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Tuesday, October 29, 2013

"The Da Vinci Code", Silly Childish Games

The Da Vinci Code- Dan Brown

I was forced to read this book. I had to because I’m enrolled on a Professional Reading course and it was part of our homework. And I was quite scared to start reading…Terrified. Let’s just say (being extremely polite) my expectations were quite low from the very beginning. I was so right, what an atrocious shame “The Da Vinci Code” is.

Dan Brown is a disastrous writer. It’s hard for me to think on a worse pen than his. Surprisingly lame and empty, with a never ending amount of Wikipedia descriptions (places, historic sites, and pieces of art abound) and the WEAKEST effort on the characters I have ever seen (read) in my entire life. Robert Langdon and Sophie Neveu could had been easily replaced by character X and character Y, and the result would have been exactly the same. Secondary roles include an albino troubled villain, a mysterious butler, an eccentric millionaire devoted to find the Holy Grail, some high members of the church and the police. Yeah, you're right. It looks like "Clue", the traditional game, mixed with a bit of "Carmen Sandiego" and "Where’s Waldo". As a matter of fact, it looks too much like them. Childish games.

If character development and author’s prose are pathetic, at least the story development has to be amazing and absorbing, one might think. Well, I guess that’s debatable and personal. Did you enjoy series like "X-Files" or "Friday the 13th"? Then you will probably enjoy "The Da Vinci Code". The whole book is structured in the same way. Take notes, here's the recipe for a best-seller. Chapter begins, main characters are in front of “something relevant” that turns out to be a sudoku, a puzzle. They think about it, they speculate. Then someone has the illumination and finds the answer. But, while there’s an enigma that’s resolved, another one is created. Repeat the structure for more than a hundred chapters. Add a glimpse of a thriller so there’s a menace pressing the resolution of the detectivesque mysteries, plus a completely unbelievable plot, a worldwide conspiracy, that involves Opus Dei and the Catholic Church. And you got it. Don't forget to sell the rights to Hollywood as soon as you can.

I’m so puzzled this book was such a huge phenomenon, one that was the main reason of the spreading fever of this sort of pseudo-religious-historic novels, because to me is just silly and pointless. As I assume you have read the book and/or seen the movie (something that I will try to avoid at all costs) I guess I’m not spoiling much. You built the biggest of plot against humanity ever put in paper just to retreat at the very end? Was Brown too scared about the Church reaction? Did he realise the whole plot is absurd? The haunt of the Grail, the use of the Knights Templar and the art of Da Vinci might provide a morbid curiosity for many, but it all converges on a happy ending that is absolutely ridiculous. Maybe reading the book helps people to be more interested about history and art, or perhaps contributes on people giving a thought on the “official history” and its construction. I don’t know, I’m just trying to figure out arguments on why the book was such a success. To me it was just a waste of time.

SCORE: 1/10

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