Thread: Haven't read it, never will either (Book Discussion) Board: The Da Vinci Code / Ship of Fools.


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Posted by jlg (# 98) on :
 
That's how SteveTom signed off his OP on the Suppressed Gospels thread.

To be honest, what with the combination of lots of hoopla in the press about the book and the fact that it stayed available only in expensive hardcover up until a couple of days ago, at least here in the US, I never intended to read it either.

In the interim, I did buy a cheap paperback copy of Dan Brown's earlier bookAngels & Demons, which the bookstore clerk assured me was pretty much the same plot outline and perhaps a better read. It definitely fell into the beach book/long airplane trip category, and not an especially wonderful specimen, either. So I had no intention of reading Da Vinci Code.

As it happened, however, a Shipmate offered to pass along his paperback copy, so I did read it.

My verdict:

YMMV, so let us know whether you read the book, and why or why not, and what you thought of it if you did read it.

[ 17. May 2006, 21:12: Message edited by: Louise ]
 
Posted by The Coot (# 220) on :
 
Haven't read it.

Life is too short to voluntarily read bollocks. There is too much important stuff that I need to read that I'm unable to, that I don't want to spend what little time I have available reading fiction.

Especially fiction critical of my faith tradition, and not critical in a constructive way.
 
Posted by Left at the Altar (# 5077) on :
 
I read it only because I'd bought it and figured that if I didn't keep reading (after the first awful ten pages), I'd be wasting my money.

It's woeful. It's certainly not worth paying money for.
 
Posted by the Pookah (# 9186) on :
 
I thought it was fun, & he did a very good job of making it suspenseful. It's extremely easy to be a critic but to write & pace that way- I for sure cannot end every chapter on a cliffhanger.
I think you are all judging it like a theological work, you've bought into it, & don't see it for what it is; a fun adventure, like Shangri-La by J. Hilton
which I adore as well:)
Pookah, trashy novel enjoyer
 
Posted by Ariel (# 58) on :
 
I never intended to read it. I probably still wouldn't have, if there hadn't been so much discussion about it. It had been out for months before I got round to ordering a copy from the library. Once I'd read it, I was glad I hadn't wasted the money buying it.

I've said it before but it really did seem just as if the author had gone into his local New Age bookshop and scooped up a handful of bargain basement books, and mixed them all up in a kind of stew of ideas. I found myself thinking, "Is he going to mention - oh, he just did, how about - yes, and what about - thought so, all we need now is X, Y and Z and we've got the set." It just lacked originality. It was a mixture of a lot of ideas that mostly had had their day and fallen by the wayside.
 
Posted by Sine Nomine (# 66) on :
 
I read it after it first came out and as I recall enjoyed it. But then I like cheap novels. I did think Forever Amber was better researched and far more historically accurate than The Da Vinci Code though.
 
Posted by jlg (# 98) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by the Pookah:
I think you are all judging it like a theological work, you've bought into it, & don't see it for what it is; a fun adventure, like Shangri-La by J. Hilton

Where has anyone so far indicated that they have judged it as a theological work? Seems to me the consensus is that everyone read it as some form of Literature Light ("beach book", "trashy novel", etc.) and are merely giving thumbs up or down on that basis.
 
Posted by Mousethief (# 953) on :
 
Never read it, never will. It's not a genre I'm terribly interested in, and I have tons of other things I have yet to get to. Hope this doesn't make me a philistine or something.
 
Posted by IngoB (# 8700) on :
 
I won't waste my time reading DVC, it would be like watching Paris Hilton movies. But if this actually penetrates popular culture, rather than just being a typical temporary brain failure of modernity, then I may have to buy and read one of the books refuting DVC - for apologetic purposes. The really amazing thing is that anybody gives a damn. Slagging the church, in particular the RCC, still can bring huge monetary rewards. That makes me wonder how "secular" our societies really are. If people are just post-Christian religious apathetics, why do they even care about any of this?
 
Posted by Amazing Grace (# 95) on :
 
I was seriously annoyed at the "no paperback", which seemed a blatant money-grab, so I resolved to not spend money on it. I finally read it a year or so ago when it was on the shelf at my local library (the excitement had died down enough that I didn't need to spend $.50 to reserve it).

My take on it is pretty similar to Sine's, actually. It did keep me turning the pages, but I'm easily amused, and wasn't treating it as more than fiction. I'm glad I didn't spend any money on it.

Charlotte
 
Posted by Pigwidgeon (# 10192) on :
 
Several friends said it was a "must read" so I did (I'm happy to say one of those friends lent it to me, so I didn't waste my money or add to Dan Brown's bank account). I thought it was poorly written and poorly researched. I didn't like the main characters, so I wasn't in suspense about what would happen to them; I just didn't care. Unfortunately, a lot of people seem to be taking it too seriously -- it's just fiction, and pretty bad fiction at that. There are so many better books, which I wish wuld get the attention that DVC has.
 
Posted by josephine (# 3899) on :
 
I read HBHG a long, long time ago, and was sorry I'd wasted the time.

I don't intend to read DVC. There are so many wonderful books I'm trying to get around to reading. DVC isn't one of them.
 
Posted by Grits (# 4169) on :
 
I'm actually planning to start it this weekend. I like to be in on the hoopla, and I prefer making my own judgments. I have anticipated reading it for entertainment, like a Harry Potter story or a book by John Grisham -- no more, no less. I'm not enough of a book snob to think everything I read has to be "literary".
 
Posted by Joyfulsoul (# 4652) on :
 
Never read it.

I don't go for pop fiction in general.

It's just not my type of book.
 
Posted by Custard. (# 5402) on :
 
I did buy a copy and read it, for two simple reasons.

1) It was £3.73 at Tescos
2) I'd been asked enough times if I read it that I figured it would probably help with some useful opportunities to speak about my faith.

What Dan Brown does a lot is tell small, easily verifiable truths that not everyone would have appreciated (e.g. the existence of the Nag Hammandi documents) and then hang big lies on them, which might actually take some effort to check up. But because the small truths checked out, some people then trust him on the big things too.

It's how Angels and Demons worked too (and, being a physicist with a fair knowledge of the history of science and religion, it was far easier to spot where the lies started).
 
Posted by Chapelhead (# 21) on :
 
General opinion seems to be that DVC is worse-written and less believable than any of the Harry Potter books, which puts it well down my reading list.

Life's too short to read bad books, which is why I've just skimmed through the last 200 pages of Lolita - so, so dull. [Snore]
 
Posted by Mousethief (# 953) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Chapelhead:
Life's too short to read bad books,

Be careful; you may get called a "book snob".
 
Posted by Ariel (# 58) on :
 
"Harry Potter and the Da Vinci Code", now there's a thought...
 
Posted by Lyda*Rose (# 4544) on :
 
I haven't read it at this point, but I remember a number of my Piskie buds got rather gleeful about the prominent position Mary Magdalene got and the rather naughty notion that Jesus might have been (whisper) married. [Two face]

I've read a few conspiracy essays on the Church of the Magdalene. Soooo 1990s/X-Files, daaarrrlling.
 
Posted by Bishops Finger (# 5430) on :
 
I haven't read it - yet - but the Archdeacon mentioned it in his sermon a couple of weeks ago. He said he'd read about half of it, thought it was bunkum and put it away.......but it did raise some interesting thoughts about the humanity of Jesus. What difference (he asked) might it make to our faith if Our Lord had been married to Mary Magdalene?

So, when I trot off to the public library today, I'm going to see if I can find the book.......from what others have said, it doesn't seem to be worth spending money on...

Ian J.
 
Posted by Mousethief (# 953) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Bishops Finger:
What difference (he asked) might it make to our faith if Our Lord had been married to Mary Magdalene?

Well it would mean the Ascension was abandonment. Imagine, Jesus Christ, patron saint of deadbeat dads everywhere.
 
Posted by Anselmina (# 3032) on :
 
I had no intention of reading it but a parishioner kept talking about it, then eventually lent me it, then kept asking me what I thought of it. It didn't take long to read it and I think the best thing about it was the suspense which made it an easy read. It's a kind of 'made-for-TV-or-film' book imo; rather cliched and two-dimensional. But for what it was I enjoyed it as a light read, while at the same time wondering what all the fuss was about.

