Lorenzo Berardi's Reviews > The Da Vinci Code

The Da Vinci Code by Dan Brown
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's review
Jul 25, 2007

did not like it
bookshelves: american
Read in August, 2005

A couple of years ago I've taught Italian culture in Oslo. Don't ask me why. My course was named "Italian inventors".

Talking about Leonardo Da Vinci's paintings I've discovered that all my students had read this novel while I hadn't. So I borrowed an English edition of the book from Angelo the "Italian cooking techniques" teacher.
I've read the novel in a short while between the Oslo underground and my room.

The Da Vinci Code is written to be what it is: a bestseller. I mean, it's full of stereotypes, historical errors, mistakes of any kind. Every single chapter begins in the same way. The characters are poor. The plot is childish. The comments on paintings show that Dan Brown has read maybe a couple of "Art for dummies" books in his life.

Anyway, the book has become a good excercise. My Norwegian students have been delighted to find the mistakes on it.

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Comments (showing 1-5 of 5) (5 new)

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La Petite Américaine AWESOME. Can you list a few of the mistakes here if it's not too tiresome?

Lorenzo Berardi Ahaha. Well I'm not sure to remember them properly. Meanwhile some years are passed by.

I remember how he used to call the small town of Castel Gandolfo just "Gandolfo" as if it were a castle owned by the Pope himself.

Then there were moments of a very creative use by Dan Brown of the Italian language in some short sentences.
(as for the French sentences I can't really say...)

Plus every single time he was referring to art it was just comical especially when he tried to show some Christian symbolism in paintings. Some episodes of Leonardo's life were simply invented by the author.

Yet, at that time I definitely pointed out more...

Nandakishore Varma The mistakes in Angels and Demons are more glaring.

message 4: by Sketchbook (new)

Sketchbook Yep - this book gives rubbish a bad name.

message 5: by Matt (last edited Mar 19, 2014 01:26PM) (new)

Matt "Can you list a few of the mistakes here if it's not too tiresome?"

There are websites that try to chronicle that, though I can't find a comprehensive one readily any more. The short of it is that it would make a shorter list to list what is actually accurate in the book. Back when this was current, I saw lists run upwards of 500 instances, many of which were backed up by actual photographs of the thing being described to show it didn't actually match the description.

I think that the book would have been passed off with no notice, had the author not repeatedly claimed in touting his own work that every historical event, description of artwork or architectural detail mentioned in the book was true - and that claim not been readily accepted by a credulous media.

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