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» Ship of Fools   » Things we did   » The Da Vinci Code   » Haven't read it, never will either (Book Discussion) (Page 3)

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Source: (consider it) Thread: Haven't read it, never will either (Book Discussion)
mousethief

Ship's Thieving Rodent
# 953

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Maybe I'm just weird. When I see a movie about a place I know fairly well (Seattle or Chicago mostly) and they get geographical details wrong, it completely jars me out of "willing suspension of disbelief" mode and has a very corrosive effect on my enjoyment of the movie.

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Posts: 63536 | From: Washington | Registered: Jul 2001  |  IP: Logged
Graven Image
Shipmate
# 8755

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I though it was a fun light read. I enjoyed it. I think it would be a good book to take on a trip. I do not understand all the interest. It is fiction.
Posts: 2641 | From: Third planet from the sun. USA | Registered: Nov 2004  |  IP: Logged
pimple

Ship's Irruption
# 10635

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Now I WILL read it. I've finished (with) Baigent and Co. I think it was the way they treated the Lazarus story that really began to turn me off.
So THEY think the Beloved Discple, was Lazarus and Dan Brown thinks it was Mary Magdalene (I've cheated a bit - what the hell, you can't avoid knowing the end of the story anyway.) Somehow my advocacy of Judas Iscariot doesn't sound quite so crackpot any more.

Useful stuff, though. Baigent and Co. take themselves far too seriously (pass me a Brillo pad...) But they're not charatans. If they called themselves historians or scientists that would be a different matter.

Like previous posters, I'm going to find it hard to suspend disbelief - partly because of Dan Brown's (implied) assertion that he's done his homework properly. But having just read the prologue - well! Anyone who starts a Ripping Yarn like that must have what B and Co lack - a GSOH. If that proves not to be the case, I'll find it hard to finish. Tally-ho!

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In other words, just because I made it all up, doesn't mean it isn't true (Reginald Hill)

Posts: 8018 | From: Wonderland | Registered: Nov 2005  |  IP: Logged
Advocatus Diaboli
Ship's cannon
# 5172

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Haven't read it, never will either!

I'm stubborn, and would never do anything I don't want to do. I don't want to waste my time reading what to all accounts and purposes is complete historical and theological drivel. (And point taken, that's only hearsay - but I reserve the right to decide that on balance of probability, it's not worth the effort.)

I don't know what I'd gain from reading the book - I can't know what I don't know! If it's an appreciation of his literary style, I'll pass on that; similarly with a confusion about Gospel events or a dis-ease with my faith (if I was of the opinion that a work of fiction could make such an impact) - I'll happily go without those. I can also do without being hip / cool / down wit da kids / in the know about a popular novel.

I have another gripe. (Bordering on Hellish, probably, but hopefully the right side of the line for this board.) People keep harping on about it being "[only] fiction" - when in fact the way it has been marketed and publicised, not least by Dan Brown himself, has been to more than hint at the possibility that all of it is true. Now granted, readers can make up their own minds, but I think this spin has the potential to be damaging to the Church and give people an altogether skewed impression of Her. That I can do without.

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CrookedCucumber
Shipmate
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quote:
Originally posted by lazystudent:
I have another gripe. (Bordering on Hellish, probably, but hopefully the right side of the line for this board.) People keep harping on about it being "[only] fiction" - when in fact the way it has been marketed and publicised, not least by Dan Brown himself, has been to more than hint at the possibility that all of it is true. Now granted, readers can make up their own minds, but I think this spin has the potential to be damaging to the Church and give people an altogether skewed impression of Her. That I can do without.

Well, as a member of the `only fiction' camp, I guess I should risk a reply to this.

I've just looked on Dan Brown's Web site, and his `FAQ' page begins:

quote:
HOW MUCH OF THIS NOVEL IS TRUE?
The Da Vinci Code is a novel and therefore a work of fiction.

He goes on to say essentially the same thing about a dozen more times on the same page.

So where does he hint that all of it might be true? I've scoured his Web site and I can't find the slightest indication of this. I scoured the publisher's Web site with the same result. Where have you seen it marketed other than as a work of fiction?

Incidentally, I believe Dan Brown is a Christian.

Posts: 2718 | From: East Dogpatch | Registered: Dec 2005  |  IP: Logged
Chorister

Completely Frocked
# 473

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Chorister emerges from under a rock

What is this Da Vinci Code of which you speak?

Chorister returns, dinosaur-like, to lie under the shade of the rock from whence she came

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LeRoc

Famous Dutch pirate
# 3216

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Sometimes I have this (admittedly futile and puerile) desire to be different from everyone else, and I deliberate keep from doing something, exactly because it is a trend. For this reason, I have not read tDVC, and haven't read anything from the Harry Potter Series either. I doubt if I ever will.

[ 04. April 2006, 12:31: Message edited by: LeRoc ]

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Papio

Ship's baboon
# 4201

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quote:
Originally posted by Mousethief:
Maybe I'm just weird. When I see a movie about a place I know fairly well (Seattle or Chicago mostly) and they get geographical details wrong, it completely jars me out of "willing suspension of disbelief" mode and has a very corrosive effect on my enjoyment of the movie.

Conversely, the best thing about films set in cities I know well (most major British cities) and they get it right, it makes the film far more real.