I don't read enough fiction or non-work related stuff so it was quite a pleasant undemanding excursion into fairyland for a few hours! BTW, another parishioner, learning that I had read TDVC, then lent me two other Dan Brown books, for holiday reading, which in respect of technique, character development and plot-style were identical. He obviously knows what works for him.
 
Posted by Margaret (# 283) on :
 
Like Anselmina I don't read enough fiction, but I secretly adore trashy thrillers with cliffhangers at the end of every chapter, so when I got my hands on (someone else's) copy I lapped it up. It's hilarious as well as quite exciting - how can anyone resist a giant albino monk? I gave up counting the author's howlers and misunderstandings early on (though there's a wonderful gallop through early church history, Dan Brown-style, somewhere round the middle which made me laugh out loud) and just sat back and enjoyed the ride. It's dire, but it's fun if you have the time to read it.
 
Posted by cometchaser (# 10353) on :
 
ah what the hell.

I LIKED the Da Vinci Code.

the thesis is crap. so what? I actually say the writing was good. Better than Ian McKellen, whom I couldn't get through (he seem so infatuated with his power of description... blech [Projectile] ).

The DVC was interesting, and fast paced, and a kick. I like history-mysteries. I enjoyed all the silly coding, etc. For that reason I loved Angels and Demons too. I'm a sucker for a secret code.

I went back and read HBHG afterwards and lost interest in the conspiracy theories of it all. but I love a good fast paced book full of mystery and codes.

so sue me.

Comet
 
Posted by Archimandrite (# 3997) on :
 
I read HBHG ages ago, because my grandmother is a credulous old soul, and has the whole set of Templar/Jesus/Merovingian/Black Madonna hackwork. I remember thinking two things at the end:

1. If the Queen really were related to Jesus, as the family tree at the back shows, then you might think there were points in history where that would have been something of a trump card. But on all the geneaolgies drawn up shewing the monarch's descent from Adam, Our Lord would only be there as a sort of famous great-uncle. Why the bother, when you could go straight to the Big Man?

2. All of the aristocratic support they'd enlisted was completely spurious: 'Prince Michael of Albany', (bespectacled Belgian teacher) anyone? Now, I've got a lot of time for disposessed and mediatised nobles, but this lot didn't even reach the dodgy tat 'n' titles realm of the Lazarites.

The whole genre is completely bankrupt, and the extent to which people treat the DVC as, ahem, Gospel is frankly rather off-putting. There was something on BBC4, I think, a little while ago, which featured a 'hardy band' of DVC loyalists, who were introduced to a priest of Opus Dei, a Leonardo da Vinci expert and an architectural historian (at the Rosslyn chapel); they were all firm in their assertion that none of the 'facts' were true, or even in some cases possible, but still this group of numpties persisted in clinging to the 'truth' of the book.

All of the above doesn't make me want to read what is almost universally acknowledged to be a poorly-written potboiler. Can you tell that this subject makes me somewhat testy?
 
Posted by Papio. (# 4201) on :
 
My mum read it, and says it is one of the wrost books she has ever read (and she has read a lot, and I mean a lot, of trashy books).

I have recieved similar reports from a close friend, and another site I use voted it worst book ever.

Therefore, I won't read it either.
 
Posted by Papio. (# 4201) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Mousethief:
quote:
Originally posted by Chapelhead:
Life's too short to read bad books,

Be careful; you may get called a "book snob".
Yeah, like that would be the end of the world.

But then, I read trashy sci-fi novels by the bucketload.
 
Posted by Balaam (# 4543) on :
 
If you check out Brown's geographical facts, such as riding on the London Underground from Temple Bar to King's College, when Temple is the nearest Underground station to King's College, you see the accuracy of Brown's research.

Having said that, if you suspend belief and treat it as a thriller, it's not that bad. But Angels and Demons and Deception Point are better.

Having read other Brown books before TDC I was disappointed that it was not as good.
 
Posted by rosamundi (# 2495) on :
 
I have read it, a friend lent it to me and I was fed up of all the "you're a Catholic, hee hee, it's all lies, Dan Brown says so in The Da Vinci Code, ha ha, you've been had," comments I was getting.

I have never read such a pile of steaming rubbish in all my life. I've read more challenging Mills & Boon romances. His research is shoddy, his plots are execrable, his characterisation is one-dimensional at best, and the ending was the biggest anti-climax I've ever read.

Interestingly, I was in Paris on business a couple of weeks ago and one of the evening entertainments was a "Da Vinci Code" tour of the Louvre. It was a fairly comprehensive debunking of the parts that took place in the museum, and if he can't even be bothered to get such easily-confirmed things right, why should we trust him on "The Church is built on lies"?

And there are no monks in Opus Dei.

Deborah
 
Posted by Jack the Lass (# 3415) on :
 
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. I'm rather hoping that my reaction will be the same as when I read the "This Present Darkness" series by Frank Peretti (it was so spectacularly corny and badly written I nearly had a stroke laughing).

I'll make sure I cadge someone else's copy though. I just can't bring myself to pay for it.
 
Posted by rosamundi (# 2495) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Jack the Lass:
I'll make sure I cadge someone else's copy though. I just can't bring myself to pay for it.

You can have mine, unless I decided to throw it out.

It might take me a while to find it, mind. If I've still got it, it will be in one of the 25 knee-high stacks of books that adorn my bedroom floor.

Deborah
 
Posted by Pânts (# 999) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by cometchaser:
ah what the hell.

I LIKED the Da Vinci Code.

the thesis is crap. so what? I actually say the writing was good. Better than Ian McKellen, whom I couldn't get through (he seem so infatuated with his power of description... blech [Projectile] ).

The DVC was interesting, and fast paced, and a kick. I like history-mysteries. I enjoyed all the silly coding, etc. For that reason I loved Angels and Demons too. I'm a sucker for a secret code.

I went back and read HBHG afterwards and lost interest in the conspiracy theories of it all. but I love a good fast paced book full of mystery and codes.

so sue me.

Comet

Likewise
 
Posted by The Machine Elf (# 1622) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Mousethief:
quote:
Originally posted by Bishops Finger:
What difference (he asked) might it make to our faith if Our Lord had been married to Mary Magdalene?

Well it would mean the Ascension was abandonment. Imagine, Jesus Christ, patron saint of deadbeat dads everywhere.
Depends whether 'til death do part' counts if you come back after three days.


TME
 
Posted by Freddy (# 365) on :
 
The thing that irritated me was all the church members who became confused after reading it, wanting to form discussion groups to sort it out, and wondering if it pointed out deep, dark, suppressed truths.

Happily, telling them that they were wrong to feel that way seemed to work just fine. Never did read it myself.

I'm sure the movie will be better anyway. [Angel]
 
Posted by Amethyst (# 11068) on :
 
I haven’t read it either, and have no intention to read it, especially after seeing the first few lines quoted in a thread here (can’t remember which), which drove the grammar fascist in me up the wall.

I do remember HBHG, and the various programmes about Rennes-le-Chateau, and would urge any (UK) DVC fans to watch Tony Robinson’s excellent debunking of the whole sorry mess.

Here’s a thought: John 11:5 says ‘Now Jesus loved Martha, and her sister, and Lazarus.’ I am going to start a new conspiracy theory that the little household in Bethany was actually a [Eek!] ménage-a-quatre.
 
Posted by Papio. (# 4201) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Freddy:
I'm sure the movie will be better anyway. [Angel]

If it is, it will be the very first time the universe has ever, ever, ever witnessed a movie that was as good as the book, let alone better.

Movies are never better than the book. Fact.

99.999999999999% of the time, the movie is an insult to the book and ruins it completely.
 
Posted by Linguo (# 7220) on :
 
I am a shameless book snob. I do read 'trashy' fiction, but from a carefully selected group of authors, because I can't stand bad writing or characterisation. I have no intention whatsoever of reading TDVC, because several people I know who have and whose opinions on literature I respect (notably both my parents) have said pretty much what others on this thread have said - that Brown's writing is execrable, his plots ridiculous and his characters one-dimensional.

Also because once I've taken a stand I hate going back on it. I'm human.
 
Posted by Freddy (# 365) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Papio.:
quote:
Originally posted by Freddy:
I'm sure the movie will be better anyway. [Angel]

99.999999999999% of the time, the movie is an insult to the book and ruins it completely.
So true. This is what I mean. Or rather, this is what I am hoping for. Ruining a bad book can sometimes be an improvement.

