The Da Vinci Code by Dan Brown

A review of the mystery thriller novel The Da Vinci Code by Dan Brown.

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Leonardo da Vinci / Public Domain

The Da Vinci Code by Dan Brown is quite possibly the worst book I have ever read. The writing is poor, the characterisation non-existent, and the plot overly-complicated yet paper-thin – it gets to the point where I have to use a lot of hyphens to put into words how awful it is.

Following on from Angels & Demons – a book no one remembers that was adapted into a film that no one remembers – The Da Vinci Code (again) focuses on Robert Langdon, a supposed scholar of pretty much whatever the plot involves who likes a good Sudoku and wears a Mickey Mouse watch. That’s not to say his watch is fake or stolen – it really is a Disney watch.

After renowned curator Jacques Saunière has been murdered at the Louvre by a mountainous silhouetted albino with ghostpale skin, thinning white hair, pink irises and dark red pupils (that’s a lot of detail for a silhouette); Robert Langdon is woken up in a hotel room to a telephone call informing him of a visitor – a French Detective – who brings with him much exposition and stilted dialogue. For some inexplicable reason, only Langdon can figure out the crime scene, as the police are yet to discover Google, and this results in the obvious: a quest for the Holy Grail. Accompanied by a two-dimensional female assistant, Langdon travels to London and then back to Paris, solving clues left for hundreds of years.

This kind of thing goes on for 105 chapters.

The novel even starts with a disclaimer: ‘All descriptions of artwork, architecture, documents, and secret rituals in this novel are accurate.’ – a bold claim, and one that has been much disputed.

Anyway, after being chased by the police and the albino silhouette with all the features that you shouldn’t be able to see on a silhouette they meet Teabing, a crackpot old man on crutches who believes the Last Supper by Da Vinci actually depicts eleven apostles and Mary Magdalene. After several hours of exposition and a lot of preaching about the truth behind Christianity and Knights Templars and such, there is the obvious double-cross and some other stuff happens. I’ll be honest; it was so boring I struggled to pay attention.

Oh, and there’s a sub-plot involving a priest who has a private jet and something about a secret meeting. Plus sex rituals where old men are satisfied by rooms of young women to get closer to God. Calm down, Brown, no need to get so worked up.

Basically, if you fancy a laugh, give it a read. But if not, then avoid it at all costs.

Originally from Thanet, J A DuMairier enjoys writing and long walks in the country.

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