The Da Vinci Code- Book Review

Dan Brown, an American author, is best known for his thriller fiction. A student of art history and an avid Mathematician, Brown was interested in codes, ciphers, anagrams, etc., since his childhood. Inspired by Sidney Sheldon, Dan Brown’s novels have given a new meaning to thriller fictions.
The Da Vinci Code is Brown’s fourth book. His earlier works include Digital Fortress (1998), Angels & Demons (2000) and Deception Point (2001). It was in Angels & Demons that the protagonist Robert Langdon was first introduced.
Genre: Thriller fiction.
Teaser: Robert Langdon, a Harvard professor and an expert on religious symbolism, finds himself embroiled in a murder case of Jacques Sauniere, curator of Louvre Museum. Things are exacerbated when he finds out that he is the prime suspect and has been summoned by the police just to confess his crime.
Before breathing his last,  Monsieur Sauniere has left series of anagrams, codes, ciphers, et al and the cracking of the first leading to the question of the second and cycle continues till the climax of the book. Robert Langdon together with agent Sophie Neveu, granddaughter of Jacques Sauniere starts the quest of solving these labyrinthine puzzles.
On their way, Robert Langdon and Sophie Neveu find out that Jacques Sauniere was the member of Priory of Sion, an ancient society, which had Sir Isaac Newton, Botticelli, Victor Hugo and even Leonardo Da Vinci as its members, and guardians of a very powerful secret, which if revealed, would shake the foundations of Christianity.
The secret is actually the much debated myth of “The Holy Grail” which has been given a whole new interpretation and meaning by Dan Brown. Not divulging too much, The Holy Grail is not a chalice from which Jesus Christ drank during his last supper but rather it’s a person.
Set in a 24 hour time period, the characters rush over from France to England and then back to France for the denouement which leaves you wanting for more.
Dan Brown successfully creates a sense of shock and awe and as a reader you are hooked onto the mysteries, right from the prologue till the very end. Much to the ire of many devout Catholics, who consider the book blasphemous, many have taken it as fact which has in turn “the fact evoked worldwide criticism.
In the words of Dan Brown – “It’s simply an entertaining story that promotes spiritual discussion and debate and the book may be used as a positive catalyst for introspection and exploration of our faith.”
I would second that. There are many anecdotes, anagrams, theories which are just an interpretation and the point of view of the author should be taken in the right spirit. The interpretation of art work of Da Vinci is just superb and highlights the literary mastery of Dan Brown.
I recommend this book to all thriller aficionados. Go, grab your copy!

Aatish Sharma

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