And if you didn't read the book in the first place you come out smelling like a rose. [Two face]
 
Posted by Tree Bee (# 4033) on :
 
There are 20 copies of the Da Vinci code in the library where I work, and they are never on the shelves, so Mr Brown must be doing something right.
Having said that, as there are so many books and so little time in which to read them, I have no intention of reading it myself.
What annoys me is the number of authors that are jumping on this particular bandwagon, with 'The new Da Vinci Code' plastered on the front cover.
Even the latest Kathy Reichs seemed to be doing this, IMHO, to its detriment.
 
Posted by Esmeralda (# 582) on :
 
I have two four-foot long shelves in my bedroom stacked with quality fiction and non-fiction (mostly theology) that I plan to read soon. Why would I want to waste my time reading this load of half-baked crapola?

You may say I should read it to find out if it's really crapola. Fortunately, I have critics and you good people here to tell me that. After all, I don't read porn or racist literature to find out if it's really pornographic or racist!

ETA: PS, as an impoverished writer myself, I would not be able to bring myself to put even more money into the fraudulent pocket of Dan Brown.

[ 01. April 2006, 12:31: Message edited by: Esmeralda ]
 
Posted by Custard. (# 5402) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Papio.:
If it is, it will be the very first time the universe has ever, ever, ever witnessed a movie that was as good as the book, let alone better.

Movies are never better than the book. Fact.

99.999999999999% of the time, the movie is an insult to the book and ruins it completely.

All the Inspector Morse episodes were better than the corresponding books. (Though whether they were movies is certainly debatable).
 
Posted by Custard. (# 5402) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by rosamundi:
It might take me a while to find it, mind. If I've still got it, it will be in one of the 25 knee-high stacks of books that adorn my bedroom floor.

Only knee-high?

Knee-high stacks of books are too easy to trip over...
 
Posted by rosamundi (# 2495) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Custard.:
Only knee-high?

Knee-high stacks of books are too easy to trip over...

They're all stacked against the walls.

Deborah
 
Posted by Mousethief (# 953) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by The Machine Elf:
quote:
Originally posted by Mousethief:
Imagine, Jesus Christ, patron saint of deadbeat dads everywhere.

Depends whether 'til death do part' counts if you come back after three days.
Like that matters to a single mom trying to raise kids.
 
Posted by Gort (# 6855) on :
 
I haven't read Da Vinci Code but enjoyed Von Daniken's "Chariots of the Gods". Does that count?
 
Posted by Nightlamp (# 266) on :
 
I read the oringinal book The Holy Blood and the Holy Grail and don't have the time to read the same thing again.
 
Posted by the_raptor (# 10533) on :
 
I read it, was mildly entertained, got most of the plot twists before the characters left the Louvre, and was horribly let down by the "climax".

But then again I love conspiracies, the knights templar, and mild mannered heros (Go Giles!). But I thought that Foucault's Pendulum is a much better book in that genre.
 
Posted by m.t_tomb (# 3012) on :
 
Never read it; never will.

I put this is a even lower category that the Left Behind series: utter, utter, utter rubbish.

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]
 
Posted by Barnabas62 (# 9110) on :
 
Preferred "Angels and Demons". When HBHG came out, I read that and did some digging around. Having discovered how unhistorical that was, I had little difficulty in reading TDVC as fiction. Trouble is, it really isn't very good fiction - or very well written. But it does have some narrative drive. I've had some quite good conversations about it, particularly since UK's Channel 4 exploded the nonsense behind the Priory of Sion.

What I guess those us of who are Christian have to face is that loads of folks who aren't Christian are much more comfortable with the notion of a married Jesus who had sex than with an unmarried Jesus who didn't. In this sexualised era, people who don't have sex "must have something wrong with them." Celibacy isn't seen as a sign of spirituality or holiness, but a sign of oddness. That's the hook of plausibility that sinks in, regardless of the unhistorical nonsense supporting it. If you get to talk about the book to folks, that's worth thinking about.
 
Posted by Chapelhead (# 21) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Gort:
I haven't read Da Vinci Code but enjoyed Von Daniken's "Chariots of the Gods". Does that count?

At least CotG had pictures.
 
Posted by Roseofsharon (# 9657) on :
 
With at least two centuries of well written books, full of original ideas, out there waiting to be read, and more being published each year, I can't see me being desperate enough in this lifetime to want to read anything by Dan Brown.
 
Posted by Wesley J (# 6075) on :
 
Not read it, not going to (I suppose).

Doesn't look appealing to me. Got hold of the paperback for free, I think, but never even touched it. (Well, I have touched it, actually.)

Not reading 'Watchtower' either, BTW. FWIW.
 
Posted by narnie83 (# 11009) on :
 
(a half-serious post...)

I'm with Stephen Fry when he descibes it as 'complete arse-dribble.' I'm very upset that I'll be forced to remember its existence every time I log on to the home page of this forum. I'm also upset that Audrey Tautou (the love of my life) is demeaning herself by appearing in the film. And why does such a lame book get its own board, along with The Bible and Church tradition???! There are hundreds of books rich with sources for theological debate and spirituality. Why not a Brothers Karamazov board, or Name of the Rose board, or Narnia, or even Harry Potter? Sigh. I'm just fed up with people saying, 'Oh, you do theology - what do you think of the Da Vinci Code?' Plus I'm one of those uncreative and contentious people that wilfully dislikes something just because it's popular.
 
Posted by Mousethief (# 953) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Roseofsharon:
With at least two centuries of well written books,

And that's just the 4th and 5th Centuries CE!
 
Posted by IngoB (# 8700) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by narnie83:
And why does such a lame book get its own board, along with The Bible and Church tradition???!

Because "this board is sponsored by Focus Radio, who are providing a Christian response to the book on their website", I guess.
 
Posted by Goodric (# 8001) on :
 
Nope - there is no way i am going waste money or time to read something that lacks so much credibility.
 
Posted by Gort (# 6855) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Chapelhead:
quote:
Originally posted by Gort:
I haven't read Da Vinci Code but enjoyed Von Daniken's "Chariots of the Gods". Does that count?

At least CotG had pictures.
That must be why I like comic books so much. So, if the Great Unwashed™ dismiss Christian tradition as easily they enjoy Indiana Jones movies... where's the harm? A bit of fun speculation and then let's watch Return of the Mummy.
 
Posted by the_raptor (# 10533) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Balaam:
If you check out Brown's geographical facts, such as riding on the London Underground from Temple Bar to King's College, when Temple is the nearest Underground station to King's College, you see the accuracy of Brown's research.

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.
 
Posted by Qlib (# 43) on :
 
I thought the first half was relatively good. He gets a lot of his "facts" over in a relatively painless way, and it was much more interesting that HBHG. It got worse, though: none of the "twists" in the plot surprised me (perhaps because I had read the mind-numbing HBHG*) other than the chickening out at the end, which, in retrospect, I suppose had to be there to avoid legal action by Opus Dei.

The whole thesis is much less interesting and amusing than "Chariots of the Gods", IMHO, but perhaps that's because I first met CotG when I was still and adolescent.

*For reasons similar to Archimandrite's, except that my elderly devotee was not a blood relation.
 
Posted by chemincreux (# 10635) on :
 
I wasn't going to read it, because a trusted friend threw it out after reading half a dozen pages. But then an even more trusted friend (my wife) got it out of the library and enjoyed it.

Our tastes rarely overlap - for my wife, ISTM that the chief criterion is that a book should be at least six hunfred pages long. I prefer about 250...

Bless her! She gave me HBHG and DVC for my birthday. I'm half way through the annoyingly titillating former and have finally reached their thesis.

So Jesus was married? Is that it? I doubt if I'll finsh the book. Things like that don't shock me. Why shouldn't the (conceived out of wedlock) son of God get married? Why should not his parents, while we're about it, obeyed the implicit will of God and lead a normal married life?

I think I'll enjoy DVC much more, though. Sounds like one of those silly, rollicking historical novels I gave up years ago when I became a po-faced Christian....

[ 02. April 2006, 09:16: Message edited by: chemincreux ]
 
Posted by Papio. (# 4201) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by rosamundi:
quote:
Originally posted by Custard.:
Only knee-high?

Knee-high stacks of books are too easy to trip over...

They're all stacked against the walls.

