I read the Baigent book a decade before I read this novel.Somehow, Brown managed to "dumbify" everything.Afterwards I read Eco to wash the taste out of my brain.Wayne
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 a linear fashion I found it to be one of the mindless things ever.Keely
A thriller devoid of pacing or exciting language. 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 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.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! Trilogy'.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.Jim
This is a pretty formulaic page turner, a fun quick read. Written at about the level of the average Nancy Drew mystery, it is best appreciated at that level. 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 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. Here's a recurring example in this novel: a bit of unfamiliar terminology, say "crux gemmata" (jeweled cross) will will be explained on page N, then on page N+1, a character will finger his jeweled cross and explain, "Oh, yes -- this is a crux gemmata." I've read dinner menus that were more demanding on the reader. 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." That claim is ridiculous. 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. He ignores the documented fact, agreed upon even by the cheerleaders of the gnostics that he is sympathetic to, that the earliest gnostic doctrines held that Christ was *purely* God, and not really man -- the very reverse of the doctrine that serves as the linchpin of his novel's intellectual base (such as it is). 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. 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.Marwa A.
“Life is filled with secrets. You can't learn them all at once.” This is one of the best and most amazing novels I've ever read!When I finished it at almost 3 am, I couldn't sleep.From the instant the book starts, Dan Brown immediately grabs the readers attention, grabbing them by the throat and making them read on right until the end!I like conspiracy theories, so the whole basis of the book was interesting.Obviously most of what is in the book is fiction, but Brown's story telling makes you think it's real. I thought his use of real places, people and events in what is a fictional story was very clever.If you're into mystery/suspense genre, history or secret societies, I recommend this.If you are a devout Christian, I don't think I'd recommend this book.مصطفي سليمان
دان براونحيث كمية المعلومات اللي تخليك تفكر مليون مرةكمية المعلوماتالموثقة اللي محتاجه منك انك تتحرك مش تفضل عامل تسمع الكلام وخلاصروايات الالغاز بشكل حديثهو واحد من أهم الناس اللي كتبوا ف المجال داهنا المحقق روبرت لانغدونبيحقق ف جريمة ليها علاقة بجماعات دينيه سريةانا مش عاوز احكيلان الروايات دي مش بتتحكيالروايات دي بتتعاشسيبك ان الفيلماستخف كتير بالروايةوطلع نسخة باهتة جدا من الروايةبالذات ف الحلول المقدمةوتجميعه للنهايةمش عارف محستوش بنكله مع ان المخرج من المفضلين لياالمرة دي نظرتك لمتحف اللوفروصورة الموناليزاودافنشي هيتم تغيرها او علي الاقل هيخليك تفكركتير جداهو دا حقيقيبداية معرفتك بالماسونين والجماعات السرية المنتشرةالراهب القاتل ذو الاقتناع المريب بتعذيب النفسحفيدة مدير المتحف اللي جدها كان بيسيب ليها الغازشفرات طول الوقتلعب بالاعصابعادة امتاز بيها دان براونكل نهاية فصلهو صفعة ممتازةليكفاكر انك عرفت مين عمل ايه تراكعارف بقي اخوية سيون؟آهتراكلالغاية آخر الرواية كدايا جدعان انا دخلت علي الموقع بتاعه ايامهاكان عمله بشفرةO_oاول ما تدخل يقولكاسم لوحة الموناليزا ايه؟اللي هي الجيوكنداحلوفلطيب عدد الحروف اكتر من المربعات المتاحةوعيش يا برنستقريبا غير الموقع كتير دلوقتيبس اصلا من الروايات اللي لما تقرأها هتفكر علي الاقلJonathan Cullen
Hating the Da Vinci Code is a right of passage for any self-proclaimed intellectual. When the airport page-turner first came out, it was a sensation and a favourite water cooler discussion. Shortly thereafter, Dan Brown was vilified by the minority of his readers who actually had previous experience finishing a novel(s). The more the general public liked Dan Brown and his tripe, the more those of notable cultural and artistic expertise pooped on his face. With each Entertainment Tonight spotlight on the "smash hit", the closer the literarians came to castrating Brown to halt the general decline of homo sapien intelligence. To express your love of the "fast-paced, complex" plot also marked you for gelding.Here is but a sampling of my favourite cherrypicked Goodreads comments on the book and/or Dan Brown:- "bag of piss"- "laughable enough to be incorporated into the next Indiana Jones movie"- "$9 dollar wine"- "I've read dinner menus that were more demanding on the reader"- "inexcusable waste of time"- "total crap"- "ridiculously formulaic"- "self-aggrandizing oh-so-clever stuffed pompous troll"- "Whoever edited this drivel ought to be sewn in a sack with a rabid raccoon and flung into Lake Michigan"- "He is the Brittney Spears of authors."