Tuesday, April 18, 2006

The Da Vinci Code - Dan Brown [April/06]

I had held off readng The Da Vinci Code for quite some time, but decided that it was about time that I see what all the buzz was about. It was quite worth it as I enjoyed the novel immensely. I do not read many thrillers, mainly only books by James Rollins, but once in a while I will add a new book to the pile. It is hard to write a review of The Da Vinci Code because while at its core it is just a thriller, I found the messages that it carried about religion fascinating.

The novel centers around two characters, Robert Langdon and Sophie Neveau. Langdon has been blamed for the murder of Neveau's grandfather, a museum curator and Da Vinci fanatic. He was supposed to meet the man for drinks, but he never showed up, but his name was still in the date book and his manuscript for his new book on the deceased desk. This begins a fight to stay away from the police as Langdon and Neveau come to terms with her grandfather's dying treasure hunt. A man that loved puzzles, he leaves behind one that will eventually lead Neveau to the greatest treaure of all.

The novel is quite interesting in terms of how it questions religion. It makes Jesus just a simple man who was the voice of the Gods, he had no powers of his own. Shocking more so is that he was married to Mary Magdalene, who religion buffs will know was considered a prostitue for her times. Brown's novel is really a celebration of the female form that has been left out of modern day religion. Langdon and Neveau learn that there once was a female side to the story and that Mary Magdalene was supposed to carry on the message when Jesus died, but jealous men made sure that would not happen and fed a story to the world so that she would never be trusted.

Even if the information covered in Brown's novel is incorrect, it is powerful to read a book where a male author looks so kindly on women. It would make so much sense to me that there was a female side to religion, but that is just how I see it. Regardless of what the reader thinks, this is a page turner with you wondering what clue will be revealled next. They are racing to keep the knowledge to themselves against the church who wish for the secret of the Holy Grail to be destroyed forever. I especially like the way that Brown looks at Da Vinci paintings because he points out things that have been overlooked or read another way. Even if it is not the truth, he did a wonderful job in making the story fit the information provided.


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