Deborah

I must admit that immediate thought was: "is that all?" [Razz]
 
Posted by _-_-_lucy_-_-_ (# 10465) on :
 
Is it really worth reading?

I have bought the book and know the general storyline but have never got past the first few pages. I will go and see the film when it comes out but only because I will want to argue with people about it [Devil] .

So does ANYONE think it is worth reading even if it is just for arguments sake?
 
Posted by Papio. (# 4201) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by _-_-_lucy_-_-_:
So does ANYONE think it is worth reading even if it is just for arguments sake?

Well, Pants and Cometchaser both stated that they enjoyed it.....
 
Posted by Keren-Happuch (# 9818) on :
 
Various people have told me that it's unintentionally hilarious, and if I'd got round to reading it back then I might or might not have agreed with them. As it is, I didn't, and now there's such a huge hype around it, and sales soar every time anybody debunks it, I'm loath to give Mr Brown any royalties or even PLR.
 
Posted by Auntie Doris (# 9433) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Papio.:
quote:
Originally posted by _-_-_lucy_-_-_:
So does ANYONE think it is worth reading even if it is just for arguments sake?

Well, Pants and Cometchaser both stated that they enjoyed it.....
Yeah I read it, and enjoyed it (not sure it is something I should be admitting to though!!)

Auntie Doris x
 
Posted by alexamenos (# 11228) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by IngoB:
quote:
Originally posted by narnie83:
And why does such a lame book get its own board, along with The Bible and Church tradition???!

Because "this board is sponsored by Focus Radio, who are providing a Christian response to the book on their website", I guess.
That would be us, I guess.

Four reasons why we think DVC is worth discussing (in no particular order):

1. Because it's so big - the biggest-selling ever hardback adult fiction title, apparently.

2. Because of DB's claims that it's based on truth and history, i.e. not just fiction

3. Because it presses so many buttons in contemporary culture (e.g. all the Sacred Feminine / goddess stuff; the Church as a conspiracy, etc.)

4. Because so many people take it seriously - perhaps because they don't know much about the Bible or Church history.
 
Posted by Papio. (# 4201) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by alexamenos:
1. Because it's so big - the biggest-selling ever hardback adult fiction title, apparently.

And yet it is still apparently possible to believe that "people aren't stupid". Gosh.

If you are right about how well it has sold, than that is the single most depressing fact I have learned in ages.
 
Posted by alexamenos (# 11228) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Papio.:
quote:
Originally posted by alexamenos:
1. Because it's so big - the biggest-selling ever hardback adult fiction title, apparently.

And yet it is still apparently possible to believe that "people aren't stupid". Gosh.

If you are right about how well it has sold, than that is the single most depressing fact I have learned in ages.

This comes from the Daily Telegraph, so it must be gospel.
[Big Grin]
 
Posted by Papio. (# 4201) on :
 
[Killing me]
 
Posted by rosamundi (# 2495) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Papio.:
quote:
Originally posted by rosamundi:
quote:
Originally posted by Custard.:
Only knee-high?

Knee-high stacks of books are too easy to trip over...

They're all stacked against the walls.

Deborah

I must admit that immediate thought was: "is that all?" [Razz]
Those are the books that aren't in either of the 6 foot bookcases, the boxes under the bed, the four-foot bookcase in the sitting room, the drinks cabinet (I think I'm supposed to keep glasses in there or something), or the eighteen feet of shelving at my parents' house.

The man that's coming round to design my fitted bedroom furniture is going to have a bit of a shock, I think.

Deborah
 
Posted by Poppy (# 2000) on :
 
I read it as people kept coming onto another website where I post and saying 'Christianity is a lie cos Dan Brown says so, na, nah, na, na nah.'

I can speed read but it took about two hours as I kept chucking it across the room in irritation. It is daft, poorly researched, cardboard characters and a plot you could sketch out on the back of an envelope. I'm all for a mindless read at the end of a long day with a nice glass of wine and some ambient music but people take this stuff seriously and that is scarey.

On the other hand I know people who think dolphins are the ascended masters who are communitating from the 14th dimension so Dan Brown is sane in comparison.
 
Posted by _-_-_lucy_-_-_ (# 10465) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by alexamenos:
quote:
Originally posted by Papio.:
quote:
Originally posted by alexamenos:
1. Because it's so big - the biggest-selling ever hardback adult fiction title, apparently.

And yet it is still apparently possible to believe that "people aren't stupid". Gosh.

If you are right about how well it has sold, than that is the single most depressing fact I have learned in ages.

This comes from the Daily Telegraph, so it must be gospel.
[Big Grin]

[Killing me] [Killing me]
 
Posted by Papio. (# 4201) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by rosamundi:
quote:
Originally posted by Papio.:
quote:
Originally posted by rosamundi:
quote:
Originally posted by Custard.:
Only knee-high?

Knee-high stacks of books are too easy to trip over...

They're all stacked against the walls.

Deborah

I must admit that immediate thought was: "is that all?" [Razz]
Those are the books that aren't in either of the 6 foot bookcases, the boxes under the bed, the four-foot bookcase in the sitting room, the drinks cabinet (I think I'm supposed to keep glasses in there or something), or the eighteen feet of shelving at my parents' house.

The man that's coming round to design my fitted bedroom furniture is going to have a bit of a shock, I think.

Deborah

Oh, ok. Fair enough. [Big Grin]
 
Posted by Anselmina (# 3032) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by _-_-_lucy_-_-_:

So does ANYONE think it is worth reading even if it is just for arguments sake?

It could be argued that there aren't many things worth reading. However, worthiness doesn't say whether or not it's enjoyable or readable!

The only way to know if you think it's worth it is to read it yourself.
 
Posted by Mousethief (# 953) on :
 
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. If I started a "realistic" novel that in the first 100 pages said Chicago was only 100 miles from Miami, Florida, that would be as far as I read. When it's so easy to get facts like that right, getting them wrong is a sign of abject laziness, or total disregard for one's readers.

[ 02. April 2006, 18:46: Message edited by: Mousethief ]
 
Posted by nicolemrw (# 28) on :
 
I read it when the reserve list at the library got to be well over 1000, figured I ought to have some idea what my patrons were devouring so eagerly. I realized pretty quickly it was just rehashed "Holy Blood, Holy Grail", which I'd read back in the 80s cause I was interested in grail mythology. Wasn't overly impressed with HBHG, but it was fun. DVC struck me as being a mildly enjoyable potboiler. A beach book, you know what I mean. Left me scratching my head how it had suddenly gotten so big. I mean, it's not the quality of the writing, 'cause thats so-so. And it's not the conspiracy theory stuff, 'cause thats not original, and HBHG never made this kinda' stir, so why?

Now if you want strange conspiracies in real literature, I recomend Foccult's Pendulum, by Umberto Eco.
 
Posted by kempis3 (# 9792) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by alexamenos:
quote:
Originally posted by IngoB:
quote:
Originally posted by narnie83:
And why does such a lame book get its own board, along with The Bible and Church tradition???!

Because "this board is sponsored by Focus Radio, who are providing a Christian response to the book on their website", I guess.
That would be us, I guess.

Four reasons why we think DVC is worth discussing (in no particular order):

1. Because it's so big - the biggest-selling ever hardback adult fiction title, apparently.

2. Because of DB's claims that it's based on truth and history, i.e. not just fiction

3. Because it presses so many buttons in contemporary culture (e.g. all the Sacred Feminine / goddess stuff; the Church as a conspiracy, etc.)

4. Because so many people take it seriously - perhaps because they don't know much about the Bible or Church history.

There is a lot of truth in this posting.

Surely, just as raw fact, DVC is the literary phenomenon of our times -- good or bad; truth or lies; literature or rubbish; elitist or hoi polloi; loved or hated -- the book is a phenomenon.

The above quote covers some interesting points and these are worth discussing -- my view is that the church deserves all it gets for its the lies and deceptions it has done, and many people are waiting for anything to bring it to its knees.

The issue has already been discussed so many times on SofF and yet it still provokes discussion (now no doubt because of the film) and so it must have something to say for our times.
 
Posted by Sir Kevin (# 3492) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by The Coot:
Haven't read it.

Life is too short to voluntarily read bollocks. There is too much important stuff that I need to read that I'm unable to, that I don't want to spend what little time I have available reading fiction.

