The Illuminati and other conspiracy theories – Angels and Demons book review.

There seems to be something in human nature that generates conspiracy theories. We seem to be very uncomfortable with the randomness of life, always looking for ways to impose order and to take a little control. Most individuals have irrational things they do in order to retain the feeling that they are in control of their life. Conspiracy theories seem to be an extreme expression of this: if the terrible thing that’s happening is actually the result of a secret plot by the Illuminati, Priory of Sion, Catholic Church, Masons, or The Royal Antediluvian Order of Buffaloes, then

a) we might be able to stop them and, possibly more importantly,

b) we’ve got someone to blame!

If you do a quick google of “Illuminati” the articles on first page will tell you how the European refugee crisis is a illuminati plot to destroy the European white race (btw there is no white race, there is no more genetic variation between a white man and a black man as there is between any two randomly chosen white men, substitute any colour you want). You can also find out how Lady Gaga is actually a CIA/Illuminati stooge designed to corrupt the minds of a generation as part of mass experiments in mind control. Some of the comments beneath these articles are great. Under a title “The Priory of Sion is Real” I found this comic gem:

imageI generally think these conspiracy theories are nonsense, but at the same time they are very entertaining, which brings me to Angels and Demons.

image

Bernini – The ecstasy of Saint Theresa

I’ve read three Dan Brown books: The DaVinci Code, The Lost Symbol and, Angels and Demons. All three are very similar, same lead character, lots of decoding mysterious clues to follow a trail, psychopathic killer stalking the night and the whole book takes place in a short period of time, less than 24 hours in the case of Angels and Demons. Brown’s writing style has been heavily criticised but I have to say I didn’t find it a problem, the books are thrillers, they are very fast paced and that’s how I tend to read them. What they lack in prose they make up in action, even if it is all a bit far fetched. You have to make a conscious effort to suspend disbelief, which some people have found difficult because Brown puts statements at the front saying that basically it’s all true. I just read that, think “yeah,right” and get on with it. They are the sort of book that are great for going on holiday, but you probably wouldn’t study them as a work of art.

Angels and Demons, about an illuminati plot to destroy the Vatican, is the first of the series and I actually think it’s the best. It helps that it is set in Rome which I visited a couple of years ago and I’ve visited some of the places where the action is set, but also the story just felt a bit neater to me. Without giving away too much of the plot, many of the clues are to do with Renaissance art work, such as Bernini’s sculpture above, and again that tallies with my own interest in art. If you are looking for a thriller that rattles on at a good pace then I recommend it.

By the way, The Royal Antediluvian Order of Buffaloes is real, my grandad was a member.

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