While in Paris on business, Harvard symbologist Robert Langdon receives an urgent late-night phone call: the elderly curator of the Louvre has been murdered inside the museum. Near the body, police have found a baffling cipher. While working to solve the enigmatic riddle, Langdon is stunned to discover it leads to a trail of clues hidden in the works of Da Vinci, clues visible for all to see, yet ingeniously disguised by the painter.
Langdon joins forces with a gifted French cryptologist, Sophie Neveu, and learns the late curator was involved in the Priory of Sion, an actual secret society whose members included Sir Isaac Newton, Botticelli, Victor Hugo, and Da Vinci, among others.
In a breathless race through Paris, London, and beyond, Langdon and Neveu match wits with a faceless powerbroker who seems to anticipate their every move. Unless Langdon and Neveu can decipher the labyrinthine puzzle in time, the Priory's ancient secret, and an explosive historical truth, will be lost forever.
As a special bonus, this audio edition includes Dan Brown's October 2005 speech at the University of New Hampshire, introduced by his father. The author discusses the research behind his groundbreaking novel and the controversy it has created. Also, listen to an exclusive interview with Akiva Goldsman, screenwriter of The Da Vinci Code.
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©2003 Dan Brown; (P)2003 Books On Tape, Inc.
"In this gleefully erudite suspense novel, Mr. Brown takes the format...to blockbuster perfection." (The New York Times)
"Brown solidifies his reputation as one of the most skilled thriller writers on the planet with his best book yet, a compelling blend of history and page-turning suspense." (Library Journal)
"Many notches above the intelligent thriller; this is pure genius." (Nelson DeMille)
If you're looking for a fun summer read that has the added benefit of being intellectually stimulating, this is it. The hype generally surrounding bestsellers is usually enough to turn me off but I gave this a try at the suggestion of a friend. I was not disappointed. Approach it like a serial novel and don't take it too seriously although there are enough facts inside to tempt you. I guess I don't know what a "true" british or french accent is supposed to sound like but the narrator did a good job with the possible exception of Sopie Noveu. My experience is that most male narrators have a hard time doing female voices and this is no exception. Enjoy.
I was hoping for more from this book.
I've read Tom Clancy, pulp westerns and sci-fi, so when I read a review that criticized the writing, I chuckled at the undoubtedly elitist English major. But, boy!
(Oh, I should mention, I've never read Grisham, it seems this book may be in the same vein.)
The action, the characters, the plot all seem really cardboard. The best thing about the book was the whole conspiracy theory, but when you check on the facts outside the book it becomes obvious that the patchwork of fiction and real-life doesn't hang together.
I was disappointed in the book.
The narration and audio quality were excellent.
I was interested with the story because of all the hype. Characters are introduced with great promise, only to be forgotten or poorly written in the rest of the book. Don't waste your time.
Brown weaves the legends of the Church into a wonderful web that will keep you listening until it's finally unraveled. Brown clearly knows his stuff and the listener will find his story informative and provacative as well as enjoyable. The only reason I held back one star was that as he unfolds the mystery, Brown makes sure to go back and connect all the dots for the reader (listener), not trusting that his narrative is sufficiently strong, which it certainly is, that the the reader can make the connections her or himself. As for the narration, the strained accents and melodrama of the narrator can take some getting used to, but the story is so powerful that soon any awareness of the narration is left behind. A highly recommended choice!
This book has go to be the biggest insult to a reader's intelligence in years. Don't believe the hype. If you aren't comatose, you'll easily see each "revelation" coming long before the author drops it on you as if revealing something extraordinary. Brown even has a character (Sophie) whose main literary purpose appears to be repeating anything important said by other characters just in case the reader isn't paying attention.
If you like the idea of this book, do yourself a favor and read Umberto Eco's The Name of the Rose instead. It's vastly superior.
I gave into the hype and decided to listen to this book. While I was not impressed by the shallow character development or the simplicity of the dialog, what bothered me most was half cooked (if that) attempt at a deep plot line. I have an earned doctorate in Religious studies, so I know a good deal of Religious history (Christian and otherwise), and the historical ?facts? that the author puts into the mouth of the main character, a historian, are not only misguided, but imaginary tales. I am not Roman Catholic (the church the author bashes) and my goal is not to defend that church, but I am amazed that someone who is so ignorant on issues of religious history would attempt to write a book that deals with the subject, and I am more amazed that people have taken this author at all seriously.
With a book on the best seller list I expected a whole lot more. Most of the book is a lecture based on spurious evidence for some nonsense called the "sacred feminine" and Brown's obvious bias against the Roman Catholic Church. I can hardly classify this as a thriller and the only suspense is trying to figure out the numerous word clues. I spent most of the time mentally posing counterarguments to Brown's leaps of logic. As an example, he claims the Holy of Holies in Solomon's Temple was a place where the Jews carried on sexual "sacred" rites thus proving that God endorses such activity. Brown conveniently forgets that this action by the Jews was one of the reasons God gave in the Old Testament for exiling the Jews to Babylon- to purge them of pagan practices. The books of the Old Testament predate by centuries the Council of Nicea in 325 A.D.
Much has been said and written about The Da Vinci Code and it is worth checking out if you have not already done so. This is following his first book with Robert Langdon, so I would recommend reading Angels & Demons 1st. You can enjoy this without the first one, however starting the trilogy off properly will make this more enjoyable. Well written, educational, and thought-provoking. Loved it! Have not seen the movie and would say the book is worth the read since movies tend to dissapoint. If you saw the movie, this is a MUST read since it has so much more to offer from what I've heard.
I was extremely pleased with the detail and suspense of this book. This was my first read of Brown and it set me off to read his other works. Though some won't read because they believe it is "pure fiction", and offends their religious beliefs, I enjoy a good piece of fiction. A must for anyone that can look past the fact or fiction of the religious content.
I really enjoyed this book (unabridged version), and purchased it based on the excellent reviews the book has received. Having just now read reviews like that written by Stacey from Seattle -- "A Bestseller? A Travesty!" -- I was suprised the writing/plot fell so flat for some people.
There's not much I didn't like about this book. I found the characters increasingly easy to empathize with as the story progressed - sometimes surprisingly so. But what I *most* enjoyed was the way the references to historical works of art, as well as prominent persons and events in history, were woven throughout the story.
Not knowing details about much of the history discussed in the book, I now feel compelled to pull some related non-fiction texts from the library. For a book to be an entertaining fictional read/listen, and at the same time inspire you to want to learn more about real history, is an accomplishment in itself.
Stacey from Seattle criticizes the reptition of some sentences and phrases annoying...and maybe it would be if I were reading the book. But for an audio book, where you can't refer back a page or two, the repetition wasn't annoying and saved me having to press rewind repeatedly!
Sometimes things are resolved and then spelled out fully but, quite honestly (and no offense intended!), some people need it! Paul Michael also does a great job reading.
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