Dan Brown’s next there’s no word for it but blockbuster, The Lost Symbol, is shortly to hit the shelves. Brimming with anticipation? Not I. If you look in the right corners of the net, however, you’ll find that someone leaked the opening excerpt as quoted in the exclusive press release.

The Lost Symbol

a Robert Langdon novel
by Dan Brown

Chapter 1

Robert Langdon woke, finding himself in the bed in which he had gone to sleep in the night before. The duvet he had chosen to drape over his slumbering body was resplendent with a repeating stencil of Leonardo’s helicopter design, which was widely regarded amongst all the world’s leading aviation experts as years ahead of its time. On his pillow, the enigmatic smile of Princess Leia welcomed him to a day that would prove just as enigmatic as her smile.

In the shower, Langdon lathered and rinsed before stepping out and drying himself with a towel. He stared, lost in thought, at the watery suds spinning away downwards into the plughole.

Clockwise, he thought. Always clockwise.

Chapter 2

Langdon waited for the coffee in his Bialetti Moka Express to come to the boil, browsing the web on his Research In Motion brand hand-held pocket-sized wireless Blackberry device. 60 per cent of new Blackberry customers are from the consumer segment of the wireless device market. He attributes this to the company’s focus on continually enhancing the multi-functional capabilities and usability of the device.

Robert confidently expected his new literary agent, Ron W. Band, to be in touch soon about his new manuscript, but there was nothing in his email account inbox as yet, apart from numerous invitations to accept investment down payments from Nigerian princes. Langdon smiled ruefully and shook his head, feeling a deep humanitarian sympathy for anyone so lacking in the intuitive grasp of hidden meanings as to be drawn into such a manipulative spam scheme.

Langdon’s stomach rumbled. I’m hungry, he thought, and went to the cupboard to get some food, opening it. Inside, he realised he had eaten the last of his cereal the night before. All that was left was… of course.

Chapter 3

Langdon opened the tin of Alphabeti Spaghetti with the electric tin opener attached to the wall beside his cooker and tipped the tasty lexicon into a pan, lighting the hob beneath it in order to heat it before eating. The word lexicon typically referred to a dictionary, esp. one of an ancient language such as Greek or Hebrew – but this one was, apparently, in Latin.

As the first bubbles of tomato sauce began to form and burst, Langdon took an antique wooden spoon which he had been presented with for his outstanding contribution to recognition at the International Linguistics Discovery Foundation the previous summer and began to stir the characters in a gentle anti-clockwise motion. He stared at them, lost in thought – then he stopped, stunned, as though he couldn’t believe what his eyes were reading him. Then he looked up, stunned.

Oh my God, Robert Langdon thought.

I’m supposed to be in the Northern Hemisphere.

Chapter 4