Not my usual fare, but a friend recommended it and I thought, why not? – I read The Da Vinci Code when it first came out and enjoyed it quite a lot, but then got upset a very short time later when I found out about the hoax the story was based on and which the story passed off as truth. (I loved Foucault’s Pendulum – called “A thinking man’s Da Vinci Code.”) So although Brown’s books looked tempting at times over the years, and a couple of my friends were avid followers, I didn’t read any more until now, after which I may read more.
Robert Langdon of The Da Vinci Code is still on hand, but he’s become quite well known throughout the world. He has money, connections, sources, charm and a photographic memory (or whatever that’s called). Kind of like a James Bond in his own way (as it looks like several movie reviewers have noted).
by Dan Brown
2017 / 463 pages
read by Paul Michael – 18h 10m
rating: A+ / suspense thriller
(read and listened)
This time Edmund Kirsch, one of Langdon’s many close friends and a renowned scientist, futurist and thinker, claims to have discovered something which will prove there is no basis for religion – no God, something along those lines. He tells the Catholic, Jewish and Muslim leaders to let them know before the actual announcement which might bring on trouble. Still, and before the official presentation of this discovery, one of the clerics is found dead in the desert but that’s the bare start of what’s coming because no good highly placed religious person would want this sort of thing getting around – what will they do to prevent it?
More to the point of the book are the very broadest of interpretation of the questions; “Where did we come from? Where are we going?” To my mind, that’s not the same question as “Does God exist?” but it’s close enough in some people’s minds. That said, some of the ideas in Brown’s book are quite interesting and new to me.
Brown’s writing has improved since The Da Vinci Code and is now that of a seasoned professional. The clunkiness is gone and he knows precisely how to keep stringing the tension out, when and how to add characters. how to skillfully make chapter endings into cliff-hangers, and how to make the reader burn that midnight oil.
He still bases his stories on controversial subjects and comes up with interesting conspiracies. Much of what’s included is accurate (Google whatever you want and see) and rather esoteric in the first place, then Brown lays a fictional story on top it. It’s a fun ride.
I haven’t had a chance to read this yet, but I still believe that the very first book – Angels & Demons – was far superior to The Da Vinci Code. And I had no idea it was based on a hoax. Interesting!