Dan Brown novel hits stores under pressure to sell

Tue Sep 15, 2009 3:43pm EDT
Email This Article |
Share This Article
  • Facebook
  • LinkedIn
  • Twitter
| Print This Article | Single Page
[-] Text [+]

By Christine Kearney

NEW YORK (Reuters) - The hotly anticipated follow-up to author Dan Brown's "The Da Vinci Code" was released on Tuesday amid positive reaction from critics but the American novelist admitted he was under pressure to sell well.

"The Lost Symbol" comes six years after Brown's last book and again follows the adventures of Harvard professor Robert Langdon. It hit U.S. bookstores at midnight with an unusually large print run of 5 million copies and expectations the book can revive the publishing industry.

"There is plenty of pressure. You are following up 'The Da Vinci Code'," Brown, 45, told NBC's "Today" program in an interview that aired Tuesday. "You want to make sure that you hit it out of the park."

"The Da Vinci Code" sold 80 million copies worldwide, helped rejuvenate the book industry and was made into a film starring Tom Hanks that grossed more than $758 million, according to tracking firm Box Office Mojo.

The mystery-detective novel set in Europe caused a controversy and drew censure from the Vatican for its story lines about conspiracy and the Catholic Church.

In the "The Lost Symbol," Langdon becomes immersed in the secret world of Freemasons and their rituals taking place over 12 hours in a 600-page thriller set in Washington, D.C.

"The topic is so interesting and so mind-boggling and so complex that I needed a lot of extra time to research it and understand it to the point that I could work it into the story," Brown told "Today," explaining why it took six years.