View Full Version : The DaVinci Code

Gareth Blackstock
6th Dec 2004, 22:02
I have just finished reading this book and I thought it was fantastic. A very well written and researched book indeed and highly reccomended to anyone and everyone.

If anybody has read the book, what do you think of it? Is there alot of truth in it or is it entirely fiction?


6th Dec 2004, 22:08
Remind me what the book is about?

The Invisible Man
6th Dec 2004, 22:13

Briefly....While in Paris on business, Harvard symbologist Robert Langdon receives an urgent late-night phone call: the elderly curator of the Louvre has been murdered inside the museum. Near the body, police have found a baffling cipher. Solving the enigmatic riddle, Langdon is stunned to discover it leads to a trail of clues hidden in the works of Da Vinci…clues visible for all to see…and yet ingeniously disguised by the painter.

Langdon joins forces with a gifted French cryptologist, Sophie Neveu, and learns the late curator was involved in the Priory of Sion—an actual secret society whose members included Sir Isaac Newton, Botticelli, Victor Hugo, and Da Vinci, among others. The Louvre curator has sacrificed his life to protect the Priory's most sacred trust: the location of a vastly important religious relic, hidden for centuries.

In a breathless race through Paris, London, and beyond, Langdon and Neveu match wits with a faceless powerbroker who appears to work for Opus Dei—a clandestine, Vatican-sanctioned Catholic sect believed to have long plotted to seize the Priory's secret. Unless Langdon and Neveu can decipher the labyrinthine puzzle in time, the Priory's secret—and a stunning historical truth—will be lost forever.

In an exhilarating blend of relentless adventure, scholarly intrigue, and cutting wit, symbologist Robert Langdon (first introduced in Dan Brown's bestselling Angels & Demons) is the most original character to appear in years. THE DA VINCI CODE heralds the arrival of a new breed of lightening-paced, intelligent thriller…surprising at every twist, absorbing at every turn, and in the end, utterly unpredictable…right up to its astonishing conclusion.

:zzz: :zzz: :zzz: :zzz:

Fiction by the way

6th Dec 2004, 22:27
I haven't seen the film or read the book yet. Is there an aviation theme to it? Does Robert Langdon use the EuroStar to get between London and Paris or does he fly? The suspense is killing me. No, please don't tell me. I'll check the video store this weekend. :)

6th Dec 2004, 22:50
Someone called it 'infuriatingly gripping tosh' - which is just about right methinks. Which means it's crap, but it's a good read - for the record I read it in less than 24 hours, couldn't put it down. Just don't try to think about it too much.

6th Dec 2004, 22:55
Read it.
Read better.

Couldn't understand the hype its received.

Passably good but not great. :zzz:

6th Dec 2004, 23:07
Angels and Demons is better! Great way to pass a transatlantic flight with a few glasses of port!

The quote about gripping tosh applies just as well to A & D too!

p.s Tom Hanks is supposed to be playing Langdon in the movie of The daVinci Code, now there's a shock!!

6th Dec 2004, 23:47
p.s Tom Hanks is supposed to be playing Langdon in the movie of The daVinci Code, now there's a shock!! How they goin' to integrate the real star of Castaway ie. Wilson into the daVinci movie...:confused: ;)

7th Dec 2004, 02:03
I read the da vinci code earlier this year. There are several aviation references involving different catagories of airplane. There may have been references to helicopters as well but let's face it; who cares?
I found it hard to put down. Perhaps my lack of background knowledge aided in this.
If you are similar to me in this regard, note that many parts of it are fiction and while some arguments may seem compelling, further research revealed some were approaching the boundaries of possibility.
Bit long for what it was as well.
For me it was a nice, reasonably vivid introduction to the da vinci conspiricy.

one ball
7th Dec 2004, 02:43
New-age garbage for the "spiritualists" who need to believe in something but find "God" a little old fashioned.

