“The Da Vinci Code” by Dan Brown

Okay, it’s been a while since I read this one, but I’ll be selling it to Half Price Books soon, so I figured I should say something about it before it went. First off, as everyone has said, the writing can be a bit iffy, and the conversations go on for a long, long time. If you’re hoping for action, this is not the book for you. Also, symbology, in case you hadn’t heard, is not an actual field. So, for a book where it claims that all the basic facts in it are true, that’s a pretty big mistake to make. There’s also the part where the Rose Line isn’t where they say it is in the book. Another problem for a bold statement like that.

I won’t make any statement about the veracity of the book’s claims. Mostly because I don’t care. It’s fiction! Who cares? I mean, obviously a lot of people did and probably still do, but I’m not among them. I try not to get wound up about silly things.

I would like to point out how hilarious it is to me, though, that Dan Brown is trying to make Robert Landon into kind of an academic James Bond. If you’ve read both “Angels and Demons” and “The Da Vinci Code” you know what I’m talking about. He’s taking a nerd with a pHD in what is essentially Art History and trying to make him into James freaking Bond. It is to laugh.

Anyway, the book is okay. Interesting, anyway. I hadn’t heard of a lot of the things he was talking about and I spent a lot of time on the internet researching it afterwards, so there was that. And I will say this, a lot of what he talked about turned out to be true. Opus Dei does exist and I even ran across a website warning parents about it and it talked about how to get your kid out if they got involved, like it was a cult or something, which struck me as odd. The churches he talks about do exist, even if he got their actual geographic location wrong. But I do take exception to something that happened in there, cuz it makes no sense. In the beginning of the book, when the curator was bleeding to death, why did he go to so much trouble to leave the obscure clues? Why didn’t he just leave a note saying, “Hey, I just got shot by an albino monk, please take care of that for me?” and maybe a hint of where to find some important papers in his office for his granddaughter or the next in line for his secret society? Because why wouldn’t he have papers explaining everything in his office? I mean, no he didn’t know he was going to be murdered, no one ever does, but he wasn’t a young man and he had to take accidents into consideration. People get hit by cars every day. Why wouldn’t he have some sort of back- up  plan? If the secret is as important as he was saying, he would have, just in case. So the entire basis of the story makes no sense. But, other than that, the subject is interesting enough, I felt, to make up for any deficiencies in writing or style. And, as a side note, I’m not getting rid of it because I don’t like it, I’m getting rid of it because I haven’t read it in like five years and I take that as a sign it needs a new home.

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One thought on ““The Da Vinci Code” by Dan Brown

  1. Two good reads which tackle the claims Brown makes is Counterknowledge and Voodoo Histories. In both, they reveal that Brown’s main source for all his info was Holy Blood: Holy Grail, a group of non-historians who got suckered in by some French forgers into believing one of the biggest historical fictions of all time.

    However, Brown was smart in that he he was clear on the fictional boundary, that way when the writers of HB: HG sued him, they looked like idiots. How can you plagiarize a book that isn’t real history for the sake of fiction, after all? No law against ripping off ideas that aren’t true…

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