The Da Vinci Code

30 04 2008

The Da Vinci Code

by Dan Brown

Summary:

Robert Langdon is a professor of symbology at Harvard University in Paris on business when he is awoken in the middle of the night by the French Police. Jacques Sauniere, the curator of the Lourve, has been murdered, and a mysterious cipher has been found near his body. While with the police, Langdon meets Sophie Neveu, a cryptologist with the French Police, who informs Langdon that he is actually a suspect in Sauniere’s murder, and Neveu helps Langdon escape through a bathroom window. Neveu helps Langdon escape because she believes that he is innocent, and has a personal interest in finding the real killer because Sauniere was actually Neveu’s estranged grandfather. Together Neveu and Langdon discover that Sauniere was a member of a secret society, the Priory of Sion. The Da Vinci Code follows Neveu and Langdon in a race through Paris, discovering century-old secrets while uncovering secret messages hidden in Da Vinci’s artwork.

Review:

I found The Da Vinci Code to be a very fast paced and interesting novel. The prologue starts off with Sauniere being murdered in the Lourve, and as he dies, trying to find a way to leave behind a secret message. The prologue sets the pace of the entire novel and immediately leaves the reader wondering what is happening. As one continues reading, Brown answers the question by following Langdon in his adventure to discover the truth behind Sauniere’s secret life. In The Da Vinci Code, Brown brings up various conspiracy theories about Leonardo Da Vinci’s artwork and the life of Jesus Christ. I found these theories interesting, for example, the theory that the figure to the left of Jesus Christ in Da Vinci’s “The Last Summer” is actually Mary Magdalene. While the theories in The Da Vinci Code are interesting, one must remember that they are only theories and not proven fact. In addition, The Da Vinci Code follows Brown’s standard plot formula: a murder in the prologue, a main character with an attractive ally, and a villain that was previously thought to be a friend. While The Da Vinci Code is no great work of literature, it still manages to be captivating and interesting to read.

Why is this book “dangerous?”

The Da Vinci Code is a controversial novel because many readers believe it is an anti-Christianity novel and that the message it conveys is that Christianity is a hoax. The novel makes the claim that Jesus Christ married and fathered a child with Mary Magdalene, and that the Catholic Church has been covering it up, while Sauniere’s secret society protects the members of Jesus Christ’s family. Some argue that The Da Vinci Code can be potentially dangerous if the readers forget that it is fiction, and begin to believe the claims in the book.  In the book, a character says that he knows a secret that would “devastate the foundations of Christianity”. The Da Vinci Code is seen as dangerous because readers may start to believe the claims made in the book as truth.

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