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Origin
Cover of Origin
Origin
A Novel
by Dan Brown
The #1 New York Times Bestseller (October 2017) from the author of The Da Vinci Code.

Bilbao, Spain

Robert Langdon, Harvard professor of symbology and religious iconology, arrives at the ultramodern Guggenheim Museum Bilbao to attend a major announcement—the unveiling of a discovery that "will change the face of science forever." The evening's host is Edmond Kirsch, a forty-year-old billionaire and futurist whose dazzling high-tech inventions and audacious predictions have made him a renowned global figure. Kirsch, who was one of Langdon's first students at Harvard two decades earlier, is about to reveal an astonishing breakthrough . . . one that will answer two of the fundamental questions of human existence.
As the event begins, Langdon and several hundred guests find themselves captivated by an utterly original presentation, which Langdon realizes will be far more controversial than he ever imagined. But the meticulously orchestrated evening suddenly erupts into chaos, and Kirsch's precious discovery teeters on the brink of being lost forever. Reeling and facing an imminent threat, Langdon is forced into a desperate bid to escape Bilbao. With him is Ambra Vidal, the elegant museum director who worked with Kirsch to stage the provocative event. Together they flee to Barcelona on a perilous quest to locate a cryptic password that will unlock Kirsch's secret.
Navigating the dark corridors of hidden history and extreme religion, Langdon and Vidal must evade a tormented enemy whose all-knowing power seems to emanate from Spain's Royal Palace itself . . . and who will stop at nothing to silence Edmond Kirsch. On a trail marked by modern art and enigmatic symbols, Langdon and Vidal uncover clues that ultimately bring them face-to-face with Kirsch's shocking discovery . . . and the breathtaking truth that has long eluded us.

Origin is stunningly inventive—Dan Brown's most brilliant and entertaining novel to date.
The #1 New York Times Bestseller (October 2017) from the author of The Da Vinci Code.

Bilbao, Spain

Robert Langdon, Harvard professor of symbology and religious iconology, arrives at the ultramodern Guggenheim Museum Bilbao to attend a major announcement—the unveiling of a discovery that "will change the face of science forever." The evening's host is Edmond Kirsch, a forty-year-old billionaire and futurist whose dazzling high-tech inventions and audacious predictions have made him a renowned global figure. Kirsch, who was one of Langdon's first students at Harvard two decades earlier, is about to reveal an astonishing breakthrough . . . one that will answer two of the fundamental questions of human existence.
As the event begins, Langdon and several hundred guests find themselves captivated by an utterly original presentation, which Langdon realizes will be far more controversial than he ever imagined. But the meticulously orchestrated evening suddenly erupts into chaos, and Kirsch's precious discovery teeters on the brink of being lost forever. Reeling and facing an imminent threat, Langdon is forced into a desperate bid to escape Bilbao. With him is Ambra Vidal, the elegant museum director who worked with Kirsch to stage the provocative event. Together they flee to Barcelona on a perilous quest to locate a cryptic password that will unlock Kirsch's secret.
Navigating the dark corridors of hidden history and extreme religion, Langdon and Vidal must evade a tormented enemy whose all-knowing power seems to emanate from Spain's Royal Palace itself . . . and who will stop at nothing to silence Edmond Kirsch. On a trail marked by modern art and enigmatic symbols, Langdon and Vidal uncover clues that ultimately bring them face-to-face with Kirsch's shocking discovery . . . and the breathtaking truth that has long eluded us.

Origin is stunningly inventive—Dan Brown's most brilliant and entertaining novel to date.
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Excerpts-
  • From the cover PROLOGUE

    As the ancient cogwheel train clawed its way up the dizzying incline, Edmond Kirsch surveyed the jagged mountaintop above him. In the distance, built into the face of a sheer cliff, the massive stone monastery seemed to hang in space, as if magically fused to the vertical precipice.

    This timeless sanctuary in Catalonia, Spain, had endured the relentless pull of gravity for more than four centuries, never slipping from its original purpose: to insulate its occupants from the modern world.

    Ironically, they will now be the first to learn the truth, Kirsch thought, wondering how they would react. Historically, the most dangerous men on earth were men of God . . . especially when their gods became threatened. And I am about to hurl a flaming spear into a hornets' nest.

    When the train reached the mountaintop, Kirsch saw a solitary figure waiting for him on the platform. The wizened skeleton of a man was draped in the traditional Catholic purple cassock and white rochet, with a zucchetto on his head. Kirsch recognized his host's rawboned features from photos and felt an unexpected surge of adrenaline.

    Valdespino is greeting me personally.

    Bishop Antonio Valdespino was a formidable figure in Spain—not only a trusted friend and counselor to the king himself, but one of the country's most vocal and influential advocates for the preservation of conservative Catholic values and traditional political standards.

    "Edmond Kirsch, I assume?" the bishop intoned as Kirsch exited the train.

    "Guilty as charged," Kirsch said, smiling as he reached out to shake his host's bony hand. "Bishop Valdespino, I want to thank you for arranging this meeting."

