Warning: If you’ve never read the book, nor watched the movie, then skip this review because it contains spoilers.
First, let’s recap:
I read The Da Vinci Code when it was released in 2004. I wrote a review and posted it on a blog I had back then. I was then done with not only this book, but this author. Recently my hubby has caught snippets of the movie on TV and he decided he wanted to watch the movie. I couldn’t understand why as he didn’t like the book either, but said I’d try watching with him.
My review of the book and the movie are ahead, but first let’s set the table.
What I believe
My beliefs are key to my feelings about this book and movie, so let me share a bit of what I believe. I believe in a Triune God, eternally existing in 3 persons: God the Father, God the Son, God the Holy Spirit, each co-eternal in being, co-identical in nature, co-equal in power and glory, and having the same attributes and perfections (and not imperfections). I believe that Jesus Christ became man, without ceasing to be God.
While on earth, Christ was “tempted like as we are, yet without sin”. (Hebrews 4:15) He suffered as we do, He hurt as we do, He was hungry, He was tired, His heart was broken and He cried—just as we do. Yet He did so without ever ceasing to be God.
Marriage is a “picture” of Christ’s relationship to His church. He is the Groom, the Church is the Bride. I believe that the marital relationship is a special gift from God and as such it is not to be taken lightly. If we (the church) are the bride, how could Christ have another wife? He couldn’t. It’s not even logical, and amongst all that God is—He is logical.
The book review from way back in 2004
The Da Vinci Code was an annoying book, yet challenging in one way. I read the book only because a couple of friends had urged me to read it so that we could all discuss it. I threw the book across the room a few times (seriously, I did!), and I slammed it shut and let it sit several times. I found Brown’s style of writing to be short clipped and irritating. There wasn’t a nice flow to the story telling, and the choppiness kept pushing me out of the story. My own preference is a better blend of descriptive and verbal (dialogue driven) story telling, and this book is mainly dialogue driven—and it didn’t work for me.
The book was challenging because it dared to question, in it’s own way, my religious faith. Around the halfway point in the book, someone dropped 3 major spoilers on me, so I took a week off from reading to let those spoilers drift away. During that time I gave thought to what I believed and why. Was I firm in my beliefs? I found that I was firm, that I was secure, and that my beliefs certainly could stand up to someone else’s vivid imagination and speculations.
It was when I read this quote, found near the end of chapter 82:
“…every faith in the world is based on fabrication.”
that I realized where Brown was coming from, and decided that I had put too much emphasis on his inaccuracies (and accuracies), and not enough emphasis on the simple enjoyment of a good novel. From that point forward, the book was just a book and not a struggle. Granted a book whose premise I disagreed with, but I managed to finish without tossing it again.
A few particulars:
- I found Captain Fache to be a rather distasteful person in the long run, and that saddened me.
- I found Brown’s premise that Christ was married, and that He was married to Mary Magdalene totally repugnant.
- I’ve viewed some online photo’s of the cleaned up “Last Supper”, and disagree that Mary Magdalene is found within this painting.
- I found most unsettling the descriptions of Opus Dei, and the secret rituals of the Priory of Sion. I can honestly tell you that the ritual Sophie described watching was particularly distasteful.
- Some of his comments regarding the Knights Templar and Freemasonry are inaccurate; and I know this because I spoke with a most trusted source regarding all of it (and yes, he read the book).
- I was completely unprepared for Rémy being the “inside” man; yet after it was revealed, I realized that I should have seen that coming. I then guessed who “The Teacher” was.
- I had the code words “SOFIA” and “APPLE”, as well as “A. POPE” *long* before Langdon did. 😉
- I also realized that the secret about Sophie’s family had to be that they were alive and in hiding. Once we met the young docent at Rosslyn Chapel I knew he was Sophie’s brother.
- The nods to Harrison Ford and Harry Potter cracked me up.
- “Harrison Ford in Harris tweed.”
Do I recommend this book? Yes and no. For the mystery/thriller fans, I say “yes, but …”. There are certainly other mysteries that are better written and more enjoyable that I would recommend. Will this book challenge your religious beliefs? Possibly. But if your beliefs can’t stand up to some scrutiny, then they aren’t strong enough to carry you through the tough times in life.
Rating: On a scale of 1-5, with 5 the top: 1.5
Let’s move forward to last night’s movie version of this book.
- Too long.
- Had the same horrid, choppy dialogue.
- Failed to entertain me.
- Had wooden Tom Hanks in the lead role.
- If it had just been me watching, I would have turned it off and gone to bed.
Rating: less than 1 star.
Dan Brown is a horrid author, and for the life of me I can’t figure out why people buy/read his books. His horrid books make equally horrid movies, and for the life of me I can’t figure out why people buy/rent/watch his movies.