A murder in the silent, late night halls of the Louvre reveals a sinister plot to uncover a secret that has been protected by a clandestine society since the days of Christ. The victim is a high-ranking agent of this ancient society who, in the moments before his death, manages to leave gruesome clues at the scene that only his cryptographer daughter and her symbologist friend can untangle. The duo becomes both suspects and detectives searching not only for the murderer, but also the stunning secret he was charged to protect.
©2003 Dan Brown; (P)2004 W.F. Howes Ltd.
"Brown has assembled a whopper of a plot that will please both conspiracy buffs and thriller addicts." (Publishers Weekly)
"Brown's intricate plot delivers more satisfying twists than a licorice factory." (Booklist)
Classics,contemporary fiction, Politics, Philosophy, Economics - a weekly eye on The New Yorker & The Guardian and dense word style/play.
With the film due out shortly, and the prospect of cinema and a bite to eat one evening, I thought this was a good time to finally get the Da Vinci Code under my belt. Having listened to my wife enthuse after I gave her a paper copy of the book last Christmas, but really not being motivated to devote my spare time, I decided to down-load and listen during the course of my 35-40min car journey to and from work.
Happy to report that the Da Vinci Code works extremely well in this format. Jeff Harding's diction and style fit really well into the characters described - his voice carries the descriptions well, with some amusement along the way to a British ear. The manner in the action is compacted into almost real-time, the mix of clues and the now famous intricacies of plot carried me as a listener from one car journey to the next thinking over the clues and reaching for the Search Engine whenever I got a spare few minutes. Works really well as an audio book - who cares if there's a tailback off the slip road...
This book has some very mixed reviews. It is unique in my mind as the only book that I have ever hated to love. In many ways, the book is silly. It's popularity is almost defiantly due to it's apparent revelation of secrets, mixed with the 'holiday read' thriller genre that is is clearly a member of. In fact, I bought this book for the sole reason that I could tell people how bad it was, if the discussion arose. This, unfortunately, is not the case.
The plot was, in many ways, simplistic and obvious. In addition, a small amount of research reveals that the 'revelations' are in fact, historical forgeries, knowingly portrayed by the author as fact. This didn't bother me, as I assumed that the entire plot was fictitious, and to find there was, even forged, evidence, for the 'facts'.
The 'twist' in the tale annoyed me, largely because I had considered and dismissed it, thinking it 'too simple' to be true. On the contrary, and upon reflection, it wasn't too bad, and there were some clever things that I only really gathered after several times of listening. This pleased me, and I have grown to love, though resent to book.
The narration was, at first worrying. The first few seconds of the tale gave me the impression that the narrator would be dry and emotionless, but this wore off quickly, and I felt the medium did not interfere with the literature.
I drive about 40 minutes to work. This filled 10 days travel with compulsive listening.
First book very engaging, the second felt as if it was padded slightly but the ending was worth listening for. Good stuff.
Looking forward to something special I found myself listening to an old-fashioned, too long thriller which used a mumbo-jumbo of myth and superstition to which not even a few facts could lend verisimilitude. Worst of all it committed the worst sin of mystery novels; It was predictable. It got the second star for providing an ending but I don't think it was worth listening for 17 hours to get there.
I found the Da Vinci Code at first very good, I enjoyed all the info on Mary Madelene, but for me the ending spoilt all those hours listening.
What sentimental drivel the last hour was, I found it rather similar in places to Angels and Demons, think I'll be giving Mr Brown a miss for a while
For all the critics raving and rabid fan reaction I expected the intelligent, thought provoking, cultured, and believable thriller that everyone seems to claim it to be.
