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As far as the content, there are howlers on virtually every page starting with the hero who looks like "Harrison Ford in Harris tweed" and is a "Professor of Religious Symbology at Harvard" -- good work if you can find it. You have to ignore very pulpy, cheesy writing to enjoy this romantic thriller. Intended as a book that a d This is a pretty formulaic page turner, a fun quick read.

Intended as a book that a dedicated reader could finish in a day, or something you take to the beach and casually finish in a weekend, The Da Vinci Code makes for a reasonable airline novel, so much so that it is often a bit clunky in its desire to ensure that no intellectual effort on the reader's part will be required. My wife and I both read about a third of it in a day, sharing the same copy, and that's a full work day plus taking care of kids, bedtime, etc. That's also a kind of virtue, I guess -- it's fast and peppy.

As far as history goes, Dan Brown apparently thinks that "most historians" give credence to the hoary forgeries and frauds promoted in sensationalist best-sellers like Holy Blood, Holy Grail. This author gets the best of both worlds: simultaneously claiming that "it's just fiction," while introducing the novel with claims that the historical record contained within is "fact. To pluck a random example, he spends some time talking about the Council of Nicaea, and incorrectly summarizes it as the origin of the doctrine of Christ's divinity by Constantine.

He ignores the Arian controversy out of which it arose, which is like trying to explain the Treaty of Versailles without mentioning World War I. This is a bad novel for weak or misinformed Christians, but anyone familiar with history should spot the train wreck of Brown's ideas a mile off.

Oh yes, and in Brown's world, Opus Dei has shadowy assassin "monks" in real life, Opus Dei is not a monastic order -- there are no Opus Dei monks, let alone trained assassins , and the Catholic Church has been promulgating known lies as its central dogmas, promotes violence throughout the world, and has been retarding the progress of science and knowledge for 2 millennia. Brown leaves the reader with the impression that this, too, is a matter of settled historical record.

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Oh, but then again, it's just fiction. Except when it's not. In general, if you're looking for a heady thriller wrapped around Christian arcana, I'd recommend Umberto Eco's excellent The Name of the Rose , not this dumbed down, by-the-numbers novel. View all 23 comments. View all 10 comments. May 13, J. A thriller devoid of pacing or exciting language.

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  6. 'The Da Vinci Code' by Dan Brown: Book Review?

A mystery devoid of clues, foreshadowing, or facts. A tell-all of half-truths based upon a forged document written by a schizophrenic conman. A character-driven modern novel devoid of character. The second draft of Angels and Demons. Page-turning action thanks to the literary equivalent of pulling out at the moment of orgasm. A spiritual awakening built on new-age conspiracy theory. This book is many things, and none of them good, new, or interes A thriller devoid of pacing or exciting language.

This book is many things, and none of them good, new, or interesting. However, it is an excellent litmus test for idealistic delusion. Upon the first reading, I must admit I found it a bit interesting, but then I turned the final page, and there was no bibliography. No explanation of how the author became familiar with all the concepts he claimed to 'faithfully portray'.

He wrote this book and pretended it was a history book, and then refused to support it in any way. And any history you can't check up on is a bad one. He's no better than James Frey. In fact, he may be worse, since I know people who base their religious beliefs on this book, whereas Frey's only crime was wishing he was Scarface.

And really, what macho thirtysomething male doesn't? Brown had good reasons for hiding his sources: they were forged by con-man Pierre Plantard and snuck into the Bibliotheque National in Paris back in the seventies. And it's not like Plantard got away with it, either--the whole 'Priory of Sion' thing was debunked thirty years before this book was even written.

The artistic 'iconography' that figures heavily into the mystery is also completely made-up, and was declared ludicrous by an art history professor of my acquaintance. There are a lot of well-known symbols and allusions in classic art, but none of them resemble Brown's claims. The whole hinge on which the plot turns--the notion that an inverted triangle is automatically symbolic of women--makes about as much sense as declaring that the use of the swastika by 3rd century, BC Buddhists was proof that they were fascists.

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The rest of Brown's book is filled with the sort of cliched religious conspiracies you get from your first year as a theology student. Not only that, but these conspiracies were already explored by better writers in 'Foucault's Pendulum' and the 'Illuminatus! Well, I've already done more legitimate historical research on this review than Brown did in his whole book, so I guess I'll call it a day.

