The Da Vinci Code by Dan Brown

The Da Vinci Code
Dan Brown
(Doubleday, New York: 2003)

READ: October 2007

I picked this up because it was cheap and I figured I should see what the buzz is all about.

Well, it was pretty much exactly what I expected it to be - PULP. I guess there's nothing de facto wrong with that, and I guess it's more high-quality pulp than some other pulp (if that makes any sense).

I know the book generated both a lot of excitement and a lot of flack over its actual content. As far as the whole idea of the Holy Grail being the fact that there is a family alive today who is descended from Jesus Christ, and that the Church is deadly afraid of this and has gone to great lengths over the past two millenia to attempt to eradicate both the knowledge and the family - sure, it was plausible enough. I mean, I have no background in this sort of thing. I also don't believe it (or maybe I do, but don't really care), but it's an interesting theory. Why not, right? It was fun to read for that aspect, I guess.

However, I couldn't stand the writing style. I know one of the conventions of novel-writing is to end each chapter with a bit of a cliff-hanger, but here each chapter was about 2-3 pages long (with a few exceptions), and it just became too much. It felt like I was reading the transcript of a really long, fast-paced TV show. A lot of people looking at each other for 4 seconds before the all-too-frequent commercial breaks, after stating (or thinking) "there's something I must tell you" or "but wait! there's more" or "oh, listen! are those police sirens?" It was just too contrived, too formulaic, and I don't want that in the books I read.

Here's an idea: Make it into a movie. It's pacing is such that you'll barely need a rewrite. I suggest Audrey Tautou for the female lead - she's dreamy...

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