If it was written about Islam it'd get an author (and his family) shot, bombed, decapitated or all of the above.

But it's about Christianity so that's alright.

7th Dec 2004, 03:07
one ball - then you HAVE to read angels and demons :E

Maybe you're reading wayyyy too much into the book? There is a reason the book is firmly in the fiction section of the bookstore.

Plus, lets give the author one credit - he states at the start of both books, which parts of the book are facts. Anything beyond that is to be interpreted by the reader. Many readers will not know where the line is drawn and so its gripping for them... for instance, in one of his books he mentions the "F-14 Tomcat Split-Tail" being an experimental version.... even some of the reasonably informed people will see that he has correctly called the F-14 as "Tomcat" so will tend to assume that there is a variant called Split Tail - only folks (nutters?) like us prooners will realize that this is firmyl a figment of DB's imagination. That would be the class of an author - not lettign the reader know where the line is drawn.

And most importantly, dont you think that the *reason* for which some people are disliked more than the others because they get an author (and his family) shot, bombed, decapitated ?


read all four books, these two are the best. Deception point is nice but even more far fetched than these two... Digital Fortress is strictly oh-kay, a bit drab at times. All of them technically very good though...

7th Dec 2004, 08:43
Probably the worst thriller i've ever read. (and believe me, I've read a few!...). The plot is full of errors and inconsistencies, the characters are incredibly thin, the hero is an unbelievable bore, and the underlying conspiracy theory is not compounded by any historical fact. (And no, even though I had a traditional catholic upbringing, I'm not one to believe anything coming from the Vatican, quite the contrary...).
If you want to read good thrillers, try Sara Paretsky, Patricia Cornwell (not the recent ones, though), Linda Barnes, Janet Evanovitch or even Andy McNab, to name but a few.
Compared to them, Brown is a pale amateur with a sloppy style who does not even do his research seriously.
American and British thriller writers are the best in the world, Brown has nothing to do with them. Full stop.

7th Dec 2004, 08:58
I have read this book and it was a good read - could not put it down.

Desert Dingo
7th Dec 2004, 08:59
Yep. I just loved the bit where he has the executive jet taxying around inside a hangar and doing a 180 degree turn to get to its parking spot.
I must try doing that sometime!

7th Dec 2004, 11:11
As has been stated above, the author points out the only two pieces of 'fact' in his novel. The rest is up to the imagination of the reader.

I found it very readable and entertaining, a la Tom Clancy style. It was hard to put down and made a few days by the pool in Banjul pass by very quickly.

I have no idea how well researched it was although it does seem to have spawned a whole industry of Da Vinci Code add-ons with all sorts of books and guides. The whole thing fell apart as soon as we got to the bit with the business jet. Obviously, not researched quite well enough with the many glaring and obvious flaws (to anyone involved in professional aviation) which leads one to conclude that most of the other stuff wasn't quite as well researched either.

On the whole though, it was entertaining and made me go out and buy his other novels in the usual pre-Xmas 'buy two get one free' or 'buy one get one half price' deals that are out there right now. I'll probably go and see the film when it comes out. Just remember that it's entertainment. Don't become one of the delusional members of the 'conspiracy theory' nutters who read it and believe that it is all real. Just a bit of fun.

Just an other number
7th Dec 2004, 11:48
What really gets me is towards the end where the police at Biggin Hill are chasing after the hero, all because of orders from the French Police.
Erm I don't think so.

7th Dec 2004, 12:00
Have to agree that TDC was entertaining, (if tosh). His other books seem to follow the same formula. I don’t really warm to those heroes who can speak ten languages, know every obscure skill under the sun and can step out of a wetsuit with their tux neatly pressed and not a hair out of place. If you want a REALLY good thriller, try anything by Gerald Seymour. Seymour would have to be one of the most underrated authors around. Everything he’s written, from ‘Harry’s Game’ to his latest, is uniformly excellent and utterly believable, with a ‘warts and all’ feel it it which is close to real life.