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Barnabas62
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CC

The first page of the book, before the prologue, is headed "Fact".

It contains, amongst other things, the following gems.

"The Priory of Sion - a European secret society founded in 1099 - is a real organization".

"All descriptions of artwork, architecture, documents and secret rituals in this novel are accurate".

Now why do you think the author makes those statements? I will answer my own rhetorical question. I believe he does it to give the whole venture a patina of fact-based plausibility. No doubt the laywers have been consulted over the exact choice of words.

And, of course, it is now very well established that the Priory of Sion is a hoax and anyone who places even a scintilla of belief in the accuracy of the documents and the claims associated with that hoax is being very credulous indeed.

[ 04. April 2006, 16:48: Message edited by: Barnabas62 ]

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Posts: 21397 | From: Norfolk UK | Registered: Feb 2005  |  IP: Logged
RuthW

liberal "peace first" hankie squeezer
# 13

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quote:
Originally posted by cometchaser:
quote:
Originally posted by Mousethief:
quote:
Originally posted by the_raptor:
That has nothing to do with research. That is about plot and pacing. It *is* a novel afterall, and even if all the other rubbish in it were true, the location of underground stations wouldn't matter.

Bollocks. Something that is supposed to be set in the real world should match the specs of the real world.
Mousethief - if this were true, Northern Exposure would have to be bombed off the face of TV-dom. but for some reason, otherwise intelligent people will come to me out of the blue to tell me how much they just LOVED that piece of roaring crap.

I just assume that most fiction is full of falsehoods. doesn't keep me from enjoying the story.

You contradict yourself here -- if getting real-life details wrong didn't bother you, you wouldn't refer to "Northern Exposure" as "that piece of roaring crap."

Like Mousethief, if details I know about aren't right, I can be thrown right out of the world of the book or movie. Sometimes it doesn't matter very much; in the movie "Speed" the bus would go around a corner and all of a sudden be miles away from where it was a moment ago, which was just kind of amusing. When the TV show "24" messes up, though, since it is claiming a high degree of realism, it really bugs me.

But I'm in the "never read it, never will" category. I read parts of HBHG in college -- several hours of my life I'll never get back. I see no reason to repeat the error.

Posts: 24453 | From: La La Land | Registered: Apr 2001  |  IP: Logged
Grits
Compassionate fundamentalist
# 4169

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I guess my perspective of all this is how can all of you so disdainfully criticize something you haven't even read? Isn't that one of the things that people on the Ship get flamed for the most -- setting ourselves up as experts on something of which we have no firsthand knowledge?

I never intended to read a Harry Potter book, until everyone else in the world seemed to be reading them, and I just wanted to know about them for myself. Are they a really good read, or a disguised guide to witchcraft for kiddies? I read them, love them, and would recommend them to anyone, children included.

That's how I feel about TDVC. I mean, there's obviously something there. I have no intention of finding anything remotely factual or theologically unsettling; just a story that must be at least somewhat intriguing. I don't expect to be offended or amazed or to have a revelation of any kind; I'm just expecting a bit of entertainment.

And, after reading this thread, I'm seriously hoping this is one time the movie is way better than the book.

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Lord, fill my mouth with worthwhile stuff, and shut it when I've said enough. Amen.

Posts: 8419 | From: Nashville, TN | Registered: Feb 2003  |  IP: Logged
KenWritez
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# 3238

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quote:
Originally posted by Papio.:
99.999999999999% of the time, the movie is an insult to the book and ruins it completely.

Your quote is what I hear a lot of the time. "Why are movies so terrible compared to the books they're taken from?"

Answer? They're completely different art forms. A novel is not a screenplay, not a movie. A novelist can tell you precisely what a character is feeling, thinking or remembering, in addition to describing action and events.

A director can show you what a character is saying or doing. That's it. He's limited by the camera, by time, and by budget. No interior monologues, no lingering over the scent of a lily or 200 words on how a curl of hair lays across a woman's neck.

One of my favorite novels, Cryptonomicon, is almost 1300 pages long. A movie made from that novel--exactly--would be unwatchable! It would take a viewer a week to sit through it. A 300 page novel made into a movie, exactly, would likewise be unwatchably long and no audience could sustain the emotional level needed to enjoy it.

A novelist can compress time and space on the page, he can condense the entire American Civil War to a few lines, or he can expand one moment of that war into hundreds of pages of detail and story. He can leap from the surface of Mars to the Amazon jungle to a McDonalds in Prague in a heartbeat.

Directors cannot. There is a practical limit on the length of movies: 2 hours. (This limit is rarely exceeded, and only by blockbuster movies like LOTR or Titanic (194 mins). Theater owners dislike showing longer movies because doing so reduces the number of times a movie can be shown to paying audiences. Theaters operate on very narrow profit margins as regards ticket prices (which is why a hot dog there costs $6) so they need to "turn" the theaters as often as possible. A 92 minute movie can be shown more times than a 150 minute movie and is likely to generate more revenue, both in tickets and ancillary sales (food, merchandising.)

