Saturday, 27 August 2011

The Da Vinci Code - Dan Brown

Back of the Book Synopsis: While in Paris on business, Harvard symbologist Robert Langdon receives an urgent late-night phone call. The elderly curator of the Louvre has been murdered inside the museum, a baffling cipher found near the body. As Langdon and a gifted French cryptologist, Sophie Neveu, sort through the bizarre riddles, they are stunned to discover a trail of clues hidden in the works of Da Vinci - clues visible for all to see and yet ingeniously disguised by the painter.
The stakes are raised when Langdon uncovers a startling link: The late curator was involved in The Priory of Sion - an actual secret society whose members include Sir Issac Newton, Botticelli, Victor Hugo, and Da Vinci, among others. Langdon suspects they are on the hunt for a breathtaking historical secret, one that has proven through the centuries to be as enlightening as it is dangerous. In a frantic race through Paris, and beyond, Langdon and Neveu find themselves matching wits with a faceless powerbroker who appears to anticipate their every move. Unless they can decihper the labyrinthine puzzle, the Priory's secret - an explosive ancient truth - will be lost forever.

Why I Read This Book: I got this book as an Easter gift the year after I had traveled to Paris. I asked for it, it was very popular at the times.

Review: I read this book with rose-coloured glasses. Having been back from my trip to Paris less than a year, images of the Louvre and other areas the book discusses were still fresh in my memory. I enjoyed reading this book, however I don't think it was that well written. It was a good read because it was fantastically researched, which is not the same as being well written. There was no real character development, rather it relied heavily on through descriptions of history and places, and the cliffhangers found at the end of almost every chapter. Because of this it was a smart novel, and it easily captivated my attention. It is an easy read, Dan Brown takes topics that are often complicatedly written by other authors and makes it capable to read by the masses. This book does not fall in the genre of books I normally read. I like a good mystery, but I wouldn't necessary classify this as one, it's more of a research paper with characters. As I said in the first lines, I did enjoy this book when I read it, which was in 2004 when I was 18 and just back from a trip to this same location. I believe that heightened the appeal of it for me. If I were to read it today I may not enjoy it quite so much, but still don't think it's a bad book. I'm also not much for strong religious beliefs, so although I recognized and appreciated that it was a 'controversial' book, it really didn't have any impact on me in that sense.


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