View all 34 comments. Aug 24, Stephen rated it liked it Shelves: thriller , , religion-spirituality , conspiracies-and-weird-science , mystery , audiobook. Other than the obvious religious flavor of the content, it reminded me of your typical page-turning, popcorn beach read and I thought it accomplished its goal in decent, if unremarkable, fashion. The plot of this one has been talked to death and beyond so rather than adding one more jelly bean to the jar, I thought I would just run down a few likes and dislikes about the story and leave it at that.

I love a good conspiracy. I am always in favor of having them show up as a lynch pin to any massive global plot. The Knights Templar are like caramel on ice cream and just make a good conspiracy better. Symbology, Da Vinci and the Holy Grail the IDEA : I thought the major plot components themselves were interesting and I enjoyed following the hidden clues, messages, riddles and the tie in to all of the famous historical artifacts. It was fun. I get it Mr. Brown, heard you the first time.

THRILLer killing amounts of PLOD : For a page turning, actiony thriller, there was just too much sideways movement of the plot and some really unnecessary amounts of plod to the narrative. This is never a good thing for this kind of story. The End : Not a big fan of the final resolution of the story and I found it very un climaxy and a bit of a let down. Once we have the big reveal, very little new information ever really got added to the picture and I felt like my curiosity should have been stroked a few more times than it was in the home stretch.

It seems to accomplish pretty much exactly what it set out to do. View all 55 comments. Jan 07, James rated it it was amazing Shelves: 1-fiction , 3-multi-book-series , 5-favorite-books. Most folks have seen the movie and probably not read the book. What a loss for them! That said, I know a lot of people don't enjoy Brown's books, believing he is too commercialized and over-exaggerated in his style.

While I can understand why someone may think that, I don't agree. I love the complexity of the story, the reality and the fiction, the test of character strength, the puzzles, the different view points. It completely absorbs me Doesn't mean I don't love the more classic and richly written novels where it's the imagery and the words that win out, too.

I had never heard of Dan Brown in his early years. I heard about the movie being made of the book and how it was coming out relatively soon. I looked it up and saw it had the "treasure-hunter" thrill appeal and decided to read the book before the movie could come out and warp my interpretation. So glad I did! It's addicting. Growing up Catholic, I knew most of the religious detail, but once it weaved it art, literature, history and philosophy, I was just enamored with the story. Could it really be true? Maybe I'm related to Adam and Eve too!

The Da Vinci Code by Dan Brown, read by Paul Michael (audiobook excerpt)

Ok, let's not get too crazy Magnificent story-telling. Quick adventure. Beautiful scenes and images. Brown exhibit's intensely good control weaving back and forth between each of the plots, sub-plots and mini-plots. It's as realistic of a treasure hunt as one can get if you are not an adventurer, archaeologist or exhibition-junkie. But what took it to the next level for me was the amount of detail included for every component.

It's the intricate of the intricate, relying on pure puzzles to move the story forward. Each new puzzle creates its own spark of drama directing readers to challenge what they do and do not know about Jesus, Mary Magdalene, languages, culture, locations, etc. It hits so many different waves of appeal that I felt it was at the top of its game. Definitely a must-read for the genre, for Brown and before watching the movie adaption.

View all 21 comments. Jun 25, Lisa rated it did not like it Shelves: don-t-read-it , postliterate-fiction , monster-mash-of-a-mess , subterranean , so-bad-it-hurts , hahahahahaaarrrrrgh. No, I am not! No, I am not going to write a review about this piece of nonsense just because I had yet ANOTHER of those incredibly annoying conversations in a bookstore to top it off!

No, I am not. Oh, for goodness sake! It is NOT a great book to broaden your cultural horizons, and whatever the humbug mentioned on Leonardo - it is NOT equivalent to reading a book researched by a REAL art historian, - which is something entirely different from a blind-folded arrogant gold digg No, I am not! It is NOT a great book to broaden your cultural horizons, and whatever the humbug mentioned on Leonardo - it is NOT equivalent to reading a book researched by a REAL art historian, - which is something entirely different from a blind-folded arrogant gold digging bestseller author.

It is not a well-written, exciting thriller. It is Brown in Wonderland, minus the humour, the wit and the beautiful language of the Wonderland Alice visited, and minus the credible plot. It is not something a bookworm like me HAS to read! Once and for all, no! I don't. I read three I DON'T love him.

It makes me furious to get the question, over and over: "How much of what he discovered on Leonardo is true? It would have been a bad one. Let's forget it. View all 64 comments. Oct 26, Will Byrnes rated it really liked it Shelves: fiction. It is replete with oodles of interesting little details about church history, the true meaning of the grail, secret societies through the ages, Opus Dei and architectural details. In this fast-paced adventure an American art expert is accused of killing a director of the Louvre.

