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Codex 632 (Tomás Noronha #1)
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Codex 632

(Tomás Noronha #1)

3.55  ·  Rating details ·  5,377 ratings  ·  298 reviews
When Thomas Noronha, a professor of history and an expert cryptographer, is called upon to finish an unresolved investigation involving an aged scholar who is found mysteriously dead in his hotel room, his life takes several unexpected and dramatic turns. As Thomas slowly begins to unravel the cryptograms and enigmas that shroud the old professor's work, he finds a code th ...more
Hardcover, 336 pages
Published April 1st 2008 by William Morrow (first published 2005)
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Average rating 3.55  · 
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 ·  5,377 ratings  ·  298 reviews

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Jan 05, 2009 rated it it was ok
I know that a lot of more-qualified critics (like the Washington Post and Kirkus Review) gushed about Codex 632. Meh, I just don’t think these Da Vinci Code-type books are my cup of tea. So, what I am describing are my feelings—why I didn’t like the book.

Codex 632 is about the origins of Christopher Columbus and his discoveries. It’s full of history, cryptology, travel etc. The facts behind what is discussed ad nauseum is interesting – for a while… However, for me, absolutely nothing else worked
David Corleto-Bales
May 28, 2010 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2010
Pretty good Portuguese novel about a university professor hired by a theoretically scholarly organization to find out when Brazil was actually first visited by Europeans turns into a Da Vinci Code-type potboiler on the real identity of Christopher Columbus, (if that is really his name!) Full of some twists and turns on three continents as the story weaves from the U.S. to Portugal and then to Brazil. I think this would have been better as a non-fiction book since dos Santos doesn't really write ...more
Maria Carmo
This first adventure of Professor Tomás Noronha is an excellent and instructive book. The whole approach to the plot is quite interesting, and all the knowledge the Author shares about Cristovão Columbus and his REAL origins is amazing and breathtaking for those who love History. I loved this book!

Maria Carmo,

Lisbon 29 November 2017
Sep 08, 2008 rated it did not like it
Reading this book was a waste of time. I kept expecting it to get more exciting, but it didn't. Instead of a "DaVinci Code"-style thriller, it was more of a boring scholarly hunt through old documents. And when the "secret identity of Christopher Columbus" is revealed, I thought "who cares?" ...more
Sep 04, 2011 rated it liked it
Okay, I’m going to try to explain something here that I’m not sure how to explain. I’ve recently read several novels that are translations into English and in more than one I feel as if I’m missing something. This novel is translated from Portuguese and although it’s thoroughly readable and flows well enough there is something about the main character that just doesn’t work for me and I’m not sure what it is. He just isn’t believable. There is something awkward and stiff about him even when he’s ...more
Feb 02, 2014 rated it it was ok
The level of historical research and data in this book is impressive, and is by far its best asset. The main theme (the personality and origin of Christopher Columbus) is a fascinating one. Unfortunately, that's about all I can say on the plus side. The historical detail was too overwhelming and distracting, especially for those of us who like to actually retain what they read. Instead of contributing to the plot, it ended up detracting from it. The author could have achieved the same literary e ...more
Aug 31, 2012 rated it liked it
Read this for the research, it's worth it. The plot is kind of weak and the dialogues are somewhat "forced" and boring (this is not a translation problem as I read portuguese original edition), but the historical part justifies reading this book. ...more
David Cavaco
Sep 21, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Keep in mind that this Dan Brown-like novel was translated from Portuguese and some of the characters and dialogue can be clumsy at times. However, the book's real treasure is the documented history that the author incorporates into the novel's story that will blow many readers away. Most Portuguese are aware today's accepted version of Columbus' origins and mission is full of fallacies and forgeries. Columbus's life in Portugal and his connection to the Portuguese monarchs, along with their kno ...more
Like Dan Brown.
Mar 18, 2014 rated it it was ok
Shelves: thrillers
I listened to this an audiobook - I always say this because I think that inevitably it has an effect on your experience with the book.

I enjoyed some aspects of this book, but the basic plot points seem too basic for me. Almost everything I would expect to have happen ended up happening. The characters were not deep at all, and the book certainly has a dim view of Americans (at least the ones in the story aren't doing us any favors). I'm not a big flag-waver, but the stereotypes were off-putting.
Mar 22, 2009 rated it it was ok
I hate nothing more than a book where the author condescendingly explains every thought as though his/her reader couldn't keep up with the completely obvious conclusion they wanted you to draw. Because this author does that to an extreme, I can't give it any more than 2 stars, despite it's intriguing proposition of the true identity of Columbus. ...more
May 16, 2009 rated it did not like it
Okay story, nothing too exciting. However, the depiction of the two American foundation members was almost insulting. Mr. Santos has used almost every cliche possible in his description. His main character comments that he hadn't ever been off the continent and I wonder the same for the author. ...more
Mar 01, 2019 rated it liked it
Codex 632: The Secret Identity of Christopher Columbus: A Novel by Jose Rodrigues Dos Santos

