Tatiana's Reviews > The Da Vinci Code

The Da Vinci Code by Dan Brown
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Mar 08, 2012

really liked it
bookshelves: contemporary, crime, mystery, set-in-france, set-in-great-britain
Read in January, 2006

Some people will love the plot, others will hate it, others will be somewhere in the middle. There's no need arguing there. It depends on tastes, just like some people will like a type of food and others not.
But, I see many people expressing almost aggressive reviews, stating that Dan Brown's writing is "crap", "mediocre", that "a child would do better", etc etc.

I'll quote here a few paragraphs taken among the first 20 pages (words between * means italic). Anyone who call that mediocre is either stupid or hypocritical.

Prologue, page 4:
When the curator had finished speaking, his assailant smiled smugly. "Yes. This is exactly what the others told me."
Saunière recoiled. *The others?*
"I found them, too," the huge man taunted. "All three of them. They confirmed what you just have said."
*It cannot be!* The curator's true identity, along with the identities of his three *sénéchaux*, was almost as sacred as the ancient secret they protected. Saunière now realized his *sénéchaux*, following strict procedure, had told the same lie before their own deaths. It was part of the protocol.
The attacker aimed his gun again. "When you are gone, I will be the only one who knows the truth."
*The truth*. In an instant, the curator grasped the true horror of the situation. *If I die, the truth will be lost forever*. Instinctively, he tried to scramble for cover.
The gun roared, and the curator felt a searing heat as the bullet lodged in his stomach. He fell forward... struggling against the pain. Slowly, Saunière rolled over and stared back through the bars at his attacker.
The man was now taking dead aim at Saunière's head.
Saunière closed his eyes, his thoughts a swirling tempest of fear and regret.
The click of an empty chamber echoed throught the corridor.
The curator's eyes flew open.
The man glanced down at his weapon, looking almost amused. He reached for a secong clip, but then seemed to reconsider, smirking calmly at Saunière's gut. "My work here is done."
The curator looked down and saw the bullet hole in hiswhite linen shirt. It was framed by a small circle of blood a few inches below his breastbone. *My stomach.* Almost cruelly, the bullet had missed his heart. As a veteran of *la Guerre d'Algérie*, the curator had witnessed this horribly drawn-out death before. For fifteen minutes, he would survive as his stomach acids seeped into his cavity chest, slowly poisoning him from within.
"Pain is good, monsieur," the man said.
Then he was gone.

Chapter 3, page 19
*La Pyramide.*
The new entrance to the Paris Louvre had become almost as famous as the museum itself. The controversial, neo-modern glass pyramid designed by Chinese-born American architect I. M. Pei still evoked scorn from traditionalists who felt it destroyed the dignity of the Renaissance courtyard. Goethe had described architecture as frozen music, and Pei's critics described this pyramid as fingernails on a chalkboard. Progressive admirers, though, hailed Pei's seventy-one-foot-tall transparent pyramid as a dazzling synergy of ancient structure and modern method - a symbolic link between the old and new - helping usher the Louvre into the next millenium.
"Do you like our pyramid?" the agent asked.
Langdon frowned. The French, it seemed, loved to ask Americans this. It was a loaded question, of course. Admitting you liked the pyramid made you a tasteless American, and expressing dislike was an insult to the French.
"Mitterand was a blod man," Langdon replied, splitting the difference.

Chapter 3, page 20:
As he moved toward the mist of the fountains, Langdon had the uneasy sense he was crossing an imaginary threshold into another world. The dreamlike quality of the evening was settling around him again. Twenty minutes ago he had been asleep in his hotel room. Now he was standing in front of a transparent pyramid built by the Sphinx, waiting for a policeman called the Bull.
*I'm trapped in a Salvador Dali painting*, he thought.

----------------------------

I could have easily written the whole chapters, though it would have been too long, so I just chose excerpts, to show to eventual non-readers of the book what it really looks like.
And also to show that it's ridiculous to call this mediocred.

What I think, is that commercial succes always annoys some people, especially when a book (or film, etc.) got a HUGE success, and that they didn't like it. I'm pretty sure that if the DVC had been quite unknown, those who read it and didn't like it wouldn't have been half as agreesive and disresptecful to the author as they are now.

For my part, I liked a lot the plot. The only thing I liked less is a twist in the end, or rather how the twist fits in the story, but that's not much. I particularly like the mysterious and religious side, I find the characters agreable, I like the research the author did. Yes, it's fiction, but it's obvious he did A LOT of research concerning places, artworks, and various other elements. I like how he entangles facts and imagination.
But I completely understand some don't like this. However it's really disappointing to read all those nasty and smug comments. Some people are bitter, that's the least I can say!
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