Angels and Demons by Dan Brown

angels_and_demonsTitleAngels and Demons

Author: Dan Brown

ISBN: 0671027360

Publication Date: 2000

Genre: (Adult) Realistic fiction

Reading Level/Interest Age:  15 and up

Plot: Robert Langdon is a Harvard symbologist who specializes in reading the significance of symbols in ancient cultures. He has recently been summoned to visit a research facility in Geneva to analyze an ambigram that said “Illuminati,” which was engraved in the skin of a murdered physicist. Langdon soon finds out that the research facility has been working on particle physics and has created antimatter, which proves that the God particle exists. This leads Langdon to suspect that the ancient secret society is back and with a vengeance against the Vatican and that this will not be the only body to turn up dead.

Critical Evaluation: Dan Brown has done an exceptional job at portraying both the scientific side and the religious side of this novel. After doing much research on the God particle topic and also the European Organization for Nuclear Research (CERN), Brown has been able to simply explain the organization’s background and the intense projects that are being carried out. On the other side of the argument, even though that the scientists have proven that there really is no God, the reader is able to gain sympathy to the religious leaders by portraying their characters as compassionate individuals that will save face even under ridicule.

Reader’s Annotation: The Vatican is under attack by the ancient secret society called the Illuminati and Robert Langdon must do all in his power to stop them.

Author: Retrieved from Dan Brown’s official website –

Dan Brown is the author of numerous #1 bestselling novels, including The Da Vinci Code, which has become one of the bestselling novels of all time as well as the subject of intellectual debate among readers and scholars. Brown’s novels are published in 52 languages around the world with 200 million copies in print.

In 2005, Brown was named one of the 100 Most Influential People in the World by TIME Magazine, whose editors credited him with “keeping the publishing industry afloat; renewed interest in Leonardo da Vinci and early Christian history; spiking tourism to Paris and Rome; a growing membership in secret societies; the ire of Cardinals in Rome; eight books denying the claims of the novel and seven guides to read along with it; a flood of historical thrillers; and a major motion picture franchise.”

The son of a mathematics teacher and a church organist, Brown was raised on a prep school campus where he developed a fascination with the paradoxical interplay between science and religion. These themes eventually formed the backdrop for his books. He is a graduate of Amherst College and Phillips Exeter Academy, where he later returned to teach English before focusing his attention full time to writing.

Curriculum Ties:

  • Science vs. religion

Booktalking Ideas:

  • Those who have a religious faith, what would your thoughts be if the God particle was discovered?

Challenging Issues:

  • Violence
  • Graphic material
  • Religious viewpoints

Defensive Maneuvers:

  • I would be sure to study and memorize the library’s collection policy.
  • The Library Bill of Rights must also be brought to the challenger’s attention stating that the library is an information institution that provides both information and ideas.
  • Have both good and bad reviews (from respected sources) about the book at hand.
  • Remember to mention the awards and honors that the item has received.
  • Be sure to listen to the person who is challenging the book and do not interrupt them while they are speaking. Try to understand where the patron is coming from when he or she states their concerns about the material.
  • When you respond to the challenger, have a calm and respectable tone informing them that the library must do all that it can to provide intellectual freedom to its patrons, young and old.

Why This Book? After I had read this and being unaffiliated with any religion, this book opened my eyes to the thought of religion. I had never taken into consideration on some of the points that were brought up about faith and God. This created a more open mind in me and I hope this will do the same for others.


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