The Da Vinci Code

Dan Brown

I never really thought I’d read this book, but an available copy was offered with indications about the strong draw of the story. Like any good suspense mystery, each chapter ends off in such a way that it’s nearly impossible to stop reading. The writing isn’t necessarily amazing and the characters aren’t always completely believable, but all the history (which is presented pretty much as facts) is all very interesting — a secret society passing down a great mystery that the Catholic Church wants to hide. Hints of this secret show up throughout Leonardo da Vinci’s work, hence the title.

Of course, it was some disappointment to reach the end a little surprised and inspired and do some research only to find out that many facts are distorted and perhaps even made up entirely — but it’s still an entertaining read, even if it isn’t accurate. (My hopes for entertaining if a bit cheesy status on the movie version faded when I learned Tom Hanks would be playing against Audrey Tautou, which seems like very questionable casting.)

Incidentally, the above-linked Wikipedia article mentions that some people call Foucault’s Pendulum by Umberto Eco “the thinking man’s Da Vinci code.” Men who think, take note.

ETA: Geoffrey Pullum’s literary analysis of the Da Vinci Code made me feel embarrassed that I admitted getting wrapped up in the story (where’s my cred?), but sometimes poorly written fluff delivers.