Dan Brown is an author who for most of us doesn’t need an introduction. The Dan Brown books for his Robert Langdon series have sold millions of dollars all over the years, making the author one of the highest-paid authors ever. In fact, in 2018 he was the fifth highest-paid author after James Patterson, J.K. Rowling, Stephen King, and John Grisham. The Da Vinci Code is known even by people who haven’t touched a book in decades due to the movie featuring Tom Hanks.
For anyone who hasn’t read the entire Robert Langdon series, here is the order of the Dan Brown books.
Robert Langdon Series
- Angels And Demons (Robert Langdon #1), 2000
- The Da Vinci Code (Robert Langdon #2), 2003
- The Lost Symbol (Robert Langdon #3), 2009
- Inferno (Robert Langdon #4), 2013
- Origin (Robert Langdon #5), 2015
Other Dan Brown Books
Dan Brown Books Summaries
Reading the Dan Brown books in order for his Robert Langdon series is not necessary, as each story is independent from the other. However, as many of us, thriller book readers enjoy reading our series in order, I do recommend picking them starting from Angels & Demons. If you have already read The Da Vinci Code, you can always go back and read the first Robert Langdon book now.
Angels and Demons
Robert Langdon is a world-known symbologist who is asked to go to a Swiss research facility to analyze a cryptic symbol that was burned into the chest of a physicist that was recently murdered. His research uncovers a conspiracy against the Catholic Church by an ancient organization, the famous Illuminati. To save the church, Robert has to work together with Vittoria Vetra, an Italian scientist who helps him find his way into the Illuminati’s secret vault.
The Da Vinci Code
Dan Brown’s most famous book to date, The Da Vinci Code features once again Robert Langdon, this time in Paris. Another body has been found, yet again carved with ancient symbols, and Robert is the only one who can find out what they mean. This time, he works with French cryptologist Sophie Neveu, and together they follow a strange trail of clues leading to the works of Leonardo Da Vinci. And once again, we meet another secret society, this time Priory of Sion, which had as a member not only the dead curator but also famous people like Sir Isaac Newton, Victor Hugo, and Da Vinci himself.
The Lost Symbol
Now Robert Langdon is back in the U.S., giving an evening lecture at the Capitol Building. During the presentation, a strange artifact is discovered in the building, one that has five strange symbols on it. Robert Langdon, being a symbologist by trade, is asked to help translate. Shortly after, however, Langdon’s mentor, Peter Solomon, so Robert now has to really devote his time to the symbols inscribed on the artifact to find his way to Peter to save him. The whole story coveres only 24 hours, but what action-packed hours those are!
In Inferno, Robert Langdon finds himself back in Italy. This time, however, he wakes up in a hospital with no recollection of his last 36 hours. Within his items, however, he discovers a strange item, and connected to it he discovers that a ruthless assassin is after him. Now he has doctor Sienna Brooks as ally, and together they not only try to flee the assassin but also to put the pieces of the puzzle together before it’s too late. As usual with the Dan Brown books, the story takes place within a day, so the action is non-stop.
Origin, the latest offering by Dan Brown, finds Robert Langdon, our favorite symbologist at the ultramodern Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao. He is attending a major announcement of a discovery that is supposed to change the future forever. The presentation held by Edmond Kirsch, a billionaire and former student of Langdon, reveals two things so strange and Earth-shattering that they could, indeed, change the course of history of humankind. When during the presentation chaos starts, the discovery is in grave danger of being forever lost. Now Robert Langdon, accompanied by the museum director Ambra Vidal, who used to work with Kirsch, are not only fleeing from danger from Bilbao, but also trying to stop all those who want to silence the voice and legacy of Edmund Kirsch forever.
The book that started Dan Brown’s writing career. Susan Fletcher is a cryptographer for the NSA. They ask her for help when they encounter a code they cannot break. She soon discovers that the unbreakable code holds the entire NSA hostage in a way that it could cripple the U.S. Intelligence for good if is not stopped in time before it’s released.
Deception Point takes us to the Arctic ice where NASA satellites have discovered a strange rare object buried deep in the ice. The discovery, if revealed, could have major implications for the upcoming U.S. presidential elections, however, The White House first needs to make sure the discovery is not a dud. So they send intelligence analyst Rachel Sexton on site along with a team of experts to investigate. However, what awaits them there is something else entirely. Not only assassins are now chasing them but the discovery itself could bring the whole world into chaos if revealed.
Dan Brown Biography
The author Dan Brown was born in Exeter, New Hampshire, in 1964. He was the eldest of three children. He attended Phillips Exeter Academy, and as his father was a mathematics professor, and writer of textbooks at that very school, Dan spent quite a lot of time at the school campus where he was singing in the church choir and attended church camp. His mother served as leader of a church choir In an interview he mentioned that he felt he grew up at that very campus, being so much there.
Following high school graduation in 1982, he attended Amherst (Massachusetts) College, from where he graduated in 1986 with a degree in English and Spanish. After college, he wanted to pursue a career in music, so he moved to California to become a song writer and pianist. During this time, he also taught Spanish at Beverly Hills Preparatory School to pay the bills. This is where he met his wife, Blythe Newlon, who was 12 years older than he was.
His music career never really took off, so he decided to dabble in writing. He wrote his debut book in 1987, which he titled 187 Men to Avoid. The book, co-authored with his wife Blythe Newlon, was a women’s dating survival guide for those who want to find Mr. Right, and it was published in 1995 under the pen name Danielle Brown.