Rescued by the deceased's granddaughter, a police cryptologist, the pair flees from both French and British police. The tale is enlivened with characters such as Silas, an albino ex-con who has seen the light and been taken in by the head of a Catholic extremist cult, Leigh, a British knight obsessed with finding the grail. Great fun! View all 15 comments. Sep 03, Ruth rated it did not like it Shelves: total-crap.

Impossibly complicated plot. Really, really, really bad writing. This book was forced upon me. I should have known better. View all 72 comments. Jul 30, Maura rated it did not like it Recommends it for: someone interested in a completely mindless beach read. I've finally started reading that ever so controversial best-seller by Dan Brown. Actually, not reading it, listening to it while driving around Lansing, MI. This book seems to have changed the minds of many Catholics my grandfather included and Protestants alike. Granted, there have long been rumors of secret societies and organizations within the Roman Catholic Church, and historical cover-ups are rampant throughout civilization.

It's not at all well wri I've finally started reading that ever so controversial best-seller by Dan Brown. It's not at all well written. Brown seems to feel that in order to impress the mystery of the supposed Holy Grail conspiracy upon his readers, he must be repetitive and condescending. It almost seems that the whole purpose of the book is to tell the world how much Brown knows about obscure art history and symbology, and that he is willing to explain it to the teeming masses of uniformed Christendom.

His constant use of cliff-hanger chapter endings almost every chapter makes the novel read like it was originally intended as a serial publication. Much of Brown's story hinges upon the loss of the Sacred Feminine, and yet his main female character a cryptologist for the French police is constantly having to be led clue by clue to obvious conclusions by her quicker, more worldly, male counterparts. I might have put some stock into Brown's "history," he writes with conviction, if not much style. I may even have looked into some of his sources on my own.

Today, though, Brown completely lost any stock I would have put into his actual knowledge. He referred, multiple times, to Jesus Christ as the Immaculate Conception. As every half-informed Catholic knows, Mary was the Immaculate Conception conceived without sin , Jesus was the Miraculous Conception conceived by the power of the Holy Spirit. How this novel came to be as popular as it is, I can understand. Faith is by definition something that is unsubstantiated, we must just believe.

What I can't understand is how people can believe this absolute drivel. View all 27 comments. Every summer I tend to enjoy reading action and adventure thrillers. The genre seems perfect for the hot weather outside as all of the action builds to a heated crescendo. Last week I participated in a diary called the Pepys Project in one of the groups I am part of, the reading for pleasure book club. The diarist relays pertinent literary information on a daily basis to ones peers.

It happened that author Dan Brown celebrated a birthday last week, and as I had never read his best selling DaVinc Every summer I tend to enjoy reading action and adventure thrillers. It happened that author Dan Brown celebrated a birthday last week, and as I had never read his best selling DaVinci Code, the diary reminded me that the summer was a good as time as any to partake in this thriller. World renowned Harvard professor Robert Langdon is in Paris to deliver a lecture about his latest findings in cryptic symbology. As Langdon addresses his speech, nearby at the Louvre museum an albino monk on orders from his teacher brutally murders curator Jacques Sauniere.

These two events are not mere coincidence as Sauniere had been planning on meeting with Langdon later in the evening. As he lay dying, Sauniere penned cryptic codes to both Langdon and his granddaughter Sophie Neveu. It would be up to the pair to crack these mysteries before the church uncovered the secrets that Sauniere had worked his entire life to guard. Once Langdon and Neveu meet up, together they discover that Sauniere had been the grand master of the Priory of Sion, an ancient society which believed in an alternate true history of Christianity.

Sauniere left the duo a trail of clues to find the true resting place of the holy grail, that is before Catholic fanatical sect Opus Dei beats them to it and destroys the information. Through a intricate web of surveillance and bribes, however, Paris of chief police Bezu Fache believes that Langdon and Neveu to be guilty of Sauniere's murder. Ensuing, is a race through Paris and London to ensure that the grail and its secrets do not fall into the wrong hands. Brown details centuries of religious symbols and information as he has Langdon and Neveu quest to keep the Priory's secrets safe.

Should I read Angels & Demons before The Da Vinci Code? (I haven't seen the films either)

Along the way they meet a number of characters, never knowing if one is friend, foe, or double agent. As a result, the action is fast paced, intriguing, and even brain exercising as I thought alongside the pair to crack open the codes that Sauniere left for them. In a structure of short chapters and changing points of view, Brown created a story that grew more thrilling as it went on.