The movie as insult to the book? Perhaps, but the author of that book sold his rights to the purchaser, and the author knew damn good and well his work would be changed to fit the structural demands of the screen. Contracts spell that out *very* clearly. (If the author was influential enough, he may have been able to demand certain creative standards be kept, but that's rare.) Once a story is sold to XYZ Studios, then XYZ is free to make whatever changes they like--it's now their story. ("Let's lose Mr. Darcy and Olde Englande and shift everything to a stewardess' singles resort on the beach in Maui. Shove in lots of hot girl-on-girl scenes.") The original author, according to Writer's Guild rules, has to be paid for one rewrite to purchaser's standards, and then the purchaser can dispense with his services, which almost always happens. (Writers are almost never on the set, either. Directors tend to be extremely territorial.)

I was shocked and gratefully surprised LOTR was amazingly faithful to the source books, given the constraints of time and budget.

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Posts: 11102 | From: Left coast of Wonderland, by the rabbit hole | Registered: Aug 2002  |  IP: Logged
Sopralto
Ship's Zookeeper
# 10245

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I finally read it a couple of weeks ago, after spotting it in the local library. Having read "Angels and Demons" and heard all the hoopla I sort of knew what to expect, but was still disappointed. Not only was the plot completely transparent, but the writing itself was complete schlock. It reminded me of the Hardy Boys books my brothers and I used to read when we were kids. You know, how every chapter ends with a cliff-hanger!!! And the exuberant overuse of exclamation points!!! [Roll Eyes] Give me a break.

I can't really imagine that the movie will be any worse than the book, but I'm probably not going to see it. I figure I put in my time with Mr. Brown and don't want to repeat the experience.

And to add my $.02 to the mini-thread on books and movies, one movie that I think was much better than the book was "The Princess Bride", still one of my favorite movies and a book I didn't enjoy at all.

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Sopralto

Posts: 207 | From: The extreme high intertidal | Registered: Aug 2005  |  IP: Logged
mousethief

Ship's Thieving Rodent
# 953

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quote:
Originally posted by Grits:
I guess my perspective of all this is how can all of you so disdainfully criticize something you haven't even read? Isn't that one of the things that people on the Ship get flamed for the most -- setting ourselves up as experts on something of which we have no firsthand knowledge?

The problem is the sheer number of books being written is staggering. You can't read every one of them. So you read reviews, talk to people who have read it, maybe read a thread on the SOF, and decide if you want to read it. Why does it bother you so if some people have decided not to read it?

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Posts: 63536 | From: Washington | Registered: Jul 2001  |  IP: Logged
Grits
Compassionate fundamentalist
# 4169

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quote:
Originally posted by Mousethief:
Why does it bother you so if some people have decided not to read it?

Oh, it doesn't bother me that they're not going to read it. It bothers me that they insinuate that anyone who does is an ignoramus.

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Lord, fill my mouth with worthwhile stuff, and shut it when I've said enough. Amen.

Posts: 8419 | From: Nashville, TN | Registered: Feb 2003  |  IP: Logged
mousethief

Ship's Thieving Rodent
# 953

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quote:
Originally posted by Grits:
It bothers me that they insinuate that anyone who does is an ignoramus.

I must have missed that post; can you link to it?

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Posts: 63536 | From: Washington | Registered: Jul 2001  |  IP: Logged
Grits
Compassionate fundamentalist
# 4169

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You can't link to insinuation, sweetie. However, saying things like, "waste of MY time", "waste of MY money", "not important enought for ME to read", "equitable to a Paris Hilton movie", "not desperate enough", etc., kind of paints the picture. There were some who called it outright crap (although staunchily proclaiming how they hadn't really read it themselves). Most just implied that their time was much too important to waste reading it, which is fine and certainly their choice. Just don't say it in such a way that implies that the time, intelligence, taste, etc. of those who choose to read it must be without value.

Jack the Lass seems to feel like me:
quote:
I haven't read it, and really really really don't want to. But as I get really wound up when people who haven't seen "Jerry Springer: The Opera" still see fit to comment on why it's so terrible, I think I will get round to reading it just so that I can pontificate from a position of knowledge rather than hearsay.
That's all I'm saying. After I read it, I may very well be ready to spew similar damnation on it. I'm just not going to do it until after I've read it.

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Lord, fill my mouth with worthwhile stuff, and shut it when I've said enough. Amen.

Posts: 8419 | From: Nashville, TN | Registered: Feb 2003  |  IP: Logged
mousethief

Ship's Thieving Rodent
# 953

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I haven't seen anybody quote a post by somebody who read and enjoyed it and then tell them they were stupid. I should think that "it's a waste of MY time" rather implies that I don't think I'd like it, and nothing about you.

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Posts: 63536 | From: Washington | Registered: Jul 2001  |  IP: Logged
comet

Snowball in Hell
# 10353

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quote:
Originally posted by RuthW:
You contradict yourself here -- if getting real-life details wrong didn't bother you, you wouldn't refer to "Northern Exposure" as "that piece of roaring crap."

You are right, I wasn't clear. I enjoyed some of the episodes of NE for the quirkiness, which does fit the place. however, like you and MT said, I was jarred by the complete fantasy of their details and their blantant stereotypes. I was upset with the sloppiness of the show and consider most of it crap.

I never meant to say that getting real life details wrong didn't bother me. I only meant to say that in fact it so common, and the majority of people seem happy to accept the fiction they are fed, even if it supposedly in a true place/time/event/people.

