Tuesday, April 18, 2006

The Da Vinci Code

That is the last word of the novel.

As my eyes landed on that word on page 484 of the paperback edition of the Da Vinci Code, I found myself fuming. You have got to be kidding me. Seven dead bodies and a 20 hour long non-stop scavenger hunt, and about 6 hours of my time later, that is it?

There are more spoilers ahead, without which I cannot fully express my overall dissatisfaction and bewilderment at the undeserved popularity and hype that this novel has enjoyed since its publication in 2003 which will culminate with the release of the film version next month.

A few more observations about this very forgettable book are in order.

* Could it be any more obvious that the author was angling for an eventual screen adaptation of his "novel"? The whole thing reads like a screen play with two loosely related threads which eventually converge towards the middle. The linearity and simplicity of the plot with neatly intertwined flashbacks in the characters' lives and to historic events scream for dollar signs at the box office on every single one of the 484 pages.

* Da Vinci supposedly planted subtle messages in his artworks to communicate his long held belief that man achieves the pinnacle of spiritual ecstasy through sexual union with woman.

* Then the book mentions Da Vinci's homosexuality over and over and over and over without articulating its relevance.

* It also alleges that Jesus married Mary Magdalene and fathered a child together. Mary eventually moved to Paris to raise the child, and to this day, the bloodline which traces back to Jesus himself has survived.

* Did I tell you the book mentions Da Vinci's homosexuality over and over and over and over without articulating its relevance?

* A few weeks ago, I watched a documentary called "The God Who Wasn't There." It makes a sensational case that Jesus never existed and his life was a figment of the church fathers' collective imagination.

* The book mentions Da Vinci's homosexuality over and over and over and over without articulating its relevance.

* These conspiracy theorists need to do a better job of coordinating with each other. The church fathers conspired to invent the person of Jesus who never existed. And then we find out that not only did he exist, but his genealogical descendants are amongst us?

And they are French? And Da Vinci was a homosexual?


At April 19, 2006 12:02 AM, Blogger Granny said...

I still haven't read it. I'm fascinated by all the theories making the rounds but not enough to wade through something like that.

Paris? It's no stranger than many of the other versions people swear by.

At April 19, 2006 7:59 AM, Blogger A thinker said...

:-D LOL. Very good, David. . .I haven't read the book but your summation of it is pretty telling.

At April 19, 2006 8:11 AM, Blogger Jeje said...

I liked it.

At April 19, 2006 8:26 AM, Blogger Nathan said...

Ah, a fellow lover of good literature. David, you'll probably enjoy this review as much as I did:

At April 19, 2006 12:03 PM, Blogger Oricon Ailin said...

I liked the book. So shoot me. I just like adventure books. My faith is so strong that I dismissed 99% of the "theories" in the book immediately. Yes, it's not a well written book, but it is a fairly interesting adventure. What the book DID for me was introduce me to some art and stuff I wasn't really familiar with. I spent most of my time looking up paintings, sculptures, etc. I was curious.

As for the religious theories...give me a break. Yeah, it makes ya think a bit, but other than that, to me it was nothing but a work of fiction.

I am a fan of Clive Cussler, Michael Crichton, and Tom Clancy, so this kind of book fit in with my likes.

I'm sorry the book wasn't what you expected David.

I also just finished Angels and Demons, which is another fun adventure. You ought to give that one a try. Many people I talked to who weren't too crazy about DVC liked Angels and Demons.

Take care!

At April 19, 2006 5:36 PM, Blogger Silent Thunder said...

I actually liked it. I also enjoyed Angels and Demons, particularly because of the setting in Rome and the Italian throughout the book, having lived there for a couple of years.

About the conference, I did hear that it will be published at some point but I am unsure as to when. I will keep an eye out and let you know.

At April 19, 2006 7:17 PM, Blogger David Cho said...

Perpaps those of you who liked it can explain the ending to me.

So what "secret" was there to protect that 5 people had to die? Even if it had fallen into the wrong hands, it would not have mattered. So the dead people, the British historian, the main character, the girl, and the Paris cop risked all that for....?

The turns and twists through the fast moving plot were somewhat interesting, but to what end?

As to the girl's family whom she thought had lost, all they had to do was for the grandmother to just pick up the phone and identify herself after the death of the curator.

At April 20, 2006 9:48 AM, Blogger Gretchen said...

LOL... I still havn't read the book. At one point my husband and I tried to listen to the audio version but never got into it.
The fact that I know how incorrect the history is and the fact that the author says that it's historically acurate keeps turning me off to it.

At April 20, 2006 6:59 PM, Blogger Brotha Buck said...

I haven't read the book, and I'm not sure if I'm gonna see the movie. My faith is strong, but, as my pastor once described, I'm a 'doubting Thomas." He described them as people who are easily thrown off track by always questioning and doubting and analyzing. I'd never give up my faith, but, it may throw some things at me that get me to thinking in a directions I shouldn't. Does that sound conflicted, or what.

At April 20, 2006 8:28 PM, Blogger Just Rannin' Around said...

Angels and Demons is a much better novel. Of course I had just gotten back from Italy and had my own picture book at which to look as I read. I did like The Da Vinci Code though.

At April 22, 2006 12:20 PM, Blogger Gary Means said...

If it were a well-written book I might consider reading it despite the preposterous theories. But, thanfully, I have read your review and the review which Nathan linked. I will not waste my time.

And, now I understand that it's not merely inept writing style, but poor story-telling, I guess I may avoid the film as well. I am disappointed though, I like Tom Hanks. Oh well, not exactly a major life crisis.

At April 22, 2006 3:27 PM, Blogger L-girl said...

Thank you, thank you, thank you.

I didn't read it, couldn't read it, couldn't stand it, piece of crap. The amazing thing is how many otherwise discerning people liked it. Not to mention the zillions of people who don't seem to understand IT'S FICTION.

Yay David. :)


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