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Have you even read The Da Vinci Code?


Question: Have you even read The Da Vinci Code?

Yes. I thought it was a fairly entertaining read, even though mystery thrillers aren't my material of choice. The puzzles in it were sort of fun, too. I love a good puzzle.

I will also say that it wasn't, in my opinion, the non-stop page-turner some reviews had promised. The Da Vinci Code could easily have been read at the beach while keeping a watchful eye on the kids. It was disappointing that the main characters didn't make me like them enough to care if they were apprehended. In fact, in several instances I rather hoped they'd be apprehended, if only so they'd be compelled to quit fiddling around.

Furthermore, it irked me that most every (annoyingly) brief chapter, up to the conclusion, ended with a "cliff-hanger". (I kept envisioning the author typing a quick last sentence before jumping up to answer the phone, or the doorbell, or the dog's call of nature.) Again, just my opinion, but this dangly tactic seems to presuppose the lack of an appreciable attention span in the reader.

My main problem with The Da Vinci Code, though, is that it's not always taken as fiction, when it should be universally taken as fiction. For example, right off the bat we are presented with an albino who's got such keen eyesight he's meant to assassinate people in dimly-lit interiors. Albinos have notoriously poor eyesight. This same character was once beaten within an inch of his life at water's edge in Marseilles, and then walked to the Andorran highlands to recuperate (a distance of at least 100 kilometers). This strained my willingness to lend credence to anything else in the book.

These are just two small examples, out of many the book offers, where fact (driving a sub-compact) and fiction (in a semi truck) suffer a tragic collision. However, it seems petty to nit-pick a work of fiction (which is how I have chosen to view The Da Vinci Code) for getting facts wrong. Nit-pick away at the flat characters or the itty-bitty chapters - unraveling the "fact" can o' worms might keep you busier than you'd intended to be.

Many kudos to Dan Brown, the author, for getting lots of folks interested in art history. He seems like a personable man, and I am glad he's reaping financial benefits as an author. He's gotten a movie deal out of The Code and is penning a sequel. Success stories like his give hope and encouragement to writers everywhere...some of whom are now selling books of their own, refuting The Da Vinci Code.

In short: Read it, liked it well enough, bear no grudge against the author, and hope others will join me on the fiction bandwagon.

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