Dan Brown’s ‘The Da Vinci Code’

Book Title: The Da Vinci Code

Author: Dan Brown

Rating: 3 of 5 Stars

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This particular book I read only after seeing the movie. But thankfully, I had seen the movie a long time back, which basically means, that I forgot the plot. So when I picked this book up a couple of years later, I read the reviews first.

The minute I looked at the review, I began thinking, am I doing the right thing reading this book? But then I had already paid for the borrowed book taken out from the local lending library, which meant I am reading it.

So my choice to read was pretty much made once I paid for it. Sometimes reading a book should not be based on the dust jacket or book reviews; but then, I didn’t follow that rule of mine this time.

This book brought to the forefront the wonderful combination of art and cultural history with a murder mystery. I liked the blend. I’m not much of an academician who could critique the essential story plot. So, I’ll stick to my reader’s view of the plot.

I believe that every story is the vision of the storyteller. It is like getting a window seat on the storyteller’s mind. You can wander around within the framework of the story and gather your surrogate experience.

The book was fast-paced and was surprised it was around a specific timeline space. This took me by surprise, because it is rare, that you come across a book covering the entire action within a day’s time span. Either these stories are out there or I am not aware of it. I believe fewer writers’ experiment with close call time scales.

The main characters are introduced allowing the plot to move forward. One of the most important elements of the characters were, how each of them fills in on the main puzzle or adds more to the elements of suspense.

What surprised me as a writer, was the fact that the author has stayed put within the one day, by starting very early in the morning and almost finishing the story on the next day.

One of my writing prompts was to describe an entire scene by revolving around the central character; while doing a 360 degree inner perspective of the environment, emotion, reaction and valid reason for its presence in the scene.

Now this story plot does two things:

  1. Stays close to the time limit of a day and half
  2. Jumps many centuries on various topics history, artisans and their work

I felt it was a neat ploy to keep the present static and comparatively simple while the backtracked stories are information gathered over the wide span of the timeline.

I totally felt that the story was compelling. At the same time, it was like reading a seemingly true Art History. But then the real world reason for the interpretation given to the artworks could possibly be fictional. Yet the author had tried for an authoritative voice throughout the book.

The interesting aspect of being able to make inferences on how the art loopholes could be given a new twist of interpretations only to make it seem like a true event. I found that kind of creative thinking exceptional.

Since I totally appreciate that the story’s credibility stand on the aspect of creating a web of knowledge that is staged on the scrambled puzzles which the historians are busy putting it together.

There are a few rare books that once it catches my interest then I am reading it non-stop. This book reminded me of Nancy Drew and Hardy Boys sleuthing mystery stories that I consumed in large quantity spending quality time with them.

Just like in these young adult mystery novels, I am usually half the time right in guessing who had been the culprit, but then in The Da Vinci Code book, I couldn’t guess who the real culprit could possibly be. So the Gordian knot of the plot became clearer only after the last few scenes.

Yet I somehow felt, that I liked the book for the understanding the dialogue and loved the movie for its visuals with occasional dialogue grips. Both had their own separate spaces in my appreciation of the story.

Bottom line: This book can be read once and watched maybe twice!!! By being a little forgiving about twisting of historical events.