This created for an entertaining denouement which read quickly to the end. While it remains to be seen if the mysteries outlined in The DaVinci Code are fact, fiction, or somewhere in between, Dan Brown has created a fun concept that makes for thrilling summer reading. The novel grew to be an international best seller and later made into a movie starring Tom Hanks. Even though movies are usually not as good as their novel counterparts, Brown's thriller should translate well onto screen as it is all action. The Pepys Project lead me to a summer reading adventure, which I rate 3. I look forward to Dan Brown's next installment starring Robert Langdon.

View all 28 comments. Jun 23, Wayne rated it did not like it. I downloaded the book and put it on my ipod and began to listen to it on a long road trip. I found it engaging and the plot twisted and turned, jumping from scene to scene, back and forth in time. Really kept the reader on her toes. I'm not sure if I liked it, the writing style was pretty crude, but it kept me thinking. About an hour into listening I realized that the ipod was on shuffle mode and in fact all the chapters were being shuffled.

I groaned and started over. When played in I downloaded the book and put it on my ipod and began to listen to it on a long road trip. When played in a linear fashion I found it to be one of the mindless things ever. May 18, Warwick rated it did not like it Shelves: dont-own. Exciting news for the blind and partially-sighted community, as the publishers release a Braille version:. View all 9 comments. For the most part, it seems that people either passionately love this book or they passionately hate it.

I happen to be one of the former. For my part, I don't see the book so much as an indictment of the Catholic Church in particular but of religious extremism and religion interfering in political process in general. The unwarranted political control granted to extreme religious organizations like the CBN is an issue that we will be forced to address one way or the other. To my eye, our politic For the most part, it seems that people either passionately love this book or they passionately hate it. To my eye, our political process has been poisoned by it and the danger of theocracy is quite real.

Furthermore, Brown's indictment of the Church for removing or suppressing feminine divinity figures is justified and needs a much closer look. Women do not have enough of a role in religion, religious practice, heroic myths, and creation myths, nor are they portrayed as divinity figures enough. In short, our religious systems and institutions lack balance and have a bias to suppress issues, stories, and roles that empower women to live as equals to men.

Finally, Brown wrote his story simplistically, in my view, to spread his tale to as broad an audience as possible. Though it is not as pristine a narrative as, say, Umberto Eco, the message it conveys is one that needs to be heard. In the meantime, Dan Brown is telling a story that needs to be told.

It is one that has been kept quiet and in the dark for far too long. Jul 30, Steve rated it liked it. It's considered an unfair advantage using a cryptex box to solve this. Jun 28, Seth T. For cheap supermarket fiction, this sure was cheap supermarket fiction. It would have helped if this was the first book I had ever read. Unfortunately, having read Curious George as a child a towering work of literary genius by comparison , The DaVinci Code suffered perhaps unjustly. View 2 comments. May 07, Joey rated it did not like it. This book is non-stop action. This bo This book is non-stop action.

View all 18 comments. Nov 17, Jeremy rated it did not like it. This book, and everything written by Dan Brown to varying degrees , represent much of what I most dislike about pop literature. First of all, Mr. Brown, despite teaching English at Amherst College, is a bad writer. This is not to say that I am a good writer. But I recognize a person who can't "show" you vivid scenes, he has to "tell you". Various characters wear expensive clothes. How do we know? The text says they're expensive. How do we know Mr. Langdon is brilliant?

The text makes no bones a This book, and everything written by Dan Brown to varying degrees , represent much of what I most dislike about pop literature. The text makes no bones about telling us. Langdon is also famous. Furthermore, Mr. Brown's books are ridiculously formulaic. This group is controlled by a larger group with dubious intentions that generally have to do with world domination. The protagonist is introduced as an "expert" whose credentials relate to the matter at hand, and who takes the job of hunting down the bad guys.

He enlists the aid of an extremely avuncular, wise, benevolent helper. The avuncular father figure turns out to be pulling the strings of the assassins, is behind the original killing, and provides a forgettable monologue at the end where he pleas for understanding. But our hero takes him down. The end. I'm sorry if I just ruined all Dan Brown's books for you.

Finally, Mr. Brown likes to write about what he sees as religious conflicts.

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These conflicts take place between believers and non-. Unfortunately, he proves unable to adequately and convincingly describe these conflicts, because he reveals a striking inability to understand why people believe, in the first place. His highly religious characters therefore invariably turn out to be crazed nutjobs.

