Being sick has been a great opportunity to catch up on my reading. And I’ve been wanting to get into Dan Brown’s “The Da Vinci Code” for a long time. For one thing, he’s from my home state of New Hampshire, so that puts him right up there with my other favorite New Hampshire novelists, like John Irving, ____, ____, and ummm _____… okay I can’t think of any others.
And, of course, it’s sold a zillion copies and is going to be a megasmash hit this summer in theaters.
Now, when my friend Teresa was staying with us, she was totally into thrillers, and I’d get them after she read them. So I am pretty conversant with them… and I have to admit, Dan Brown’s “Da Vinci Code” characters are the worst kind of hackneyed, cardboard-flat characters I’ve seen. Not one of them was believable. They are not worth ever mentioning again.
The plot serves only to move the characters to the places Brown has researched, so he can describe them and their history… and here’s the strength of the book, the reason it is worth reading at all.
Though the plot is strained and the characters runny, the research is wonderful. Lots of interesting and useful details; as if you were going around Paris with France’s most knowledgeable tour guide. If I were ever going to visit Paris; I would bring this book. Especially if I was headed to the Louvre.
It doesn’t deserve all the attention it’s gotten. The huge amount of research, right there on the page, can’t make up for the lack of plot or interesting characters (I guess we’re supposed to think of the seven-foot tall albino self-flagellating Opus Dei assassin as a realistic villain).
Those in search of somewhat better characterizations would probably enjoy James Patterson; I really liked his “Women’s Murder Club” series. And for those craving the religious connection “The Jester” concerns the discovery in the First Crusade of a bit of the True Cross and the Spear of Loginus.
That spear has gotten quite a workout. I first remembered hearing about it in Neon Genesis Evangelion, where they were using its power to (you’ve all seen this series, right, so I’m not spoiling anything) dissolve humanity into one big world-mind, until they decided to go ahead and kill an Angel with it. Was that EVA really Shinji’s mom? Or was it little cloned Rey that was the living legacy of his mom’s “Work > All” ethic? Can I spoil any more of the series for you?
Now that I am thoroughly outcast by the Roman Catholic Church for having read The Da Vinci Code, I suppose making an Oblivion mod that gave me a Spear of Longinus as a weapon and True Cross arrows couldn’t get me in any worse trouble.
In a NyQuil Nightmare ™ last night, I dreamed of a happy world. My neighbor ran a burger restaurant (he specialized in “Double-Wide Steakburgers”), and I forget what I did. But I was married. I had a pet furry creature who had the bad habit of turning into water if people weren’t paying attention to him. So you might find this glass of water and start to drink it, but then it turns into a furry creature and runs off.
I was married and we had a good life, but I couldn’t remember the birthdays of my several children, and then I couldn’t even remember their names. My youngest son’s name started with an ‘M’ – ‘Mark’, I think, and he knew what was going on, but I didn’t. And then time shifted and I was earlier in my life, and I knew more of my life, but the future would be screwed up, unless I made sure my neighbor made “Double Wides” in a restaurant, and if I could keep the furry thing from being drunk or dumped. Time shifted a couple more times; I now remembered everything about my children, but they didn’t remember me at all and thought I was crazy, the furry thing was gone/killed, and my neighbor didn’t cook at all.
On the other hand, I looked better in my dream than I do in real life.
So that’s something.