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The word for "The Da Vinci Code" is a rare invertible palindrome. Rotated 180 degrees on a horizontal axis so that it is upside down, it denotes the maternal essence that is sometimes linked to the sport of soccer. Read right side up, it concisely conveys the kind of extreme enthusiasm with which this riddle-filled, code-breaking, exhilaratingly brainy thriller can be recommended.
That word is wow.
The author is Dan Brown (a name you will want to remember). In this gleefully erudite suspense novel, Mr. Brown takes the format he has been developing through three earlier novels and fine-tunes it to blockbuster perfection. Not since the advent of Harry Potter has an author so flagrantly delighted in leading readers on a breathless chase and coaxing them through hoops.
The first book by this onetime teacher, the 1998 "Digital Fortress," had a foxy heroine named Susan Fletcher who was the National Security Agency's head cryptographer. The second, "Deception Point," involved NASA, a scientific ruse in the Arctic and Rachel Sexton, an intelligence analyst with a hairdo "long enough to be sexy, but short enough to remind you she was probably smarter than you."
With "Angels and Demons," Mr. Brown introduced Robert Langdon, a Harvard professor of art history and religious symbology who is loaded with "what his female colleagues referred to as an `erudite' appeal." No wonder: the new book finds the enormously likable Langdon pondering antimatter, the big-bang theory, the cult of the Illuminati and a threat to the Vatican, among other things. Yet this is merely a warm-up for the mind-boggling trickery that "The Da Vinci Code" has in store.
Consider the new book's prologue, set in the Grand Gallery of the Louvre. (This is the kind of book that notices that this one gallery's length is three times that of the Washington Monument.) It embroils a Caravaggio, an albino monk and a curator in a fight to the death. That's a scene leaving little doubt that the author knows how to pique interest, as the curator, Jacques Saunière, fights for his life.
Desperately seizing the painting in order to activate the museum's alarm system, Saunière succeeds in buying some time. And he uses these stolen moments — which are his last — to take off his clothes, draw a circle and arrange himself like the figure in Leonardo's most famous drawing, "The Vitruvian Man." And to leave behind an anagram and Fibonacci's famous numerical series as clues.
Whatever this is about, it is enough to summon Langdon, who by now, he blushes to recall, has been described in an adoring magazine article as "Harrison Ford in Harris tweed." Langdon's latest manuscript, which "proposed some very unconventional interpretations of established religious iconography which would certainly be controversial," is definitely germane.
Also soon on the scene is the cryptologist Sophie Neveu, a chip off the author's earlier prototypes: "Unlike the waifish, cookie-cutter blondes that adorned Harvard dorm room walls, this woman was healthy with an unembellished beauty and genuineness that radiated a striking personal confidence." Even if he had not contrived this entire story as a hunt for the Lost Sacred Feminine essence, women in particular would love Mr. Brown.
With Leonardo as co-conspirator, since his life and work were so fraught with symbols and secrets, Mr. Brown is off to the races. Google away: you may want to investigate the same matters that Langdon and Agent Neveu pursu
Once I began this extraordinary book, I could not put it down. "The Da Vinci Code" is so much more than a gripping suspense thriller. Dan Brown takes us beyond the main plot and leads us on a quest for the Holy Grail - a Grail totally unlike anything we have been taught to believe. With his impeccable research, Mr. Brown introduces us to aspects and interpretations of Western history and Christianity that I, for one, had never known existed...or even thought about. I found myself, unwillingly, leaving the novel, and time and time again, going online to research Brown's research - only to find a new world of historic possibilities opening up for me. And my quest for knowledge and the answers to questions that the book poses, paralleled, in a sense, the quest of the book's main characters. What a trip! What a read!
A violent murder is committed in the Louvre Museum. The museum's chief curator, who is also the head of a remarkable secret society that has existed since the death of Christ, is found dead and gruesomely positioned on the floor near The Mona Lisa. In the minutes before he died, this very complex man was able to leave clues for his daughter to follow. The daughter, a brilliant cryptographer, along with a famed US symbologist, follow her father's codes and leads, hoping that he will, through his death, finally tell her what he wanted to confide in her while he lived. The secret society included members such as: Leonardo Da Vinci, Boticelli, Gallileo, Isaac Newton, Victor Hugo, Jean Cocteau, etc. These folks really Did belong to this society, which Really existed! This is when I first began my online search.
