The Da Vinci Code, published in 2003, was written by Dan Brown. This mystery-detective novel has generated a lot of criticism since its publication. Many critics, historians, art historians, and Catholics have lambasted this book for its inaccuracies. For this reason, I had avoided it for years. And I wasn’t a huge fan of the movie. However, I received the audio book and I decided to give it a go. This is the second book that I read for R.I.P., an event hosted by Carl at Stainless Steel Droppings.
The plot is somewhat complicated. Robert Langdon, a Harvard professor, is implicated in the homicide of Jacques Sauniere, the curator of the Louvre. The curator, however, was murdered by a man named Silas, who is working for a man referred to as the Teacher. Silas is searching for the “keystone”, which is needed to find the Holy Grail. Bezu Fache, the Police Captain, believes that Langdon is guilty. Initially, the Harvard Professor believes that he has been called to the scene of the crime as an expert to help the investigation. He is unaware that Fache is hiding evidence that suggests that Langdon was involved.
Sopie Neveu, a police cryptographer, arrives at the scene of the crime to help Robert Langdon. Not only does she believe that Langdon is innocent, but she is the granddaughter of the murder victim. She forces Langdon to make a run for it since she thinks that Fache will do whatever it takes to convict Langdon.
Once they escape the Louvre it becomes a mad dash to figure out who actually murdered Sauniere. They have to avoid the police and the murderer. As the plot unravels, the reader learns that there is a conflict between the Priory of Sion and Opus Dei. The Priory’s role is to protect the Holy Grail. Opus Dei wants the Holy Grail to increase their power.
The novel takes place in a day. There is a lot of action. There is much mystery. And there are some good twists and turns. While listening to the novel, I did not concern myself with the knowledge that many experts claim that Brown’s premise is preposterous and that his supporting arguments are fallacies. Instead, I found it to be a fun and entertaining novel to listen to. I don’t know enough about the history to know how much was true and how much was fiction. For me it didn’t matter. Millions of others felt the same way. As of 2009, the book has sold 80 million copies. I’ll let the experts argue the points. I understand that historical fiction should not take too much liberty. I also understand that sometimes it’s fun to get sucked into a story and not take facts too seriously. But don’t tell my former history professors I said this.
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