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The DaVinci Code controversy

Discussion in 'The OT' started by RichW, Apr 30, 2004.

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  1. RichW

    RichW Hall Of Fame/Supporter DBSTalk Gold Club

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    About three months ago in a thread here that asked "Waht books are you reading?" I answered "The DaVinci Code" by Dan Brown as one of the books. I found this book to be an excellent piece of fiction, and since it has some references to us Freemasons and Knights Templars (Christian Freemasons), I found it to be a book I couldn't put down.

    Now, however, the Catholic Church is now lambasting Dan Brown for his book and the conspiracy theories in it. I understand the book has sold over 6 million copies, and the church is afraid that people will believe the fiction and calling the book heretical. Jeez, that is why they call it FICTION.

    Anyway, has anyone else read the book and what are your thoughts?

    BTW: this book is excellent fodder for one of Roger's conspiracy theories.
     
  2. Timco

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    I have read the "Da Vinci Code" and "Angels & Demons". I found them both to be great works of fiction. Fast paced and exciting. Would make a great movies.
    I do understand the panic of the Catholic Church. Some people in my office took to heart some of the conspiracy theories, saying that the author did alot of research and most of what he wrote about was true.
    Maybe they think Harry Potter is true too.
     
  3. Bogy

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    I have not read the book. I keep looking at it in bookstores but never buy. What I noticed about a week or so ago in one of the big bookstores is that is now surrounded by a number of books that are evidently aiming to cash in on the popularity of it. Each purporting to have the "real" story behind the story. These must be the same people who thought "The Blair Witch Project" was also true.
     
  4. HappyGoLucky

    HappyGoLucky Banned User

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    My theory is that "The DiVinci Code" is just as real and prophetic as the Bible. :D But then, I'm one of those evildoers Bush and the Christian right-wingers are always talking about. :p
     
  5. RichW

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    I haven't read "Angels & Demons" yet. I hear it is about the Bavarian Illuminati.

    I did read "Digital Fortress" by Dan Brown which is about encryption, hacking, and the NSA. Another excellent read. As a systems manager myswlf, I could identify with some of the computer-types in the book.

    Dan Brown has also gotten a lot of criticism by academics concerning his writing style, but his stuff is really riveting for my "low-brow" tastes.

    I agree that "The DaVinci Code" (and also "Digital Fortress") would make exciting movies. His story lines remind me a lot of the now-defunct Millennium TV Series by Chris Carter.
     
  6. Strong

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    I read and enjoyed it. Two of my favorite subjects, history and Christianity.

    The inevitable movie will probably spoil it.

    Rome is just happy that we aren't talking about them doing underage boys.
     
  7. May 1, 2004 #7 of 16
    toenail

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    I gotta disagree with you on this one Rich. I got Digital Fortress for Christmas. It is a quick and easy read. But it is so dumb that I felt somewhat demeaned by it. Shallow characterization. Incredibly implausible plot line. A "puzzle" at the end of the book which a group of supposedly brilliant people couldn't figure out, while quite ordinary minds like mine figured it out with no effort. I had been anxious to read The DaVinci Code. Digital Fortress dampened my enthusiasm. Do you believe DC to be better than DF? If so, maybe I'll risk my time. :)
     
  8. May 1, 2004 #8 of 16
    RichW

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    Well, The DaVinci Code for me wasn't any harder to figure out than DF, especially since I already knew some of the esoteric meaning of some of the symbols in the "mystery". Nonetheless the book takes so many twists and turns that I was riveted to the text. However one of my friends felt the story was anti-climactic. DF was similar to DC in many ways. I assume Angels & Demons is a similar structure. But this is a mystery genre. I can't fault Dan Brown for following his persoanl formula any more than one could fault Rex Stout's Nero Wolfe or Harry Kemelman's "Rabbi" series of mystery books.
     