I can suspend believe for a time, for a good story. I did it for NE a half dozen times or so. Mostly because of good acting.

I guess what I'm trying to say is that a good story has a value in and of itself, but if it is dealing with the real world's time/place/etc, it needs to be a VERY GOOD STORY.

I don't think we're in disagreement, based on:

quote:
Like Mousethief, if details I know about aren't right, I can be thrown right out of the world of the book or movie. Sometimes it doesn't matter very much; in the movie "Speed" the bus would go around a corner and all of a sudden be miles away from where it was a moment ago, which was just kind of amusing.
as for the rest of the thread, I'm with Grits. if you dont want to read it, fine. life is short and there are an amazing amount of good books out there. But if you haven't read it, stay off the bandwagon of declaring it junk. it looks cliquish - following the leader. Get your own opinion.

I have people who call me to tell me my work is crap. "I didn't actually hear the story, but a very reliable friend told me you reported blah blah blah."

I have no time for that.

Comet

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Posts: 17024 | From: halfway between Seduction and Peril | Registered: Sep 2005  |  IP: Logged
CrookedCucumber
Shipmate
# 10792

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quote:
Originally posted by Barnabas62:
The first page of the book, before the prologue, is headed "Fact".

It contains, amongst other things, the following gems....

Assertions of fact in a work of fiction are part of the story. The preface to The Screwtape Letters explains that the contents of the book were obtained using arcane methods to intercept the communications between two devils. Are we to understand that CS Lewis really did this? Or that he wanted us to believe that he did? Of course not. It's part of the story.

The problem with DVC is that the `factual' and `historical' assertions it makes are just about plausible enough to be taken for the author's belief in a historical reality. But if you buy a book with `fiction' printed on the cover, you owe it to yourself to treat it as such.

I honestly don't understand why DVC generates this kind of furore. Hundreds and hundreds have novels have used historical settings with varying degrees of plausibility. Authors often mangle the history to make the plot work properly -- even Shakespeare did this. This is just something that fiction writers do.

Posts: 2718 | From: East Dogpatch | Registered: Dec 2005  |  IP: Logged
Barnabas62
Shipmate
# 9110

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CC

Of course you have a point. But please consider another one. Works of fiction which include real people who are still alive - and there are such (e.g Frederick Forsyth's books include sketches of living politicians) - are still subject to control by the laws of libel. Authors are aware of this. But of course at some stage the laws of libel disappear and so historical figures become fair game. That's a matter of law. If Forsyth's sketch of Mrs Thatcher hadn't been a very positive one, what do you think would have happened.

Strip away the libel laws and get to the principle underneath. What we are talking about is defamation of someone who many people love, for the sake of making money. Unlike, say, the Satanic Verses, TDVC has no claim to be serious literature. Someone else described it as an "airport book" - I think that's pretty good. Its a piece of literary trivia which has achieved a popularity and a notoriety which will pass.

But if Dan Brown has the freedom to write this crap, then all the rest of us have an equal freedom to express ourselves about the crap he has written. Its sloppiness and carelessness, its poverty of literary style, the extent to which it distorts and defames the reality of someone we love. In one sense, we're just shooting the breeze - maybe most of these threads will be read by the "converted". But you never know. If, unlike you, there are a few folks reading these threads who have taken Dan Brown's "facts" at face values, maybe they will have been helped both by the points made AND the strength of feeling aroused. Nobody here wants to declare a "jihad" against Dan Brown. And I, for one, do not wish to deny him the freedoms of expression he has in our society. Commenting on the way he's done that is simply another freedom. Interestingly, however, subject to considerations of libel which do not constrain Mr Brown.

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Who is it that you seek? How then shall we live? How shall we sing the Lord's song in a strange land?

Posts: 21397 | From: Norfolk UK | Registered: Feb 2005  |  IP: Logged
Grits
Compassionate fundamentalist
# 4169

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quote:
Originally posted by Mousethief:
I haven't seen anybody quote a post by somebody who read and enjoyed it and then tell them they were stupid. I should think that "it's a waste of MY time" rather implies that I don't think I'd like it, and nothing about you.

Yes, but you have to admit the attitude has been a bit harsher than "I don't think I'd like it." Most of the declarations have been fairly universal in their labeling of it as literary crap -- and this by people who have not even read it!

Trust me -- I am totally prepared to disagree with most everything in it. Some of it actually sounds blasphemous to me, and it makes me angry to think that there may be people who are allowing this book to negatively influence their Christianity. But still... it's just a story, and just as I don't believe in wizards and witches and flying brooms, I might be able to get around that.

I'm sorry. I grew up in the "Fahrenheit 451" era, and I also really have a problem with condemning something just because it doesn't meet my personal code of quality. "One man's trash..." [Smile]

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Lord, fill my mouth with worthwhile stuff, and shut it when I've said enough. Amen.

Posts: 8419 | From: Nashville, TN | Registered: Feb 2003  |  IP: Logged
Barnabas62
Shipmate
# 9110

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quote:
Originally posted by Grits:

I'm sorry. I grew up in the "Fahrenheit 451" era, and I also really have a problem with condemning something just because it doesn't meet my personal code of quality. "One man's trash..." [Smile]

Me too, Grits. But there's a difference between honest criticism (which I'm up for every time) and suppression (which I think endangers all freedoms, including religious freedoms). I dont condemn Dan Brown's book just because I honestly believe, with reasons, that its trashy.