I particularly liked ‘Holding the Zero’ about the Brit civilian who goes to Saddam Hussein’s Iraq as a sniper to repay a debt owed to a Kurdish village by his grandfather (who was in the RAF – so there’s an aviation connection). The duel with the expert Iraqi sniper is compelling – you can feel the bloody ants crawling over him and biting him as he keeps utterly still so as not to give his position away.

‘Killing Ground’, about the young Brit schoolteacher who’s dragged in to spy against a Mafia man in Sicily is also a terrific read.

Gareth Blackstock
7th Dec 2004, 15:59
As I have now finished the book and am deciding what to read next I'll rely on you guys and girls for some good reccomendations. I really enjoy John Grisham and Patrick Robinson sa anything along those lines or similar would be appreciated.


El Grifo
7th Dec 2004, 16:08
I thoroughly enjoyed the book. Here are some interesting related links.





The information contained therin, helps to sort out the wheat from the chaff, so to speak.

I do recommend a visit to Rosslyn Chapel though.

Standard Noise
8th Dec 2004, 00:58
Dan Browns books are decent enough to pass the time with, but if you thought Da Vinci Code was stretching reality, you should read Deception Point. All his books are interesting and unputdownable, but after reading DVC, A&D, Digital Fortress and then Deception Point, I was beginning to suffer from an excess of FPT Syndrome (Fast Paced Thriller Syndrome).
Then I launched into Tony Parsons Man & Boy/Man & Wife to calm down a bit, before embarking on "The End of the Beginning", about the war in North Africa in 1942 and "Finest Hour" re-telling the Battle of Britain and surrounding events.
Festive reading hopefully will be "Tail End Charlies" and "Armageddon"(Max Hastings). But only if Mrs Noise has taken the hint!

8th Dec 2004, 07:43
Not that I'm speaking about "littérature" (I was offered the book, and it is still laying somewhere next to night table..........In English! Fancy that!)...............but I heard a book is now on sale here explainig how far the from History is the "code".

Will let you know after cheking at the bookshop.
Anyway I think it's to be found in French only now.

Vox Populi
8th Dec 2004, 16:55
I was in New York shortly after reading The Da Vinci Code - so decided to check out 243 Lexington Avenue to see for myself the World HQ of Opus Dei.

It turned out to be a fairly modest, but new looking office block, with no markings - the intercom on the various doors all said deliveries by prior arrangement only.

While I was standing gawping at it, a catholic priest walked out and gave me an 'amused' look as if to say - "yeah yeah yeah, read the book have you?". I felt a little embarassed, but still wondered if he had a celice strapped to his thigh...

Gripping tosh is a good description. I found it thought provoking, especially as I had read a rather academic history of the Templars a few years ago - it dealt with the whole Mary Magdalene theory in one throwaway sentence...

But Dan Brown's American assumptions infuriated me...did you notice the FRENCH woman went to 'Graduate School' in Britain and came back to France for 'Spring Break'. As if.


9th Dec 2004, 10:20
TDC: a good read, but don't let yourself be conned into thinking that it's based on anything other than a clever author's imagination. The conspiracy on which it's based exists only in his mind and those of the gullible. Like most fibs, it's so close to bits of the truth that it's easy to be taken in if you're not careful.

yggorf ... Patricia Cornwell.....puuhhleeessee! She used to write a good yarn but now she's just plain bonkers. "I'll tell you who Jack the Ripper was, and it must be true because I say so and I'm Patricia Cornwell". Fruitcake!!!

You ain't seen me, right?

9th Dec 2004, 10:53
Quote from one of the websites given above:

Although this book was published as a work of fiction, claims have been made that it is “meticulously researched” and useful as a tool for theological reflection. We wish to alert readers to the fact that it many of its claims about Christian history and theology are contrary to the conclusions of mainstream Christian scholarship.