The mystery, or mysteries, take us through England, France and far back in time. We learn about the secret of the Knights Templar, and the symbolism in many of the world's most treasured paintings, as well as architectural symbolism in some of history's most sacred churches. Of course, we also learn who committed the murder and why - although this is almost secondary next to the real epic mystery the novel uncovers.
If there are flaws in the plot, I was too busy reading to discover any. That is probably the sign of a terrific book! The writing is excellent and the characters are a bit on the super-hero/heroine side, but who cares? Is what "The Da Vinci Code" proposes true? Well, the research is correct. The historical events and people explored in the book are real. But no one knows the Truth...nor will we ever, probably. I think that some things are meant to be a mystery. With all the world's diverse religions and each individual's belief in what is Divine - the Truth would have to destroy the beliefs, hopes and lives of many of the world's population. So, perhaps, in the divine scheme of things, there are many more Truths than one. Don't take the book too seriously. Just read it and enjoy!
In The Da Vinci Code, art historian and religious symbologist Robert Langdon is summoned to the Louvre to help in investigating the murder of its curator. The dead man left a series of cryptic clues and symbols near his body before he died. With the help of cryptologist Sophie Neveu, Langdon discovers that some of the clues are hidden in Da Vinci's famous painting, "The Vitruvian Man." He also learns that Da Vinci, along with Isaac Newton, Victor Hugo, and Botticelli, belonged to a secret society called the Priory of Sion. Also involved are other religious groups and secret societies who are out to stop Langdon and Neveu at any cost. This thriller's breakneck pace, ingenious clues and escapes, and sharp intelligence have already sent it to the top of bestseller lists. The New York Times review of this book is summed up in one word, "Wow." We couldn't agree more. The Da Vinci Code is a fun and intelligent read.
I bought this book out of mere curiosity. I wanted tosee what all the hype was about. I accomplished that after only 70 pages.
I have ONE word for this book... BALONEY!
Brown's first three novels had little success, with fewer than 10,000 copies in each of their first printings; but the fourth novel, The Da Vinci Code, became a runaway bestseller, going to the top of the New York Times Best Seller list during its first week of release in 2003. Well, 1 out of 3 isn't bad... yes, it is!
Brown has told fans that he uses inversion therapy to help with writer's block. He uses gravity boots and says, “hanging upside down seems to help me solve plot challenges by shifting my entire perspective.”
Well, THAT explains his thinking maybe...upside down!!!
Sure, "Code" reads okay, but, though Brown purports to be "christian" (small c) this book is anything but! In a word, it's offensive to the basic idea of Christianity, has been ridiculed by academic scholars as riddled with inaccuracies, & has been criticized by Christian theologians as blasphemous. I guess all that sells books?
Brown has admitted to lifting both his central hypothesis and key plot elements from The Holy Blood and the Holy Grail, a book long since exposed as a hoax.
This reliance on fabrication didn’t discourage Brown from prefacing his fantasy interpretation of Biblical history with the guarantee that “all descriptions of artwork, architecture, documents and secret rituals in this novel are accurate.” Among the “truths” he goes on to reveal are such long-suppressed "secrets" as the fact that Christ married Mary Magdalene, had a child with her, and that their bloodline has survived to the present day. That's being a "christian"???? Doesn't look much like it to millions!
Brown wasn't content to stop there! He decided to cast doubt on a fundamental tenet of Christianity by alleging that Jesus was just a mere mortal, and that the Catholic Church has, for centuries, gone to great lengths, even murder, to perpetuate the lies its followers so fervently believe in. To that end, the Vatican has supposedly relied on a conservative hit squad, known as Opus Dei, to do all its dirty work. WHAT??? Doesn't ebay delete content with "hate speech", or something like that???
Sure, read the book. I listed the copy I wasted my money on here on ebay as perhaps fit for wipe-up paper...cheap starting bid, too!
Unlike the movie, the book is fast paced, intriguing, and smart. I couldn't put it down. Parts of it may be historically inaccurate but this is fiction. It's a spiritual mystery/suspense thriller or as some choose to believe the greatest cover up of all time which incorporates, secret societies, The Holy Grail, Opus Dei ( A Catholic organization) and Leonardo Da Vinci's art into the plot. I don't want to give the whole story away but the quick synopsis is as follows: the book starts with a murder of the Louvre's curator which sends the main characters, Robert Langdon and Sophie Neveu on the run and ultimately in search of the Holy Grail. The story moves fast with short chapters (mostly just a few pages each) with their own mini cliffhangers, which keeps you coming back for more.