Thomas Noronha, a professor of ancient languages at a Lisbon university and an expert at code breaking, is hired by an enigmatic American organization with deep pockets to complete the research of another professor who died suddenly while working on research related to the euro-discovery of Brazil. Thomas retraces the deceased professor's steps and discovers that the research was not limited to Brazilian
Sara-elizabeth Cottrell
The quickest way for me to tell you how I feel about is this “international bestseller” that it took me four years to finish it. I’d put the Spanish edition on my wish list and my husband got it for me for Christmas, so I felt obligated to finish it, but oh my, what a tedious book, and it's not because I read it in Spanish, because I read Spanish a lot. Caution, I’m about to spoil the whole thing for you, but since there’s no reason for you to ever waste your precious reading time on it, conside ...more
Oct 10, 2017 rated it did not like it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Gery Ciftcioglu
Aug 28, 2020 rated it liked it
great idea and it's evident that the author has done an extensive research in the subject, but having an interesting conspiracy theory on its own isn't enough to make a good fiction book!
Santos hasn't developed his characters well enough. Even the main character - Thomas sounds sketchy, and it gets worse with respect to the others. To add to that, everything that we learn about Columbus is presented in the same way - as a conversation with someone, so it gives you a feeling of monotony. Shortly
Jul 10, 2019 rated it it was ok
If you love historical romances, you will love this book.
If you are not into the historical part, this book will bore you to death.
My advice for the people who fit in the latter category? Read the first 50 pages and the last 78. You will get the gist of the plot and the phenomenal plot twist in the end, that saves the book entirely.
Keep in mind this is just an opinion, but considering that it took me almost 2 years and 2 months reading this book on-and-off to complete it when I read most books
Jan 06, 2018 rated it did not like it
Book was published in several languages and to my misfortune I have read an uncensored version of it. Clearly the author identifies himself with the main character and tells us all his dirtiest sexual desires, while this book was supposed to be about cracking the code and adventure. Long story short, it was a pitiful imitation of Dan Brown. The plot was quite good to my surprise, but due to repulsive writing style I give it just 1 star.
Aug 21, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: fiction, 2018
If you are looking for a good fictional story of who Columbus could have been, this gives it to you. It's more of a text book writing, and when the characters are sharing their information they can get a bit pompous, but it's interesting connection of dots. However, the story this is told within feels incomplete. I finished it, and that says something, but I think it was in hopes for more connection. Not a horrible read, but just missing a bit of heart. Maybe because of the translation? ...more
Jul 29, 2019 rated it liked it
Truth or fiction?

Writer gives a lot of information and all of them are groundbreaking if they are true. I jumped to the end of book to see some real references to all evidence he’s been talking about, unfortunately there were none. I can’t take a history based novel serious without references. And again, It was shocking but I couldn’t find any papers on internet to follow up his theory about Colon.
David Carpinteiro
Dec 24, 2020 rated it really liked it
This was the first book I've read from José Rodrigues dos Santos and i can say that I'm already anxious to start reading the next one.
The book is a novel divided in two parts, being one the personal life of the main character and another the job he has to face that can change what we know of the portuguese maritime discoveries and the role of Cristóvão Colombo in them.
It's a journey of knowledge and discovery, very well written and organized. Really enjoyed.
Jean-Michel Desire
Oct 16, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: thrillers
This is another of Professor Tomas Noronha's adventures. The author yet again demonstrated with incredible simplicity how history has us fooled. In fact, the facts presented are so detailed that in a few places, the reading gets a little heavy. But overall, it is an eye-opener as to how we can be misled to some beliefs. ...more
Eco Imp
Jan 27, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: historical, fiction
Listened to during commute to/from work. Ensnared by the first page I wanted to drive around just to listen.

Along the lines of Da Vinci Code but better. I now have many additions to sites I wish to visit: all of them libraries that I have no credentials to enter, alas.

Recommend highly.
Nelly Zlateva
May 03, 2020 rated it it was amazing
It’s my second book by the author, since I was fascinated by the idea all historical events and sources mentioned are real. It gives a lot of interesting information about Portugal, Spain, Italy, the discovery of America, Christianity, the Jews, and of course the main topic - the identity of Columbus. I recommend the book to all history lovers and would definitely try other books by the author.
Feb 24, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Brilliantly fictionalized, the book made me have a great time. I felt overwhelming while reading the parts Tomas Noronha reports the findings of his research, and the logic of Jose Rodrigues dos Santos was not so convincing at times. In overall, quite a good read though.
Tanya Allen
Oct 24, 2019 rated it really liked it
This is a fascinating story about a piece of history I hadn't known - the mystery of Christopher Columbus's birthplace. Every once in a while the writing got a bit bogged down in details, but overall a good and informative read. ...more
Apr 30, 2020 rated it did not like it
The story would have been interesting if the author didnt keep on describing women as so many male writers do. Tomas Noronha failed as a father and husband. Sad and disgusted. Could not finish it. Would not recommend it either.
Giovany Arana Loaiza
It has very interesting historical facts. The personal matters of Thomas are not very relevant to the historical approaches of the novel.
Jan 21, 2018 rated it it was ok
Dan Brown style, but repetitive and with worst writing. Positive point: historical annotations.
May 07, 2018 rated it liked it
Not as fast paced as I would have liked but still good.
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Hello all 2 10 May 08, 2017 04:42AM  

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José Rodrigues dos Santos is the bestselling novelist in Portugal. He is the author of five essays and eight novels, including Portuguese blockbusters Codex 632, which sold 192 000 copies, The Einstein Enigma, 178 000 copies, The Seventh Seal, 190 000 copies, and The Wrath of God, 176 000 copies. His overall sales are above one million books, astonishing figures considering Portugal’s tiny market. ...more

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Tomás Noronha (10 books)
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