Instead I found a book that was nothing more than poorly researched pulp trash dressed up nicely. This would not be a problem in itself (beyond the dishonesty of Dan Brown's claim to command of the facts which are lain down as real world truths) but the book itself is full of flat, lifeless characters who offer no real personality to their personae beyond making stupid mistakes that nobody in their position should be making. This is compounded by a complete lack of suspense as every single one of the supposed 'revelations' comes as no surprise. Indeed, you are often wondering what is taking Brown so long to get on with it and reveal the twist which you have doubtless guessed at least a good few chapters before it happens. The inability of the main characters (who are supposedly extremely intelligent people and experts in their fields) to solve simple puzzles is the cause of many an infuriatingly slow ordeal in intellectual anguish as the listener. You will find yourself fruitlessly urging Brown to get the plot moving so that you can feel marginally less ripped off by getting to the end and moving on to the next book.
For the record; the Louvre Pyramid has 673 panes of glass, not the 666 that Dan Brown claims, and that is one of the most inoffensive of the factual errors in the book.
This is a book wrapped in pretension and attempted intellectualism that manages only to do a bad job of retreading the modern day Knights Templar conspiracy genre with poor narratives, clumsily handled concepts, and a cop out ending that leaves an even worse taste in the mouth than the rest of the novel. You'd be better off reading any one of the countless books on the subject as both fact and fiction is available that is far more fascinating and entertaining than this derivative drivel.
However, although the story was interesting and I really didn't know the outcome until it occurred, I thought it was a little disappointing. I thought it was a good story, with an interesting cast of characters, some interesting plotting on the way.. The ending was all Hollywood, all happy no real enigmas. A story with this background deserved to end on an enigma.
Jeff did a good job of reading the story.
Thanks for the entertainment.
This is definitely a page-turner with a very clever and intricate plot, lurking you into the fictional world with half-reality. Some unexpected twists added flavour to the story.
As to the narrator, Jeff Harding is brilliant. Every character has its unique voice and he's really good at putting on different accents! I especially like the voice of the female characters coz they did sound like a female voice, unlike other narrators! However, I do have to complain that all the female voices are a bit on the soft side, making it difficult to hear the words.
Jeff Hardling has narrated a lot of books but Audible only has 2 of his! Can we have more please?
"All the hype is worth it"
This is great, and well read.
Much better than the movie because it's all there - highly recommend this title on audio format
"BLAH!!! GREAT BOOK RUINED BY GHASTLY NARRATION!!!!"
I loved loved loved this book when I read the paperback. I was sooooooooooo looking forward to listening to it. I managed to last 3 chapters until the god awful narrator drove me to madness with the dreadful "French" accent and "female" voice. I am sorry I wasted my free credit but it was a salutary lesson to always listen to the audio sample before I purchase and download a book. I gave five stars to the story because despite this it is still fabulous book.
"Problems with Organised Religion"
Superbly read and quite enjoyable. People have taken it amiss as anti Roman Catholic propaganda. Firstly it is a work of fiction and secondly there are perhaps element at least of fact
"The Da Vinci Code does not dissapoint"
I'd been wanting to read the Da Vinci Code for a long time and after all the hype, was not disappointed. Jeff Harding does a first-class job of reading this expertly woven tale by Dan Brown. Like Angels and Demons, history, theology, mystery and suspense make The Da Vinci Code a compelling listen.
I never wanted to read the book, didn't even watch the movie - but got interested when I was given further insight but knew i'd never read it so... download!!!
Well - the narrator is FANTASTIC - the book is EXCELLENT - Started on Friday into work and spent the whole weekend with my ipod in my ears.
Wonderful read for someone who was a sceptic!
Watched the movie on Sunday evening - what a let down!!
The book is great - there is nothing more i can say!
"The Da Vinci Code"
This version is certainly better than another I had listened to in the recent past. As the sales of the book suggest the story captures the imagination and imporatantly sustains the interest throughout. Irrespective of how much of the story can be taken as fact the story line creates much intrigue and interest to the open minded. A very good listen.
"Intriguing & Compelling Reading"
I was very nervous of taking this book but went on a recommendation of a friend and I have found it compelling and interesting reading. Even to the point of wanting to find out although fiction what background truths are used in the story to combine truth with fiction to be realistic as I think this book has done very well. It is also very well narrated which goes a long way to enjoying the book. I would recommend this book to anyone well worth a listen.
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