In 1993, when he completely gave up the idea of a career in music, Dan Brown returned to Exeter faculty to teach English and creative writing. This is the very school that sparked the inspiration for the first Dan Brown book, Digital Fortress. It happened after the US Secret Service made a visit to the school to talk to a student who, in an email, made a joke about killing the president.
This incident made an impact on the author, as he began becoming interested in covert intelligent agencies, clandestine organizations, and code breakers. Two years later, Angels and Demons was published, which became the first Robert Langdon book. Each of the next Dan Brown books had some secrets, clandestine organizations, and politics involved in one way or another.
Also, the book that made an impact on Dan was Sidney Sheldon’s Doomsday Conspiracy. After reading this book, he thought he could write like this as well, and the rest is history.
Dan Brown became a full-time author in 1996. He married Blythe the next year, in 1997, and in 1998, the first Dan Brown book, Digital Fortress, was published.
The book that really made Dan Brown famous was the Da Vinci Code. It sold 6,000 copies on the very first day it was released. During the first week of publication, it climbed to the top of New York Times Bestseller List. The book soon became the fastest-selling adult novel ever with around 40 million copies sold.
In 2004, Dan Brown and his siblings, Valerie and Gregory, established Richard G. Brown Technology Endowment, donating $2.2 million to the Phillips Exeter Academy. This was a way for them to honor their father who taught at the academy for 25 years. The money would provide computers and other high-tech equipment to students in need. The author’s father, Richard Brown, taught there until 1997 when he retired. Over the years, he wrote a textbook Advanced Mathematics: Precalculus With Discrete Mathematics and Data Analysis, which is still used for teaching advanced mathematics. In 1989, Richard Brown was awarded by President George H.W. Bush the Presidential Award for Excellence in Science and Mathematics Teaching
By early 2006, Dan Brown’s bestselling novel, The Da Vinci Code, earned the author close to $200,000. The same year, Random House, the author’s publishing house, was battling a copyright infringement case started by authors Michael Baigent and Richard Leigh who sued Random House. They said that Dan Brown stole their ideas for The Da Vinci Code from their book Holy Blood Holy Grail, which was published back in 1982 and took the authors five years to write. Random House won that case when a high court judge rejected the claim.
Incidentally, it was also 2006 when The Da Vinci Code was released at the cinema, as a bestselling movie featuring Tom Hanks, directed by Ron Howard. Dan Brown was credited with being the executive producer and scriptwriter.
Especially after the movie was out, it garnered a lot of attention, most of it good, but also some bad. Many religious institutes, especially the Catholic Church called it “Anti Christian.”
Is The Da Vinci Code a true story? Dan Brown mentioned that 99% is true in terms of historical information included, even though the actual story involving Dan Brown is fiction. At the beginning of the book, the author added a section titled Facts, where he describes what is real within the pages.
Dan Brown himself wrote the following about what is true in his book:
99 percent of it is true. All of the architecture, the art, the secret rituals, the history, all of that is true, the Gnostic gospels. All of that is … all that is fiction, of course, is that there’s a Harvard symbologist named Robert Langdon, and all of his action is fictionalized. But the background is all true.
The Lost Symbol, the third Robert Langdon book, was released three years later, in 2009. While Angels and Demons (2009), The Da Vinci Code (2006), and Inferno (2016) were made into movies, The Lost Symbol will become a TV series with the tentative title Langdon. It is set to air in 2020.
What is Dan Brown’s new book called? The latest book written by Dan Brown is called Origin, published in 2015. Since there are usually 3-5 years between the Dan Brown books’ releases, we should expect a new novel by the author any time soon now.
In addition to writing books, Dan Brown is also teaching writing thrillers. He has a masterclass on this very topic, which is used by many new and upcoming writers who want to learn how to write books better.
Praise for the Dan Brown Books
An unholy mixture of cheese and corn, with all the twists and turns of a 12-inch ruler. Yet is wonderfully addictive. (Daily Telegraph for The Da Vinci Code)
Dan Brown has to be one of the best, smartest, and most accomplished writers in the country. THE DA VINCI CODE is many notches above the intelligent thriller; this is pure genius. (Nelson DeMille)
Dan Brown is my new must-read. THE DA VINCI CODE is fascinating and absorbing — perfect for history buffs, conspiracy nuts, puzzle lovers or anyone who appreciates a great, riveting story. I loved this book. (Harlan Coben)
The Da Vinci Code sets the hook-of-all-hooks, and takes off down a road that is as eye-opening as it is page-turning. You simply cannot put this book down. Thriller readers everywhere will soon realize Dan Brown is a master. (Vince Flynn)
I would never have believed that this is my kind of thriller, but I’m going to tell you something–the more I read, the more I had to read. In The Da Vinci Code, Dan Brown has built a world that is rich in fascinating detail, and I could not get enough of it. Mr. Brown, I am your fan. (Robert Crais)
Angels and Demons is one hell of a book — I had a hard time putting it down and I didn’t get any work done until I finished it. Congratulations to Dan Brown for crafting an intriguing, imaginative, and very suspenseful read. (Dale Brown)
A brisk new book that pits creationism against science, and is liable to stir up as much controversy as The Da Vinci Code did. In Origin, the brash futurist Edmond Kirsch comes up with a theory so bold, so daring that, as he modestly thinks to himself in Brown’s beloved italics, “It will not shake your foundations. It will shatter them.” Kirsch is of course addressing The World, because that’s the scale on which Brown writes. Brown and serious ideas: they do fit together, never more than they have in Origin. (Janet Maslin)
- Dan Brown official author website
- Dan Brown teaches writing thrillers masterclass
- The Guardian article on the Dan Brown lawsuit in 2006