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Who is it that you seek? How then shall we live? How shall we sing the Lord's song in a strange land?

Posts: 21397 | From: Norfolk UK | Registered: Feb 2005  |  IP: Logged
CrookedCucumber
Shipmate
# 10792

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quote:
Originally posted by Barnabas62:
Of course you have a point. But please consider another one. Works of fiction which include real people who are still alive - and there are such (e.g Frederick Forsyth's books include sketches of living politicians) - are still subject to control by the laws of libel.

You're right, of course -- an author even of a piece of outright and obvious fiction can't make defamatory statements about living individuals. So, yes, there are some constraints on how far labelling your work `fiction' will go to relieving you of responsibilities to real people.

But there is a good reason why living people need the protection of the law of defamation and dead people do not -- living people have to get along in the world, make a living, raise children, etc., and dead people do not. Defamation law exists to allow people to live in society, not because there is an abstract thing called `reputation' that even dead people have, even thought there is.

And defamation law certainly doesn't exist to prevent people being offended. If everything that was published in a novel, which gave offense to somebody, gave rise to an action at law, the courtrooms would be stuffed full.

Posts: 2718 | From: East Dogpatch | Registered: Dec 2005  |  IP: Logged
Barnabas62
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# 9110

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CC

I was simply trying to explain why feelings get stirred up. Something which is seen as a defamation of Jesus (who believers proclaim "is alive") provokes a similar reaction to that of people who see their loved ones libelled.

As a matter of free speech, I agree with you about the limits of the libel laws, nor do I wish to defend the ancient blasphemy laws. My point was about the effects of defamation, not the legal remedies.

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Who is it that you seek? How then shall we live? How shall we sing the Lord's song in a strange land?

Posts: 21397 | From: Norfolk UK | Registered: Feb 2005  |  IP: Logged
The Great Gumby

Ship's Brain Surgeon
# 10989

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quote:
Originally posted by CrookedCucumber:
So where does he hint that all of it might be true? I've scoured his Web site and I can't find the slightest indication of this. I scoured the publisher's Web site with the same result. Where have you seen it marketed other than as a work of fiction?

Dan Brown's been quite disingenuous about this, and seems to change his position at will. I've seen footage of at least one interview where he was claiming the whole conspiracy story was true. However, he generally protests that it's a work of fiction, but nonetheless talks about it in terms of revealing secrets and unveiling the truth. Here's an example from his website:
quote:
HOW DID YOU GET ALL THE INSIDE INFORMATION FOR THIS BOOK?
Most of the information is not as "inside" as it seems. The secret described in the novel has been chronicled for centuries, so there are thousands of sources to draw from. In addition, I was surprised how eager historians were to share their expertise with me. One academic told me her enthusiasm for The Da Vinci Code was based in part on her hope that "this ancient mystery would be unveiled to a wider audience."

He doesn't quite say that it's true, but a casual reader would be left in little doubt that this was the intended meaning. Here's another:
quote:
WOULD YOU CONSIDER YOURSELF A CONSPIRACY THEORIST?
Hardly. In fact, I'm quite the opposite--more of a skeptic. I see no truth whatsoever in stories of extraterrestrial visitors, crop circles, the Bermuda Triangle, or many of the other "mysteries" that permeate pop culture. However, the secret behind The Da Vinci Code was too well documented and significant for me to dismiss.

Again, claiming that there is overwhelming evidence for the theories he puts forward in the book, and appealing to historical evidence when there is none. So no, he hasn't generally explicitly claimed that it's all true, at least on his website, but it seems the implication is quite enough to fix the idea in the minds of many.

As for him being a Christian, I'll have to be careful, because I've got into trouble talking about this before. As I read his statement of his own beliefs on his website, I get the impression that he's a member of the "Jesus was a Great Teacher and nothing else" school of thought. He certainly doesn't seem to feel that it would make any difference to what he believes if Jesus had eloped with Mary M.

Oh, and anyone who wants to get a flavour of the novel can read the first 6 chapters here. I was laughing by halfway through the prologue, and gave up completely after 1 chapter, completely defeated by the awful, sub-Archer dialogue and hackneyed narrative. If you're not sure whether to read it or not, try this sample. I'm sure it'll be enough to indicate whether you really want to read the whole thing.

--------------------
The first principle is that you must not fool yourself, and you are the easiest person to fool. - Richard Feynman

A letter to my son about death

Posts: 5382 | From: Home for shot clergy spouses | Registered: Feb 2006  |  IP: Logged
CrookedCucumber
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quote:
Originally posted by The Great Gumby:
Here's an example from his website:
quote:
HOW DID YOU GET ALL THE INSIDE INFORMATION FOR THIS BOOK?
Most of the information is not as "inside" as it seems. The secret described in the novel has been chronicled for centuries, so there are thousands of sources to draw from.


Fair enough. Because I haven't read the book, I assumed that the `secret' he's talking is that there were pre-orthodox Christian movements with their own documents, their own claims to authenticity, their own traditions, and their own version of who or what Jesus was and what he did. Most of these movements fizzled out by about 350CE.

