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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent Book
As someone who has been interested in the sort of topics mentioned in the Da Vinci Code, I was happy to see that Dan Brown actually had a good idea of what he was talking about. There are definite truths in here - and there is also some speculative truth. There have been indications of what the Holy Grail might actually be, instead of what it has come to be for the...
Published on Nov. 5 2003 by Dragon Sadhana

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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Such an Interesting Premise--such poor writing
Having heard Dan Brown interviewed on NPR, I bought this book thinking it would be a cut above the standard thriller genre of airport paperbacks. Unfortunately, the character development was one-dimensional to non-existent, the prose was on a sixth-grade reading level and the story was so implausible as to insult one's intelligence. It is a shame that the years of...
Published on May 14 2003 by An Avid Reader


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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent Book, Nov. 5 2003
This review is from: The Da Vinci Code: A Novel (Hardcover)
As someone who has been interested in the sort of topics mentioned in the Da Vinci Code, I was happy to see that Dan Brown actually had a good idea of what he was talking about. There are definite truths in here - and there is also some speculative truth. There have been indications of what the Holy Grail might actually be, instead of what it has come to be for the public.
Fundamentalist Christians, and those afraid of some challenges to the Christian faith, may not like this book at all. (I believe that is why some people rated this with one or two stars - emotional response, instead of using logic and researching the presented beliefs themselves.)
No one can say for sure what happened - one can only follow the clues left behind. This is exactly as Dan Brown has done. A page-turner filled with historical and scientific fact that points to a certain conclusion... What more could you ask for?
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Presents a different view on the Biblical story, May 24 2006
By 
Paula Madalina Dumitrascu (Montreal, Quebec Canada) - See all my reviews
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The great thing about this book - and this applies to all Dan Brown's books which I've read - is that it presents art, science, religion and symbolism in a very easy-to-read and enjoyable adventure. You don't need to believe that Jesus was married to Mary Magdalene to read this book, because there is much more to it than just that! Enjoy it and you'll not regret it!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Such an Interesting Premise--such poor writing, May 14 2003
By 
An Avid Reader (New Canaan, CT United States) - See all my reviews
This review is from: The Da Vinci Code: A Novel (Hardcover)
Having heard Dan Brown interviewed on NPR, I bought this book thinking it would be a cut above the standard thriller genre of airport paperbacks. Unfortunately, the character development was one-dimensional to non-existent, the prose was on a sixth-grade reading level and the story was so implausible as to insult one's intelligence. It is a shame that the years of research Brown discussed in detail with his interviewer produced such a disappointing result
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3.0 out of 5 stars This is a pretty formulaic page turner, a fun quick read., March 8 2006
This review is from: The Da Vinci Code (Paperback)
Written at about the level of the average Nancy Drew mystery, it is best appreciated at that level. As far as the content, there are howlers on virtually every page (starting with the hero who looks like "Harrison Ford in Harris tweed" and is a "Professor of Religious Symbology at Harvard" -- good work if you can find it). You have to ignore very pulpy, cheesy writing to enjoy this romantic thriller. Intended as a book that a dedicated reader could finish in a day, or something you take to the beach and casually finish in a weekend, "The Da Vinci Code" makes for a reasonable airline novel, so much so that it is often a bit clunky in its desire to ensure that no intellectual effort on the reader's part will be required. Here's a recurring example in this novel: a bit of unfamiliar terminology, say "crux gemmata" (jeweled cross) will will be explained on page N, then on page N+1, a character will finger his jeweled cross and explain, "Oh, yes -- this is a crux gemmata."
I've read dinner menus that were more demanding on the reader. My wife and I both read about a third of it in a day, sharing the same copy, and that's a full work day plus taking care of kids, bedtime, etc. That's also a kind of virtue, I guess -- it's fast and peppy. As far as history goes, Dan Brown apparently thinks that "most historians" give credence to the forgeries and frauds promoted in hoary best-sellers like "Holy Blood, Holy Grail." This author gets the best of both worlds: simultaneously claiming that "it's just fiction," while introducing the novel with claims that the historical record contained within is "fact." That claim is ridiculous. To pluck a random example, he spends some time talking about the Council of Nicaea, and incorrectly summarizes it as the origin of the doctrine of Christ's divinity by Constantine.
