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Monday, April 26, 2004

BOOK: The Da Vinci Code 

I just finished reading "The Da Vinci Code" by Dan Brown this weekend. It was a very interesting book. I really liked the way he tied a historical context to a modern day suspense/thriller. The following are all spoilers, so stop now if you plan to read the book.

The book was a very interesting read. He did a good job of blurring the portions of it that were based on factual, historical data and the parts that were purely fiction. I guess that's what made it so interesting. There's actually a couple of books that were written explaining the history behind "The Da Vinci Code" (like "De-Coding Davinci: The Facts Behind the Fiction of the Da Vinci Code" and Fact and Fiction in The Da Vinci Code). I've thought about picking one up and reading it, but maybe it's best not to ruin the mystery. So, has anyone read these (or other similar) books? If so, what are your recommendations? Should I read one???

The book was definitely well-paced and fun. It almost had the feel of an episode of 24 (which I'm a big fan of) with almost all of the action taking place within a one day period. And, Brown made extensive use of flashbacks to bring the reader up to speed on Grail mythology and on Sophie's life. Also, the puzzles they had to solve to find the Holy Grail were also entertaining.

And, the twist at the end with the Teacher being none other than Leigh Teabing was good (although I did find that part a little over the top), especially since the author went through some trouble trying to set the police chief, Fache, up as the possible mastermind. One thing I would have liked to have learned more about was Fache, and how exactly he changed his mind from thinking that Langdon was the murderer to believing it was someone else. That was kind of glossed over in the novel. Overall though, I would recommend this book as a good read.

Finally, as an observation, I find it intriguing that there seems to be a set of books coming out with deep historical ties. The Da Vinci Code being one of them, but others like The Baroque Cycle by Neal Stephenson, seem to be leading the charge of historically-based novels.

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