The DaVinci Code~Book Review
by Dan Brown
read November 2009
from the inside cover
While in Paris on business, Harvard symbologist Robert Langdon receives an urgent late-night phone call. The elderly curator of the Louvre has been murdered inside the museum, a baffling cipher found near the body. As Langdon and a gifted French cryptologist, Sophie Neveu, sort through the bizarre riddles, they are stunned to discover a trail of clues hidden in the works of DaVinci- clues visible for all to see and yet ingeniously disguised by the painter.
The stakes are raised when Langdon uncovers a startling link: The late curator was involved in the Priory of Sion- and actual secret society whose members included Sir Issac Newton, Botticelli, Victor Hugo, and DaVinci, amongst others. Langdon suspects they are on the hunt for a breathtaking historical secret, one that has proven through the centuries to be as enlightening as it is dangerous. In a frantic race through paris, and beyond, Langdon and Neveu find themselves matching wits with a faceless powerbroker who appears to anticipate their every move. Unless they can decipher the labrynthine puzzle, the Priory’s secret- and an explosive ancient truth- will be lost forever.
I don’t really know why I was so reluctant to read this book. I’ve seen the movie, but I liked the movie. It was apparent within the first few chapters though, that the novel was going to be SO much better than the movie version. As is the case with most book to movie conversions. I wasn’t prepared to like this book as much as I did! This seems to be one of those books you either love or hate. I usually try not to read reviews of books while I am writing them, however, this was one I wanted to get a good feel for what others thought before I reviewed it. I wanted to make sure I covered points other reviewers brought up. While some reviewers have very good points on both the love and hate sides, many of the negative reviews are from people who haven’t even read the book, who just object to the slant taken on the religious aspects of the book. That frustrates me. ~steps on to soapbox~ I recently read the book Vampire Academy by Richelle Mead. Like I always do after writing of my reviews, I looked around blogs and other review spots to see what others thought. Some people are just dumb. I read a review of Vampire Academy where the reviewer said that she ‘didn’t like Vampire Academy because it had vampires in it and vampires are cheesy.’ Seriously? Then what in the world are you doing reading it?? It’s not like you didn’t get the hint from the title! Reviews like that seriously piss me off because they aren’t fair to the readers, the authors, or the websites trying to rate the books. If you read it and you don’t like it for some genuine reason…then great, please tell us. If you didn’t like it because you were too stupid to figure out that a book called Vampire Academy had vampires in it…then I don’t want to know what you think. This is why you won’t find me reviewing books on art literature and comparative religions. Doesn’t float my boat, so I won’t read it or review it. ~getting down from soapbox~
Ahhhh….that’s better. Sorry for the tangent. Needed to vent a bit.
On to The DaVinci Code…
This book was full of action and adventure, secret societies, murder, mystery, and codes and clues. It was one of those books that kept me on my toes thinking about what people said and did. The whole thing, in my opinion was very well thought out and meshed well together. Some of the plot twists and turns, I never saw coming. Even though I’ve seen the movie!!
The takes on religions and secret societies didn’t bug me. I was raised Catholic, but I would consider myself an average Christian now. Keeping in mind that this is work of fiction is imperative. It isn’t real people! And for you conspiracy theorists, if you want to belive it is…more power to you. If it makes you happy, just do that. I can see why it would offend some people, but that is the same reason it is a bestseller. Interesting and controversial subjects sell books!
One point that a few reviewers brought up was Brown’s writing style. They criticized the way he tells you instead of showing you. For example, we know the main character, Robert Langdon, is a brilliant Harvard symbologist. Why? Because Dan Brown says he is brilliant instead of showing with descriptions. I can see how this could bother some people. In my opinion, it was a minimal problem and one that was easily overshadowed by the greater scheme of the novel. Was it the most brilliant novel I have ever read? No, not by a longshot. Did I still enjoy it? Yes.
Overall, really enjoyed this book. I hardly ever read mystery/thriller books and this was a nice intro. I’m glad I borrowed this from a friend!