All of this is true, although not well-known, and well supported by historical evidence, most of which comes from early orthodox Christian writers.

If this is the `secret' he's talking about, I don't see any problem with him plugging it as fact, since the majority of historians would agree with him. It's not exactly ground-breaking news, anyhow.

However, if I understand correctly, the central theme of the book (which, as I say, I haven't read) is that the `version' of Christianity we now have arose from a deliberate attempt by powerful individuals to promote one view and suppress others. I think, although of course I can't be sure, that this is what he refers to as a `theory' on his Web site. However, if this is what he is asserting as a `secret' fact, then I agree with you -- this is a bit naughty.

As I said, I haven't read the book, and all I know about Dan Brown is from looking at his Web site; he may have said other things elsewhere which I know nothing about.

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Shiny_Halo
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# 10085

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quote:
Originally posted by m.t_tomb:


I'm told that reading it could provide me with evangelistic opportuniities. I don't care though: as far as I'm concerned anyone who's prepared to read this codswallop deserves to stay unsaved. [Two face]

[Killing me] [Killing me] [Killing me]

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You see, in the final analysis it is between you and God. It was never between you and them anyway.
- Mother Theresa "Anyway"

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KenWritez
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# 3238

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quote:
Originally posted by cometchaser:
I have people who call me to tell me my work is crap. "I didn't actually hear the story, but a very reliable friend told me you reported blah blah blah."

I have no time for that.

If you'll PM me your phone number, I'll be glad to call you with a condensed version of abuse.

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"The truth is you're the weak. And I'm the tyranny of evil men. But I'm tryin', Ringo. I'm tryin' real hard to be a shepherd." --Quentin Tarantino, Pulp Fiction

My blog: http://oxygenofgrace.blogspot.com

Posts: 11102 | From: Left coast of Wonderland, by the rabbit hole | Registered: Aug 2002  |  IP: Logged
comet

Snowball in Hell
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quote:
Originally posted by KenWritez:
quote:
Originally posted by cometchaser:
I have people who call me to tell me my work is crap. "I didn't actually hear the story, but a very reliable friend told me you reported blah blah blah."

I have no time for that.

If you'll PM me your phone number, I'll be glad to call you with a condensed version of abuse.
I'll always have time for you to abuse me, dahling....

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Evil Dragon Lady, Breaker of Men's Constitutions

"It's hard to be religious when certain people are never incinerated by bolts of lightning.” -Calvin

Posts: 17024 | From: halfway between Seduction and Peril | Registered: Sep 2005  |  IP: Logged
Pine Marten
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# 11068

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The Great Gumby posted:
quote:
Oh, and anyone who wants to get a flavour of the novel can read the first 6 chapters here. I was laughing by halfway through the prologue, and gave up completely after 1 chapter, completely defeated by the awful, sub-Archer dialogue and hackneyed narrative. If you're not sure whether to read it or not, try this sample. I'm sure it'll be enough to indicate whether you really want to read the whole thing.
Gordon Bennett, GG, my brain melted before I'd got to the end of the prologue. Thank you for posting that; it proves I don't need to read the rest.

[ETA: why didn't Gumby's link show up...?]

[ 06. April 2006, 12:13: Message edited by: Amethyst ]

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Keep love in your heart. A life without it is like a sunless garden when the flowers are dead. - Oscar Wilde

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CrookedCucumber
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# 10792

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quote:
Originally posted by Barnabas62:
I was simply trying to explain why feelings get stirred up. Something which is seen as a defamation of Jesus (who believers proclaim "is alive") provokes a similar reaction to that of people who see their loved ones libelled.

Fair enough. I can understand why people might find it offensive. I just wonder to what extent it is the duty of a novelist to avoid offending people. Libraries are full of offensive novels -- offensive on all sorts of levels. Should we not allow them to be published? What test would be used?
Posts: 2718 | From: East Dogpatch | Registered: Dec 2005  |  IP: Logged
Moo

Ship's tough old bird
# 107

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quote:
Originally posted by The Great Gumby
Oh, and anyone who wants to get a flavour of the novel can read the first 6 chapters here. I was laughing by halfway through the prologue, and gave up completely after 1 chapter, completely defeated by the awful, sub-Archer dialogue and hackneyed narrative.

One paragraph was all I could take. That is truly awful writing.

Moo

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Kerygmania host
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See you later, alligator.

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KenWritez
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OK, I read the Foreword and Chapter 1. It's among the worst I've ever read; overwritten, trite, and it cheered me up immensely!

If they'll publish this dreck, my own crappy writing can only shine in comparison.

I'm also cheered up because the chances are good the movie can only be better than the book, since it cuts out all of Brown's prose.

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"The truth is you're the weak. And I'm the tyranny of evil men. But I'm tryin', Ringo. I'm tryin' real hard to be a shepherd." --Quentin Tarantino, Pulp Fiction

My blog: http://oxygenofgrace.blogspot.com

Posts: 11102 | From: Left coast of Wonderland, by the rabbit hole | Registered: Aug 2002  |  IP: Logged
Grits
Compassionate fundamentalist
# 4169

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Ah, but you see, I am getting ready to start Chapter 3... and yet, I live!