'infuriatingly gripping tosh' it is indeed. :ok:
I enjoyed it but got bored at the Mary-Magdalene bit and skipped it. Did not miss much I think.

"how far the from History is the "code". If you find that book can you give me the title or a link to it? Merci.

9th Dec 2004, 12:21
Grand père, IFTB

I found three books already available (have to say I read neither, nor the DVC itself)

this one (http://www.amazon.fr/exec/obidos/ASIN/2221104056/qid=1102598308/sr=1-1/ref=sr_1_10_1/402-3350786-7064110) seems to be by rather serious people and has got positive reviews.
no idea about this one (http://www.amazon.fr/exec/obidos/ASIN/2915320217/qid%3D1102598727/402-3350786-7064110) (UK edition (http://www.amazon.co.uk/exec/obidos/ASIN/0297848216/qid=1102599673/sr=1-1/ref=sr_1_11_1/026-0909732-9064430))
that one (http://www.amazon.fr/exec/obidos/ASIN/2842282124/qid=1102598660/sr=2-3/ref=sr_2_11_3/402-3350786-7064110) got poor reviews

another English speaking one (http://www.amazon.co.uk/exec/obidos/ASIN/1586170341/ref=pd_bxgy_text_2_cp/026-0909732-9064430) (scroll to page bottom to see a couple more)

9th Dec 2004, 12:36
Thanks Bre , did not think of searching Amazon.

9th Dec 2004, 12:44
Some interesting parts about the church templers/masons and the chalice. Didn't think it a great book, had sussed out the villan fairly early on. Some of the bigger mistakes grate, (how much of a bribe would you accept for your livelehood???) and by the end was happy it was over. Haven't been moved to read the first book or for that matter any of his others.

Vox Populi
9th Dec 2004, 14:55

I enjoyed it but got bored at the Mary-Magdalene bit and skipped it. Did not miss much I think.

That'll be the entire point of the book then...

9th Dec 2004, 20:55
I heard an interview with the authors of "Da Vinci code, l'enquête" Marie France Etchegoin and C°, on France Inter.

Seemed to be very documented and demonstrative about the gap between the novel and religious History, without any confusion between freedom of invention for novel writers..... and basic trend of historian to stick upon facts (as far as they can be approached)

9th Dec 2004, 21:08
I bought in Hong Kong and started to read it on the flight back. Great start to the book and had me enthralled early on but then........it just petered out, I got fed up by the middle of the book and put it away for a few weeks. Not a good sign. Finished it after those weeks and was sorry I did to be honest, a dreadful ending!

That British **** with the peg leg was just annoying and what's with all this crap about the modern catholic church not worshipping the "sacred feminine"?? HAs the author never heard of Lourdes? Has he not seen the reverence Catholics give to Mary??

9th Dec 2004, 21:23
This book is utter hype and contains a truck load of bollox.

Any scholar knows that Merovingians did not found Paris - it was a gallic village long before that. Mona Lisa was NOT painted as a self-portrait: Art historians are almost unanimous in holding the painting to be of a real woman, Madonna Lisa, wife of Francesco di Bartolomeo del Giocondo, and 5 million women murdered by the Inquisition (really Mr.Brown?) etc. etc.

If you want to read a really good novel of the same kind one may choose to read Foucault's Pendulum (1988) (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Foucault%27s_Pendulum_%28book%29) by Umberto Eco (also writer of "The Name of the Rose"). I'm pretty sure Brown has read this book extensively, if you know what I mean...

9th Dec 2004, 23:30
I thought it was crap.

As they say over here "Total brain candy, man."


10th Dec 2004, 07:16
was hard reading, while "The Name of the Rose" is a masterpiece, as a book and as a film!

10th Dec 2004, 07:55
The PPRune Book Club Continues.....

Whilst not a work of fiction I can throughly recommend Bill Brysons' "A Short History of Nearly Everything".

