Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Review: The DaVinci Code

The DaVinci Code
The DaVinci Code by Dan Brown

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

This wasn't as bad as I had led to believe it would be. The prose is uninspired, and Brown makes things up to fit the story, but isn't that what fiction is? Novelists are allowed to make things up. However, the nature of a thriller is to make the tension credible, and the lack of plausibility of some aspects of the story was noticeable. I had trouble believing an elderly man dying of a gunshot wound to the gut would work out and flawlessly execute the elaborate scenario described in the beginning of the story. The victim's granddaughter learning the details of his death and instantly understanding that she needed to save the chief suspect from false accusation was equally unlikely. I also had trouble believing the protagonist's (he's a Harvard professor of "symbology)" assertion that pretty much every fable or fairy tale ever told is actually about Mary Magdalene.

What bothered me more than that was the plot's dependence on the professor's repeatedly coming up with flashes of insight just as some crisis occurred. It was is if he were a magician whose hat had an inexhaustible supply of rabbits.

Still, the story was entertaining, at a certain level. It dared to aim for a grand story line, and if it didn't hit the target for everyone, obviously a lot of folks enjoyed it. This book will never win Dan Brown a Pulitzer, but on the other hand, it made him a boatload of money and guaranteed his next book would sell well. I would not sneer at that.

Kindle users's note: This book had a fair amount of French phrases. Some but not all were translated by the narration, so the translation feature on the Kindle came in very handy! I just had to highlight the words, and then select Translate from the More option on the Highlight menu. Also, the Kindle formatting was excellent. 

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