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The Da Vinci Code

A Novel
By: Dan Brown
Narrated by: Paul Michael
Series: Robert Langdon, Book 2
Length: 16 hrs and 59 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (11,057 ratings)

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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

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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars

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.

6 of 6 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars

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.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • 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.

91 of 114 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.

21 of 26 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars

Good suspense story, but still fiction

Dan Brown writes a good suspense story, but much of the information about early Christianity is not correct based on other books that I have read, written by scholars of this period. I hope people are not reading this book and believing the information in it is fact. That would be sad. Keep in mind that it is fiction! Good writers can take pieces of fact and build a compelling fictional story around it, making it sound impressive.

5 of 6 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars

Okay for mindless reading

The reader was fine except for his version of a French female. I can't figure out why this book was such a hot seller. I finally bought it for summer. The writer uses the same words over and over ("moreover" is one of them; who uses that word in real life?) and thinks we are too dim to remember exact paragraphs of details from a previous section so he must repeat them. It's fine for a summer read when you are zoning in and out anyway, but I wouldn't recommend it to anyone unless they are bored and the book is free.

5 of 6 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

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
    3 out of 5 stars

Victor Hugo... where are you?

This is an interesting book. The premise of it is 5-star. The story was more like a 3-star. How could ALLLLL this happen in about 24 hours?I can suspend belief for a lot, but this is way too much.

My other "complaint" is that the characters were so flat. There was not one person (except maybe Silas) who was described physically (and Teebing); especially there was no psychlogical depth to these people. The search for the *prize* was all we knew about any of these folks.

The holding out of some of information was too staged, to obvious. A very disturbing event which was introduced early on, was not exposed until much later, but it was referred to over and over, as a the SOLE reason for Sofie's falling out with her grandfather. Even the explanations given in two different parts of the books were insufficient for all the build up.

Also, near the end, Langdon comments on Sofie's beauty. Except for some minor introduction in the beginning, we didn't know much about her physically. We knew nothing about Robert Langdon's appearance.

I can accept a story that is totally plot driven, but so many characters were marched out who were not really developed, they just peopled the landscape. The little suspicion cast on most of them made for good suspense, but it could have been so much more riveting.

Yes, it's worth a listen. It's a good mystery but probably about 25% too long with unnecessary filler.

8 of 10 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars

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

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

Outstanding work of fiction

What a great work of fiction this is! I thoroughly enjoyed the book. People get all worked up over the possibility that some of this could be true. My friend says, "But it's based on fact." I tell him that a work of fiction based on fact, is still fiction. That there are some real facts in it simply makes it more interesting. The book is very well written, and very well read. Paul Michael does a superb job of reading. His accents are so convincing, I found myself forgetting that there wasn't a full cast of characters. The dialogue was very good as well.

My next listen will be "Truth and Fiction in The Da Vinci Code" by Bart D. Ehrman. It will be interesting to hear what a real historian has to say.

Read the book!

7 of 9 people found this review helpful