The title of this book (pictured left) is, you will notice, all in block capitals. Now go and do a Google search (or preferably any other search engine), and see how many people are spelling da Vinci, with a capital ‘D‘? Welcome to the end of civilisation people.
I get the appeal of books like this, As the Amazon review in the product description puts it ‘Dan Brown masterfully concocts an intelligent and lucid thriller that marries the gusto of an international murder mystery with a collection of fascinating esoterica culled from 2,000 years of Western history. No he doesn’t.
Then from the flap of the hardback ‘Breaking the mould of traditional suspense novels, The Da Vinci Code is simultaneously lightning-paced, intelligent and intricately layered with remarkable research and detail. From the opening pages to the unpredictable and stunning conclusion, Dan Brown proves himself to be a master storyteller’.
Coming cold to this you may think this is a literary novel that pulls no punches, perhaps something in the Umberto Eco style of writing, happily a cursory glance into its pages and you’ll know what you’re getting. A ridiculous amount of chapters for the amount of pages (583 of ’em (pages that is, the chapters number slightly less although I’m not sure of the exact number of chapters as I gave my copy away straight after getting to the end 100 odd chapters plus epilogue, making it roughly 5.8 pages per chapter. In fact one chapter contains only one word. The font as I recall was big as well.
Let me magnanimously, and begrudgingly, highlight the one good point of the book. Namely the pace of the thing. Without a doubt it’s one of the paciest books out there, going along at a veritable canter. With the big type and the simplistic plot the pages just fly by like a paper plane with a big jet engine attached to it, that somehow works.
So what exactly is it that I hate about the book with a passion that would make a passion fruit blush? Many things, the well known blunder about getting the directions wrong for his Paris car chase, the lack of intelligence shown by the authorities, the poor research, even basic facts are incorrect, the embarrassing hype telling us all of the intelligence of the book, I could go on but you get the idea.
It is though without doubt truly hilarious (if completely unintentionally) by turns, closely followed by offensive to everyone from the religious to the lovers of facts and everyone in between. Then of course there are the lectures,probably the key part to the book, in which you can learn all sorts of wrong facts to impress your friends with, often these lectures are condescending and you feel like you are being spoken to like you were a child.
Overall the book is decidely clumsy in the extreme in many ways, If you are a genuine fan of plot or well rounded characters or just good writing, there is nothing for you here, try some Barbara Cartland, I’m sure that will be an improvement.
I’m with Salman Rushdie on this one he exclaimed during a lecture, “Do not start me on ‘The Da Vinci Code,’ A novel so bad that it gives bad novels a bad name.”