Especially fiction critical of my faith tradition, and not critical in a constructive way.

I'm with Coot here, and for similar reasons. I shan't be reading it.
 
Posted by BroJames (# 9636) on :
 
I've read it (but then I have to be prized off the ingredients list on the cornflakes packet at breakfast). I wasn't going to but a friend lent me a copy.

I rate it as a sort of Jeffrey Archer lite. Some echoes of Day of the Jackal, but less credible and less well plotted. Where he was writing about stuff I knew about it seemed to me to be mostly rubbish, and the excellent low key UK TV programme presented by Tony Robinson (who certainly has no religious axe to grind) made it pretty clear that most of the rest of the 'facts' were rubbish too.

Dan Brown's idea of the RC church as some huge high-powered secretive organisation was frankly laughable as was his conception of the early church.

A great deal of suggestio falsi and suppressio veri. I wouldn't care so much if the hunger for conspiracy theories didn't make so many so ready to believe it. So easy to believe in a black and white conspiracy compared to the real-life complexity of history.

[typo]

[ 02. April 2006, 20:32: Message edited by: BroJames ]
 
Posted by Papio. (# 4201) on :
 
I have to say that I don't understand the whole "I don't want to read fiction" thing.
 
Posted by Papio. (# 4201) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by kempis3:
so it must have something to say for our times.

It must? [Eek!]
 
Posted by Roseofsharon (# 9657) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Mousethief:
quote:
Originally posted by Roseofsharon:
With at least two centuries of well written books,

And that's just the 4th and 5th Centuries CE!
Silly me!
I was thinking just of the modern novel...then there's all the non-fiction stuff.
Sigh! So many books, so little time...certainly not enough to waste on Danny Boy.
 
Posted by Gextvedde (# 11084) on :
 
I read it because I'd seen so many other people reading it. My wife had read it first and warned me that it was crap (she likes trashy novels and didn't bother finishing The Da Vinci Code) but I must admit, I found it entertaining. Sure, it's badly written and factually complete bollocks (and since when has Maidstone been on the outskirts of London Dan Brown you pillock) but somehow it kept me going. Mind you, I was on holiday at the time and the sun, wine, food and rest may well have affected my critical judgement.
 
Posted by Mousethief (# 953) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Papio.:
I have to say that I don't understand the whole "I don't want to read fiction" thing.

Oh but that's easy. Because most if not all of the fiction I have read (outside Fantasy/Sci Fi) has been totally unrewarding to me. Why should I want to read any more of it?
 
Posted by Al Eluia (# 864) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Barnabas62:
What I guess those us of who are Christian have to face is that loads of folks who aren't Christian are much more comfortable with the notion of a married Jesus who had sex than with an unmarried Jesus who didn't. In this sexualised era, people who don't have sex "must have something wrong with them." Celibacy isn't seen as a sign of spirituality or holiness, but a sign of oddness.

Or a sign that you're a child molester! (I guess that goes under oddness.)

Last Xmas Mrs. Eluia gave the book to me. I made her take it back because of all I'd heard about the ahistorical crap he passes off as fact. It wouldn't bother me to read it necessarily, but I can get it from the library. I do not want to subsidize Mr. Brown.
 
Posted by saysay (# 6645) on :
 
I’ve read it. It was recommended by a friend with a vague “well, it might help get people thinking about feminine aspects of the divine.” And I was curious and wanted to know what people were talking about.

I found it interesting to try to guess which new-age theory Brown was goiing to try to incorporate next. And I thought it was unintentiously hilarious in some spots.
 
Posted by Petrified (# 10667) on :
 
I shall probably try to read it sometime, but only because it has now taken over from Victoria Beckham's biography as the most common book on the shelves of the local charity shop.

It will cost 50p and the money goes to charity.
 
Posted by PhilA (# 8792) on :
 
I read it and quite enjoyed it as a trashy novel - but that is all it is. Why anyone takes it seriously and actually believes that it is truthful is beyond me.
 
Posted by Adeodatus (# 4992) on :
 
I also haven't read beyond the first couple of chapters of the Code. But for anyone who's interested, BBC Radio 4's "Book of the week" this week is excerpts from The Holy Blood and the Holy Grail which *ahem* covers similar territory. You can listen to it online by going here. If you really care that much....
 
Posted by PeaceFeet (# 11001) on :
 
This book is a literary version of the tweenybopper boy-band McFly.

Most people that I know who like it keep asking me the question, "What if it WAS true?" as a way of trying to open up a debate. My answer is always going to be "It isn't; go away."

Unfortunately they seem to respond, "Ah, but what if it WAS true???"

I conclude that the pleasure a lot of people derive from it is that they can annoy Christians with it. [Devil]
 
Posted by Thurible (# 3206) on :
 
I was on the train once when every third person (old ladies with their knitting in their laps, be-suited businessmen, students, mums with kids, etc.) appeared to be reading it, so when a friend said he'd finished reading it and I could borrow it if I liked, I did.

It was absolute, utter, mindblowing crap.

It was quite a fun way to while away a couple of hours though - sort of like drinking Lambrusco. A complete waste of time but better than a poke in the eye with a sharp stick.

Thurible
 
Posted by The Great Gumby (# 10989) on :
 
I haven't read it. I don't want to read it. I have a huge list of books I want to read because they're good, or interesting, and I really don't want to add trash like this just because everyone else has read it, especially if the general opinion is that it's crap.

OTOH, I can't stand it when people complain or criticise something (e.g. Jerry Springer The Opera) they haven't seen/read. If I want to tell people who ask me about it that I think TDVC is a load of bollocks, I've got to have read it first, if only for the sake of consistency. So the question is, do I read it just so I can enjoy talking about how crap it is? At the moment, the lure of proper literature is keeping me on the straight and narrow, but for how long?
 
Posted by Pasco (# 388) on :
 
Drinks to the MASSES:

Merchandising Author Supplies ‘Secret Evidence’ Sensationalism

(Money Is No Trouble)
 
Posted by Gextvedde (# 11084) on :
 
Probably till you go on holiday and a friend lends it to you. In a moment of weakness you just can't resist it and before you know it, you've wasted two hours. Don't do it Gumby! You'll want that time back!

[ 03. April 2006, 10:59: Message edited by: Gextvedde ]
 
Posted by CrookedCucumber (# 10792) on :
 
I would read the book if it were any good as a novel. The fact that it's full of inaccuracies about Christian tradition and Church history wouldn't deter me. After all, it is fiction. I wouldn't be reading it to learn about Jesus.

But is it any good as a novel? Or, perhaps more to the point, is it better as a novel than (say) Terry Pratchett's latest books, which I haven't had an opportunity to read yet?

My feeling is that there are far better books with claims on my time, so I doubt I'll be reading DVC. This is nothing to do with Christianity, and everything to do with the quality of fiction.
 
Posted by Marvin the Martian (# 4360) on :
 
It's on my list to read. Right after War & Peace, the entire Left Behind series, Volumes 6 thru 9 of the Journal of Molecular Biology and Five Go To The Beach.

I may skim through the Collected Works of Shakespeare first, as well. If I have time.
 
Posted by Freelance Monotheist (# 8990) on :
 
I read it after having watched the debunking of it on The Beeb some time ago. My mum had bought or borrowed it and had mentioned that his grasp of grammar, incorrect use of words or making new ones up and the cardboard cutout characters made it appalling and she was right!
I live about an hour away from the Louvre and they actually had a sign up explaining the Priory of Sion thing, that the P and the S on the windows stand for something totally different, can't remember what though, but it's something like the initials of someone who helped build the museum.
I enjoyed the code breaking bits, didn't know about the Fibonacci Sequence and thought the anagrams were fun. Every so often, I'd exclaim "that's not a word!" or "that sentence isn't grammatically correct!" but still kept reading, but I hate leaving a book unfinished, however bad it is.
I most certainly will not be seeing the film, as films are never as good as the book IMHO, and this was a bad book!
 
Posted by chive (# 208) on :
 
I read it and I repent. Twas utter garbage.
 
Posted by Jengie Jon (# 273) on :
 
When I discovered that I had met one of the people who appear in it, in real life, I considered reading it for five minutes.
Then I recalled
and my sanity drive reasserted itself.

Jengie
 
Posted by cometchaser (# 10353) on :
 
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.

