Sunday, 6 November 2005

Book Review: The Da Vinci Code (Dan Brown)

I've been away in Singapore for the past thre days, which explains the lack of updates here. :) Nice to see so many comments about The Da Vinci Code post though. Entertaining yourselves well, eh? haha.

Anyway, I finished the damn book in 6 hours = the bus trip from KL to Singapore. So here's the review:

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Title: The Da Vinci Code
Author: Dan Brown

Synopsis:
But.. but.. don't you know it already? Oh well, here goes:

Robert Langdon, Harvard Professor of symbology, receives an urgent late-night call while in Paris: the curator of the Louvre has been murdered. Alongside the body is a series of baffling ciphers.

Langdon and a gifted French cryptologist, Sophie Neveu, are stunned to find a trail that leads to the works of Da Vinci - and further. The curator, part of a secret society named the Priory of Sion, may have sacrificed his life to keep secret the location of a vastly important religious relic hidden for centuries.

It appears that the clandestine Vatican-sanctioned Catholic sect Opus Dei has now made its move. Unless Landon and Neveu can decipher the labyrinthine code and quickly assemble the pieces of the puzzle, the Priory's secret - and a stunning historical truth - will be lost forever.

What I liked:
  • A real page-turner, this.
  • A pretty good thriller - fast paced and intriguing.
  • I've always liked code-breaking missions and treasure hunts
  • The Christian theories and historical stuff was actually pretty interesting (regardless of whether it is true or not lar)
What I didn't like:
  • Pretty average writing
  • Characters are pretty uninspiring.
  • Some of the 'clues' and 'puzzles' were too simple
  • I saw the twist coming a mile away
  • Certain parts and dialogue were so cliched and contrived that I actually CRINGED while reading them.

What I think:
Make no mistake, this is one hell of a thriller. It's a page-turner, no doubt about it, considering I finished it in just under 6 hours.

As a thriller, it's really really good. It captures your attention and holds on to it throughout the whole book. The action scenes come one after another, and each chapter ends with a cliffhanger that even though you can guess what happens next, you still wanna keep reading just to see whether you're right.

However, I have to say that this book is really nothing more than a good airport book. The whole Christianity conspiracy theory just doesn't hold too much water. It's a means to an end, and despite what anyone says about what is true or untrue, and whether it's 'blasphemous' or not, I just have to say that to me, it's a plot in a NOVEL. A FICTION NOVEL. I've read fantasy novels with better plots than this lar - more layered, better twists and without the cliche of resorting to cheaply conceived cliffhangers to engage a reader.

Whoever thinks that The Da Vinci Code is brilliant because of it's Christian-related plot should read The Name of the Rose (wow, it's been ages since THAT book came up in this blog). And anyone who thinks Richard Langdon is a great character should read Robin Hobb. Or my Nano novel. Haha.

So, after all that's bee nsaid, would I recommend it? Well, yeah. But don't go buy it. PLEASE help kick it out of the top of the bestseller lists PLEASE. It's not THAT good a book to be there ALL THE TIME, and besides, considering how fast you'd probably finish it, you'd be better off saving your money for another book, and go borrow it from one of those millions who bought it (I bought it for half-price, and now I regret it).

But anyway, I would have to say The Da Vinci Code is a pretty good read. No, to be more specific, a good AIRPORT book. It's not a MUST-READ and it certainly isn't the 'life-changing' novel that people make it out to be, but if you're looking for something easy to read and to kill time, then I'd recommend this over any Chrichton or Clancy airport book.

Oh, BTW, to all those people have been telling me "You HAVE to read The Da Vinci Code!", "Greatest plot in a book I've ever seen!", "It's the best book I've ever read", I have this to say:

GO READ MORE BOOKS.

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