“The Da Vinci Code”, by Dan Brown

Here’s another blast from the past that I’m just now reading, but I thought it was worth talking about in case you’re like me and missed it the first time around. And thanks to my good friend, Kristin, for the recommendation.

First, I want to address the criticism it’s gotten for being anti-Catholic. I can see how it got that reputation. There are things in 41cXJLj3BkL._SX277_BO1,204,203,200_this book that make the church look bad and there are some thingsthat totally fly in the face of the church’s theology. Some of this is based in fact, but a lot of it is fiction. This is a work of fiction and the responsible reader needs to be able to sort through what’s real, what’s speculation and what’s just plain made up. The problem, of course, is that not everyone can do that and that’s probably one of main issues Catholics should have with this book (by the way, I’m Catholic ).

Now, let’s talk about the book. I found it very interesting and engaging. It starts with a bang and doesn’t let up until the very end. In the opening scene, the curator of the Louvre is shot at the Louvre and just has enough time before he dies to create some cryptic messages that only his granddaughter, Sophie, can solve with the assistance of Robert Langdon, an American professor of symbology. They both become fugitives from the police as they race to solve the mysteries Sophie’s grandfather has left behind.

The book is full of clever puzzles, ancient symbolism, conspiracy theories and hard to predict plot twists. These are all things I love in a suspense novel, especially when they are this well done. The characters were well written and the author even managed to make the villainous monk who killed Sophie’s grandfather an occasionally sympathetic character. The book was also well paced and the author adroitly handled jumping between multiple characters and points of view.

I strongly recommend this book and because it was published 13 years ago, the good news is that you should be able to pick it up pretty cheaply at a used bookstore!

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4 thoughts on ““The Da Vinci Code”, by Dan Brown

  1. I remember enjoying the book but not liking the movie as much. Sometimes I will watch a movie and then read the book. I did this with No Country for Old Men. I think it’s tough to come up with good endings for suspense books or mysteries. Presumed Innocent comes to mind as a courtroom novel with a good ending. Glad you enjoyed this one, Michelle.

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  2. I’m so glad it was a good recommendation! 🙂

    Also, I agree with Robert’s comment above regarding the book versus the movie. Then again, I tend to feel that way about all movies based upon beloved books which is why I’d rather just read the book and never see the movie

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  3. P.S. If you’re interested in reading any more Dan Brown novels, I’d rank his other books in this order:
    – Inferno. His latest novel, very gory in some places, but over all a REALLY good, suspenseful book.
    – Angels & Demons. The first book to feature Robert Langdon, published before The Da Vinci Code
    *** I’d draw a big line here on my list ***
    – Lost Symbol. Features Robert Langdon (as does Inferno and A&D), but not as good as the other two books above
    – Deception Point. Doesn’t include Robert Langdon as a character. Despite not loving movies based upon books, not seeing Tom Hanks in my head as I read the book may have jaded me. LOL!

    NOTE: I never read Digital Fortress, so it’s not on the ranked list above.

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  4. I read The Da Vinci Code when it first came out (still have my original copy somewhere!). I thought at the time, and still do, that it was one of the best written and most engaging suspense novels I had ever read. I can remember staying up late into the night (many nights) reading, unable to stop turning the pages. I’m glad you enjoyed it and appreciate the commentary on the controversy, as well.

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