on / off books

non-serious book talk

Wednesday, August 31, 2005

The Da Vinci Code - no big deal

I was probably one of the last people to read Dan Brown's much-sold and much-hyped Da Vinci Code. Finished it the day before yesterday. Usually allergic to anything that's hyped, I've been avoiding this book.

Looking for a way to beat the stress, I found DVC to be the perfect solution. It was a fast read. With a cinematic first chapter, short, interesting paragraphs, it was occasionally slow, repetitive and boring, but generally engaging, though I thought the ending could have been better. Some things were far-fetched, like the lack of security in Louvre and the Priory of Sion list with Leonardo da Vinci, Isaac Newton, Jean Cocteau, etc.

Being clueless about history, I took DVC's factual accuracy for granted. The explosively religious-political nature of the novel, its author's guts, and the feminist mythology are what impressed me most. Turns out DVC is based on fabrications.

I was impatient to read about the Priory of Sion, Mona Lisa, The Last Supper and all that's mystified and/or sensationalised in the book. I did, after I finished reading it and came up with some astounding facts...

The Priory of Sion was founded actually in 1956, and not in the 12th century. Its founder, Pierre Plantard was a petty criminal and probably a nut.

The Da Vinci Code is based on false information, mostly from books like Holy Blood, Holy Grail, by Michael Baigent, Richard Leigh and Henry Lincoln.

There's more
, but I'd have to use plenty of italics and bulleted lists. You can find the Da Vinci Code debunkers here:

The Priory of Sion!
The Da Vinci Con

One word about DVC the movie. Except for Tom Hanks who plays Robert Langdon, everyone seems to be perfect for their roles.

Some more links:

A Da Vinci De-Coder - A Catholic Answer
Margaret Mitchell on DVC

I'm not including Dan Brown's and Random House's DVC sites because they don't react to the exposé.

When I first discovered Agatha Christie, Erle Stanley Gardner, John Grisham and Ken Follett, I was so impressed that I read their other books too. I can't say that about Dan Brown.