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The Da Vinci Code Hardcover – March 18, 2003
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With The Da Vinci Code, Dan Brown masterfully concocts an intelligent and lucid thriller that marries the gusto of an international murder mystery with a collection of fascinating esoteria culled from 2,000 years of Western history.
A murder in the silent after-hour halls of the Louvre museum reveals a sinister plot to uncover a secret that has been protected by a clandestine society since the days of Christ. The victim is a high-ranking agent of this ancient society who, in the moments before his death, manages to leave gruesome clues at the scene that only his granddaughter, noted cryptographer Sophie Neveu, and Robert Langdon, a famed symbologist, can untangle. The duo become both suspects and detectives searching for not only Neveu's grandfather's murderer but also the stunning secret of the ages he was charged to protect. Mere steps ahead of the authorities and the deadly competition, the mystery leads Neveu and Langdon on a breathless flight through France, England, and history itself. Brown (Angels and Demons) has created a page-turning thriller that also provides an amazing interpretation of Western history. Brown's hero and heroine embark on a lofty and intriguing exploration of some of Western culture's greatest mysteries--from the nature of the Mona Lisa's smile to the secret of the Holy Grail. Though some will quibble with the veracity of Brown's conjectures, therein lies the fun. The Da Vinci Code is an enthralling read that provides rich food for thought. --Jeremy Pugh
From Publishers Weekly
Brown's latest thriller (after Angels and Demons)is an exhaustively researched page-turner about secret religious societies, ancient coverups and savage vengeance. The action kicks off in modern-day Paris with the murder of the Louvre's chief curator, whose body is found laid out in symbolic repose at the foot of the Mona Lisa. Seizing control of the case are Sophie Neveu, a lovely French police cryptologist, and Harvard symbol expert Robert Langdon, reprising his role from Brown's last book. The two find several puzzling codes at the murder scene, all of which form a treasure map to the fabled Holy Grail. As their search moves from France to England, Neveu and Langdon are confounded by two mysterious groups-the legendary Priory of Sion, a nearly 1,000-year-old secret society whose members have included Botticelli and Isaac Newton, and the conservative Catholic organization Opus Dei. Both have their own reasons for wanting to ensure that the Grail isn't found. Brown sometimes ladles out too much religious history at the expense of pacing, and Langdon is a hero in desperate need of more chutzpah. Still, Brown has assembled a whopper of a plot that will please both conspiracy buffs and thriller addicts.
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Top Customer Reviews
The Da Vinci Code basically is about what happens when everything is not as simple as we'd like things to be. We were always told the story of Jesus Christ through the Bible as it is suppose to detail an accurate picture of his life. But what if not everything we read is accurate and that the Bible is an actual cover up for the truth of what actually happened with Jesus Christ? Everyone loves a good conspiracy theory and The Da Vinci Code cashes in on that notion when members of an ultra secret brotherhood charged with protecting some important documents that reveal the actual truth about the life of Jesus Christ are murdered.
It's surprising to find out that the entire book takes place within the span of just one night. Not many authors can do this and I believe this author uses the same tactic with his other books as well. The problem here for many is that there just isn't enough time to develop the characters. Therefore, what I read from many reviewers is that due to shallow characters, they don't feel an emotional attachment to the story and that they don't care about the outcome. I usually promote strong character growth as well but I find the story in the Da Vinci Code good enough for me to give it a pass in this case.
The writing is superb from Dan Brown and this I believe is the first book I have read from this popular author. I find that the book immediately gripped me right from the beginning. I do admit that I had my doubts in the beginning. Like other readers, I usually find books on the best seller list as overrated but The Da Vinci Code is anything but that. The author really sets an incredible pace and he has a knack for not giving away too much all in one go. He slowly lures you in and you'll definitely be saying to yourself "just one more chapter!". Some might not like this as if I remember correctly, it's exactly at the halfway point of this book that the exact mystery is revealed to the readers.
As a thriller and mystery, you're going to get your usual doses of action set pieces and the author gives just enough to satisfy our thirsts without drowning us. What I also love about reading The Da Vinci Code is that the author sprinkles in a bit of historical education throughout the book. Those were definitely a blast to read through because typically, we normally don't relate or think about it from a historian's point of view. And believe it or not, you'll be rushing to your computer throughout the book searching for images that the author talks about. So not only are we getting a fantastic suspense thriller in the book, we are also educating ourselves in the process!
Whether you believe in what the author writes here is definitely up to you. Everyone loves a good conspiracy and I'm sure The Da Vinci Code stirred up a hornet's next when it was published. I personally am not a completely devoted and religious person but I do believe in a higher being. I definitely read this book with an open mind and it was pretty shocking to find what the author had to say although many others have reported that Dan Brown basically took the ideas of what other authors/historians have written in other lesser known books and used it here in The Da Vinci Code. Nonetheless, this book was a complete page turner and I could hardly put it down! I think this might take the spot for the fastest book read in my collection.
I bought this book because this book was #1 seller for several years!
I couldn't put this book down until the end. After finish this one, I have read all of Dan Brown's books.
I actually liked "Angels and Demons" better than Da Vinci Code, because Angels got some romance with it.
The book started off really strong, and I very much enjoyed the art history divergences throughout. However, about 75% of the way through the book I really wanted it to pick up the pace. There was very little reason to switch to the Bishop's or Silas' perspectives (since there was very little told about them at the end anyway... just a few paragraphs about their intentions to wrap them up), and the book seemed to almost waste time before getting to the big reveal. And when the big reveal did come, it was like "that's it". I was expecting some grand, world altering machinations leading up to the murders, but that was not so much the case. Then, to be left hanging on the final piece (even after the epilogue) felt like a letdown.
Overall this was a pretty good read, but I felt that it could have easily trimmed off a hundred pages and not left anything important out. Also, I really wish authors (and movie directors for that matter) would stop treating open-ended conclusions as high art. To me, they are just being lazy and not willing to commit to an ending.