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)
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...
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
I wasn't expecting a great work but thought I ought to listen before I see the film. I loved the pace. I was gripped and wanted more.
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.
Not a well crafted book by any stretch of the imagination and if I have another "long moment" I will scream. Sloppy research and lazy, irritating idioms "the London sun, the London police" Et al. Swift enough and harmless until it was handed to Jeff Harding to pastiche. His accents are hilarious and to my mind completely unnecessary , his Cockney alter boy is sooooo Dick Van Dyke it took me back forty years and the camp affected arch criminal is sooo Carry On up the Da Vincis I was expecting an " Oh Matron" to appear at any moment. Who holds the auditions for the readers?
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.
Report Inappropriate Content
If you find this review inappropriate and think it should be removed from our site, let us know. This report will be reviewed by Audible and we will take appropriate action.