C

PS - this is not to say that I think authors shouldn't TRY to get their facts right. but if they are telling a fiction story, they should not be held tp the standards of a scientfic paper.
 
Posted by Mousethief (# 953) on :
 
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.
 
Posted by Sister Mary Precious (# 8755) on :
 
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.
 
Posted by chemincreux (# 10635) on :
 
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!
 
Posted by lazystudent (# 5172) on :
 
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.
 
Posted by CrookedCucumber (# 10792) on :
 
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.
 
Posted by Chorister (# 473) on :
 
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
 
Posted by LeRoc (# 3216) on :
 
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 ]
 
Posted by Papio. (# 4201) on :
 
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.
 
Posted by Barnabas62 (# 9110) on :
 
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 ]
 
Posted by RuthW (# 13) on :
 
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.
 
Posted by Grits (# 4169) on :
 
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.
 
Posted by KenWritez (# 3238) on :
 
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.
 
Posted by Sopralto (# 10245) on :
 
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.
 
Posted by Mousethief (# 953) on :
 
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?
 
Posted by Grits (# 4169) on :
 
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.
 
Posted by Mousethief (# 953) on :
 
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?
 
Posted by Grits (# 4169) on :
 
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.
 
Posted by Mousethief (# 953) on :
 
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.
 
Posted by cometchaser (# 10353) on :
 
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
 
Posted by CrookedCucumber (# 10792) on :
 
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.
 
Posted by Barnabas62 (# 9110) on :
 
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.
 
Posted by Grits (# 4169) on :
 
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]
 
Posted by Barnabas62 (# 9110) on :
 
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.
 
Posted by CrookedCucumber (# 10792) on :
 
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.
 
Posted by Barnabas62 (# 9110) on :
 
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.
 
Posted by The Great Gumby (# 10989) on :
 
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.
 
Posted by CrookedCucumber (# 10792) on :
 
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.
 
Posted by Shiny_Halo (# 10085) on :
 
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]
 
Posted by KenWritez (# 3238) on :
 
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.
 
Posted by cometchaser (# 10353) on :
 
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....
 
Posted by Amethyst (# 11068) on :
 
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 ]
 
Posted by CrookedCucumber (# 10792) on :
 
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?
 
Posted by Moo (# 107) on :
 
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
 
Posted by KenWritez (# 3238) on :
 
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.
 
Posted by Grits (# 4169) on :
 
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.
 
Posted by Dharmasabha (# 11248) on :
 
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.
 
Posted by Sister Mary Precious (# 8755) on :
 
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]
 
Posted by Tiffer (# 3073) on :
 
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?
 
Posted by chemincreux (# 10635) on :
 
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]
 
Posted by Autenrieth Road (# 10509) on :
 
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 ]
 
Posted by Golden Key (# 1468) on :
 
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?
 
Posted by Poppy (# 2000) on :
 
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...
 
Posted by Grits (# 4169) on :
 
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.
 
Posted by Surfing Madness (# 11087) on :
 
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.
 
Posted by The Royal Spaniel (# 40) on :
 
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]
 
Posted by MarkthePunk (# 683) on :
 
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.
 
Posted by chemincreux (# 10635) on :
 
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]
 
Posted by Autenrieth Road (# 10509) on :
 
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.
 
Posted by thetraveller (# 11249) on :
 
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.
 
Posted by AnglicanAvenger (# 11252) on :
 
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.
 
Posted by Autenrieth Road (# 10509) on :
 
[Razz] . I adore the Glass Pyramid! Including (most ingeniously IMHO) the way it makes you (well, me) really look at the Louvre's architecture as well instead of taking it for granted.
 
Posted by da_musicman (# 1018) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by AnglicanAvenger:
(Rule of Four was much better),

Oh No. No.No.No.No. Rule of Four was awful at least Da Vinci Code was pacy.
 
Posted by angelica37 (# 8478) on :
 
I like the glass pyramid too
I wasn't going to bother reading the DaVinci Code but borrowed it from my brother who reads any old rubbish. I then borrowed and read 'Angels and Demons' 'Deception Point' and 'Digital Fortress' (OK my brother isn't alone)
I think Dan Brown cooks up a reasonable thriller of the holiday reading variety with unconvincing characters in implausible situations and that's it.
 
Posted by AnglicanAvenger (# 11252) on :
 
So, Authenrieth Road, what you're saying is I should use my distaste for the glass pyramid to heighten my appreciation of the beautiful bits?

And, da_musicman, IMO the DVC wasn't pacy, but incredibly rushed.
 
Posted by Autenrieth Road (# 10509) on :
 
Well, no. If you don't like the pyramid in and of itself, then you're stuck. [Frown] .

I guess it helps that intrinsically I don't dislike the Glass Pyramid. So I'm definitely not thinking "yuck, I hate this ugly thing here" when I'm in the courtyard of the Louvre. I do think, "this is startlingly different." But then I think about the ways in which it's different, and then that makes me notice much more what the Louvre's architecture itself is really like, rather than just looking at it and thinking, "ho hum, more fancy stuff." And then I enjoy looking at both together or either separately.

(Speaking in the historical present, thinking back to 1991.)

To obligatorily relate this to The Da Vinci Code, one could apply the same logic and use TDVC to think about what makes bad or pot-boiling or popularly simplistic writing, and then compare it to other writing. I'm not able to put in words the mechanics of how writing works; I wish I could.

[Uh-oh, now I've gone and drawn a parallel between TDVC and the Glass Pyramid; which probably works for Anglican Avenger, but not for me cause I think the GP is really clever and TDVC is merely a cheap thriller. Fooey.]

[ 19. April 2006, 18:02: Message edited by: Autenrieth Road ]
 
Posted by Andromache (# 11287) on :
 
Hmmm. I borrowed TDVC off a French friend, which had two advantages: a) I didn't have to contribute to Dan Brown's takings; and b) I could kid myself that I wasn't wasting my time as I was practising my French. I therefore missed out on the aforementioned bad grammar, which would probably have driven me round the bend.

I pretty much took the view of others on this thread that it's not fair to pontificate on the crapness of something until one has at least an idea of what one is talking about. I also wanted to know what the fuss was about: if so many people are reading it, there must be something in it, right?

How naive I was. It really was dire, not only in terms of its spurious historical basis but also as a piece of fiction. Nonetheless, I did find it passingly amusing for a holiday read and I wouldn't stop anyone else from reading it; neither would I recommend it, however, even for the reason of having more credibility when you explain to gullible people why it has no validity, since you can quite easily get the basic thesis from the many articles that have been published on it. Its enduring popularity does mean that I have to have an answer when people challenge me about it and so I can't dismiss it entirely, but I sure would like to.
 
Posted by Pearalis (# 9035) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by nicolemrw:
I read it when the reserve list at the library got to be well over 1000, figured I ought to have some idea what my patrons were devouring so eagerly.

You jumped the queue?

The bookstore salesperson gushed when I bought it, all "Have you read his others? No? It doesn't matter ..." On exiting the bookstore reading the back cover, a bloke selling icecreams wearing a Cat in The Hat hat (seriously) yelled out to me, "Oh, you've got TDVC". I smiled, quickly shoved the book in its bag and kept walking. Obviously a conversation starter.

Read it over a couple of days, a good, lightweight page-turner. Enjoyed it, not a genre I have read before so it surprised me.

Mum asked to borrow it over 6 months ago. She got some way in but dropped it, citing too many confusing foreign names. I wonder if she found the rude bit. Saw it on the dressing table in the spare room at Christmas. Haven't retrieved it as yet but a good fast and light read for anytime you need an excuse to avoid re-attempting LOTR [Big Grin]
 
Posted by Tumphouse (# 11321) on :
 
The Da Vinci Code is simply a pot boiler, written in the style of thrillers aimed at men, or so I am led to believe. As such it is not great literature. The subject matter made it interesting, to me at least, as I have long been a fan of mad books about the grail etc. I read Angels and Demoms too, out of curiosity, and found it a similarly 'good read', but an attemt to read one of his earlier novels, Deception Point, ended in total boredom, because I had no interest in the subject matter. I am looking forward to his next, featuring the Masons. Should be a hoot!
I am sure all this has alredy been said, but I am new to the discussion group and this is my first posting
 
Posted by Timothy the Obscure (# 292) on :
 
I actually picked up the book for the first time today (it was in the waiting room when a client was late). I read the first chapter without throwing it across the room, but it was a close thing. I wish DB had submitted it to my college creative writing teacher (RIP)--he'd still be nursing his wounds.
 