He ignores the Arian controversy out of which it arose, which is like trying to explain the Treaty of Versailles without mentioning World War I. He ignores the documented fact, agreed upon even by the cheerleaders of the gnostics that he is sympathetic to, that the earliest gnostic doctrines held that Christ was *purely* God, and not really man -- the very reverse of the doctrine that serves as the lynchpin of his novel's intellectual base (such as it is). This is a bad novel for weak or misinformed Christians, but anyone familiar with history should spot the train wreck of Brown's ideas a mile off. Oh yes, and in Brown's world, Opus Dei has shadowy assassin "monks" (in real life, Opus Dei is not a monastic order -- there are no Opus Dei monks, let alone trained assassins), and the Catholic Church has been promulgating known lies as its central dogmas, promotes violence throughout the world, and has been retarding the progress of science and knowledge for 2 millennia.
Brown leaves the reader with the impression that this, too, is a matter of settled historical record. Oh, but then again, it's just fiction. Except when it's not. In general, if you're looking for a heady thriller wrapped around Christian arcana. This book has spawned a number of other great books. Holy Blood, was the book Da Code was based on, and Giorgio Quest was based on Da Code.
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3.0 out of 5 stars This is a pretty formulaic page turner, a fun quick read., March 8 2006
This review is from: The Da Vinci Code (Paperback)
Written at about the level of the average Nancy Drew mystery, it is best appreciated at that level. As far as the content, there are howlers on virtually every page (starting with the hero who looks like "Harrison Ford in Harris tweed" and is a "Professor of Religious Symbology at Harvard" -- good work if you can find it). You have to ignore very pulpy, cheesy writing to enjoy this romantic thriller. Intended as a book that a dedicated reader could finish in a day, or something you take to the beach and casually finish in a weekend, "The Da Vinci Code" makes for a reasonable airline novel, so much so that it is often a bit clunky in its desire to ensure that no intellectual effort on the reader's part will be required. Here's a recurring example in this novel: a bit of unfamiliar terminology, say "crux gemmata" (jeweled cross) will will be explained on page N, then on page N+1, a character will finger his jeweled cross and explain, "Oh, yes -- this is a crux gemmata."
I've read dinner menus that were more demanding on the reader. My wife and I both read about a third of it in a day, sharing the same copy, and that's a full work day plus taking care of kids, bedtime, etc. That's also a kind of virtue, I guess -- it's fast and peppy. As far as history goes, Dan Brown apparently thinks that "most historians" give credence to the forgeries and frauds promoted in hoary best-sellers like "Holy Blood, Holy Grail." This author gets the best of both worlds: simultaneously claiming that "it's just fiction," while introducing the novel with claims that the historical record contained within is "fact." That claim is ridiculous. To pluck a random example, he spends some time talking about the Council of Nicaea, and incorrectly summarizes it as the origin of the doctrine of Christ's divinity by Constantine.
He ignores the Arian controversy out of which it arose, which is like trying to explain the Treaty of Versailles without mentioning World War I. He ignores the documented fact, agreed upon even by the cheerleaders of the gnostics that he is sympathetic to, that the earliest gnostic doctrines held that Christ was *purely* God, and not really man -- the very reverse of the doctrine that serves as the lynchpin of his novel's intellectual base (such as it is). This is a bad novel for weak or misinformed Christians, but anyone familiar with history should spot the train wreck of Brown's ideas a mile off. Oh yes, and in Brown's world, Opus Dei has shadowy assassin "monks" (in real life, Opus Dei is not a monastic order -- there are no Opus Dei monks, let alone trained assassins), and the Catholic Church has been promulgating known lies as its central dogmas, promotes violence throughout the world, and has been retarding the progress of science and knowledge for 2 millennia.
Brown leaves the reader with the impression that this, too, is a matter of settled historical record. Oh, but then again, it's just fiction. Except when it's not. In general, if you're looking for a heady thriller wrapped around Christian arcana. This book has spawned a number of other great books. Holy Blood, was the book Da Code was based on, and Giorgio Quest was based on Da Code.
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5.0 out of 5 stars I've Never Read A Book SO FAST, July 6 2004
By 
Mark Horvath (Inside a Hallowed Mind, Earth) - See all my reviews
This review is from: The Da Vinci Code (Paperback)
I just got this book less than a month ago and i finished it within a week, balancing my time from work and other household responsibilities to soak my mind with this masterpiece. No, you cannot take this book as the holy gospel, and if you are swayed by this book, your faith is truely weak to begin with. Though as a man who is interested in the truth, i am now very interested in the topic this book covers. The true Holy Grail, and the "cover up" that was posed by Constantine centuries after the death of Christ.