Well, it's already too violent for me, for one thing. Plus, it's like a not-so-subtle subplot with each new paragraph. The good news is that I have been given a copy of "Breaking the Da Vinci Code", so I will not only be able to critique TDVC, I will be able to critique the critique!

But I think I can already see where this is going to make a pretty good movie. Ron Howard is the best, Tom Hanks will be his usual everyman, and some of the cast -- Ian McKeller, Paul Bettany, Alfred Molina, Jean Reno -- are pretty spectacular. I will remain hopeful of a really good flick.

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Lord, fill my mouth with worthwhile stuff, and shut it when I've said enough. Amen.

Posts: 8419 | From: Nashville, TN | Registered: Feb 2003  |  IP: Logged
Dharmasabha
Apprentice
# 11248

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I bought the paperback copy, because I rarely buy fiction in hardcover. I read it because it was recommended by many people, even those who had brains.

I liked the cliff-hanging, and I did read it in only a couple of settings. In general, though, I was disappointed. The character development was pretty thin. Maybe I would have enjoyed it more if I kept the fact-checking until after I read it.

Anyways, I hated the ending. I mean, it's pretty silly to just go around and change the definition of things just to make your story work. I mean we all think that the holy grail is the cup that Christ drank from at the last supper. But that's not it. So what do we call the cup that Christ drank from at the last supper? Because if I were to search for holy relics, I would prefer that to a couple of post-modern pyramids.

I also didn't like that the Catholic church got picked on. I'm not Catholic, but it seems to me that Catholic-bashing is a favorite game of Protestants and it's getting tired. Then it started to link all kinds of secret societies together that don't actually have anything to do with each other...but there goes my fact-checking again.

Also, the references to the Nag Hammadi Library were deceptive. They are pretty much out in the open, not suppressed. They were left out of the Canon because they were written after the Synoptic Gospels and hence were not as reliable. Plus they were mis-quoted in DVC.

So anyways I don't get all the brouhaha. I understand why some people would like it, it was a page turner and wouldn't have been bad if you like fiction that's not too challenging. And if the ending didn't suck.

Posts: 2 | From: Canada | Registered: Apr 2006  |  IP: Logged
Graven Image
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Dharmasabla
quote:
So what do we call the cup that Christ drank from at the last supper?
The cup that Christ drank from at the last supper. [Devil]
Posts: 2641 | From: Third planet from the sun. USA | Registered: Nov 2004  |  IP: Logged
Tiffer
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# 3073

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I saw it in the second hand books sale at a church alongside commentaries and Christian paperbacks. I felt this may have been unhelpful marketing on behalf of the Church, and I got a bit annoyed. Was I being smelly?

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"All the Fat belongs to the Lord"
-Leviticus 3:16b

Posts: 411 | From: England (all over) | Registered: Jul 2002  |  IP: Logged
pimple

Ship's Irruption
# 10635

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Tiffer. No of course you were not being smelly. But if you're going to buy TDVC and you're not sure if it's worth the money, a church or other charity bookshop is the ideal place to buy it. You might pick up my copy. I reckon the more people read it, think it's rubbish, and take it back to the stall where they bought it, the more good work God will be making of it. There aint no royalties to Dan Brown from the Sue Ryder Home or the Red Cross Shop. Hey! Maybe that's what Jesus meant when he said make friends with unrighteous Mammon or something like that. One day you may need the Sue Ryder hospice more than you need your beautiful principles.... [Yipee] [Yipee] [Roll Eyes] [Snore]

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In other words, just because I made it all up, doesn't mean it isn't true (Reginald Hill)

Posts: 8018 | From: Wonderland | Registered: Nov 2005  |  IP: Logged
Autenrieth Road

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# 10509

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I browsed the start of Angels and Demons at the library the other day (all the TDVC's seem to be borrowed). I was completely turned off, and figured that meant I was immune to TDVC's siren call.

No such luck, the link to the start of TDVC posted here makes me want to read it and find out how the puzzle works out!

Then there was a recent book by Beigant at the bookstore last night, complete with, ooooh, TWO sections of glossy colored pictures. I love books with pictures. And a good conspiracy theory that will explain the Truth About Everything.

Too bad I can think of about 90 gazillion non-conspiratorial reasons for the "mysterious" features captioned under the Beigant photos.

I think I will read TDVC if I run across a copy, but it's good to know in advance that most of the so-called "historical" facts in it will be hogswill. (Let alone the interpretations placed on the so-called facts.)

[more "will" than "might"]

[ 12. April 2006, 21:12: Message edited by: Autenrieth Road ]

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Truth

Posts: 9559 | From: starlight | Registered: Oct 2005  |  IP: Logged
Golden Key
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# 1468

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quote:
Originally posted by Poppy:
On the other hand I know people who think dolphins are the ascended masters who are communitating from the 14th dimension

...so they read Douglas Adams while taking ayahuasca?

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Blessed Gator, pray for us!
--"Oh bat bladders, do you have to bring common sense into this?" (Dragon, "Jane & the Dragon")
--"Oh, Peace Train, save this country!" (Yusuf/Cat Stevens, "Peace Train")

Posts: 18601 | From: Chilling out in an undisclosed, sincere pumpkin patch. | Registered: Oct 2001  |  IP: Logged
Poppy

Ship's dancing cat
# 2000

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Nope, they run workshops at £20 a time (money is an energy exchange rather than filthy lucre) and you hear the words of the dolphins from beyond.

