- Audible Audio Edition
- Listening Length: 17 hours and 4 minutes
- Program Type: Audiobook
- Version: Unabridged
- Publisher: Books on Tape
- Audible.com Release Date: August 29, 2003
- Whispersync for Voice: Ready
- Language: English
- ASIN: B0000D1BWY
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank:
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The Da Vinci Code Audiobook – Unabridged
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I love high-brow thrillers that don't try to write down to the reader, and (even more so) I also love it when authors go to the effort of ample RESEARCH before writing about a given topic.
Anyway, without giving away too much of the plot, the author takes the reader on a fascinating and gripping ride through some of the more esoteric & mysterious corners classical art history, architecture, Judeo-Christian religious mysteries & religious symbology, church history, secret societies, and the like ... and he does so with both skill and panache. Some of my own interests, during & since college, overlap many of those areas, and it was wonderfully refreshing to see the material handled so well, and so competently, for the benefit of people who are new to these subjects. There *IS* a generous helping of fiction (and speculation) mixed in with historical facts, but for those who are erudite enough to know the difference, it's a highly entertaining and creative ride.
I was already familiar with a fair amount of the material, but some items were new to me. I cant speak for their veracity, but they were cleverly done:
* Pri-oS/Opus Dei: I've already done a little casual reading on my own regarding organizations like the Templar Knights ... but the Pri-oS & Opus Dei (the latter apparently being a modern day reincarnation of various "Flagellant" groups of Medieval Europe) references were new to me.
I was particularly impressed with the author's attention to small details too:
* An overview of the Council of Nicea, which formed the bible as we know it, and which omitted & suppressed many other accounts (i.e., the Gnostic Scriptures, etc.).
* The church's campaign of absorption & suppression against other indigenous faiths across the mid-east and Europe, and it's particularly destructive repression of feminine divinity faiths. All true.
* The partially botched handling of the "Heiros Gamos" ritual ala the movie "Eyes Wide Shut".
However, the author did sidestep a few points that he could have better expanded on:
* Many of the symbols of the Arthurian cycle (the holy grail, in this case) have echoes in a variety of ancient religions ... the author focused exclusively of the Wicca / female divinity aspects of the Grail, and overlooked other references to, say, the "Cauldron" of Dagda (Celtic), the Cauldron of the tri-partite Virgin-Mother-Crone (ex: the Norns of Nordic myth), the Fates of Greek myth, etc ad infinitum).
In any case, the book is very enjoyable, and highly recommended ... particularly if you've never encountered the material before, or if you're a bible literalist who's overdue for an invigoriating dash of cold water. History is a lot more interesting and convoluted than most people realize. People who slept through (art) history class don't realize what they've been missing out on.
Highly recommended - a very entertaining, and controversial, read.
Nowadays, the general premise is widely known, and in whichever camp one’s convictions may lay there is surely an abundance of artistic entertainment here. Beyond the last page, however, is where the tale really begins; the struggle within oneself.
Absent blind allegiance, the narrative encourages you to read this work in different contexts, i.e., other, more studious works on which it is based. Take, for example, "Holy Blood, Holy Grail" (Baigent, Leigh & Lincoln), whose groundbreaking study in 1982 upset the status quo in their time; then, perhaps, consider the Nag Hammadi scriptures, discovered in 1945, or the known record concerning the Council of Nicea (AD 325) and discover the reasons of the "missing books" of the Bible. These are but a few, but all equal building blocks which may even be found hidden within the U.S. Declaration of Independence.
In any case, this book will capture your attention with much detail, certainly test all you may have been taught, and in a more profound way than any Hollywood movie has dared to produce - even its own namesake.
Read the book for yourself, free and independent of other rigid views, and you will enjoy the ride….
Being the research freak that I am, I started looking into parts of this book to find out what was fact and what was fiction and I have to say that I'm still on the fence as to whether this book should remain as a "fiction" book.
I'm not going to be like others I've read here and dissect the book to pieces as it just ruins the creative process and overall enjoyment of the storyline.
If you want a fairly fast-paced book that keeps things interesting well into the night (or on days that you're sick and have nothing else to do but lounge around), then this book is a MUST.