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The Gaudi Key: A Novel Hardcover – August 5, 2008


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 384 pages
  • Publisher: William Morrow; 1 edition (August 5, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0061434914
  • ISBN-13: 978-0061434914
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 1.2 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 2.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,299,454 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

At the start of Martin and Carranza's Da Vinci Code knockoff, members of a secret group known as the Corbel, who worship the Dark One, orchestrate Spanish architect Antonio Gaudí's apparently accidental death in 1926. Their purpose, carried out over centuries, is to destroy the Knights of the Moriah, who guard the greatest secret in Christianity. In 2006, 92-year-old Juan Givell, the last grand master of the Moriah, must pass his knowledge on to his attractive 26-year-old granddaughter, who will then, along with her mathematician boyfriend, take up Givell's mission to finish the Great Work. Far too often in a plot involving an ancient relic, the Templars, the Vatican, riddles, secret diaries, torture and many brutal murders, the action grinds to a halt as someone stops to deliver a lecture on a historical fact or theory. Ardent fans of Gaudí's work will best appreciate this erratic enterprise. (Aug.)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

From Booklist

In the tradition of The Da Vinci Code, this mix of thriller and adventure tale set in Barcelona centers on the life and work of real-life architect Antonio Gaudi (1852–1926) and his largest project, La Sagrada Familia, a Catholic church that remains unfinished. Readers who enjoy heavy doses of religious history, mysticism, and secret societies will revel in the detailed backstory, which follows the 3,000-year life of a sacred relic guarded by a secret order, the Knights of Moriah, against the Corbel, an equally secret satanic sect. Maria and her boyfriend, Miguel, both academics, are drawn into the dangerous game when Maria’s grandfather dies, leaving her to find the hidden relic and fulfill the prophecy. The realistic characters and the intriguing combination of religion and architecture will draw readers, but the uneven pace may deter them. The first two-thirds of the novel is very slow—nearly brought to a standstill by lengthy flashbacks—but the last third abruptly kicks into overdrive, as the body count grows and frenzied action dominates. This narrative schizophrenia is disconcerting, but Da Vinci Code fans are used to bipolar pacing. --Jessica Moyer

Customer Reviews

Aside for that its very good.
World reader
I found the book and its main plot interesting, but the action was a bit too prolonged and uneven.
Ace
Scarce recompense for plowing through nearly 500 pages of drivel, though.
Feanor

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By C. M. Struik on October 12, 2008
Format: Hardcover
This should have been called The Gaudi Code, as it is a clone of the famous Dan Brown(e?) bestseller. If you want to know more about Gaudi, but are too lazy to study real literature about him, of if you enjoy endless riddles that can only be solved by the protagonists, this may be for you, though the storyline is predictable and lacks credibility. For me it lost all attraction when the puzzles could only be solved if the two heroes confessed their never-ending love for each other.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Ace VINE VOICE on October 17, 2008
Format: Hardcover
I love Antonio Gaudi's works -- they are so organic, his works flow, they are almost alive, especially his exceptional (unfinished) cathedral. Gaudi himself was a very unusual person -- introspective, reflective, religious, and it is said, fasted for 20 days before undertaking the design of La Sagrada Familia.

Whether they are secular or religious, Gaudi's works definitely transcend time.

Although The Gaudi Key can be summed up as an "interesting read", it does not always "flow" -- it is not built on the very best of foundations. Sentence structure could really be improved, as some of the sentences are annoyingly choppy. Like this. Plots are, in some places, a bit long winded.

I found the book and its main plot interesting, but the action was a bit too prolonged and uneven.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By World reader on November 23, 2008
Format: Hardcover
If you never read Davinci Code this book would be a lot better. Unfortunately its Spains Davinci Code. Very similiar. Aside for that its very good. The characters are a little confusing at first, but once you get into it its good.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Edward J. Altmann on September 6, 2008
Format: Hardcover
This is an excellent work, especially if you are a fan of riddles...a fan of architecture...a fan of mysteries.

