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Da Vinci Code, One Booker
(AJ Bollen)

Dan Brown?s Da Vinci Code is a book of contradictions. It strives to be in-depth yet seems shallow, it?s fast-moving, yet the characters seem sluggish, it?s intellectual while being dumbed down. It?s full of intricate detail at times when the pace needs broad brushstrokes and injected momentum when coffee breaks and a good map are the order of the day. The whole tone of Dan Brown is one of ?I know something you don?t know? and the author seems to have an irritating feel of the patronising History Lecturer about him. Brown has delivered an entertaining fast moving mystery and the vast sales suggest that it?s this year?s one booker. That?s when Mr and Mrs Normal from Normalsky, read the one book a year and they?re made to feel intelligent by the seemingly intellectual tome. Professors and writers on the History of the Grail may laugh at the book?s inconsistencies but what should be remembered is that Brown has written a best selling thriller by skilfully finding the perfect mix?a controversial main plot line, memorable central characters, a murder, mystery and more twists than Twisted Sister at the Twister World Championships. He may have the intellectuals guffawing but he has the bank manager fawning. A brief outline; central character Robert Langdon investigates the brutal murder of a Louvre Curator. The curator turns out to be the grandfather of Sophie Neveu, a French cryptologist. The murder scene leaves messages which start a chase via a detailed plotted history of the Vatican and Opus Dei, through the crusades, and Freemasonry to Da Vinci?s Last Supper and eventually to the grail, revealing the secret that Jesus might have had children and the blood line of Jesus is among us today. Far fetched but a good yarn. In the end, the book?s entertaining, but we want to get to the end more out of irritation than curiosity. Dan Brown?s talent as a writer and convincing storyteller should be matched with Jeffrey Archer or Ben Elton as opposed to Steinbeck or Voltaire. Finally, I think Hanks is too old to play him in the movie. In my head when I imagined an ex-bond Brosnan or maybe Clooney.

AJ Houlighan.

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