Wednesday, 11 April 2018

The Da Vinci Code by Dan Brown Review

Professor Robert Langdon receives a late-night call while on business in Paris, the curator of the Louvre has been brutally murdered inside the museum. Along side the body are a series of baffling codes and with the help of a French cryptologist, Sophie Neveu, Langdon begins to sort through the riddles that lead to the works of Leonardo Da Vinci. The clues suggest the answer to a mystery that stretches deep into the vault of history.

I shall be making this a relatively short review.
Overall this was a fantastic book, I do have a few qualms though believe me they are small. To begin - I found this book to be extremely engaging every chapter ended on a cliff hanger meaning that it was almost impossible to put down, I was actually starting to feel the fatigue of the Langdon and Neveu. I also enjoyed the snippets of internal monologue we got from the different characters throughout, these were written in italics and gave that little bit extra that seemed to make the book that little bit more fascinating. The characters were smart and seemed to have quite a clear head on them.
Due to my previous travels to the Louvre and my general curiosity of Da Vinci's work I have seen the Mona Lisa in person and know quite well the painting of The Last Supper - these both were referenced in the book and because of my previous excursions I could easily picture them in my minds eye.
A 'qualm' (great word) I did have about this was the extent of the references to the church, religion and God. Not that I have anything against ant of these subjects but I am an atheist and know very little about Christianity so a lot of what was referred to did go over my head a bit. But then again the internal monologue and description that Brown included throughout the book was very helpful.
Some enjoyable extracts: (no spoilers I promise)

P 343 - History is always written by the winners. When two cultures clash, the loser is obliterated, and the winner writes the history books - books which glorify their own cause and disparage the conquered foe. As Napoleon once said, "What is history, but a fable agreed upon?"
P 440 Teabing's manservant Rémy appeared in the doorway at the top of the stairs. 'I  feel like a hostage working for Sir Leigh, but he assures me I am free to go.'

Although this is the second book in the Robert Langdon series I have been assured that this can be read before the first one Angels and Demons if you are in the situation of having this one but not the first. I felt like I didn't miss anything in terms of previous context. Except for various references to the Vatican (but none of them seemed to be particularly important to the plot of this book).
I would recommend this to anyone who loves a good page-turning crime novel.

Book first published 2003
All page number referenced are from my copy - ISBN 9780552149518

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