"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.
The Da Vinci Code, by Dan Brown, is one remarkable novel!
It contains many
The sacred feminine in religion;
Jesus' marriage to Mary Magdalene who he selected to be the leader of
Mary's flight to Europe where she remarried.
The legend of the Holy
Grail, which is often believed to be the search for the cup used by Jesus at the
Last Supper is in reality the bloodline of Jesus and Mary;
Descendents of Jesus Christ, some of whom are alive today;
Constantine's role in creating and molding Christianity;
The invention of the deity of Jesus in the 4th century CE by the church
A secret group called the Priory of Sion who passed the truth about
Jesus and Mary through the use of secret codes and symbols. Isaac Newton and
Leonardo Da Vinci were members.
Leonoardo Da Vinci's religious
symbolism which he embedded in some of his paintings (e.g. The Last Supper, Virgin of the
The role of Opus Dei within the Roman Catholic Church;
The number PHI and the Fibonacci sequence of numbers;
The murder of the curator of the Louvre in Paris, France, and the search
for the killer.
It was released in 2003-MAR and has become phenomenally successful:
One year later it was still on the New
York Times best seller book list of hardcover fiction.
It was still number 12 in
popularity among the millions of books that Amazon.com stocks.
It is available
in hardcover, large print, and special illustrated edition. You can buy it on
audio cassette and CD in both abridged and unabridged versions. It can be
obtained in Ebook and audio download formats.
Within a year and a half, it had sold over 7.5 million copies.
By the end of 2004, it had been translated into 42 different languages.
A movie starring Tom Hanks will be released on
Over three thousand people have
written reviews of the book on Amazon.com's web site.
Amazon.com readers gave the book a 3.5 star rating (out of 5).
It has been banned in Lebanon because Catholic leaders found to be
offensive the depiction of Jesus marrying Mary Magdalene and fathering a
A search on www.google.com in 2005-MAR for the string "da
vinci code" found about 493,000 hits. By mid 2006-APR, the number had grown to 1.45 million.
The book has spawned tours, referred to as the "Grail trail." As of 2005-FEB:
One company has over 50 tour guides "selected for their intellectual
background, enthusiasm and personality" who conduct three and seven
hour tours around London England showing the sights featured in the novel.3
The Chateau de Grimaldi in Aix-en-Provence, France offers
a Mary Magdalene tour that traces her alleged 30-year residency in Provence
from Les Ste. Maries-de-la-Mer to Ste. Baume and Basilica de la Magdalene
in Saint Maximin where some believe she was buried.
The Musée du Louvre in Paris, France,
has a "Cracking 'The Da Vinci Code' at the Louvre" tour.
A four-day tour starts in Dover, England, travels to
may sites in France, and returns to England.
There is even a tour in Paris which systematically
debunks The Da Vinci Code.
Perhaps the most impressive cottage industry created in response to the novel
are a series of books which try to separate fact from fiction in The Da Vinci
Code. One source counted over 30 books.
The dark side.....
The most important words in the book are seen on the cover of the hardcover
edition: "A Novel."
The book is a work of imaginative fiction. To buy it, you normally have to go to
the fiction section of Barnes & Noble, Borders, or Chapters. It is
interesting to note that the mass market paperback edition deleted "A Novel"
and added reference to the motion picture which is to be released on
The Da Vinci Code is a
riveting murder mystery and a work of great imagination. However the book is
tragically flawed. Its description of many historical religious events,
documents, and personalities are simply untrue. The tragedy of this book is that
it could have been edited to be much more accurate historically without
adversely affecting its popularity.
The religious historian Bart Ehrman described the first time that he read the
book: "I realized that Dan Brown's characters were actually making historical
claims about Jesus, Mary and the Gospels. In other words, the fiction was being
built on a historical foundation that the reader was to accept as factual, not
fictitious. ...I immediately began to see problems with the historical claims
made in the book. There were numerous mistakes, some of them howlers, which were
not only obvious to an expert but also unnecessary to the plot. If the author
had simply done a little bit more research, he would have been able to present
the historical backdrop of his account accurately, without in any way
compromising the story he had to tell." 7
Books and movies have great power -- for good and evil. They can mold the beliefs of the public
in strange directions:
Many viewers of The Passion of the Christ
probably believe that Jesus' pre-execution flogging by the Roman Army and
the details of his execution were
accurately portrayed. Few realize that much of the screenplay was based on
the visions of an anti-semitic nun.
The 1962 version of the The Manchurian Candidate movie had a
profound effect on the public's belief in
brainwashing -- currently a discredited phenomenon among mental health
The 1980 book Michelle Remembers triggered a 15 year belief in
Satanic Ritual Abuse which is still present among a
diminishing number of
feminists and religious conservatives.
This book will leave many readers with a distorted view of the early
Christian movement. A Canadian survey taken in 2005 found that 32% of the
readers of the book believed the story line to be true. 8 Still, it will probably encourage many people to study the
Christian religion in general and the
history of primitive Christianity in particular. A
Zogby International poll that taken in 2006 found that 44% of those who had read
or heard about the book said that they were more likely to search for the truth
by studying the Bible. 9
The following information sources were used to prepare and update the above
essay. The hyperlinks are not necessarily still active today.