- "Worst. Book. Ever."- "Having read Curious George as a child (a towering work of literary genius by comparison), The DaVinci Code suffered perhaps unjustly."- "Facts are clumsily shoe-horned in or splattered about the page like pigeon-poop" Wow. Ok. I can't necessarily disagree with all of those comments, but you may notice my three star rating. I am a self-proclaimed (at least in an whisper) intellectual. Therein lies a conundrum. Am I a slack-jawed troglodyte? Or rather have I discovered something about Dan Brown's ignominious best-seller that all other intellectuals overlooked, thereby making me an Über-Intellectual with the potential to become Chief Über-Intellectual within my lifetime by giving five stars to Miley Cyrus' book "Miles to Go" after discovering its hidden meaning?No, in my humble opinion, I am neither.What I am is a guy who appreciates quality exposition, clever plots, vulnerable characters and economical prose. Yet I also somehow enjoyed the movie Glitter, with Mariah Carey, which by my definition was the worst movie I've ever seen. I enjoyed it because I had a good day, watched two movies with my future wife and laughed at the terrible dialogue. I had a positive emotional reaction to it, for reasons beyond the dreadful quality of what was on the screen. When I read The Da Vinci Code, I ignored the flashing warning light emanating from the self-proclaimed intellectual portion of my brain and embraced the troglodyte portion. I ate it like you eat an entire box of Fig Newtons: you don't think about it baby! Just do it! Regret it later. I actually did read this book while on a beach, along with the twelve other people I saw doing the same thing. I learned nothing about life and certainly and nothing about writing from this book. Well, I did learn how not to write. Thanks Dan! One of my favourite authors, Dan Simmons, uses the other Dan as his whipping boy in his Writing Well installments on his website. I enjoy that also.So I grant thee three stars Da Vinci Code. I ingest thee like a large movie popcorn with butter and with naught a look back...Tea Jovanović
Čitav svet je poludeo za ovom knjigom... I dalje mi nije jasno zašto... Mislim da je pisana za prosečnog neobrazovanog Amerikanca kome je autor sažvakavao istoriju i ti delovi su me bolno smorili... Uvek sam pre za čitanje knjige nego gledanje filma po istoimenoj knjizi... U ovom slučaju prednost dajem Tomu Henksu i filmu... Film kraće traje i preskočene su lekcije iz istorije :)ايمان
بغض النظر لو اتفقنا مع الموضوع ام اختلفنا فالعمل في حد ذاته مشوق كعمل بوليسي و كعمل تاريخي مع الحرص على العود الى مراجع اخرى للتأكد من المعلومات التاريخية الواردة فيه..هي رحلة عبر الفن من عصور التنوير و ما صاحبها من قمع و سلطة بابوية الى العصر الحديث مع بقاء هذه السلطة بشكل آخر..دان بروان اختار لنفسه نهج سبقه اليه آخرون في الكتابة الفاضحة التي تعري حقائق قد يرد البعض اخفائها و قد لا توجد اصلا انما اراد الكاتب لفت القارئ لعمله. يستحق القراءةTortla
I accidentally deleted this from my books. So that sucks. I don't remember when I read it anymore. It was horrible.EDIT:...But not quite as horrible as the idiotic discussion which this review spawned. I hate this book. That is my opinion. Many people share that opinion. I do not claim to be capable of writing a better book (although I suspect I already have written better pieces of literature, for some school assignment or something). You can like this book if you want. But if you do, please do not embarrass yourself by stating such a thing publicly. Especially on this review's comments. Because I'm deleting them all.PSThe whole "if you can't do better, you have no right to criticize" thing is not a valid argument. So please stop making it. Please.Jen3n
I found this book condescending, unexciting, and ill thought-out. I wanted it to be better. I had been TOLD it was fun. I was lied to. This is an awful book.Jane