Posted by art dunce (# 9258) on :
 
Ken Writez said:
quote:
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.

Well put. This was my experience as well. The worst part was when I put it down, all of my non-Christian friends said that it was because I was frightened that it was going to shake my faith. [Roll Eyes]
The albino kept making me think of that awful Chevy Chase, Goldie Hawn movie, "Foul Play"...
 
Posted by Father Gregory (# 310) on :
 
Rome's up to no good. (mutter, mutter). They've been hiding the Truth for millennia (mutter, mutter,); Jesus must have had sex if he was normal, (mutter, mutter).

I think laughter is the most appropriate response. Let's face it ... it's got damn all to do with evidence.
 
Posted by PeteCanada (# 10422) on :
 
Like others here, I barely got past page 2. But then I read some of his "source materials" about 20 years ago... I thought those were crap then, and they surely are still crap now. Amazing how many people never pick up on the disclaimer on the verso of the title page: This is a work of fiction... or such phrasing.
 
Posted by in the garden (# 11383) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Pânts:
quote:
Originally posted by cometchaser:
ah what the hell.

I LIKED the Da Vinci Code.

the thesis is crap. so what? I actually say the writing was good. Better than Ian McKellen, whom I couldn't get through (he seem so infatuated with his power of description... blech [Projectile] ).

The DVC was interesting, and fast paced, and a kick. I like history-mysteries. I enjoyed all the silly coding, etc. For that reason I loved Angels and Demons too. I'm a sucker for a secret code.

I went back and read HBHG afterwards and lost interest in the conspiracy theories of it all. but I love a good fast paced book full of mystery and codes.

so sue me.

Comet

Likewise

 
Posted by in the garden (# 11383) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by jlg:
That's how SteveTom signed off his OP on the Suppressed Gospels thread.

To be honest, what with the combination of lots of hoopla in the press about the book and the fact that it stayed available only in expensive hardcover up until a couple of days ago, at least here in the US, I never intended to read it either.

In the interim, I did buy a cheap paperback copy of Dan Brown's earlier bookAngels & Demons, which the bookstore clerk assured me was pretty much the same plot outline and perhaps a better read. It definitely fell into the beach book/long airplane trip category, and not an especially wonderful specimen, either. So I had no intention of reading Da Vinci Code.

As it happened, however, a Shipmate offered to pass along his paperback copy, so I did read it.

My verdict:

YMMV, so let us know whether you read the book, and why or why not, and what you thought of it if you did read it.


 
Posted by in the garden (# 11383) on :
 
I am a painter. I began to paint when I was down with cancer. As my skills progressed, I wanted to test myself by copying other artists, Okeefe, Gerome and, yup, Da Vinci. If there was a book of his work available to me, I bought it, studied it until my eyes bled, but the rewards were tremendous, as I am now a gallery represented painter.
This is how the Da Vinci Code was presented to me, and I read it from cover to cover. It is a juicy bit of fiction, but it reads like Spy vs. Spy....cops and robbers are boring, but the plot is imaginative and shows how a nuance can be manipulated.My point is that many of Da Vinci's figures are somewhat angrogenous, check out the angel sitting at the foot of the "Madonna Of The Rocks", so the premise for the whole book can be called into question based soley on the artists reditions themselves.
Don't take a fictional book and make it into something it's not. Read the book...research the artists works, form your own opinions and remember, the bible encourages us to study and learn, not to blindly accept direction from others.
It makes me so sad that people can have such a fear of shift in faith that they would close their eyes to the whole world. I don't mean you personally, but your comment did strike a chord.
The church has drawn so much attention to this because of their fear....of what?
I've heard more than a few times the Shakspearian quote "me thinks the lady doth protest too much.."
Wouldn't it have been better if they had said
"it's a juicy bit of fiction" and refrained from making a mountain out of a molehill?
Let's not censor the written word....if we do, the day may come when we will not be able to have discusson forums like this..remember the sword cuts both ways.
This book will not hurt you...it may bored you, or it may delight you. It might be just the right height to prop up that table leg, or could be donated to the library or for recycling...as for my copy, it has been "cored" and I use it to carry around my little tubes of watercolors...after all the cover is beautiful, don't you think?
 
Posted by Louise (# 30) on :
 
Hello 'in the garden'
Welcome to the boards. I'm not totally sure why you're re-posting entire posts from earlier in the thread. It makes things a bit confusing. Are you having problems cutting and pasting the relevant bits into your own posts? I've deleted the double-post, but I'll leave the other ones for now.

We have a practice thread on one of our other boards where you can get some help and advice and try out your posts to see how they look - UBB Practice thread.

best wishes

Louise

Da Vinci Code Board host

[ 10. May 2006, 14:59: Message edited by: Louise ]
 
Posted by in the garden (# 11383) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Louise:
Hello 'in the garden'
Welcome to the boards. I'm not totally sure why you're re-posting entire posts from earlier in the thread. It makes things a bit confusing. Are you having problems cutting and pasting the relevant bits into your own posts? I've deleted the double-post, but I'll leave the other ones for now.

We have a practice thread on one of our other boards where you can get some help and advice and try out your posts to see how they look - UBB Practice thread.

best wishes

Louise

Da Vinci Code Board host


 
Posted by in the garden (# 11383) on :
 
Yes, Louise, oops...having a hard time with the computer over here. Thank you for the advise and help...I'll try to do better next time.(My husband says if I fry one more mother board....)Thank you, Pam
 
Posted by Louise (# 30) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by in the garden:
Yes, Louise, oops...having a hard time with the computer over here. Thank you for the advise and help...I'll try to do better next time.(My husband says if I fry one more mother board....)Thank you, Pam

Hello Pam,
If you click on the little "inverted commas" icon you see at the top right hand side of the post you want to reply to, then that post magically appears correctly-formatted with its code in your posting window. You then just type your message underneath in the same window - as I've done here, hit 'preview post' to check all is well, and then hit 'add reply'.

Have a go on our friendly practice thread [Smile] and you'll soon get the hang of it.

cheers
Louise

DVC Host
 
Posted by in the garden (# 11383) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Louise:
quote:
Originally posted by in the garden:
Yes, Louise, oops...having a hard time with the computer over here. Thank you for the advise and help...I'll try to do better next time.(My husband says if I fry one more mother board....)Thank you, Pam

Hello Pam,
If you click on the little "inverted commas" icon you see at the top right hand side of the post you want to reply to, then that post magically appears correctly-formatted with its code in your posting window. You then just type your message underneath in the same window - as I've done here, hit 'preview post' to check all is well, and then hit 'add reply'.

Have a go on our friendly practice thread [Smile] and you'll soon get the hang of it.

cheers
Louise

DVC Host

By Georgia, I think she's got it!!!! [Hot and Hormonal] Who says you can't teach an old dog new tricks, you're a peach! Yiippee! Pam
 
Posted by in the garden (# 11383) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by saysay:
I’ve read it. It was recommended by a friend with a vague “well, it might help get people thinking about feminine aspects of the divine.” And I was curious and wanted to know what people were talking about.

I found it interesting to try to guess which new-age theory Brown was goiing to try to incorporate next. And I thought it was unintentiously hilarious in some spots.

This is something that interested me greatly in the book, and I'm glad you mentioned it. Historically, women have really taken a beating..no pun. I recently read that in a literal translation of the original text that Mary wasn't a floozy, but a woman of the city, and that Phoebe was a minister not a nurse...I wonder if part of this extreme reaction to DVC is the backlast against the treatment of women within the church.It would be very hard for a religious institution to subjugate, isolate its female members if Christ recognized them as equals, and I'm not so sure he didn't. Sometimes I wonder if maybe Adam shouldn't have taken a bigger bite.
 
Posted by Teufelchen (# 10158) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by in the garden:
quote:
Originally posted by saysay:
I’ve read it. It was recommended by a friend with a vague “well, it might help get people thinking about feminine aspects of the divine.” And I was curious and wanted to know what people were talking about.

I found it interesting to try to guess which new-age theory Brown was goiing to try to incorporate next. And I thought it was unintentiously hilarious in some spots.

