The Davinci Code
Posted Wednesday, April 26, 2006, 08:59 AM
This is the first time I’ve ever read a book just because a movie is coming out that has been based on it. As such, I was a bit pessimistic about it going into the book, but my wife and I were going to read it together so at least I would have some one to suffer with if it sucked. Keep in mind I have a degree in biblical studies and Christian ministries, so reading a fictional novel about church cover ups and conspiracies is not easy for me to do without having at least a few issues. That being said, I defiantly was hooked from the beginning.
I like that the story keeps you guessing while you are held in suspense for each big reveal, and there are a lot of big reveals and plot twists. I liked how the author keeps the pace going so that you constantly feel a sense of urgency to get to the bottom of the story, like a runaway train that you really just have to see explode when it runs off a bridge and crash into a valley below. The author also puts you right into the modern day Europe, while giving you a clear sense of appreciation for the are and architecture of all the buildings. I really want to see the art work in this book for my self, and go to the place that appear in the book, because they are all real. I want to see just how much is conjecture and speculation, versus how much is really there.
What I did not like was most likely due to my bias as a student of biblical studies. Comments that the author makes about the biblical text and it’s canonization are radical but, in his defense, are indeed held to be true a some contemporary scholars. These same scholars are the once that brought us such great advancements to Christian theology as “The Jesus Seminar” (Yes, I’m an being sarcastic). I can actually hear Brugamon rolling over in his grave as some of his theories about historical relevance are being blatantly misused. Anyone who has seen Andrew Loyd Webbers “Jesus Christ: Super Star,” is familiar with the idea the Jesus and Mary Magdoline were more than just a teacher and a disciple. But I’m pretty sure that the church has not been so malicious as the author implies in covering up a lot of the places that this line of thought can go. Yes, the Roman Catholic Church under the first Vatican structure was responsible for a lot of horrible things in it’s time, however I don’t think that the church was ever as all powerful as this book implies.
But beyond the theological issues, what really rubbed me was how the timeline for the book does not work out in my mind. Anyone who has watched an episode of the T.V. show 24 has seen a person get in a helicopter and go from Simi Valley to somewhere on the East cost, in a matter of ten minuets. The first day that takes place in this book is kind of like that. We start the story well into the night, but before sun up so much has taken place that their had to be serious issues with the space time continuum to make it actually happen. Also there is a plot twist that really was too much to believe. I think at some point the author lost touch with who the character was that is revealed, but I think the person who ends up as the bad guy is totally the wrong person. I lost a lot of trust in the author at that point to keep the story realistic.
All that said, I enjoyed this book. I had to know how it ended! When I got to the end I was satisfied with the resolution and actually cared about the characters. This was not the best book I’ve ever read, but the story was good. I can’t wait to see what the screen version is like. From what I’ve seen in the previews, it looks like it was taken almost work for word from the book.
The Davinci Code