I have never had a non-fiction book which has been so hard to put down. The tangled webs of despair and rejection that so many explorers, scientist, inventors and historians (plus a few other categories) have had to endure so that we can understand history (even allowing for all the gaps in our knowledge) is incredible.

It also reminded me just how fragile our world is.

An excellent read!


Big Hilly
10th Dec 2004, 13:28
A great holiday read - definately un-put-downable! Have now read all of his novels and the only one I didn't like was Deception Point, which I thought utter tosh!


Jordan D
10th Dec 2004, 15:52
I have to say I thought Deception Point was ok. Best was Digital Fortress though. Very clever.

Have stalled about 3 or 4 times whilst reading Angels & Demons ... doesn't have the same goodness as the other 3.


tony draper
10th Dec 2004, 19:24
Suss this. :E

http://images.google.com/imgres?imgurl=http://www.rennes-le-chateau.co.uk/images/shepherds_big.jpg&imgrefurl=http://www.rennes-le-chateau.co.uk/html/mystery3.htm&h=613&w=881&sz=46&tbnid=R0CCrbNOxm4J:&tbnh=100&tbnw=143&start=11&prev=/images%3Fq%3DThe%2BShepherds%2Bof%2Barcadie%2B%2522Poussin%2 522%26svnum%3D10%26hl%3Den%26lr%3D

Solid Rust Twotter
10th Dec 2004, 19:33
Found a 1916 edition of Kipling's "Barrack Room Ballads". Brilliant stuff but a sobering thought knowing all those young men were dying in the trenches at the time it was in print.:(

We will remember them.....

tony draper
10th Dec 2004, 20:09
You can read most of Kiplings work here Mr Twotter.


tony draper
11th Dec 2004, 08:51
Ah but we didn't have B52's in those days. :E

Solid Rust Twotter
11th Dec 2004, 09:58
Brilliant stuff. Some of it brought a tear to the eye, of laughter or otherwise........

29th Jan 2005, 15:59
Half way through DVC and was going to start a thread but found this with the search function (so thats what it does!)

For those interested enough, there is a program on about it Thursday 3rd Feb at 2100 on Channel 4. Interviews and looking into the 'truth' of it etc.

I'm currently finding it a very enjoyable read, although perhaps should have left a bigger gap between that and A & D.... very similar.

29th Jan 2005, 19:11
I bought the book when it was issued, and there was not all this fuss about it. I am a serial reader. There are not that many good books and authors around, so from time to time I venture on the unknown, hoping that at least it will be bearable. If it's good it is a pleasant surprise. I buy then stack on the "not read yet" bookshelf. I have nightmares where I dream I have nothing to read...
So, I bought the book without knowing the author, but hoped that having "Da Vinci" on the title at least the subject would not be too banal.
I found it very average. It is not boring, kept me entertained, but I found the characters very poorly built and almost cartoonesque. Occasionally the story becomes almost comic, like the aviation part, you know, that sort of things where you run to your hubby going "hey look! He wrote that" and the minute after you are both in stitches. Although it can be sometimes tragic if, as I read on a froggy newspaper, the priest of St Sulpice almost suffered a nervous breakdown and had to hang a sign stating that no, St Sulpice had never been a pagan temple and please, stop snooping around to try to find whatever hiding place is descripted in the book that has never existed in reality.
I don't regret the money I spent, because I was not expecting a masterpiece when I bough it. I'm quite used to characters sketched with an ax and poorly researched. You cannot have lobster every day. It served its purpose of keeping me entertained during deadheadings (that's what I use average books for ;) ). I have bought other books by D.Brown thanks to that pay two get three deal :E
So I'd say that if you don't have great expectations ;) you'll be happy with your purchase. If you are expecting Umberto Eco or Iain Pears or even P.D. James you'll be very disappointed.

30th Jan 2005, 02:34
I'm working my way thru the Dan Brown books at the moment. Currently reading Angels and Demons. His books are a good bit of escapism, but not fantastic. Very much like the movie "National Treasure".

