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Apr 11, 2005 14:09 # 35099
First I would like to say that this is not a discussion about the various historical claims that Dan Brown makes in The Da Vinci Code. If you are interested in that, check out this post or my website. What I am interested in here is not the scandals, the history, the secret societies, the documents and whatnot. I want to hear what you all think about the book itself, as a novel. One hears so much about the things said in The Da Vinci Code that, very often, an opinion of the book itself is left out. It's literary merits are left unexamined, being overshadowed by the massive political/religious statement that the book is.
I suppose I am saying this because, though I found the book's claims to be false, I enjoyed the novel so much. In my opinion, it's persuasive power with the American public very much owes itself to how wonderful a story it is. When I read it, I could not set it down because it never wanted to let me pull myself out of the action and suspense. I was utterly amazed by the intricate mysteries and puzzles, combing through the novel in about five sittings in three days.
The Da Vinci Code in terms of plot devices was, of course, not perfect. Brown's characters came off as nothing more than vehicles to illustrate the claims he wanted to make about the Apostolic Christian church. He had an irritating way of writing short chapters in which something very important happened, but then by the end left the readers to guess at what was about to occur as he pulled them into an unrelated chapter. But these are trivial compared to the excellent tale Brown has crafted. In most mysteries that I read, I can at least guess reasonably at what the solution is, but here I was stumped. That is the sign of a truly good author.
Does anyone agree with me? I have heard many say that the book wasn't as good as Angels & Demons, something I can scarcely see possible.
This post was edited by ecthelion33 on Apr 11, 2005.
Apr 11, 2005 15:29 # 35102
The book entertained me on a long night train voyage from Florence to Munich but after that I never thought about it again. The Da Vinci Code is something like the least common denominator for mass-compatible mystery thrillers, which is why I cannot understand the hype around it.
'Yeah, That's what Jesus would do. Jesus would bomb Afghanistan. Yeah.' - snowlion
Apr 11, 2005 18:16 # 35107
What people tend to forget about the Brown books is the fact that Mr.Brown is not on a mission to change the world's perception about a special topic. His only mission is making money. He's not making claims about history or reveals hidden secrets the world fails to see, he's writing fiction. And he found a nicely selling recipe to attract attention. Take a topic of sufficient public interest, do some (not so) lazy research about it and add a good portion of fiction to the parts, where noone but the real experts to the topic can make up the difference between reality and fiction anymore. Build a Hollywood-like love story around it and, voila, there you go... entertainment from the test tube, ready to be made a movie soon.
Strangely enough the discussion is NOT about where the facts end and fiction starts, but people are willing to completely forget about the fiction part in it. Thats a fluke for him and, you bet, he's sitting at home rubbing blisters to his palms of all the joy and excitement about it!
I've read three of his books, "DaVinci Code", "Angels and Demons" and "Digital Fortress", in that order. With the last one I got so bored about this repeating concept. Also I could, more than in the first two, clearly see the borderline between his (not so) lazy research and his fiction, which somehow destroyed the mood of the book for me. After reading those three I got the same feeling as about King books: Its okay and nice entertainment to read one or two books, but after that its a complete waste of time. Just my 02.
After decades of construction my website is finally up an running: www.kkds.de
Apr 11, 2005 18:37 # 35108
I found the book to be fairly good reading, albeit I'm one of those people capable of taking things with a grain of salt. As to the claim that Angels & Demons ws a better book, I'd have to agree that it is. It seemed to me that he put more creativity into the story line with it, and the main character was less too dementional. (And yes, I know that the main char. in THe da Vinci Code is the same as in A&D.)
--Jami Yeah, that's gonna sting in the morning.
Apr 11, 2005 18:46 # 35111
I haven't read it, but I'd be surprised if it had the intellectual depth and masterful storytelling present in Umberto Eco's Foucault's Pendulum, a fabulous novel concerning some of the same topics of conspiracies, Freemasonry, the Knights Templars, et al. It is a highly recommended, incredible read, and one of my favorite novels of the past half-century. Eco is one of the great writers of our age, and this and Name of the Rose are not to be missed.
Another book that deals with many of the same topics from a psychedelic, science fiction approach is the great Robert Anton Wilson novel The Illuminatus! Trilogy. Last, thought it purports to be nonfiction, Holy Blood, Holy Grail contains much of the scholarship upon which Brown bases his work, I believe. It certainly came out well before any of his writings, at the least.
Apr 11, 2005 19:17 # 35114
The Illuminatus! Trilogy
Whoah, and I always thought I'm the only one who made it through all three books.
The number and amount of drugs that went into the creation of this trilogy could probably have powered all the world's major universities for years.
When life hands you a lemon, that's 40% of your RDA of vitamin C taken care of.
Jul 11, 2005 09:02 # 37040
Illuminatus rocked :)
I love how in the appendices he puts footnotes on things and you read the footnote and it says, "Do you really believe that?" Just a nice last little way to @#$! with you.
I thought DaVinci code could have been great if the ending hadn't been trite.
*slight spoiler alert*
Lo and behold, someone you trust turns out to be on the other side. And it wasn't really that surprising. I didn't go, holy crap! I missed all those hints! Or something. There was no cleverness in it to appreciate. Brown picked a character to turn and wam, instant ending.
"Nurture your mind with great thoughts, for you will never go any higher than you think."