Where I got the book: I downloaded the audiobook on my Audible subscription back when The Da Vinci Code was a Big Thing, so I suppose I have to admit I technically bought it. A Bad Book Buddy Read with Crystal Starr Light.Plot: The Divine Feminine, mystical messages, the Knights Templar, Opus Dei, secret societies, coded paintings, you name it - Dan Brown packs a Discovery Channel-load of what he gets one of his characters to call "pop schlock" around a puzzle to be solved by granite-jawed Harvard Professor of Symbology (still makes me laugh every time I think about it) Robert Langdon, a tweedy brainiac, and French police cryptologist Sophie Neveu, who is touted as brilliant but who spends most of the time playing second fiddle to Langdon's encyclopedic knowledge as they run around Europe (in about a 48-hour time period, I believe) being chased by the Evil Catholic Church, the French police, and assorted other baddies. This Europe-wide clue chase has been set in train by Sophie's grandfather who, while being murdered, somehow manages to set up a ridiculously elaborate trail to lead our heroes to the Big Secret.Confused? Remember the movie, where Tom Hanks spends 99% of the time with a puzzled frown on his face and the dumbest hairstyle I have EVER seen him wear?[image error]That frown is reflected on my face as I try to figure out how in the world this novel got to be so popular. I think the answer lies in the fact that if you just give up on any attempt to analyze what DB is positing, don't worry about the writing and just go with the flow, you get a page-turner that hurtles you toward the point where you are mercifully done with the book. That's what that second star is for. And there are tons of people who love all that esoteric-mystery stuff, plus the book came to the attention of a certain type of Christian who is very easy to bait into perceiving any criticism of any aspect of Christianity as A HUGE THREAT, and the resulting kerfuffle must have had DB's publicist offering up heartfelt prayers of thanksgiving.Nope, I'm still puzzled. On my second time around I really paid attention to the writing, and came to the conclusion that The Da Vinci Code is a truly execrable piece of prose that manages to include just about every mistake wannabe novelists are told to avoid. I particularly love the way you're in the middle of an exciting chase-around and then the action suddenly GRINDS TO A HALT while Langdon launches into yet another of his explanations. And the bits where DB was obviously writing with a map of Paris and a guidebook at his elbow, so that you get turn-by-turn street nav and a guided tour of wherever they happen to be, down to the exact dimensions of the room.And can you say plot illogicalities? And what about the Moving Body Parts ("Langdon's eyes followed her arm to the structure ahead")? And DB's cringeworthily bad understanding of British, well, everything, as personified in Sir Lee Tebing ('twas an audiobook so the spelling may be wrong, I personally like Surly T-Bing). The other characters, even those who should have known, kept calling him Sir Tebing (it should be Sir Lee) and even, at one glorious moment, "your knightship". And he put clotted cream in his tea... please see this discussion so I don't have to go over it again. Last but definitely not least, there was supposed to be some sexual attraction between Langdon and Neveu but any time DB went there it was as awkward as watching your brother come on to your BFF. There's something eerily virginal about Langdon which, I swear, manages to communicate itself to Hanks. Never have I seen the Tom look less attractive.This is definitely not the best book to listen to as an audiobook unless you are very, very masochistic. The narrator has to do huge chunks of the story in a French accent and then there's Lee Tebing, who got a ludicrously overblown stage British heehaw voice in my version. Then there was the pronunciation of Louvre as LOOV and Tuileries as TOOLERIES but you know, I've got to hand it to this guy - to wade through a reading of this scab on the body literary must be quite the endurance test.As a Bad Book read, it's superb. I had to stop about every two minutes in some chapters because there were just so, so many things wrong with this book. See here for the full roundup. I did, however, fall asleep in a couple of places, as I have done EVERY TIME I have attempted to watch the movie.Finding the Hanks images has been about the only thing that's kept me going through this review. The success of this loose stool of a novel remains one of the Great Mysteries of the Age.Steve
It's considered an unfair advantage using a cryptex box to solve this.Manny