The architecture described is by the world famous Spanish architect Antonio Gaudi. Hidden deep within his works (and in the location of his works) is a secret that will affect all of mankind.

The search for this secret and the murderous attempts by a secret organization to stop the search fuels the action. Then, the mixed motives (the enemy wants the searchers to find the secret that they cannot find) regarding the ultimate goal, all contribute to the mystery.

Not to be negative or to spoil a fascinating book, the ending leaves me wanting for more, but the search is really the joy in reading this book.

And, as is rarely the case in recent books of this genre, the authors really know what they are talking about and mention a few side details that are also worthy of further reading (including the stellar constellation DRACO - hint, read about the Cambodian temples; the statement "as above so below" - hint, read about the pyramids of Egypt AND about the Cambodian temples). Almost casually strewn throughout the book, as the breadcrumbs mentioned, are at least a dozen other mysteries worthy of further reading.

I had a copy of Antonio Gaudi's work with me as I read this book and I highly recommend doing that.

Edward Altmann
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Format: Paperback
I bought this book just before getting on a flight and found myself stuck with it for 10 hours en route to New York.
One of the main reasons I bought it is my fascination with Gaudi's architecture and biography - I have been to Barcelona several times and visited all the locations related to Antonio Gaudi. When I flipped through the pages in the airport bookstore I caught some nice descriptions of real locations I knew from Barcelona, and hints of an interesting plot (a mysterious order of knights dedicated to protecting a mystical object; some riddles intertwined in Gaudi's work etc.)

About 10 pages into the book, it was clear to me this is no masterpiece, and a dozen pages later I knew it was a big mistake buying it. The only reasons I kept reading were the hope that it would get better somewhere, the fact that it was the only book I had on the flight, and that I had already seen the movie that was playing on the airplane video.

In short, the writers try to create a mysterious plot which unravels as the story progresses, and match it up with various details from Gaudi's works and architecture, and biographical details from his past. They throw in an ancient order of knights who are the "good guys" and their enemies, an ancient order of "bad guys". They top it up with a couple of mathematical riddles that the lame "hero" tries to put together while he rushes with this girlfriend to escape the bad guys, and retrieve the mysterious sacred object in time to place it wherever-the-hell-it-needs-to-be-placed just in time for the dawn of a new era in Christianity.

while there are enough materials here to create a very good reading, the writers are trying very hard to make it appear like the Barcelonian counterpart of The Da Vinci Code, and fail miserably.
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Format: Paperback
"The Gaudi Key" (La Clave Gaudi) possesses the grandiosity of its subject's architecture, but lacks his whimsy.

Sometimes you can concoct a literary triumph yet not tell a story so well. Such is the case with Esteban Martin and Andreu Carranza's novel.

"The Gaudi Key," takes Dan Brown's "The Da Vinci Code," moves it to Barcelona, and then attempts to transform a potboiler into big literature. But the authors fail to match Brown's talent for penning the page-turner, and instead weigh their piece down with interesting, but unnecessary information.

Any story affirmatively linking Barcelona, its most famous architect, and the second coming of Jesus Christ is going to have a lot of explaining to do, and the resulting expository writing generates a book of considerable heft (430 pages).

The set-up involves a vicious conflict between the diabolical Men of Mensula and the Knights of Moria; the latter being an ancient Catholic order of warrior friars with which Gaudi was associated.

The knights are engaged in an age-old quest of squiring a surviving rock sliver from Solomon's temple to its final resting place in the Gaudi-designed Sagrada Familia cathedral, as preparation for Christ's return to earth.

If it sounds complicated, well, it is. And if it doesn't sound complicated, it still is.

And although the authors successfully guide the narrative's baroque machinery to a successful conclusion, the exquisitely embroidered scheme ends up stepping all over a story that is not uninspired in its origins.

Detailing the history and competing philosophies of the Mensulan and Morian orders is tackled via long character dialogues best omitted or at least reduced to something more essential and dramatized through story action.
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