I have just come to the worst part of this book: the end!! I could easily have gone for another eighteen hours of listening. Having really enjoyed the..Show More » da Vinci Code before this one, I fancied another From One Clue To The Next kind of story, but I had not expected anything this exciting: Cern, antimatter, the Vatican, a group called the Illuminati.... fantastic stuff. Just couldn't stop listening, not even late at night in bed! Oh, I wish there was another one like this!
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 Co..Show More »de 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've read the daVinci Code and listened to Angels & Demons by Dan Brown so had a good idea what style of book this would be. As with the earlier book..Show More »s the story is full of complex explanations of symbols and historical references, this time for Masonic Orders coupled with a fast moving thriller. Much of the detail was interesting. The section about weighting the human soul was scientific bunk. As with Angles & Demons the book is marred by a boring finale of nearly an hour: in this book it's turgid religious references. It made the end of the book a damp squib.
This is Dan Brown back to his best; a racy thriller with more twists, turns and total plot inversions than any one book could possibly be expected to..Show More » contain. It is not great literature, but, then again, it never claims to be. A précis of the plot isn't really possible without spoiling the whole book. Suffice it to say that Robert Langdon, a character who needs no introduction, is back to what he does best, racing across Europe in a desperate attempt to thwart the baddie; who the baddie actually is, however, is swathed in layers of smoke, mirrors and downright misdirection until well into the story.
Whilst Langdon is delightfully the same, he is supported by a cast of well drawn characters who are at once believable yet, in most cases, fundamentally flawed. It is not possible to say more than this without spoiling some element of the caduceus-like plot.
For Audible, however, the performance can make or break the enjoyment of a book, and, in this, the American narration spoiled this to a certain extent. The only non-European character is Langdon himself, so I would have expected some effort on the part of the narrator to reflect this. The entire book is read in American English, the exception being the Italians, whose accents were almost risible in parts, and with such verbal horrors of "niche" continually pronounced to rhyme with "pitch", and "fertile" to rhyme with "turtle". This utterly set my teeth on edge after a while. I appreciate that this is entirely my own personal "taste and fancy", but this is my review and it is sometimes difficult to retain total objectivity.
Overall, this is a great listen, narration aside. Dan Brown fans everywhere will love it; those who never warmed to his oeuvre of the thriller wrapped in conspiracy theory may well be disappointed once again.