There are IMHO better American authors.

For similar but better types of novels try these authors:

Lee Child
Harlan Coben
George Pelecanos
Paul Badalacci

In Oz, a young author, Matthew Reilly, writes action books that are hard to put down. Try "Temple", "Ice Station" and "Area 51".

Standard Noise
30th Jan 2005, 13:54
Noisy jnr's class has just been told by their English teacher to read the Da Vinci Code and Angels and Demons.
I haven't decided if she's mad or it's some sort of new policy by the schools - get the kids to read the most recent popular fiction cos their parents are bound to have it at home and it saves the school buying 200 copies of each book.:confused:

30th Jan 2005, 14:52
And theres me... Romeo & Juliet, Silas Marner, Price & Prejudice, MacBeth...

T'was only 2 years ago too!

30th Jan 2005, 15:58
characters sketched with an ax

Cracked me up. Reminded me of my last shave.

Doesn't anyone like Clive Cussler's stuff?

30th Jan 2005, 20:49
Let me tell you all something, when one is sitting in hotels for days on end or staring out of the left seat for hours on end at an empty sky over an empty ocean some of those books are great. (Not that I would ever read a book while flying.)

Clive Cussler’s stuff fits into that category very nicely, but his books I wait until they come out in paperback.

At the risk of opening myself to criticism I believe the best book I have ever read by a modern day author is “The Stand” by Steven King.

Anyway back to the thread, I have read the “Da Vinci Code” and enjoyed it very much and who can tell what in that book is fiction and what could very well be the truth.

One more thing, I have no idea how many books I have read, the number has to in the tens of thousands, seriously. My favorite author of all time is Neville Shute (Norway) I have all of his books, first editions, including an original screenplay of the original “On the Beach” movie. (By the way, some of them didn’t come cheap.)

tony draper
30th Jan 2005, 21:04
Hmmm, gonna be a documentry on channel 4 on thursday re the Davinci code,haven't read said book meslf but from what yers are saying it sounds like it is based on that series that did the rounds about twenty years ago, The Priest the Book and the Devil, all about a Priest who discovered some great secret became immensely rich, the Priory of Sion ,and the Treasure of Jerusalem, and Jesus getting married and his sprogs becoming the royal family of France,The search for the grail whil was actually the search for jesus's descendants, and why the transit van had a funny shaped nob on the gear lever.
PS, The are dozens of web sites still devoted to that series of books and documentries


Heres one of em.

1st Apr 2005, 06:06
Curious thought but just how many leaders of the Western world, Catholic hierarchy and other Christian heads are going to be gathered together shortly, in a very small area?

A totally predictable event, in a precisely known location with a guaranteed world TV audience!

All you had to do was to rent or buy a few flats , any time in the previous 5 years or so, within say 1/2 a mile of the funeral location and simply wait.

Where did those ex-Russian warheads go?

Send Clowns
1st Apr 2005, 07:25
I've read the book now. I've also seen the documentary which shows good evidence that the "Priory of Sion" was made up by a couple of intelligent, bored French people in frankly quite a skilled and amusing practical joke. Reading with the sceptic's eye the book is just another thriller, a little below the average level of those I read. Nice premise, not very well written with some plot flaws and occasional irritatingly odd behaviour by the characters.

Read "The Rule of Four" by Ian Caldwell and Dustin Thomason instead. The authors managed a much better plot of a similar genre, ancient puzzle left by academic takes on importance to the contemprary heros of the book. They write better too, although they have their own flaws.

1st Apr 2005, 07:57
Also read it. Poorly plotted and badly written. And the documentary did a pretty good hatchet job on it ('all the societies in the book exist' - just some of them only in the mind of the writer it seems).

I've not read 'The Rule of Four' SC but 'The Name of the Rose' by Umberto Eco is well written and again based on a 'puzzle' dating from early Christian times.