Back to the book, the story itself is so captivating that it keeps you glued to the pages for hours at a time. Though some of the escapes and plot twists took me aback as perhaps a bit too coincidental for reality to really hold true, a reader need to see past that to see the genius at work. The cyptic nature of the puzzles and the scientific brilliance that is Da Vinci is enough to addict a curious mind to the outcome of this story, and once the finale comes and goes, you only wish there was more.
For those of you who are exploring Dan Brown for the first time (like me), my next suggestion would be Angels and Demons, which is the first adventure of the main character in The Da Vinci Code.
If this book can single handedly grip me, a man with little time to spare, imagine what it can do to you. I warn, before you start this book, cancel any plans you had for the next few days...else you might be fashionably late...if you show up at all.
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3.0 out of 5 stars Interesting Premise, July 1 2004
This review is from: The Da Vinci Code: A Novel (Hardcover)
Dan Brown's runaway bestseller, The Da Vinci Code, has an interesting premise. It goes into the story about an underground society, the Priory of Scion, whose sole purpose is to keep the true meaning of the Holy Grail secret until it is time to reveal it to the world. The story unfolds over basically one night in Paris. Robert Langdon is a Harvard professor of symbology and is in Paris giving a lecture. He is awoke in his hotel room and escorted to the Louvre as a well-known art curator, Jacques Sauriene has been murdered. While at the Louvre he is met by Captain Bezu Fache who interrogates him and a cryptologist Sophie Nouveu who gives him a bizarre message. It turns out that Langdon is the prime suspect in the murder and Sophie helps him escape. It turns out she is Sauriene's granddaughter. Throughout the night they elude the French police and go to an old acquaintance of Langdon, Leigh Teabing, for refuge. Teabing is an excentrict Englishman living in France who is also one of the world foremost expert on the Grail. Meanwhile, a strict religious sect, Opus Dei, is also in search of the Grail as well. Eventually Langdon and Sophie put together all the pieces of the puzzle and Sophie's true identity is revealed to her. The most interesting part of the book is the history of the Grail itself. Whether you believe the story or not (most of it has been refuted and is hard to believe to be actually true), the story is very intriguing. Explaining clues from Da Vinci paintings and the history of the Gospels makes for great reading. Unfortunately, the story in between the lessons is weak. Mr. Brown creates some very implausible situations and the true motives of Teabing are totally unbelievable and contrived. The plot and elaborate setup that Teabing constructs has absolutely no plausibility and could never be carried out, even by the most devious and creative minds. That lacks of believability definitely hurts the story, but all the Grail information makes up for the huge plot holes.
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5.0 out of 5 stars GREAT BOOK!!!!, June 11 2004
By 
Susie Rigsby "(suz44@mchsi.com)" (Eldorado, IL USA) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: The Da Vinci Code (Paperback)
I loved this book. I'd purchased it some time ago and was the middle of reading another novel. So I loaned it to my daughter to read first. Then she loaned it to someone else. Next thing I know, I've purchased Angels and Demons and I'm reading it first. After I'd finished reading Angels and Demons, I immediately got in touch with my daughter and told her to get The Da Vinci Code back for me to read. Well, I just finished reading it...non-stop...and I hold the highest of respect and praise for Dan Brown as an excellent writer. After reading the book, I almost knew there would be a great many book reviews because of the book's subject matter and plot. Let's face it, any time an author writes about religion or politics, he's in for the scalding of a lifetime if his story touchs a nerve. Brown no doubt has touched nerves, and it isn't about how he writes because there's no doubt he's a very talented writer. It's more about the subject he picks to write about. I've never seen it fail, you get someone to make a comment about someone else's religion or politics, and you'll get a hot response every time. They aren't really seeing the story but only the subject matter. It's sort of like not seeing the forest for the trees. This is the second book I've read in the last three days for Dan Brown, and now I'm on my way to the bookstore to buy another one of his novels. I can't wait for his next novel. I can't wait to see this book made into a motion picture either. You go, Dan. ;-)
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4.0 out of 5 stars This is a work of fiction people!, May 25 2004
By A Customer
This review is from: The Da Vinci Code (Paperback)
