Robert's Reviews > The Da Vinci Code

The Da Vinci Code by Dan Brown
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Aug 08, 08

bookshelves: female-divinity

For the most part, it seems that people either passionately love this book or they passionately hate it. I happen to be one of the former. For my part, I don't see the book so much as an indictment of the Catholic Church in particular but of religious extremism and religion interfering in political process in general. The unwarranted political control granted to extreme religious organizations like the CBN is an issue that we will be forced to address one way or the other. To my eye, our political process has been poisoned by it and the danger of theocracy is quite real. Furthermore, Brown's indictment of the Church for removing or suppressing feminine divinity figures is justified and needs a much closer look. Women do not have enough of a role in religion, religious practice, heroic myths, and creation myths, nor are they portrayed as divinity figures enough. In short, our religious systems and institutions lack balance and have a bias to suppress issues, stories, and roles that empower women to live as equals to men. Finally, Brown wrote his story simplistically, in my view, to spread his tale to as broad an audience as possible. Though it is not as pristine a narrative as, say, Umberto Eco, the message it conveys is one that needs to be heard. More obscure books on the matter are not as accessible as Da Vinci Code and if someone were to write an accessible book of genius on this subject, I would give him/her all due praise. In the meantime, Dan Brown is telling a story that needs to be told. It is one that has been kept quiet and in the dark for far too long.
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Comments (showing 1-24 of 24) (24 new)

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Rusty The message isn't the problem, it's the shitty writing.


message 2: by Robert (last edited Aug 08, 2008 10:44AM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Robert Quite to the contrary, I think the message is the problem for many people. That said, I agree the writing could certainly improve. For my part, sometimes I enjoy good stories where the writing isn't perfect so long as it's not to the point where it jars me. I didn't find this to be the case with Da Vinci Code. The Celestine Prophecy, for example, was so bad, I simply couldn't read it. If some people with more acute literary tastes than I felt the same way about Da Vinci Code, then I can't fault them. It just wasn't my experience.


message 3: by Matt (new)

Matt Walker Unfortunately I don't think most people who like the Da Vinci Code like it for the same (and good) reasons you like it. (I haven't read it, so I have no opinion.)


Robert For Matt --

I must be insulated by decent people, then. My wife, mother, and sister, seemed to come to similar conclusions when we discussed the book.


Meen It wasn't well written, but it was a fun read, and I really do like the fact that "regular" people (and so MANY of them!) were exposed to feminist ideas that they probably wouldn't have ever been exposed to otherwise. For that I can cut his shitty writing some slack.


message 6: by Robert (last edited Aug 08, 2008 07:07PM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Robert For Mindy --

And it's not to say that Brown's is in any way the only take on feminism in religion. It is just one and, at least from my point of view, a good story as well (if not so well written). Hopefully, those who are introduced to these ideas by Brown will be curious and explore other works that tackle the subject as well -- like "Holy Blood, Holy Grain," or the "Silence of John" for a more Christian take on the issue.


message 7: by [deleted user] (new)

I can’t say that I passionately loved this book, but it kept me entertained and guessing throughout the whole story during a time in my life when I needed the distraction. For that, I was able to overlook Brown’s somewhat annoying habit of ending each chapter with a cliffhanger.


Robert For M,

Ah, the ending each chapter with a cliffhanger. That seems to be something quite a few authors do these days!


Jeff Remember- it is fiction! Not a story that has been kept quiet and in the dark for far too long! Give me a break!



message 10: by Meen (new) - rated it 3 stars

Meen Well, the exclusion of women's voices from the religious narrative is indeed fact, Jeff.


message 11: by Robert (last edited Aug 09, 2008 08:36PM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Robert For Jeff --

Gotta agree with Mindy on this one. Womens' voices have been excluded from the religious narrative or only strictly confined to certain roles. The issue is something that Da Vinci code only begins to explore. And, in this case, it is only through the lens of a male protagonist on a journey of discovery.

Sometimes, there can be truth in fiction so long as, even though the story is technically untrue, it reveals something that is true about society. If you're interested in learning more about truth in fiction, you might want to take a look at Tim O'Brian's "How to Tell a True War Story."


