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When it was first published, The Da Vinci Code was not a novel that I gave much thought about reading. But as the reports came in about how the novel was bashing Christianity, and that the book was selling incredibly well, I figured that maybe I should jump on the bandwagon and see what all the hype is about. What I found was a novel that was more about an idea than it was about the plot and telling the story. I ll explain.

The curator of the Louvre is murdered in the museum after hours. The murderer is a member of an offshoot of the Catholic Church called Opus Dei, a very traditional and secretive organization known more for its scandals than for good works. The murderer was seeking information from the curator, and while the curator was able to feed him misinformation before he died, we learn that there were three other murders related to the same bit of information that is very, very important to Opus Dei. When the body is discovered, the French police call in Robert Langdom, an expert on symbols (as they relate to art) who was supposed to meet with the victim that night.

This isn t a simple murder. The curator, before he died, arranged his body in such a way that it is a symbol. More than this, he drew symbols and wrote something next to his body that could only be seen using a blacklight. They are clues for Robert Langdon to unravel. The only problem is that while Langdon may be the only man who can unravel the clues, he is also the prime suspect and the French police will not let him go easily. Enter Sophie Neveu. Sophie is a cryptologist with the French police, but she is also the granddaughter of the murdered curator. She believes that Robert Langdon did not murder her father and helps Langdon to escape so that he can solve the murder.

The Da Vinci Code is no simple murder mystery, however. The plot, such as there is, is not very deep. The plot does serve to advance and to present the ideas of the novel. The Da Vinci Code presents us with the idea that Jesus the Christ was married to Mary Magdalene and had a child, that the early church fathers (and mothers) knew this, but it was only in the following centuries that the true teachings of Jesus were perverted to suit a patriarchal society, that Mary Magdalene was the rock on which the church was to be founded instead of Peter, that nobody considered Jesus to be God until the Council of Nicea centuries after the death of Christ, and that the Catholic Church had willfully suppressed documents about the truth of Jesus ministry and the early church.

What makes The Da Vinci Code an interesting novel is how these ideas are worked into the story, and even though it seemed to be exposition-heavy, I was always waiting for the next revelation, the next bit of hidden knowledge uncovered by Langdon. The Da Vinci Code is more about the ideas than it is about a story and a plot. That s fine, because it works very well under those terms. This isn t one of my favorite novels, but it was good enough and interesting enough that I wanted to keep turning the pages to find out about the next hidden truth .

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Yeah what DaVinci Code lacks in plot and character it makes up for in just interesting theory. When I've talked with other people about the book they agree that it smacks of a John Grisham type thriller about the Church conspiracy theory mentioned above. After reading this I found "Holy Blood, Holy Grail" on Amazon. It's a much thicker, denser, supposedly factual-based research into the history of the whole conspiracy, especially as regards the Knights Templars, the Cathars, the whole south o' France thing, and the purported geneaology (sp?) of Christ down to the modern times. Unless you've got an advanced degree in Medieval history I found a lot of "Holy Blood" too detailed, but the latter 1/2 is the interesting part about the whole conspiracy idea itself. It was done by some guys for the BBC in the late 70s, early 80s. Amazon actually has a bunch of related books I'm eager to take a look at, such as Umberto Ecco's "The Name of the Rose" (or something like that), as well as Saramago's "The Gospel According to Jesus Christ."
BTW, isn't this something Mulder, Scully and the gang would have sunk their teeth into?

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I am over 1/2 way through and am hooked. I like the conpiracy theory angle. Interesting theories he espouses too.
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I just finished Angels and Demons - wow I like this author!
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Just finished Angels & Demons this past weekend. I read DaVinci Code right before that.

I liked both books alot. I think conspiracy theories are entertaining to read, especially when they have a little bit of factual evidence mixed in (stretched truth or not).

I started reading Digital Fortress last night.
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I'm halfway through Angels and Demons. I dig it. I like the whole conspiracy theory story, too. As long as it works within the confines of the story, i've got no problem with it. Right now i'm enjoying this one a bit more than The Da Vinci Code.

Maybe i'm twisted but i what i want to happen in this book is exactly what the protagonists are trying to stop.
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Watch out, Brown throws a mega curve-ball towards the end.
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I got this book for Christmas. Looking forward to reading it
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I just finished reading it and I thorougly enjoyed it. Lots of twists and turns and and enough action to keep me entranced.
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