The Lost Symbol by Dan Brown was released to the media at midnight, ready to be snapped up by the book-buying public from whatever time the shops opened this morning. A hardback copy was dispatched from the publisher Transworld (where, it is said, only four people had read it) by motorcycle courier, to my house. I signed for it at approximately 1.15am, having already been asleep, in preparation. I started reading what is a 510-page novel at approximately 1.18am. I reached about a third of the way through before requiring a nap. I had a nap. I woke up and carried on reading, aware that the Times required a 600-word review by “as soon as I could do it” today – chiefly because they wanted to beat their competitors to a full review on their website. I took the book on public transport as I travelled in to the Robert Langdon-style British Library to write my 600 words. I speed-read bits of it, in order to reach the end before making my judgement. I delivered my review, at just over 600 words (unprofessional, but it will be edited for the page; this was for the website), at just before midday. I had completed my quest in under 11 hours. The review is now online – although a frustrating 90 minutes passed between delivery and publication, during which some rapid-fire sub-editing made a nonsense of two sentences, but most of what I wrote survived intact. I am very proud to have written the review of Dan Brown’s The Lost Symbol for the Times. I’m not quite sure how it happened, and I only found out I was doing it at 5pm yesterday in Caffe Nero. If it doesn’t make me a proper journalist, I think it makes me a proper book reviewer. You can read my review if you want to know what I thought of The Lost Symbol by Dan Brown, but in precis: it’s not as good as The Da Vinci Code by Dan Brown, even though it follows an identical pattern. I am a bit tired.