The more things change the more they stay the same. It has now been 10 years since Dan Brown burst onto the scene with The Da Vinci Code, perhaps the biggest fiction hit of the first decade of the 21st Century. Now Brown is set to release another mega-seller with a further Robert Langdon adventure – Inferno, releasing May 14th – and the time seemed right to look back on the book that really got things rolling.
Robert Langdon is a Harvard symbologist visiting Paris on a lecture tour. He finds himself rudely awakened by French policemen and taken to The Louvre to help solve the death of the museum’s curator, who, after being fatally wounded, has disrobed and drawn himself amidst a pentacle, and left a secret code beside his body. Langdon, whose field is secret codes and symbols, stumbles into yet another situation where his expertise can help solve a crime (note: the first book about Langdon – Angels & Demons – has basically the same plot but with slightly different scenarios). Everything quickly spirals out of control as French Police try to implicate Langdon in the murder, and the mysteries and symbolic puzzles continue to deepen. Langdon is joined by a French cryptographer with her own secrets, a British professor living in Paris, and chased by a murderous albino.
If you love The Da Vinci Code, preorder Inferno today!
But do not doubt that I also hate this book, and with a passion. Dan Brown must wish he was a Harvard professor like Langdon, because he certainly has the character teach a lot through the whole book. This information doesn’t slow the story at all, but the content of that “information” is a serious problem. Langdon throughout the book espouses what can loosely be called a “Gnostic” viewpoint, all tied up with the sacred feminine and secret society lore. Nearly all of it is total bunk, and that’s being polite. The issue is that so many people came out of reading The Da Vinci Code believing everything espoused within was literally Gospel truth. Brown’s book messed with what Christianity considers to be the true history of Jesus, which resulted in just the type of publicity you’d expect. A literal cottage industry about these subjects was spawned by the massive success of the novel. Brown, by being fairly tight-lipped on the matter, managed to fuel the controversy and keep The Da Vinci Code conspiracy fires burning far longer than they might have. So much confusion was generated by the dust-up that the TV program 60 Minutes did a major expose on the subject, and, in one of the most damning in-depth reports I have ever seen, completely demolished the premises underlying the book. No matter, as The Da Vinci Code alone may now have sold more than 80 MILLION copies world-wide.
Code 451 Rating – 7.5 (Good Read)
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