    "I appreciate your requesting it." The bishop's voice was stronger than Kirsch expected—clear and penetrating, like a bell. "It is not often we are consulted by men of science, especially one of your prominence. This way, please."

    As Valdespino guided Kirsch across the platform, the cold mountain air whipped at the bishop's cassock.

    "I must confess," Valdespino said, "you look different than I imagined. I was expecting a scientist, but you're quite . . ." He eyed his guest's sleek Kiton K50 suit and Barker ostrich shoes with a hint of disdain. " 'Hip,' I believe, is the word?"

    Kirsch smiled politely. The word "hip" went out of style decades ago.

    "In reading your list of accomplishments," the bishop said, "I am still not entirely sure what it is you do."

    "I specialize in game theory and computer modeling."

    "So you make the computer games that the children play?"

    Kirsch sensed the bishop was feigning ignorance in an attempt to be quaint. More accurately, Kirsch knew, Valdespino was a frighteningly well-informed student of technology and often warned others of its dangers. "No, sir, actually game theory is a field of mathematics that studies patterns in order to make predictions about the future."

    "Ah yes. I believe I read that you predicted a European monetary crisis some years ago? When nobody listened, you saved the day by inventing a computer program that pulled the EU back from the dead. What was your famous quote? 'At thirty-three years old, I am the same age as Christ when He performed His resurrection.' "

    Kirsch cringed. "A poor analogy, Your Grace. I was young."

    "Young?" The bishop chuckled. "And how old are you now . . . perhaps forty?"

    "Just."

    The old man smiled as the strong wind continued to billow his robe. "Well, the meek were supposed to inherit the earth, but instead it has gone to the young—the technically inclined, those who stare...
About the Author-
  • Dan Brown is the author of numerous #1 international bestsellers, including The Da Vinci Code, Inferno, The Lost Symbol, Angels & Demons, Deception Point, and Digital Fortress.
Reviews-
  • Publisher's Weekly

    October 30, 2017
    Fans of bestseller Brown’s novels featuring Robert Langdon will probably enjoy the Harvard “symbology” professor’s fifth outing, but those who expect coherence in their thrillers will be disappointed. Langdon, last seen in 2013’s Inferno, visits the Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao, Spain, to hear a lecture by Edmond Kirsch, a former student of his who’s now a “billionaire computer scientist, futurist, inventor, and entrepreneur.” Kirsch promises in the buildup to his lecture to answer the questions, “Where do we come from? Where are we going?” Those answers, the reader is repeatedly told, will shatter the foundations of the world’s religions. When evil doers thwart Kirsch’s efforts to disseminate this great news, Langdon goes on the run, accompanied by Ambra Vidal, the stunningly beautiful director of the Guggenheim Museum, on a mission to find those responsible and to share Kirsch’s discovery with the world. The answers to Kirsch’s fundamental questions come as a letdown. Brown promises much but delivers little. Agent: Heide Lange, Sanford J. Greenburger Associates.

  • AudioFile Magazine Narrator Paul Michael dazzles in this latest Dan Brown thriller featuring symbologist Robert Langdon. At the Guggenheim in Bilbao, Spain, futurist Edmond Kirsch is assassinated in front of a live audience, including Langdon, before he can unveil two earth-shattering scientific revelations--the origin of life and the future of mankind. Langdon teams up with Ambra Vidal, the museum's curator, and a disembodied A.I. program named Winston to crack Kirsch's computer password and find out what he discovered. Michael's narration provides a tone of erudition that complements Brown's signature blend of art, architecture, history, and thriller. Michael's inspired vocal work adds further texture, though Winston, surprisingly, outshines most of the human characters. A.T.N. � AudioFile 2017, Portland, Maine
  • Publisher's Weekly

    January 22, 2018
    The fifth outing for Harvard symbology professor Robert Langdon’s combines Brown’s typical mix of sinister religious fanaticism and old-fashioned adventure tropes, but most of the fun this time comes from the author’s creative ideas for futuristic technology. The best of these is Winston, a beyond-the-cutting-edge artificial intelligence created by Edmond Kirsch, a former student of Langdon’s. After Kirsch is murdered, minutes before disclosing a world-shaking discovery about the origin of life, Winston supplies Langdon with background information, advice, and, when needed, life-saving escape tips. Reader Michael gives Winston a wry British voice (more Hugh Grant than Anthony Hopkins) and a charming attitude that easily qualifies him as the novel’s most entertaining character. When circumstances quiet Winston for much too long, the book turns dull. The rather stiff-sounding Langdon and his companion, Ambra Vidal, the “future queen of Spain,” rush breathlessly from Madrid to Bilbao to Barcelona, trying to uncover Kirsch’s secret discovery while simultaneously avoiding a loony religious hit man and the police, who believe they killed Kirsch. But it’s only when Winston returns, with his all-knowing yet likeable voice, that the energy and vitality of the story once again match the plot’s relentless activity. That’s no fault of actor Michael, who admirably keeps up with Brown’s pace throughout. A Doubleday hardcover.

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A Novel
Dan Brown
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