Fellow Goodreaders, I have a confession to make. (Strikes Abe Lincoln pose). No, I haven't actually read it, if that's what you're thinking. But, in a way, it's worse. The fact is, I... er... I... I'm sorry, this is rather difficult for me... I once, ah, I once wrote a letter to a national newspaper supporting Dan Brown's book. And had it published. OK, I've said it, and now I feel better. (Wipes sweat from forehead). I tried to find the offending item just now on Google, but it looks as though well-meaning people have done their best to hide the evidence. I'd really like to thank them for that. Anyway, if you search on my name and "Da Vinci Code" or "Dan Brown", you'll find pointers to it, though I've so far been unable to retrieve the actual text.As far as I can recall, the background was roughly as follows. A columnist in the Independent, Christina Patterson, had written an article in which she dismissively attacked The Da Vinci Code, and cited a recent interview with the author. Mr Brown had been asked why he thought his book was a success, and had said something about how he believed that what people liked was books with "puzzles and treasure hunts". Patterson remarked with evident contempt that there were no puzzles and treasure hunts in, if I'm remembering correctly, Shakespeare, Dickens or Tolstoy.Well... I'm a big fan of due process. I thought Saddam Hussein was a monster who deserved death fifty times over; but I opposed the Iraq War on the grounds that virtually the only bad thing he hadn't done was to harbor secret weapons of mass destruction, which was the ostensible reason for invading his country. My feelings about Dan Brown were similar. So the letter pointed out that Ms. Patterson was just cherry-picking her authors. As far as I was aware, she was quite correct in saying that Shakespeare, Dickens and Tolstoy didn't do puzzles and treasure-hunts; but if she'd wanted to argue the contrary position, she could just as easily have cited Lewis Carroll, James Joyce and Vladimir Nabokov. The real problem with Dan Brown was not the subject matter, but the quality of the writing.Sigh. I thought I'd better come clean. I'd rather that you hear it from me directly than, you know, just stumble over it by accident when you're following a random link. Maybe, some day, you'll be able to forgive me. And while we're talking about Dan Brown and random links, check this out. It's much funnier than my so-called review.CJ
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!" to the fray. If you're going to create a character who is an expert, PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE make sure you check your facts! 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? Goddess worship. Chalice? Goddess worship. Porcelain toilet bowl? Goddess worship. Pilot ball point pen? Goddess worship. You get the general idea. Not only is every item part of the mythology of the divine feminine, but every number is also part of the divine feminine. Hello? Is a cigar NEVER just a cigar? And some of the claims of symbolism are just plain wrong, as the editor would have found out if he'd bothered to do some fact checking. Remember those military chevrons that, because of the way they were pointed, represented the female divine and those poor slobs of soldiers had been running around all these countless centuries with goddess symbols flaunted on their uniforms without knowing it? The only problem with that premise is that the chevrons facing in their current direction is relatively recent - according to my military historian husband, they faced the OPPOSITE direction for quite some time before being reversed (for what reason, I have no idea...unless the generals all got together and decided they didn't have quite enough goddess symbols on their uniforms and needed it fixed post haste).My theology professor ended up traveling around the country giving talks about this book to thousands of interested people. He loves the book if only because he's now giving pretty much the same information that he used to give to dozing freshman and sophomores to packed theaters of interested listeners. He tells a story about being somewhere in southern Ohio and making a joking remark about the celice being something that all Catholics wore and how now the secret was out, and there was a lady in the back row who elbowed her husband and said "See? I told you so!" The increased interest in history is about the only positive thing that's come out of this book. Honestly, you don't need to make anything up about the Catholic church to point out that it's been the source of some horrible things.I could go on about the poor research and editing in this book, but others have done a pretty thorough job of finding the problems with it.If you want a decent page turner, go for it. If you want something well researched and accurate, give this one a big ol' pass.