Saturday, September 12, 2009

Yes, I Really Think May Grethe Lerum's Got An Advance Copy of The Lost Symbol

In a post to this blog yesterday, I reported that a fan of this blog had contacted me to say that a book review of The Lost Symbol had been published in Norway in advance of the novel's publication. (You can read the post, with a link to the book review, in English and Norwegian, here.)

I can now say that the fan who informed me of this was the author of the book review, May Grethe Lerum (pictured). There has been a great deal of discussion in the comment section of my earlier post regarding the legitimacy of Ms. Lerum's claim. I can say the following:
  • Ms. Lerum has supplied me with scans of the title page and copyright page of the book. (The scans are for my eyes only and I am forbidden to share them. Don't ask.) Either she is an accomplished forger (or knows one), which I doubt, or she really has the book.
  • Ms. Lerum has posted her scan of the copyright page on her blog, which is available here.
  • Ms. Lerum repeatedly expressed to me her concern that she did not wish to ruin the reading public's pleasure regarding the book. I believe that this explains why she was so vague in her review, and why she was so sparing in her details of the book's contents.
  • I have no explanations for many other items: the discrepancy noted in the comments to the previous blog post regarding the train station; why the image is reversed above; why Ms. Lerum has creepy looking mice on her blog.
  • On balance, I'd say she has the book. This would imply that her review (for which, see my previous post) is accurate in its synopsis of the novel.


  1. The photograph is reversed because it was taken by her computer. That's what it does, reverses photographs.

    If she has the book, then all I can say is that her 'review' is vague and boring. I hope The Lost Symbol is not as humdrum as she makes out.

  2. Seconding what Bad News said - my iMac takes reverse images like this.

    Personally I appreciate her care in not spoiling the novel. My main question though would be why cite Maier as an influence. Is it just because Maier mentioned a hypothetical about George Washington a few years ago, or has Brown picked up on specifics in that hypothetical (e.g. Washington as traitor, though hopefully not the Benedict Arnold as illegitimate son!)?

    And if the latter, why this strange Lapu Marie business?

    (the invisible 5th member of the Twitter team)

  3. Dear friends, Bad News and Machine.Elves/Greg:

    Thanks for clearing up the photo business--that just seemed a bit weird.

    Having spent a great deal of time with Ms. Lerum on Facebook chat yesterday, I can testify that Ms. Lerum has a great deal of concern about the potential for ruining the experience of the Dan Brown reader by posting substantive material about the content of the novel in a review. This accounts for the approach taken in her book review.

    Whether this is what the book review should have been like -- whether this is what any review should be like -- is a larger journalistic question that goes beyond my scope in this blog.

    In any case, Ms. Lerum has established her case for publishing the first book review in the world regarding The Lost Symbol.

  4. Now THIS is a book review.


No spoilers, please!

Remember the rules: No profanity, and no personal attacks, especially regarding anyone who has posted a comment. In addition, please do not discuss Masonic passwords or signs of recognition in your comments. Thank you.

The entire content of this blog is Copyright 2009-2013 Mark E. Koltko-Rivera. All Rights Reserved.