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Religious Tolerance logo

The Da Vinci Code: A novel

Book reviews and recommendations

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Sponsored link.

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The Da Vinci Code was released for sale during 2003-MAR. 1 Within two years, it became available in 44 languages. Booksellers expect the novel to retain its best seller status well into 2006.

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Some reviews of The Da Vinci Code:

bulletAmazon.com reviews:
bulletJeremy Pugh wrote: "With The Da Vinci Code, Dan Brown masterfully concocts an intelligent and lucid thriller that marries the gusto of an international murder mystery with a collection of fascinating esoteria culled from 2,000 years of Western history."

"A murder in the silent after-hour halls of the Louvre museum reveals a sinister plot to uncover a secret that has been protected by a clandestine society since the days of Christ. The victim is a high-ranking agent of this ancient society who, in the moments before his death, manages to leave gruesome clues at the scene that only his granddaughter, noted cryptographer Sophie Neveu, and Robert Langdon, a famed symbologist, can untangle. The duo become both suspects and detectives searching for not only Neveu's grandfather's murderer but also the stunning secret of the ages he was charged to protect. Mere steps ahead of the authorities and the deadly competition, the mystery leads Neveu and Langdon on a breathless flight through France, England, and history itself. Brown (Angels and Demons) has created a page-turning thriller that also provides an amazing interpretation of Western history. Brown's hero and heroine embark on a lofty and intriguing exploration of some of Western culture's greatest mysteries--from the nature of the Mona Lisa's smile to the secret of the Holy Grail. Though some will quibble with the veracity of Brown's conjectures, therein lies the fun. The Da Vinci Code is an enthralling read that provides rich food for thought."
bulletProduct description from the book's inside flap: "While in Paris on business, Harvard symbologist Robert Langdon receives an urgent late-night phone call: the elderly curator of the Louvre has been murdered inside the museum. Near the body, police have found a baffling cipher. While working to solve the enigmatic riddle, Langdon is stunned to discover it leads to a trail of clues hidden in the works of Da Vinci -- clues visible for all to see -- yet ingeniously disguised by the painter."

"Langdon joins forces with a gifted French cryptologist, Sophie Neveu, and learns the late curator was involved in the Priory of Sion -- an actual secret society whose members included Sir Isaac Newton, Botticelli, Victor Hugo, and Da Vinci, among others."

"In a breathless race through Paris, London, and beyond, Langdon and Neveu match wits with a faceless powerbroker who seems to anticipate their every move. Unless Langdon and Neveu can decipher the labyrinthine puzzle in time, the Priory's ancient secret -- and an explosive historical truth -- will be lost forever."

"THE DA VINCI CODE heralds the arrival of a new breed of lightning-paced, intelligent thriller…utterly unpredictable right up to its stunning conclusion."
bulletThe book banning in Lebanon:
bulletFather Abdou Abu Kasm, president of the Catholic Information Centre in Lebanon described the book as "insulting." He told a BBC interviewer: "There are paragraphs that touch the very roots of the Christian religion... they say Jesus Christ had a sexual relationship with Mary Magdalene, that they had children...Those things are difficult for us to accept, even if it's supposed to be fiction....Christianity is not about forgiveness to the point of insulting Jesus Christ." Security officials told shop owners to remove the English, French and Arabic copies of the book.
bulletRoger Haddad, assistant manager at the Virgin Megastore's bookstore department in Beirut, found the book to be successful in Lebanon, where about 35% of population is Christian. He said: "It was definitely one of our most popular books....This is censorship, people should be allowed to read what they want...This book is fiction, everyone knows it's fiction. It is not political or propaganda or history."
bulletAhmed Fadlalla Assi, the head of Lebanon's Publisher's Union, was also displeased at the censorship. He said: "Salman Rushdie [author of the Satanic Verses] is forgotten in the annals of history, whereas Islam stayed on and Dan Brown will go, too, and Christianity will stay on." 2
bulletSome book reviews by New York Times best selling authors:
bulletNelson DeMille: "Dan Brown has to be one of the best, smartest, and most accomplished writers in the country. THE DA VINCI CODE is many notches above the intelligent thriller; this is pure genius."
bulletClive Cussler: "Intrigue and menace mingle in one of the finest mysteries I’ve ever read. An amazing tale with enigma piled on secrets stacked on riddles."
bulletHarlan Coben: "Dan Brown is my new must-read.  THE DA VINCI CODE is fascinating and absorbing -- perfect for history buffs, conspiracy nuts, puzzle lovers or anyone who appreciates a great, riveting story.  I loved this book."
bulletVince Flynn: "The Da Vinci Code sets the hook-of-all-hooks, and takes off down a road that is as eye-opening as it is page-turning.  You simply cannot put this book down.  Thriller readers everywhere will soon realize Dan Brown is a master."
bulletRobert Crais: "I would never have believed that this is my kind of thriller, but I'm going to tell you something--the more I read, the more I had to read. In The Da Vinci Code, Dan Brown has built a world that is rich in fascinating detail, and I could not get enough of it. Mr. Brown, I am your fan."
bulletCondemnation by the Roman Catholic Church:
bulletCardinal Tarcisio Bertone, bishop of Northern Genoa in Italy attacked The Da Vinci Code and suggested that Catholic bookstores remove it from their shelves. He branded the best selling novel as "a sack full of lies" which insulted the Christian faith. He accused author Dan Brown of "deplorable" behavior. He said in an interview with Reuters: "Don't buy this. Don't read this because this is rotten food...A lot of novels do good but this book is rotten food...It does harm, not good. This book is a sack full of lies against the Church, against the real history of Christianity and against Christ himself." He regards the popularity of the novel as proof of "anti-Catholic prejudice." He said: "The distribution strategy has been absolutely exceptional marketing, even at Catholic bookstores — and I've already complained about the Catholic bookshops which, for profit motives, have stacks of this book....And then there's that strategy of persuasion — that one isn't an adult Christian if you don't read this book. Thus my appeal is: Don't read and don't buy" the book. He concluded that the book sales are "...only further proof of the fact that anti-Catholicism is the last acceptable prejudice...It's the truth....There's a great anti-Catholic prejudice. I ask myself if a similar book was written, full of lies about Buddha, Mohammed, or, even, for example, if a novel came out which manipulated all the history of the Holocaust or of the Shoah, what would have happened?. 3,4

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References used:

  1. Dan Brown, "The Da Vinci Code," Doubleday, (2003), Pages 93-96. Read reviews or order this book safely from Amazon.com online book store.
  2. "Da Vinci Code banned in Lebanon. Best-selling book 'The Da Vinci Code' has been banned in Lebanon after complaints it was offensive to Christianity," BBC News, 2004= SEP-16, at: http://news.bbc.co.uk/.
  3. "Catholics urged to shun 'sack-full-of-lies' Da Vinci Code," The Toronto Star, 2005-MAR-17, Page A20.
  4. "Vatican cracks The Da Vinci Code," Associated Press, 2005-MAR-16, at: http://www.theglobeandmail.com/"

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Home page > Religions > Christianity > History, beliefs... > Da Vinci Code > here

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Copyright © 2005 by Ontario Consultants on Religious Tolerance
Originally posted: 2005-MAR-06
Latest update: 2006-JUN-12
Author: B.A. Robinson

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