Title: Angels and Demons
Author: Dan Brown
Length: 608 pages
Summary: An ancient secret brotherhood.
A devastating new weapon of destruction.
An unthinkable target.
World-renowned Harvard symbologist Robert Langdon is summoned to a Swiss research facility to analyze a cryptic symbol seared into the chest of a murdered physicist. What he discovers is unimaginable: a deadly vendetta against the Catholic Church by a centuries-old underground organization -- the Illuminati. Desperate to save the Vatican from a powerful time bomb, Langdon joins forces in Rome with the beautiful and mysterious scientist Vittoria Vetra. Together they embark on a frantic hunt through sealed crypts, dangerous catacombs, deserted cathedrals, and the most secretive vault on earth...the long-forgotten Illuminati lair.
1. What is your view of Robert Langdon? What motivates him to find out more about the circumstances of Leonardo Vetra's death? Is it merely academic interest? Aside from his scholarly knowledge, what else in Langdon's background helps him succeed during this adventure?
2. Angels & Demons is filled with examples of science versus religion, a debate that has raged for centuries. Is there room in the world for both science and religion? Is one likely to render the other obsolete? Would you rather live in a world without science...or in a world without religion?
3. Had you heard of the Illuminati before reading Angels & Demons? The Illuminati is rumored by some to be active today. Do you believe this is true? What is the enduring fascination with conspiracy theories? Given what Dan Brown reveals about the history of the Illuminati, is their alleged vendetta against the Vatican justified?
4. Camerlengo Carlo Ventresca emerges as one of the most complex characters in the story. What was your opinion of the camerlengo when he is first introduced? How about by the end of the book?
5. What role do the media play in the events that unfold? How about Glick and Macri in particular? The media were not interested in covering the election of a new pope until there was tragedy involved. How much influence do the media have on what information is relayed to the public? Is it true, as Glick believes, that "viewers didn't want truth anymore; they wanted entertainment" (190)?
6. The novel takes place during a 24-hour period. How does this narrative structure heighten the suspense in the story? What red herrings does the author use to keep the reader guessing? Did you anticipate any of the events in the story?
7. Discuss the novel's ending. Do you think the Vatican (and Robert and Vittoria) made the right decision to keep the events that took place secret from the public?
8. In an interview on his website (www.danbrown.com), Dan Brown said that "The final message of the novel, though, without a doubt, is a positive one." What do you see as the ultimate message of the book?
You can answer all or just a few of the questions. It's your call. But, you know, more than one, please? Otherwise it's boring.
Ready? Set? GO.