The Da Vinci Code (Robert Langdon, #2)

ISBN: 0307277674
ISBN 13: 9780307277671
By: Dan Brown

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Adult Adventure Favorites Historical Fiction Mystery Mystery Thriller Novels Series Suspense Thriller

About this book

An ingenious code hidden in the works of Leonardo da Vinci. A desperate race through the cathedrals and castles of Europe. An astonishing truth concealed for centuries . . . unveiled at last.While in Paris, Harvard symbologist Robert Langdon is awakened by a phone call in the dead of the night. The elderly curator of the Louvre has been murdered inside the museum, his body covered in baffling symbols. As Langdon and gifted French cryptologist Sophie Neveu sort through the bizarre riddles, they are stunned to discover a trail of clues hidden in the works of Leonardo da Vinci—clues visible for all to see and yet ingeniously disguised by the painter.Even more startling, the late curator was involved in the Priory of Sion—a secret society whose members included Sir Isaac Newton, Victor Hugo, and Da Vinci—and he guarded a breathtaking historical secret. Unless Langdon and Neveu can decipher the labyrinthine puzzle—while avoiding the faceless adversary who shadows their every move—the explosive, ancient truth will be lost forever.

Reader's Thoughts

Joey

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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.

Robert

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 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. More obscure books on the matter are not as accessible as Da Vinci Code and if someone were to write an accessible book of genius on this subject, I would give him/her all due praise. 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.

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.

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.

Seth Hahne

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.

Jonathan 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...

Steve

It's considered an unfair advantage using a cryptex box to solve this.

Mohammed Arabey

شــفره دافنــشي***************اولا : زي ماقلت في ريفيو روايه: ملائكه وشياطين الروايه دي لو حابب تتمتع وانت بتقراها بجد ليها حل من الاتنين1- تقرأ النسخه الانجليزيه المصوره Illustrated Edition او2- وانت بتقرا النسخه تكون فاتح جوجل صور وتكتب اسم كل مكان بيزوره روبرت لانجدون وكل قاعه في اللوفر او لوحه او عمل فني لدافنشي او مخطوطاته وطبعا الكنائس كمان وتشوف صورتهم علي النتدي اهم لوحات الروايه وفيها سر اسرار الروايه وشفره دافنشي والحبكه كلهالوحه العشاء الاخير من اشهر اللوحات المثيره للجدل ربما منذ ان تحدثت عنها في عام 1997 روايهThe Templar Revelation Secret Guardians of the True Identity of Christتاني تجربه ليا في اني اقرأ روايه مليانه تفاصيل ومعلومات حقيقيه مع دان براون والشخصيه الممتازه روبرت لانجدون وكملائكه وشياطين المعلومات في اطار تشويقي فعلا يخليك مستني تعرف المعلومه اللي بعدها وتحاول تبحث عن حقيقتها او اصلها علي الانترنت خاصا انها المره دي مثيره للجدل جداليست دينيه فحسب..بل كونيه "مثل حقائق الرقم المقدس فاي وغيرها"وايضا معلومات حرق الساحرات كانت رهيبه بربطها بخط الحقائق الخاصه بالروايه الاصليوالذي يجادل فيه ويكشف النقاب عن اسرار كثيره ازداد الجدل فيها حول المسيحيه بالاخص في اواخر القرن الماضي ليشتد حدته هذا الجدل بصدور هذه الروايه التي تصدرت مبيعات الكتب في العالموادت للعديد من الكتب ان تحاول تقليدها او الوصول لتلك المرحله التاريخيه وابسط مثال لمستفيدي هذا النجاح رواياتيوسف زيدان ظل الافعي و عزازيلمع ان دان براون نفسه روايته تعتبر متشابهه في الموضوع الجدلي كروايهThe Name of the Rose 1980ولكن لم تلق نصيبها من الشهره الواسعه الا عندما تم اطلاق عليها دعائيا "اصل روايه شفره دافنشي لدان براون""وربما تنبأ دان براون بهذا الاعتلاء علي عرش اعلي مبيعات الكتب اثناء كتابته للروايه بذكره لكتابين من اعلي مبيعات الكتب في العالم من قبله في الحوار التالي:الذي دار بين روبرت لانجدون الذي يريد نشر كتابه حول نظريته عن الكأس المقدسه وبين صديقه ناشر كتبه الذي يساله لماذا لم يحاول احد الكتاب من قبله نشر الحقائق التي كتبها لانجدون حول ذلك الموضوع""These books can't possibly compete with centuries of established history, especially when that history is endorsed by the ultimate bestseller of all time."Faukman's eyes went wide. "Don't tell me Harry Potter is actually about the Holy Grail.""I was referring to the Bible." ولندع الجدل الديني جانبا ونتكلم علي الروايهبالنسبه للشخصيات*****************مثل الروايه الاولي شخصيه روبرت لانجدون لم تخرج عن اطارها..نفس الدقه في رسم الشخصيه,قوه الملاحظه وتصرفه وقت المواقف المثيره..شخصيه ساحره فعلا هادئ ووقور و كمبيوتر رموز متنقلصوفي وماضيها الذي يطاردها منذ ان شاهدت جثه جدها تجد ان صوفي..جدها..الظابط..العالم..الكاهن..والمجرم التائب..دافنشي..وحتي مريم المجدليهكلها شخصيات مهمه في الاحداث يتم فك شفرتهم جميعا فصل فصللكل شخصيه شفره, شفره قد تكون..ماضي..سر دفين..رغبه..علاقه..شفره تنكشف لكبالنسبه للاحداث ***************الروايه متعدده وجهات النظر دائما تحتاج لبراعه في الكتابه...لم تنقص في هذه الروايه عن الروايه السابقه بل كانت مثيره اكثروالمره دي برضه الروايه كلها في يوم واحد او يوم ونصف لكن المكان اتغير ولايقل سحر عن روما والفاتيكان..المره دي بين باريس ليلا وانجلترا صباحاالاحداث هنا ايضا متلاحقه في فتره زمنيه تعتبر قصيره بالنسبه لروايه ضخمه..ولكن الحبكه تختلف..فهذه المره لانجدون هو المطارد من قبل الشرطه الفرنسيه وليس مساعدا للشرطه كما كان في الفاتيكانمره اخري الاسلوب السينمائي المتلاحقالوصف الذي لايفوقه الا الصور الملونه في النسخه المصوره من الروايهIllustrated Editionالهروب والاختفاء في اخر لحظهNarrow Escapesكان كثيرا جدا في الروايه "واللي نجح الفيلم نجاحه الوحيد في ابرازها سينمائيا" الموضوع ده زاد الاثاره في الروايه دي عن سابقتهافي النهايه انسوا الفيلم تماما وابدأوا بالروايه .. حتي لو كان توم هانكس مبدع ..المخرج عبقري..حيفضل دان براون افضل مؤلف ومخرج وممثل علي الورق..محمد العربيالاسكندريه من 10 مارس 2013الي 19 مارس 2013The English ReviewFirst of all I hate Action books, thriller and just action novels. I hate book would got that much of Facts that can sometimes got the equal pages of the novels events itself..I love fiction ,I adore fiction with a hint of fantasy ,that make me escapes of our realistic, raw, ugly most of times, unpleasant world to another different one ..I'm a big fan of Harry Potter -although J.K. Rowling successfully made me read her greedy, realistic, raw, ugly most of times, unpleasant world on The Casual Vacancyand even loving it - So what kind of magic does Dan Brown got to make me fall in love with Robert Langdon's adventures?*Is it his mixing and blending the real historical events with his non-stop thriller "fiction". I know some of the historical events he mention are true and some are not-or are they!? :)-?*Is it the characters itself? The Mickey Mouse watch is amazing touch -as a Disney's big fan- *Is it the talented story telling and the easy swift from a POV to another? *or Is it the melting of the wall between the Hard and Row REAL Facts,Historical Events and Symbols meanings and Enjoying reading about it -WITHOUT being an expert or even interested to know about them from the start- All of what I can say is that the search and hunt of that kind of a thriller novel,A SMART thriller is set for me by Dan Brown with these 2 novels "Angels and Demons" and the squeal "The Da Vinci Code"

