Earlier this week, I finished reading Dan Brown’s “The Lost Symbol”. Casting about for something else to read, I picked up Chris Hodapp’s “Solomon’s Builders”. I had started reading this book a couple of months ago, and was about half way through it when I set it down to concentrate on Grand Lodge duties.
“Solomon’s Builders” is a well written and researched book and an excellent counterpoint to “The Lost Symbol”. Chris provides factual data about much of the information presented in Dan Brown’s mystery. It is interesting to note that Chris wrote “Solomon’s Builders” long before anyone knew what the plot Dan Brown’s newest offering would be. His title (“Solomon’s Builders”) was taken from the working title of and Brown’s latest book, which was speculated to be “Solomon’s Key” and ultimately became “The Lost Symbol”. As such, “Solomon’s Builders” is a completely independent effort. After reading “The Lost Symbol”, its hard to believe that Dan Brown did not borrow some from “Solomon’s Builders”.
I am reasonably sure that there will be a barrage of books that will be published in the next few months about “The Lost Symbol” or related to themes contained in it. These books will be written to cash in on the frenzy that is sure to surround Dan Brown’s latest book. However, if you are interested in Freemasonry and its influence on the founding of America, I recommend you pick up Chris Hodapp’s “Solomon’s Builders”, before you look to these “Johnny-come-latelys”, many of whom will have little or no personal knowledge of Freemasonry.
Chris does have a new book coming out later this year titled “Deciphering The Lost Symbol”. I guess he is not adverse to capitalizing on Dan Brown’s success, as well. However, knowing Chris, I am sure this will be another well written and entertaining book.