  9. May 1, 2004 #9 of 16
    toenail

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    I guess I don't fault Brown for his formula, although the "Perils of Pauline" approach gets a little old. By that I mean that each "chapter" was usually just a couple of pages long, and something dramatic happened at the close of each chapter, then he'd switch the story to some other person or persons' crisis that was going on at about the same time. It's kind of similar to the approach that Arthur Hailey used to use in his best sellers such as "Airport," "Hotel," etc., except his chapters were longer and I believe the character development was a tad deeper (though not much). It seems that most successful writers have a formula. Grisham is a prime example. My old favorite hard-boiled detective writer, Ross McDonald, certainly had one, and it worked for him. I guess my chief complaint about Digital Fortress is that I expected so much more, largely because of the incredible success of The DaVinci Cod. It was, I guess, too formulaic.

    Shortly after I read Digital Fortress I read Reversible Error, by Scott Turow. Now, I admit to having a bias since I've practiced criminal law and this is a story revolving around criminal law. But I felt the writing was far superior, and I felt like I really knew (and cared about) the characters. Turow is a more accomplished writer, I think, than John Grisham. I confess to having enjoyed a few of Grisham's books (and I've hated a few others). But if you want a more adult read, try Turow. The book, by the way, is Turow's way of showing his disdain for the death penalty. He has spoken out against it often.
     
  10. RichW

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    Thanks for the tip on Turow. I admit that Dan Brown's books "ain't Shakespeare", but these days my reading pleasure is more for escape than literary appreciation. A guilty pleasure, if you will. I feel the same way about Grisham, whose books I have enjoyed reading (or hearing on audio books during long rides or at bedtime). Anogther such guilty pleasure is James Patterson, in fact just about any popular mystery writer is on my wish list these days. My favorite genre used to be science fiction, but that has been replaced by a great whodunit with multiple plot twists and mis directions. A couple of folks who have read an Brown's works have been disappointed in the endings. Without givingh away those endings, I can see their point in that what he builds up to be a great conflict between large forces sometime is not the case at the end of his stories.

    I am not sure, but I think he wrote Digital Fortress before he wrote DaVinci Code, and I think the writing in DaVinci Code was a tad better. What I like about his wriiting is that he delves into the facts of many subjects in telling his tales. For example, DaVinci Code is full of Art History and number theory. His explanations of "phi", for example are excellent. Try it, you may like it, or at least parts of it.
     
  11. toenail

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    Thanks Rich. I will give it a try. I do know that Digital Fortress was written first, by a couple or more years, I think. So perhaps Brown improved his technique. I share your former interest in sci-fi. I was a big Bradbury fan in my younger days, but I too found good mysteries to be more interesting as I got older.
     
  12. HappyGoLucky

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    I've always enjoyed Bradbury's work. My favorite, however, is Arthur C. Clarke. His sci-fi always seems to concentrate more on the human aspect instead of the technological, though the techy stuff is well represented and especially plausible. I highly recommend "Against the Fall of Night", "The Sands of Mars", "Childhood's End", and the "Rama" series: "Rendesvous With Rama", "Rama II", "The Garden of Rama", and "Rama Revealed".
     
  13. Ira Lacher

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    Picked it up at a bookstore and it seemed very compelling, with one major flaw; it's obvious that Brown -- like so many contemporary writers -- was writing it as if it already were a movie. (Probably he's trying to get the screenwriting assignment already). That's the trouble with so much modern fiction: It's written as if the movie rights were already a slam dunk. If I wanted to read a screenplay I'd wait till the movie came out.

    But it seems like a compelling story. Good character descriptions, though his narrative is occasionally overbearing. All in all a good read on a plane, or by a swimming pool.
     
  14. Jim Parker

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  15. HappyGoLucky

    HappyGoLucky Banned User

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    Thanks for the tip, I'll check those out.

    I was very enthralled by the Rama books. I would love to see them made into films, though like other great works a film would probably not do them justice since so much of the detail would be lost because of time restraints.
     
  16. RichW

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    I bought the Rama CD game a few years ago but only played it for a little while.
     
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