Da Vinci and Angels

Well, I was going to post a bucket-load of links, but the otherwise lovely de.icio.us seems to not want to play at this particular instant in time. So no link for them either, that'll learn them!

So, instead, I'll regale you with my thoughts of Dan Brown's The Da Vinc Code and Angels and Demons.

It kinda feels like I'm the last person to read these books. The Code in particular. It's like all the cool kids have read it and I'm really slow to pick up.. ;-)
And it's not so much a review as a....few random thoughts about the books... There may be spoilers, though, so you are warned.

Anyway, on the whole, I like the books. I think I prefer Angels, but that may be because it's mainly set in Rome. So I'm familiar with most of the surroundings. And as you might know, I totally love and adore Rome!

The premise for the books is interesting, they both deal with secret societies that are more or less mythical. And what is more intriguing than secret societies?? Especially when some of the members in the past were famous people! Which is the case in both books.

The thing I like the least about the books (when seen in comparison), is that they seem so similar. To name but a few things: {more here}

* The male protagonist, Robert Langdon, unravels a trail of mystical, ancient clues which leads to his discovering the truth about a legendary, secret society and its relationship to the Vatican.

* A prologue depicts the assassination of a murder victim, which results in Langdon having to be awakened by a telephone call by the relevant authorities, asking him to offer his assistance in symbology.

* Events take place during the course of not much more than one day, where Langdon is teamed with a beautiful, highly intelligent woman who is closely related to the murder victim.

* The prominent assassin of the book (i.e. the Hassassin in Angels and Demons and Silas in The Da Vinci Code) commits the murders under the impression that he is doing so for an organisation which is apparently involved in but actually framed for the murders (i.e. the Illuminati in Angels and Demons and Opus Dei in The Da Vinci Code).

* At one point along the way, Langdon makes a mistake whilst following the trail of clues and is directed to the wrong place.

It kinda rubs me the wrong way that he's sorta taken the formula from Angels and then
just replaced the places and the names. It seems a bit lazy. Maybe that's why Angels feels like a better book...

Now, I won't go into the whole "what is correct and what is wrong" in this book. Other people have done so already. And I really don't think it's relevant. Cause these are works of fiction and as such you cannot trust them. Even if the books claim to be telling the truth, they will diverge from it. So..yeah..

Another thing that makes the Code slightly less interesting to me, is that I knew what it was about before I started reading it. And not just the book itself, but the whole thing about what "the grail" is supposed to be (or not to be, as the case may be). I knew far less about the Illuminati.

It's interesting that these books, and the Code in particular, have created such a stirr. I can only assume that it's because of their "having a go" at some strongly held beliefs in Christianity. And of course that means, to some extent, most of the people living in the Western world who live under the influence of Christianity. Which we do, whether it be by choice or not.

I look forward to reading more of Brown's work, but keeping in mind that it is fiction. And when T and I go to Rome (next year, hopefully), I might take him sightseeing to the places in Angels.. ;-)

Tuesday, July 12, 2005 posted by Wardi @ 10:58 PM