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The Da Vinci Code
(Dan Brown)

Few cannot have heard of Dan Brown's hugely successful novel; the publishing phenonmenon that is The Da Vinci Code has spawned a mini industry of TV investigations and non-fiction into the credence of the 'facts' presented in the text. These 'facts' centre around the exhistence and whereabouts of the Holy Grail, Christ's legacy on earth, and the quest to find and protect it using clues left by Leonardo Da Vinci in his art. The characters are pulled all over western Europe throughout the non-stop action. Credibly presented and well paced, the mystery pulls the reader the reader through the book with a fervent hunger and most, by all accounts, fly through the substantial tome in a matter of days. Balancing a supposedly non-fiction plot with the demands of a thriller narrative is no easy task, and Brown pulls it off relatively well. Where the novel fails is in the very essence of successful fiction; characters. Langdon, the central protagonist, and his supporting cast are given little space for development or emotional engagement, but that scarcely matters. The Da Vinci Code is not a rival for the great literature of the world, but it grips the reader in a way that few books can. It is the kind of book where any intervention from the outside world becomes unwelcome, and the pages seem to turn themselves.

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