Thursday, October 17, 2013

The Da Vinci Code by Dan Brown (audio)

"Meaning that history is always written by the winners.  When two cultures clash, the loser is obliterated, and the winner writes the history books - books which glorify their own cause and siparage that conquered foe.  As Napoleon once said, 'What is history, but a fable agreed upon?'...The Sangreal documents simply tell the other side of the Christ story.  In the end, which side of the story you believe becomes a matter of faith, and personal exploration, but at least the information has survived."

By looking at the reviews on goodreads and amazon, everyone either seemed to love or hate this book.  I wouldn't say that this was one of the best books I've ever read, but I did enjoy it.  There was a lot going, and some parts got a little confusing, but that might have been because I was listening to it instead of actually reading the book.  I first watched the movie when it came out in 2006 (wow that seems like so long ago!!!) and the book has been sitting on my bookshelf ever since.  Glad I finally got the chance to read...or I guess I should say "listen" to it!

The novel tells the a contemporary story of the famous search for the "Holy Grail."  While lecturing in Paris, the symbologist Robert Langdon becomes involved with the murder of a famous curator at the Louvre.  Shortly before his death, he left a secret message to his grand-dauther, Sophie Neveu.  When Robert is accused of the murder, he and Sophie begin a chase across France to find out the truth about the death of Sophie's grand-father.  They quickly discover that the clues reveal the truth about a two-hundred year old mystery - and about the involvement of Sophie's family.

There were a lot of things that I really liked about this book:
     1.) Historical information - Throughout the story, are all kinds of facts about Western history and religion including Da Vinci's paintings, the legend of the holy grail, the portrayal of women, and Christianity.  I'm not sure how much was fact and how much was Brown's interpretation, but I enjoyed it none the less.
     2.) Paris - The novel was mostly set in Paris and the author used the scenery and well-known places throughout the book.  I spent two weeks in Paris a couple years ago, so it was really neat to remember all of the places the were mentioned in the book.  My aunt and cousins went right after right after the movie came out.  They not only saw it at a theater in Paris, but traced the route that Robert and Sophie turned out to be a really awesome scrapbook page!!
     3.) Information literacy - This is going to sound really dorky, but I LOVED all of the research that was incorporate into the novel.  My favorite part was when Robert and Sophie visit the curator of a religious museum and search for articles in a database that will lead then to a tomb where a key item in solving the mystery of the holy grail is hidden.  I was super excited that they used actual research terminology like keywords, truncations, and proximity searching!!!

Definitely worth reading!

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