I don't like stories that exploit religion for entertainment, and then use the attention that they draw to this entertainment to subtly undermine the reasons for faith. But by all means, read the Da Vinci Code. People say it's smart. Others describe it as a fast-paced thriller with historical and theological implications. It could've been in the hands of another author.

View all 3 comments. Jun 24, Richard Derus rated it liked it. My Review : Not one word. I mean it. It is not Literature, it is not even particularly well-written farb, but it is undeniably a page-turning rip-snorting adventure story that pokes fun at christian religion. Therefore it is A-Okay with me.

Snobs: It's not about you. It's about normal people getting their entertainment from a book for once, instead of a TV or a gaming console. Why are you bitching? Who said you had to read it? Lovers: It's not about how much you love it. I didn't love it. I read the whole thing in a sitting and I wasn't about to get up until it was done, and that's saying a lot for someone whose life list of books read includes the snooty people's snootiest books.

So yeah, three-star review is a huge vote of confidence from this source. Religious christians: What in the hell are you doing reading my reviews?! Are you daft? I won't be saying anything nice about your imaginary friend any time soon. Pass on!

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Environmentalists: Yes, the entirety of Siberia was deforested to print the book in its zillions. I feel bad about that too. Tell you what: Get out there and make hemp paper better for the environment, plus a smokeable side product! Books will go down in price, forests will be saved, and the mellow quotient of the world will go up. Normal people: You've all read the book by now, right? If not, go to a used bookstore Brown's rich enough and pick a few up.

It's a lot of fun. View all 56 comments.

Mar 26, CJ rated it did not like it Recommends it for: people who are gullible. Shelves: mystery. Caveat Academics!!! I won't belabor the obvious, as it's been done quite well by other reviewers, but I just couldn't stand not to add my own "hear hear! Whoever edited this drivel ought to be sewn in a sack with a rabid raccoon and flung into Lake Michigan. And just as a matter of good taste - your expert should not be an expert in everything under the sun.

That's one of the hallmarks of poor writing. Even if I were not a practicing pagan, I would find it stretching credibility that every single item the characters run across is a symbol of goddess worship. Five pointed star?

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Goddess worship. Porcelain toilet bowl? Pilot ball point pen? You get the general idea. For more information, visit Planeta's website. Winston is calling. Perhaps you should answer To get an inside look at Origin, visit winston. Winston is here and he's sharing details about Origin. To get an inside look at Dan Brown's new thriller and receive a very special gift, visit winston. Origin hits shelves on October 3rd. For more information, click here. On Oct. Then, on Tuesday, Oct.

In keeping with his trademark style, Brown interweaves codes, symbols, science, religion, history, art, and architecture with a decidedly fresh twist; the art is modern and the science taps into the coolest cutting-edge technology available today. The novel will be published simultaneously in the U. Additionally, a U. Spanish-language edition will be published by Vintage Espanol. MasterClass Trailer. Q: Of the books you've written, do you have a favorite?

Dan Brown responds to the question, "Of the books you've written, do you have a favorite? The cast and crew of Inferno talk about the importance of location to the Robert Langdon thrillers.

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  • When Langdon wakes up in an Italian hospital with amnesia, he teams up with Sienna Brooks, a doctor he hopes will help him recover his memories. The Da Vinci Code. It begins with a spectacular murder in the Louvre Museum. All clues point to a covert religious organization that will stop at nothing to protect a secret that threatens to overturn 2, years of accepted dogma. Explore Here. Top DVYA. Dan Brown Dan Brown is the author of numerous 1 bestselling novels, including The Da Vinci Code, which has become one of the best selling novels of all time as well as the subject of intellectual debate among readers and scholars.

    Interstitial One. Deception Point A bold deception threatens to plunge the world into controversy. Digital Fortress The NSA's invincible code-breaking machine encounters a mysterious code it cannot break, sending shock waves through the corridors of power. Interstitial Two. The show has been conceived as a prequel to Ron Howard's film adaptations and will focus on a younger Robert Langdon. Understanding these universal components is one of the secrets to making your own writing much more effective and successful.

    It can also make the writing process a lot more fun. See you in class, Dan Brown". Brown and serious ideas: they do fit together, never more than they have in 'Origin. Liable to stir up as much controversy as 'The Da Vinci Code' did. Dan Brown takes readers back to the Origin Dan Brown's latest Robert Langdon thriller is available throughout the world! Dan Brown's latest Robert Langdon thriller hit book shelves this week! In partnership with Planeta, Antena 3 is offering a first look at the opening chapters of the Spanish-language edition of Origin. The new novel features Harvard symbologist Robert Langdon.