Whether Dan Brown intends to educate or entertain lies in the minds of each reader. I picked up this book to be entertained. I went in knowing it was a work of fiction. A good author can blend fact and fiction to present a plausible story. This story was compelling enough to keep my interest without wanting to put the book down. Others have commented on the one-dimensional nature of the characters and that is pretty accurate, however, it does not detract from the story. Religious zealots will hate this book because it presents a thoughtful alternative to the mindless following that is all faith. There is nothing wrong with faith. Just don't disagree with those who will not believe anything other than their own. These are some of the people that hated this book. Others who hated it are critics who aim to discredit the character development. I'm simply a guy who doesn't get a chance to read much because I lack the free time others might have. This book consumed most of my free time and kept my attention until I was finished. If you want a good story that entertains and sometimes amuses but clearly lacks some factual basis (and you recognize that as being OK), then read this book. It's not for the dimwitted or close-minded.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Kind of Hard To Believe It's Fake..., May 20 2004
By 
Karli Abis (Bak Middle School Of The Arts- West Palm Beach) - See all my reviews
This review is from: The Da Vinci Code: A Novel (Hardcover)
It is one a.m. You just got into bed a few hours ago. Suddenly the phone rings, and the hotel worker tells you that someone's on their way to your room. When the visitor gets to your hotel room, you discover that he is with the police. But what would they want with you? You've done nothing wrong. You're a college teacher for crying out loud! You teach art and symbolism, and have been writing books on your research. Jacques Sauniere, the head curator at the Louvre in France, had arranged for you to meet up with him somewhere, but he never showed. The policeman shows you a picture from a crime scene. The photo is of a body. Jacques Sauniere's body. He then invites you to the Louvre to help with the crime scene. But helping isn't really what you're there for. You are being questioned without even knowing it! The head of the police, Fache, is in charge of this case. He is determined to find you guilty in order to help support his job, being as he's currently in low esteem with French and American law keepers. Sophie Neveu , a cryptologist, meets up with you and Fache. She says she has a message from the U.S. Embassy for you, but when you listen to the message, you find that it is something much more important. It is up to you, Mr. Robert Langdon, to team up with Sophie Neveu and investigate Jacques Sauniere's death, find the keystone to the Holy Grail, while at the same time protecting the keystone, avoiding arrest by Fache, and keeping the evil Opus Dei from power.
"The Da Vinci Code" by Dan Brown is a wonderfully written book. It is very relaxing, even in the fast sections. Although the book takes place in a 24 hour period, it seems to be much longer. Mr. Brown has a great knowledge of symbolism and history. As the little reviews on the flaps of the book say, the book is "pure genius!" Most of the clues in the story revolve around Leonardo Da Vinci, thus the name "The Da Vinci Code." In the book, the murdered curator Jacques Sauniere was part of a group called "The Priory of Sion," or P.S. The group is revolved around the "sacred feminine," worship female goddesses of fertility, and are the keepers of the Holy Grail. Opus Dei is one of the groups after the Holy Grail. Bishop Aringarosa is in charge of Opus Dei, and has been trying to get his hands on the Holy Grail in order to use it to boost his power. His assistant, Silas, does all the dirty work. ... This book refers to a lot of history and paintings, along with the Bible; although a lot of it is made up. Don't take it seriously, it's just amusing. This 454 book was worth the read, and I'm sure you'll enjoy it too. If the books you read need to be fast-paced, then I do not recommend "The Da Vinci Code."rtistic than Fabergé' ! than 'assorted cloissoné artisans' ! Did you know that ? I didn't know that ! I still don't know that ! There's lots more 'wisdom' on this victim, be warned.
Not only does he relentlessly bungle his facts and couple them with unfounded and preposterous social commentary, he has the nerve to insert this comment, about a film : "Sadly the filmmakers had gotten most of the specifics wrong..." And if the reader is not sufficiently impressed with Mr. Brown yet, they get one more clue, by including this esteemed opinion on the supposed creator of the mystery: "...he was a frighteningly clever man." Where does it end ! On page 484, directly before the blessedly blank flyleaf, where I breathe a sigh of relief of not only being done with this bestselling drivel, but that my name is not defiled by being included in the acknowledgments.
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The Da Vinci Code: A Novel
The Da Vinci Code: A Novel by Dan Brown (Hardcover - March 18 2003)
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