Jeffrey The fact that an average story garnered from below average imagination got so much attention is a testament to "the popular" getting unwarranted attention. It's like if Hilton is seen toting a book, everyone reads it whether it's good or not. Sad state of a celebrity motivated society.


Robert For Jeffrey--

Actually, this is where I disagree. I think the story, if not the writing, was good. That's my opinion and I certainly respect yours. But it's obvious that a good number of people do like it.


message 14: by Meen (new) - rated it 3 stars

Meen I agree. It was a good story. It wasn't great literature, but it was fun and exciting and easy to get lost in, which is completely unremarkable. It got so much attention because of the gendered religious controversy.


message 15: by Robert (last edited Aug 15, 2008 10:14PM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Robert For Mindy --

I agree. From my point of view, the gendered religious controversy needed to be outed. How better than an entertaining, if light on the literature, read? Hopefully, we'll see more in this vein. Perhaps some that also have a nice literary polish?


Loveena Hi :) I liked your review. Every body have their own point of view. All of us percieve matter differently. Perception. Well, I'm not making much sense right now since I am not in a mood to actually write. But having read your review - I just thought that I ought to say, I do agree with your perception. That's it. And I think I wrote a review about the book too - kinda similar. Am tired, since I just returned from my summer vacation. Shall check in later. Till then.




Robert For Ahavah --

Thanks for the kind thoughts on this. I do understand what it's like to be tired :). Best wishes and here's to forming your own opinion ;).


Loveena Hi :) Did you read 'The Lost Symbol'? Well, history seems to be repeating itself! Anyways, I liked it. It certainly was not a waste of time. Maybe for those who'd seen the movie National Treasure and those of you who live in America a book on DC and its Symbology is ... Mundane? But for me an outsider, it was added knowledge. I may not be able to see or visit DC, but reading about it, somehow brings it closer. Anyways it was a nice book to read :)


message 19: by [deleted user] (new)

Robert wrote: "For Jeff --

Gotta agree with Mindy on this one. Womens' voices have been excluded from the religious narrative or only strictly confined to certain roles. The issue is something that Da Vinci co..."


I have not read the book and it sounds as though I will not agree with alot of religious beliefs in the book, but I may attempt to read it just so I will have knowledge of what message it is trying to put forth.

But I will tell you all that in the Holy Word which is the Bible, (divinely inspired by God) there are scriptures that tell exactly what the roll of women are in the church and tell us that we are no less important then man.

1 Cor 11:3 shows the CORRECT order of God, His Son, man and woman
1 Tim 2: 11-14, Eph 5:22-25 tells how woman are to conduct themselves in the assembly of a congregation and with men. And how men are to treat women.
1 Pet 3:7 Woman are not seen as a lesser being in the eyes of God...men and women together are heirs of the grace of life, although men are to treat us with honor and as a weaker vessel.




Verda I couldn't believe there were so many negative reviews and ratings!

I haven't noticed anything in his writing that was 'shitty', in my limited opinion. I'm not a great reader, but I know how to make slight differentiation on writing level.

What I liked most: the factual bits. For a teenager, it was a real treat to learn new things.


message 21: by Komal (new) - added it

Komal i m currently reading that book. yes the book is highly controversial. when i just signed up on dis site i was under impression i wud get thousands of good reviews about it but unfortunately lot of people are giving negative reviews for dis book. i dnt knw why. one girl accused for its shitty writing and boring dialogues. i never found anything boring or shitty in d book.


message 22: by kiki (new) - rated it 5 stars

kiki most people hate it because its against the church


Kasandra Klages I totally agree with Adeola. I think that's what's so special about some of us teenagers. We have our own minds and aren't as persuaded by what the church is pushing on everyone.
I'm not fully done with the book (Got about 1/6th left), I'm finding it a good book. Then again I'm a Satanist so I despise the church anyways, however I am open minded.


Chloe Thank goodness SOMEBODY rated it nicely. I just finished The Da Vinci Code and I really like it (4-5 stars) and I was just scrolling through all the reviews and everyone was just ranting on how horrible the book was.


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