Reading Guide Questions
Please be aware that this discussion guide may contain spoilers!
- What is your view of Robert Langdon? What motivates him to find out
more about the circumstances of Leonardo Vetra's death? Is it merely
academic interest? Aside from his scholarly knowledge, what else in
Langdon's background helps him succeed during this adventure?
- Discuss the other characters' motivations for their actions, both the
"villains" and "heroes" in the story, including Vittoria, the Hassassin, the
camerlengo, Cardinal Mortati, and Maximilian Kohler.
- Angels & Demons is filled with examples of science versus
religion, a debate that has raged for centuries. Is there room in the world
for both science and religion? Is one likely to render the other obsolete?
Would you rather live in a world without science...or in a world without
- Were you aware of the existence of CERN prior to reading this book?
What is your opinion of the work they conduct, particularly in regard to
- Discuss Vittoria's role in the story. How does her knowledge as a
scientist come into play? Leonardo Vetra was both a scientist and a priest.
How did he reconcile these two seemingly disparate entities? In what ways
did her father's beliefs influence Vittoria's own opinions of science and
- When he first meets Maximilian Kohler, Langdon tells him he is "undecided
on miracles... . I study religious symbology -- I'm an academic, not a
priest" (21). Does Langdon change his view on miracles by the end of the
- Had you heard of the Illuminati before reading Angels & Demons?
The Illuminati is rumored by some to be active today. Do you believe this is
true? What is the enduring fascination with conspiracy theories? Given what
Dan Brown reveals about the history of the Illuminati, is their alleged
vendetta against the Vatican justified?
- Camerlengo Carlo Ventresca emerges as one of the most complex
characters in the story. What was your opinion of the camerlengo when he is
first introduced? How about by the end of the book?
- What role do the media play in the events that unfold? How about Glick
and Macri in particular? The media were not interested in covering the
election of a new pope until there was tragedy involved. How much influence
do the media have on what information is relayed to the public? Is it true,
as Glick believes, that "viewers didn't want truth anymore; they wanted
- The novel takes place during a 24-hour period. How does this
narrative structure heighten the suspense in the story? What red herrings
does the author use to keep the reader guessing? Did you anticipate any of
the events in the story?
- What did you find to be most compelling about Angels & Demons
-- the action scenes, the characters, the setting, the history, or something
- Discuss the novel's ending. Do you think the Vatican (and Robert and
Vittoria) made the right decision to keep the events that took place secret
from the public?
- In an interview on his website (www.danbrown.com), Dan Brown said
that Angels & Demons "opens some Vatican closets most people don't
even know exist." Did you learn anything about the Vatican, its practices,
and its history that surprised you?
- In the same interview Dan Brown goes on to say, "The final message
of the novel, though, without a doubt, is a positive one." What do you see
as the ultimate message of the book?
- Have you visited Rome? If so, do you recall seeing the Illuminati
symbolism that Dan Brown describes in the book, such as at the Piazza del
Popolo and the Piazza Navona? If you have not been to Rome, has reading
Angels & Demons inspired you to make a visit?
- If you've read Robert Langdon's second adventure, The Da Vinci
Code, compare the two books. What similarities do the stories share? How
does the character of Rober Langdon change?
Unless otherwise stated, this discussion guide is reprinted with the permission of Pocket Books.
Any page references refer to a USA edition of the book, usually the trade paperback version, and may vary in other editions.