Arguably the year’s biggest entertainment event arrived today in the form of Dan Brown’s The Lost Symbol, his long-awaited follow-up to The Da Vinci Code. I have been eagerly anticipating the book — and not only because I’m a huge Robert Langdon fan. Longtime readers of my Lost analysis may be (painfully) familiar with my penchant for seeing so many so-called “clues” embedded in the show the same way Brown’s super-cryptologist can spot a devious centuries-spanning conspiracy crusted in some dead painter’s canvas. And, of course, there is also my knack for projecting some seriously crazy arcana upon and into Lost — anything from spooky Freemasonry lore to the alchemical mysticism of Hermes Trismegistus to obscure and not-so obscure novels, including Brown’s own Angels & Demons.

So imagine my delight when I learned that The Lost Symbol touches upon so much of the Wikipedia-gleaned esoterica that has fed my columns over the years. Freemasonry! The Key of Solomon! Egyptian mythology! The sick, secret world of hardcore shark porn! (At least that’s what the jacket cover says on my copy of The Lost Symbol.) As I delighted in this overlap of freaky interests, I allowed myself some nutty thoughts, which tickered across the bottom of my brain in urgent, Dan Brown-esque italics. What if Lost and The Lost Symbol share the same underlying mythology? Could Brown’s book function as a kind of literary codex that unlocks the secrets of our favorite prime-time puzzle-saga? And then I thought: What if I spent the next week or so reading The Lost Symbol, with an eye toward looking for Lost links and resonances? Wouldn’t that be, like, super-super fun?! The answer is YES! Er, I mean: Yes.

And so I shall. And I hope you will do so with me. Please, get your hands on the book and read along with me, and join me here at EW’s PopWatch every other day for new entries in my “Lost = The Lost Symbol Diary.” If you join me in this journey, I can promise you at least two things: 1. a peek into the workings of my theory-making brain (because America has been waiting for THAT!); and 2. you can say that you actually read a book, and an of-the-moment, dazzle-your-friends-with-your-timely-pop-culture-knowledge book at that! Will we have also solved all the mysteries of Lost by the end, as well? Of course! Trust me: Have I ever been wrong before?

(Don’t answer that.)

The fun begins Friday. See you then!

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