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The Da Vinci Code

A Novel
By: Dan Brown
Narrated by: Paul Michael
Length: 16 hrs and 59 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (10,611 ratings)

Regular price: $39.93

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Publisher's Summary

Now a major motion picture starring Tom Hanks and Audrey Tautou.

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.

Can't get enough of The Da Vinci Code? Check out our store devoted to all things Da Vinci.
©2003 Dan Brown (P)2003 Books On Tape, Inc.

Critic Reviews

"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)

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

Overall

  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    6,584
  • 4 Stars
    2,638
  • 3 Stars
    875
  • 2 Stars
    256
  • 1 Stars
    258

Performance

  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    3,614
  • 4 Stars
    1,133
  • 3 Stars
    266
  • 2 Stars
    42
  • 1 Stars
    37

Story

  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    3,623
  • 4 Stars
    1,070
  • 3 Stars
    315
  • 2 Stars
    80
  • 1 Stars
    60
Sort by:
  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars

Adjust Your Perspective...

It's important for readers to understand, as many previous reviewers do not, that not all books are works of literature. Chances are that if you are purchasing a(n)(audio)book that appears on the New York Times Bestseller List, it has most of the characteristics that the Average Joe looks for in a book: entertaining, fast-paced, transparent, filled with action (as opposed to thought), and sex.

Although "The Da Vinci Code" features a prudish protagonist that precludes much of the latter, it does serve up an orgy of controversial historical facts that will prod all but the most closed-minded of readers to question their beliefs and research the presented details further. If the indignant one-star-reviewers wanted character development they should have bought some Saul Bellow or Philip Roth. The self-proclaimed writer who fumed, "I wrote better in the 3rd grade" should check her ego and realize that this effective piece of entertainment isn't trying to be deft with the English Language, just thought provoking and fun. I find it funny that those who thought the reading and the book itself was so unbearably horrendous wasted 15+ hours listening to the purported drivel.

Ultimately, this book is great for those who have an interest in religious history and don't mind the cliched plotline and hackneyed characters roughed-in to deliver the truly interesting ideas on the roots of Christianity and the rise of patriarchal society.

90 of 110 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Marco
  • Stony Brook, NY, USA
  • 01-05-04

Fascinating.

This book has two aspects to it: the story and the history. The story itself is a typical fast paced interesting mystery, complete with some twists and turns. I found the story to be average.

What makes this book stand out in my mind is the history it presents. DaVinci's painting of the last supper will never look the same after you read this book.

To me, this book was a pseudo-history book hidden in a mystery book. Bearing in mind that much of the history discussed in the book deals with Catholic religion, having an open mind is a must to enjoy the book.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Michael
  • Akron, OH, United States
  • 12-04-03

Talk about over hype!

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.

10 of 12 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars

Surprised at the negative reviews...

I've read some of the reviews of this book and find them surprising. I found the book entertaining, thought provoking, and somewhat educational. I agree with one reviewer that the people who have a problem with this book probably object more to the theme than its plot or how the story is constructed.

I found the reader to be very good, too. I'm not going to get picky about how well someone does a foreign accent. If they get too authentic I probably won't be able to understand what they are saying! Hey, I'm trying to drive while I listen. I value clear diction and good pacing.

In all, if you are looking for an entertaining book, listen to this one.

19 of 24 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars

Well, I got some historical perspective....

Were it not for the rich texture of historical perspective, these (include Angels and Demons) books are terribly ordinary. The characters are underdeveloped and the plot simplistic, boring really. One dangerous vignette after another grows weary after a time. Mythical cult attacks Myth! Several die, boy doesn't realize that girl wants him. Pretty spine-tingling stuff, alright.

The revelation that the winners write the history may justify the price of admission, but just barely. The paucity of characters and the narrowness of the storyline make anticipating the true culprit far too easy. Just not that many possibilities. The presumptive clues indicating the Captain discount his culpability. After that, the choices are pretty thin re the "teacher".

Good historical vehicle, poor novel!

5 of 6 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Katerina
  • south hadley, MA, USA
  • 05-16-10

Accents were terrible!!!

I enjoyed the book, although it has some really trite narrative devices, but OK, I can be a sport about it. But the reading was irritating. The only accent the reader got right was the Sir Teibing character. The French accents were absolutely horrible, the other British accents totally misplaced (e.g. the librarian speaking in some version of a working class accent -- I don't think so!) The worst was Sophie's feminine whispering in some imagined French accent for hours on end. I found it hard to take.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars

The da Vinci Code

I listened to this on a long vacation drive and I stayed with it. However, I was generally a step ahead of Robert, which was almost as annoying as the way Brown kept twisting the plot at the end, as if he couldn't bear to end it all. Still more annoying was that everyone consistently referred to Leonardo as "da Vinci." His name is Leonardo. It's rather like calling Joan of Arc (Jeanne d'Arc), "Of Arc(d'Arc)." Annoying. No artist or art curator would make that mistake. His editor should have caught it, even if Brown didn't know any better.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Paul
  • Oakland, CA, USA
  • 04-17-05

So Dumbed Down It Hurts

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.

11 of 14 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Tony
  • Cupertino, CA, USA
  • 04-26-04

Not deep, but very entertaining!!

If you're looking for a book with deep characters, this probably isn't the book for you. However, if you want to be entertained, this is an awesome book! The accents were laughable and some situations seemed outright rediculous, but the [unabridged] book was very entertaining. I thoroughly enjoyed this book.

8 of 10 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Mark
  • Warner, NH, USA
  • 09-03-03

Extraordinary!

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!

110 of 147 people found this review helpful