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Old 09-19-2009, 01:50 AM   #1
Neil
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The Lost Symbol -- WEIRD HAPPENING

I have no idea what Forum to put this into....

I ordered the Kindle edition of THE LOST SYMBOL by Dan Brown and started to read it earlier yesterday. In one of the opening chapters he gives the phone number for Peter Solomon who is a character in the book. Now, in all the years I have been reading novels I have often seen 555 numbers and other numbers that would lead to phone company messages and the like. This number was odd in that it looked, well, real. It was a number in the 202 (Washington, DC) area code. What the heck, I decided to call it.

I got Peter Solomon's answering machine. The message said it was full and could not take messages. It was a nice touch I thought.

Then early tonight I am reading on Dan Brown's site that if you decoded some complex symbology on the cover that 33 signed copied would be given away. And, another announcement said that the Quest Line was now open.

Well, I called again. Even though it was a phone number published "in the clear" and not requiring any decoding effort. This time the answering machine was not full. Instead I was invited to leave my call-back phone number. Which I did. About ten minutes later the phone rang. My wife picked it up and said, "It's for you. He says he is Peter Solomon."

I picked up the phone and was asked if this was the phone that called the number and where did I get the phone number? I was a little non-plussed, the voice sounded angry, annoyed. I said, well, it was published in Dan Brown's new book. Meanwhile I am thinking, "What's going on? I can't have been the only one to call?"

"Peter Solomon" explains he is a friend of Dan Brown's and is out of the country. The phone audio is going in and out, in and out, wavering like a satellite phone call. He says he can't believe it: "That ***** actually used my name and published my phone number???" So I say that's about the size of it while thinking that nooooo way is a major publisher going to let an author prank a friend. Are they??? And also, I mean the book sold a million copies the first day I simply can't be the only person who calls phone numbers in books. So I think of what it says on the web site.

I apologize but explain that I've always wanted to meet Dan Brown and it must be great to be his friend and I have just started the book but would love to get a signed copy. Well, the audio is fading in and out and I'm thinking either this is really a satellite call I could lose any minute or it's a pretty neat audio trick.

So "Peter Solomon" tells me that Dan Brown is going to give a lecture in a few days and gives me the name of the place and the time. Now, I don't think I should reveal that here. He also tells me to tell Dan Brown something for him which is a trifle insulting but which could well be a secret passphrase to identify myself. He says that "I'm sure Dan will have a free, signed copy for you."

I call again from two different phones. I ask three friends to call. No one else ever gets a callback.

So now I have to decide whether to board the dog, drive about five hours and go an unlisted lecture. My wife thinks that I am completely nuts.

I think I'm going to go though.....
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Old 09-19-2009, 02:07 AM   #2
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Oh, most definitely go, and please tell us all about it!

I love things like this
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Old 09-19-2009, 02:10 AM   #3
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You have 2 choices as i see it.

1. Go, it's fake and you have had a day (or 2) out and seen a bit of the country and a story to tell your mates how you fell for a practical joke.

2. Dont go and it's real and you missed out on the opportuinity to meet Dan Brown and get a signed copy of the book.

Bit of a no brainer if you ask me. But then again it's not me
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Old 09-19-2009, 03:31 AM   #4
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I called the number in the book as well (I was just too ashamed to admit it). I got the full voicemail too.

You have to go.

**Edit**

And you have to tell us about it on this thread. Sorry to be so bossy, but take one for the team.

Last edited by Superlucky; 09-19-2009 at 03:33 AM.
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Old 09-19-2009, 03:34 AM   #5
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Clever marketing, or what? I'd give it a go. Either way, you win. If it is a prank, you can flog the idea to a newspaper (The Lost Symbol will be hot for at least two more weeks). If it's for real, you'll have a story that's worth a few bucks. G'luck. Neil
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Old 09-19-2009, 07:03 AM   #6
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I love it!!

If you are able to go and see what's going on, at least it's an adventure.

Cheers
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Old 09-19-2009, 10:16 AM   #7
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Old 09-19-2009, 10:28 AM   #8
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If you do attend the lecture, scan the audience for someone who is "broad and tall, with ghost-pale skin and thinning white hair. His irises were pink with dark red pupils."
And - remember the secret handshake!
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Old 09-19-2009, 10:57 AM   #9
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I'm definitely going to try and be there. The logistics are a bit difficult but I think it is doable. And, even if it doesn't pan out, well it'll be an adventure!!

On Monday I am going to call the venue. But I have a feeling if this is secret they won't be able to tell me so even if it is true they might answer negatively. I also reverse looked up the phone number that called me back and it was not out of the country but was in a city in California registered to a different name than Peter Solomon. Googling the city and the publisher of the book I found that at least one of their offices is in that small city so that's a positive.

Well, we will see! I will definitely report back here!
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Old 09-19-2009, 11:27 AM   #10
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Old 09-19-2009, 11:36 AM   #11
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Old 09-19-2009, 01:09 PM   #12
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Oh, that's cool! Yeah, you definitely have to go! And tell us what happened!
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Old 09-19-2009, 01:12 PM   #13
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Sounds like fun! Too bad they didn't make it an online lecture - that way lots of people could go. Very cool, and I hope you go so that we can all vicariously enjoy your adventure.
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Old 09-19-2009, 01:53 PM   #14
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Old 09-19-2009, 02:06 PM   #15
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Be sure to tell at least ONE person where you are going....
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