The Da Vinci Code

The Da Vinci Code 
-by Dan Brown
454 pages (2003) 

disappointing and over-done

After the renowned curator of the Louvre has been found murdered inside the museum, Harvard symbologist Robert Langdon teams up with French police cryptologist, Sophie Neveu, to uncover an ancient secret that many are willing to die to protect. Secret societies and baffling ciphers are encountered as they track an intricate trail of clues ingeniously hidden in the works of Leonardo Da Vinci. International intrigue and the obligatory danger ensues.

Where I’m usually one to avoid something that seems to be popular amongst the masses, this time I was curious to see what all the hype was about regarding Brown’s The Da Vinci Code. Remind me never again to follow suit. 

All brawn and no brains. The Da Vinci Code seems to be a testimony to such a statement. The plot, while  multifarious, in-depth, and complicated, feels forced and reads like an implausible made-for-tv screenplay, falling deftly between a Tomb Raider and Indiana Jones sequel.

The entire scheme of the book is over-written, the style predicable and prosaic, and the characters somewhat two-dimensional. Amidst the blatant social statements and ambitious manifestos against established religion in general, Brown seems to have forgotten the all important writer's mantra that "less is more."

Where the novel was somewhat diverting, I wouldn’t recommend it for those looking for a invigorating mind exercise of any kind. In my humble opinion, it is just another bit of modern fluff incognito, using Leonardo Da Vinci as an imposing smoke-screen attempting, unsuccessfully, to be clever.


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