It is a few years since I've come across this lot and the website seems to have disappeared. Maybe the dolphins really have said 'so long and thanks for all this fish' and gone other dimension wards...

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At the still point of the turning world - there the dance is...

Posts: 1406 | From: mostly on the edge | Registered: Dec 2001  |  IP: Logged
Grits
Compassionate fundamentalist
# 4169

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Well, here's what I think:

1. It's not a very well-written book. The character development and dialogue are particularly lacking.

2. I wasn't offended -- religiously, I mean. It was just too far-fetched to even be remotely believable for me. I might feel differently if I were Catholic, however.

3. My main observation is that it is a story that was created to present an idea. It is not about the story itself, but the message he's trying to get across. That, in itself, makes it an uncomfortable fit.

However, I do think the overall idea has some cleverness to it, and I still think it's going to make a pretty good book.

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Lord, fill my mouth with worthwhile stuff, and shut it when I've said enough. Amen.

Posts: 8419 | From: Nashville, TN | Registered: Feb 2003  |  IP: Logged
Surfing Madness
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# 11087

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Well I've now read TDVC, and i found it very easy to read. By about half way through i found i was getting sucked in to the what if this is true, mind set. Then it just went a step to far and was so obviously fiction. So on the whole a good unwind type light read, but once you get into so obviously unbelievable. So not a real challenge to my faith.

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I now blog about all my crafting! http://inspiredbybroadway.blogspot.co.uk

Posts: 1542 | From: searching for the jam | Registered: Feb 2006  |  IP: Logged
Stephen
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# 40

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quote:
Originally posted by Surfing Madness:
Well I've now read TDVC, and i found it very easy to read. By about half way through i found i was getting sucked in to the what if this is true, mind set. Then it just went a step to far and was so obviously fiction. So on the whole a good unwind type light read, but once you get into so obviously unbelievable. So not a real challenge to my faith.

Yes,this was my reaction.....about halfway through I was thinking 'this is very far-fetched....'
I will admit to enjoying it but as a thriller,easy to read fiction - I don't read hard fiction these days, brain cells don't like it! -
[Roll Eyes]

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Best Wishes
Stephen

'Be still,then, and know that I am God: I will be exalted among the nations and I will be exalted in the earth' Ps46 v10

Posts: 3954 | From: Alto C Clef Country | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
St. Punk the Pious

Biblical™ Punk
# 683

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Count me among those who won't read it. I don't need to bury my face in excrement to know it's excrement. And, like many others on this thread, I have too many good non-fiction books to read.

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The Society of St. Pius *
Wannabe Anglican, Reader
My reely gud book.

Posts: 4161 | From: Choral Evensong | Registered: Jul 2001  |  IP: Logged
pimple

Ship's Irruption
# 10635

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My wife said not to take it to the Red Cross bookshop yet. She reads things fast, you see, and couldn't work out what all the brouhaha was about. She thinks she ought to read it again, to find out.

I'll show her ++Rowan's sermon, kindly linked on this site. Hope she finds him as much fun as Dan Brown.... [Biased]

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In other words, just because I made it all up, doesn't mean it isn't true (Reginald Hill)

Posts: 8018 | From: Wonderland | Registered: Nov 2005  |  IP: Logged
Autenrieth Road

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# 10509

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So now I've read it. In a day, because I couldn't put it down once I started! A light thriller of a certain popular type (Tom Clancy is similar in certain ways). I'm glad I read it, now I know what all the fuss is about, and also I like thinking about the broadly-brushed parts of it and why they attract readership.

I don't know that it's necessarily worse than say Law & Order on TV which incessantly promotes a destructively inaccurate view of the American justice system.

Now to read ++Rowan's sermon and Bart Ehrman's books etc. and deepen my understanding what Christianity and truth really are.

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Truth

Posts: 9559 | From: starlight | Registered: Oct 2005  |  IP: Logged
thetraveller
Climber of the riggings
# 11249

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Read it. It was quite good fun, but there were some assumptions made in in that were put forward as fact. I never understand what the fuss is about really. Does reading Harry Potter make me want to go out and buy a wand? I think not.

I am now reading "The books the Church Suppressed - Fiction and Truth in The Da Vinci Code". Seems factual, but a bit less easy on the brain as a holiday read.

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mmm... why did I come in here again??

Posts: 106 | From: Hampshire | Registered: Apr 2006  |  IP: Logged
AnglicanAvenger
Apprentice
# 11252

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I read it on Spring Break after initial resistance. It is terribly written (Rule of Four was much better), but anyone who knows my interests in Religion and Medieval History could ask me about it. I felt an obligation to read it, since I have some familiarity with the historical periods and the obvious fallacies, and people ask me strange things.

BTW, I hate the glass pyramid at the Louvre.

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"Suddenly, a clergyman was defenestrated - 'That is a sign,' thought M___ C___ 'I shall terrify the underworld in the black robes of a priest'

Posts: 36 | From: Boulder, Colorado, USA | Registered: Apr 2006  |  IP: Logged



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