Thursday, January 27, 2005

Book Review: Da Vinci Code

I just finished reading Dan Brown's The Da Vinci Code yesterday after a marathon nine hour sitting (with four hour sleep in between).

Normally I would not have read such a novel that deals with pseudo Christian theme. I am not a Christian and therefore has no interest in the religion. However the incredible hype over the book got the best of me and I finally broke down and purchased the e-book version.

The story is very simple - American professor, as the protagonist who is the central character with help of a beautiful French babe tries to solve a murder mystery while on the run from the French authorities. In between they are trying to uncover the secret of Jesus Christ. The settings take place in all exotic places such as The Lourve in Paris and Westminster Abbey in London.


In fact its all too predictable and even comes down to compulsory British villain who unmask himself in the last minute. And the style of writing is very similar to my favorite thriller writer Michael Cricton. Usage of history and flashbacks reminds me of Cricton all the time.

But its not necessary a bad thing. It gives the characters integrity and I love the whole concept. Hollywood has decided to turn this novel into a movie with Tom Hanks as the pivotal character (which I think is a total miscast). They have already gained access to filming in the famous Lourve. But I am curious to see how they film all those background stories.

Now Dan Brown has put a disclaimer claiming that while some of the story are true (facts), the whole story is a fiction. I have read that a lot of attacks were made against the book for propagating false 'facts'. This is all bullshit. As far as novels goes - if all these were in fact true, Dan Brown would in fact has released an academic piece and not in a form of a thriller with characters debating the truth of Mary.

I would not join the debate on the validity of Christian as a religion or whether Jesus Christ was a mortal or deity. However the facts remain that as a thriller The Da Vinci Code is quite good and engaging. If there is one mistake with this book is for some reason the book follows the Hollywood way of narrative with a a few twists on the final 10% of the fiction.

I am not complaining since I truely enjoyed the book even though I can't say its the best. I even bought his previous Robert Langdon based novel Angels & Demons and can't wait to get started on it.


Update: After reading Angels & Demons, I have to add that A&D is the better one with Langdon again as the protagonist. Dissapointigly the style is very predictable. Check out Deception Point if you don't believe me.

Ah...finally I can see the back of Dan Brown. Time to return to Ian Rankin's detective books.

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