Danny's Reviews > The Da Vinci Code

The Da Vinci Code by Dan Brown
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's review
Dec 07, 2007

it was ok
Read in July, 2005

I suppose there probably isn't much point in writing a summery of The Da Vinci Code at this point. I'm sure that everyone who owns a television knows all about it by now, or at least has a good gist of it. Oddly, if The Church hadn't thrown such a hissy fit over it, it may have simply faded away as a mediocre super-market suspense novel.

It's a sruprisingly good read for what it is: an over-formulated, page-turner which sticks to the Three-act Structure so faithfully unwavering it could snap it's heels together and shout sieg heil.

If you're planning on reading it to have your mind blown, you should probably know that Dan Brown's research for this book is pretty shoddy. The alternate Christ story was lifted (and kinda badly so) from Holy Blood-Holy Grail by Baigent, Leigh, and Lincoln. The Gnostic Gospels do not portray Jesus as being more human than the gospels of the official canon, actually quite the opposite; most of the Gnostic Gospels are thoroughly steeped in Docetism. If you're looking for a fully human Jesus, you want Arianism, not Gnosticism (that's Arianism with an "I" not with a "Y").

And Dan Brown makes some other real bone-head mistakes too, such as claiming that the "Q" Gospel is an actual gospel that someone, somewhere, has physical possession of. It's actually completely hypothetical, and invented in the 19th century by biblical scholars to explain material found in common between the gospels of Matthew and Luke, but not found in the other canonical gospels. He also claims that the Dead Sea Scrolls contain Christian writings, which they do not. Both the Gnostic Gospels and the Dead Sea Scrolls are widely available in print, and for free on the internet; 15 minutes worth of fact-checking would have told him the opposite of what he put in his book, and it wouldn't have affected the story very much.

Basically, if you're looking for an interesting way to kill an afternoon or a plane ride, this book is awesome. It's worth reading once, and, like I said before, it really is a page-turner. But if you're looking for something that'll put you off traditional Christianity, all you need to do is pick up a book on the Historical Jesus by any objective biblical scholar. You'll be amazed.
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message 1: by John (new)

John Ciely Not a big fan of Dan Brown. This one was kind of disappointing just like others of his I've read.

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