09:13 AM   #2
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I'm looking for novels where the main protagonist tries to decipher codes and symbols and solve riddles, also I'd be very much interested if the story contains historical/scientific references. Any recommendations?
Umberto Eco's "The Name of the Rose" is probably the architypal novel of the type that you describe. Dan Brown is a pale imitation.

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Old 03-05-2013, 09:25 AM   #3
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I second Harry's suggestion.

Also, The Rule of Four by Ian Caldwell & Dustin Thomason.
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Old 03-05-2013, 09:32 AM   #4
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Also, The Rule of Four by Ian Caldwell & Dustin Thomason.
I haven't come across this one. Just looked it up on Amazon UK, and I see it's being released as an eBook (in the UK at least) on 28th March. It sounds like my type of book, so I've pre-ordered it - thanks for the recommendation!

This is a book which seems to polarize its readers. 88 1-star reviews compared with 15 5-star reviews! But, from the sound of it, the 1-star reviews are from people complaining that it's a book which makes them think (as "The Name of the Rose" also does).
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Old 03-05-2013, 09:33 AM   #5
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Thank you both for the recommendations. The Name of the Rose seems very interesting. Have to read that one.
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Old 03-05-2013, 09:34 AM   #6
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Thank you both for the recommendations. The Name of the Rose seems very interesting. Have to read that one.
I do recommend it. It's not a "light read", but it repays the effort required.

There's a very good film version of it, starring Sean Connery.
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Old 03-05-2013, 09:53 AM   #7
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I haven't come across this one. Just looked it up on Amazon UK, and I see it's being released as an eBook (in the UK at least) on 28th March. It sounds like my type of book, so I've pre-ordered it - thanks for the recommendation!

This is a book which seems to polarize its readers. 88 1-star reviews compared with 15 5-star reviews! But, from the sound of it, the 1-star reviews are from people complaining that it's a book which makes them think (as "The Name of the Rose" also does).
I'll be honest: I bought/read it on a whim quite a while back and have never bothered to read any reviews of it. This is the first I've seen the general "opinion" of readers concerning this book, and I had no idea it was rated so low (162 5-stars to 392 1-stars in the US). Perhaps I just have bad taste in books.
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Old 03-05-2013, 09:56 AM   #8
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I'd have said Eco's Foucault's Pendulum was a more direct analogue to Dan Brown. Dan Brown done right, you might say. I really loved it, but again, not a light read.
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Old 03-05-2013, 09:57 AM   #9
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Most of the UK 1-star reviews are along the lines of "It's not like The Da Vinci Code". I enjoyed The Da Vinci Code, but I also enjoy books which are a bit more intellectually challenging, which this book sounds as though it it. I'll let you know my opinion of it after I've read it .
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Old 03-05-2013, 10:41 AM   #10
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Peter May's Dry Bones has many of the elements you are looking for. A forensic scientist unravels clues left from an old murder case in France.
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Old 03-05-2013, 11:51 AM   #11
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I do recommend it. It's not a "light read", but it repays the effort required.

There's a very good film version of it, starring Sean Connery.
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I'd have said Eco's Foucault's Pendulum was a more direct analogue to Dan Brown. Dan Brown done right, you might say. I really loved it, but again, not a light read.
I've never heard of the author whom I assume is Italian or Spanish until this thread. I browsed his other books and Umberto Eco is exactly the author I'm looking for. Foucault's Pendulum as well as the other one mentioned in this thread have elements of history in them which I love. Also, I've just added The Prague Cemetery and Baudolino to my wish list.
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Old 03-05-2013, 01:27 PM   #12
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As noted by others, Brown's works are easy summer reads but Eco is anything but easy. In terms of flavor, I think Ken Follett's historical novels felt similar.
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Old 03-05-2013, 01:48 PM   #13
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As noted by others, Brown's works are easy summer reads but Eco is anything but easy. In terms of flavor, I think Ken Follett's historical novels felt similar.
I've been wanting to read his Century Trilogy for some time but never got around to doing so. Is this the one you're referring to?
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Old 03-05-2013, 02:11 PM   #14
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The Name of the Rose is a great book and well worth reading again. And as mentioned was a good movie staring Sean Connery.
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Old 03-06-2013, 09:57 AM   #15
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I like the Cotton Malone series by Steve Berry. Each book revolves around a different historical mystery that needs to be decoded, and his adventures are spread all across the globe.
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