Michael

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.

ryan

most of us have heard of this controverisal book. it takes an open minded person to read this and to remember it is just fiction. but it brings up a lot of important questions about the Christian church, and the loss of paganism and the respect of the Goddess or the Woman. I don't care if I am the only one who likes this book. it is my own truth, and i will think what i want to think. Dan Brown didn't LEAD me or anyone else. he OPENED our minds. simply and importantly...he was just a catalyst for different thinking. that is a good thing...poorly written or not.if you finish the book you will notice that Dan Brown even makes it clear to readers through his characters words, that he doesn't want to destroy christianity because it has done so much good for so many people, and if it works for them, let's let them continue to do what works for them. but find your own path. if you were or are a Christian ask yourself about the topics in this book. They are so eye opening. Jesus having a baby? totally possible...never thought of it before. never thought of it. is it true? who knows. Things like this are happening all the time today...Weapons of Mass destruction in Iraq? sound familiar? Maybe the church repressed information LIKE this because it was a threat to the church. totally possible. The catholic church creating the biblical canon with a political agenda to wipe out paganism? actually this seems to be a fact. women being oppressed due to the fear of religous zealot men in power losing their power...never looked at it that way. but this seems to be a fact too. is it helpful in broadening my perspective of the fact that christianity is just a religion made by fallible people. it sure is. does it open my mind to other faiths like paganism, judiasm, islam, bhuddism, and want to take the truths from all of them, and then THINK FOR MYSELF and figure out my own truth. it sure does...and that is what this book has probably done for many other people. why do you think Dan Brown's book was on the bestseller list for so long...and became a movie...obviously it was doing some good.

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.

Brian

I read this because someone recommended to me. To this day I would like tell them off. This book is complete crap. Stereotypical one-dimensional characters (c'mon! an albino monk assassin?? Gimme a break people!). There are really only 4-5 actual characters so it is no mystery of "whodunnit?" Yeah it's a page-turner. So what? So is any Dr. Seuss book. But at least Dr. Seuss was a genius. Dan Brown is a hack. A rich hack, now. But totally talentless. He is the Brittney Spears of authors. All titilation and no talent. Except in one area. He knows what people want and how to deliver it with all the controversy to sell books. He knows that the best way to stir a controversy is to have a big enough target. Who better than the "mysterious Catholic Church?" It's already common-place to bash Catholocism anyway and basically last surviving practicing prejudice. And taking a page out of the hype with "The Last Temptation of Christ" or "Dogma" Dan Brown knew that controversy and protests lead to more sales. I won't even get into the total disregard for "factual" things that he uses in the book (such as works of Leonardo DaVinci, various church's, Opus Dei, etc) because it just isn't worth it. You want real literature with secret societies and something that you can really sink your teeth and the brain that God intended you to use, then read Umberto Eco's "Foucault's Pendulum." Bottom line: Awful book.

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.

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