This is something that interested me greatly in the book, and I'm glad you mentioned it. Historically, women have really taken a beating..no pun. I recently read that in a literal translation of the original text that Mary wasn't a floozy,
This one doesn't need special translations. Just search any online translation for the string 'Magdal', and see which verses come up. Read the appropriate passages, and decide for yourself. It's a myth that special scholarly knowledge is needed for this. The myths all come from exegesis that's just as shaky as the DVC sort. Example: Mary M as either slut or wife: if you read the story of the woman taken in adultery, and the story of the wedding at Cana (the two passages most often cited in these connections) you'll see that she just doesn't appear in either story. It's a false dichotomy based on centuries of lousy scholarship pulling in different directions.

T.
 
Posted by Grits (# 4169) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by PeteCanada:
Amazing how many people never pick up on the disclaimer on the verso of the title page: This is a work of fiction... or such phrasing.

I feel like that's all at issue here. If you read it as just another novel (albeit, far from a really well writen one), it's palatable, and the "conspiracy" is fun and intriguing. As for people who are reading it as some kind of theological revelation, well, they deserve whatever they get.
 
Posted by Freddy (# 365) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Grits:
quote:
Originally posted by PeteCanada:
Amazing how many people never pick up on the disclaimer on the verso of the title page: This is a work of fiction... or such phrasing.

I feel like that's all at issue here. If you read it as just another novel (albeit, far from a really well writen one), it's palatable, and the "conspiracy" is fun and intriguing. As for people who are reading it as some kind of theological revelation, well, they deserve whatever they get.
So true.

Except that I have suffer whenever some new congregation member reads it and thinks it has an important message that needs to be discussed with me. Usually at length, as I, having never read it, explain why it is unlikely that the church could manage a conspiracy to hide the fact that Mary and Jesus were married with living descendants for over two millenia. [Killing me] [Projectile]
 
Posted by Ian Climacus (# 944) on :
 
Haven't read it. Might borrow it from the library.


Those in the US who have Symantec products might be able to see the movie for free though: I just received an e-mailing telling me if I buy one of their products I get two free tickets. Valid in the US only.
 
Posted by thetraveller (# 11249) on :
 
Hi all. Have now read "The books the Church Suppressed" I thought it would be quite boring originally, but it turned out to be quite good and informative, all be it from a biased view point. For those who don't want to go back 2 pages, I thought that TDVC was Ok, a good adventure romp if you like, but wanted to get perspective on the so called "history". The problem for me is that books that take history and information out of context like TDVC tend to be more exciting to read than ones that stick to the facts.

[ 13. May 2006, 14:02: Message edited by: thetraveller ]
 
Posted by Qoheleth. (# 9265) on :
 


(but I've got to do a column for the Parish Rag about it [Frown] )

Q.
 
Posted by Tumphouse (# 11321) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Qoheleth.:


(but I've got to do a column for the Parish Rag about it [Frown] )

Q.


 
Posted by Tumphouse (# 11321) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Qoheleth.:


(but I've got to do a column for the Parish Rag about it [Frown] )

Q.

OK, I made a mistake and posted the quote without adding my comment. Sorry.
Now, 'Preacher', how can you claim your screen name, that of a wise thinker, and not bother to read something which is the subject of so much interest, which leads to lots of discussion with people who know you are a Christian and want a Christian opinion, but an informed one, and which you plan to write about?
 
Posted by TrudyTrudy (I say unto you) (# 5647) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by PeteCanada:
Amazing how many people never pick up on the disclaimer on the verso of the title page: This is a work of fiction... or such phrasing.

My local Chapters store had it shelved in "True Crime" at one point. I noticed this while having coffee there with a friend and almost went insane and had to be held down.
 
Posted by Qoheleth. (# 9265) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Tumphouse:
'Preacher', how can you claim your screen name, that of a wise thinker, and not bother to read something which leads to lots of discussion with people who know you are a Christian and want a Christian opinion, but an informed one

(in no particular order)

If the level of interest warrants it, I shall certainly read the book and/or see the film.

Q.

in list mode
 
Posted by ladyinred (# 10688) on :
 
Read the bit on the website and it is pretty dire. Nonetheless I do feel a strange kind of 'rubber-necking at an accident' need to read the rest of it.

My main observation (apart from the shocking dialogue) - it's Paris, Jim, but not as we know it. If he's staying at the Ritz (Place Vendôme), to get to the Louvre should be about a two-minute drive down the rue de Rivoli. Apparently it's a fair old fly through the Parisian night, with the police speeding as well (like that'd ever happen). Whatever route did they take? [Eek!] [Confused]

I also had to titter about religion in France being a birth right that you display to everyone. Is this some strange parallel France that I know not of????

Dame en Rouge x
 
Posted by Golden Key (# 1468) on :
 
This is a rehashing of several of my posts from previous DVC threads. Apologies for any editing mistakes.

SPOILERS
.
.
.
.
.


Well, to start off:

I loved this book. It was very well-written, it was fun, it had historical mysteries, archaeology, adventure, spirituality, romance, character depth, and puzzles!

I think my favorite character was Silas, oddly enough. That poor man was really trying to do the Right Thing--but he was so abused and used that he really couldn't. I was so glad he found peace at the last.

I don't know whether the ideas in the book are true, but I don't think they're absolutely impossible or implausible.

If I may suggest:

If you do read the book, put aside everything you've heard about it. Just get into the story.

I'd heard some intriguing mentions of it on the radio, and got on the library's waiting list. By the time I got the book, I'd totally forgotten what it was about--and having just waded through "Foucault's Pendulum", I wasn't sure I wanted to read *anything*. But I jumped in, and really enjoyed the book.

You don't have to believe any of the ideas to enjoy the story. Heck, you can root for characters who don't believe the ideas!

If you truly can't tolerate questions, then don't read the book. But if you can...enjoy!


To which a shipmate replied:

quote:
See, now right there that sounds like a great book review! (You should consider writing the inside of the dust-cover.)
One reason DVC is so popular is that it feeds certain hungers. Not just for conspiracy theories, or puzzles, or alternate history…but for the Feminine.

I’ve always had a soft spot for Mary Magdalene. She’s the only approachable woman in the gospels. She’s human. She traveled with Jesus and the disciples, she was the Apostle of the Resurrection, and she was Jesus’ friend.

There is not one word in the Bible that suggests she was a prostitute. It certainly looks like she was labeled as such in order to defame her.


As I mentioned earlier, DVC was exactly what I needed at the time I read it. I’d just slogged through “Foucault’s Pendulum”. What a desperately bleak and verbose book! Ten words where one would have been much better. IMHO, editing out 2/3 of the book and rearranging the rest would make for a huge improvement. As would the possibility of some hope! It was extremely depressing.

FP was such a horrible experience for me that I didn’t want to read anything else, ever again—and I’m a bookworm! But my turn came to get the library’s reserved copy of DVC—and it was a breath of fresh air. No, it’s not high literature—but that’s not what I needed at the time. It was a light, fun, adventurous read; it honored Mary Magdalene and the sacred feminine, and it was full of interesting ideas and puzzles. (I love playing with ideas.)

Sure, the characters could’ve had more depth. (Oddly, Silas had the most depth, and I did feel for the poor guy.) But the book went at a good pace, and I thought DB was smart to write it in such a way that it could easily be translated into a film.

If you want something a little more literary, try DB’s “Angels & Demons”. Also Katherine Neville’s “The Eight”, “The Rule of 4” by Ian Caldwell and Dustin Thomason, “The Seville Communion” by Arturo Perez-Reverte, and Steven Kotler’s “The Angle Quickest For Flight”. WARNING: they’re all rather haunting.
 
Posted by Lookin (# 10855) on :
 
After many sighs of "not going to read it" I have found my self succombing to pressure, and having had the book handed to me from friend I am just started out on the read.

Anyone else just starting/half way through?

I know I am incredibly late ; oh well.

At least I will feel more able to contribute once I have read the thing.

L
 
Posted by Louise (# 30) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by artichoke:
Hi there, I was recommended by one of your other posters to pop on here and share a response which I have written to The Da Vinci Code. I'm sure you're swamped with resources, but maybe you'd like it...

Da Vinci Response PDF

There will also be a talk online on the media page soon, but all of the material and more is covered in the document, so that's probably the better resource to check out.

Hope you find it helpful!

Liam

Moved from closed thread

L.

DVC Board Host
 


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