What more could a reader want? A deep, dark mystery, riddles, compelling characters. Let me preface by saying Dan Brown’s super short chapters (in some cases only a page and a half) besides being ideal for a person on the fly like me also added to the story’s urgency. Although I found the secret codes and symbolism tedious, the revelations at their source made it all worth the effort. Picture me digging out a dusty old art book to see a copy of The Last Supper. Next imagine my jaw dropping to see the feminine character next to Jesus. Why hadn’t I noticed that before? Excellent stuff. It isn’t very often a book taps you on the shoulder like that.
It was somewhere around puzzling over the Mona Lisa‘s quirky smile and a mention of the “sacred feminine” that the story lost its timeless quality for me. Was the Mona Lisa actually Da Vinci himself? And was he homosexual? Why all the fuss about this mysterious “sacred feminine”? Why emphasize the Church as an evil men’s only club? Sniff! Sniff! Do I detect the odor of pop culture religiosity in the air? Oh my! Is it tinged with a hint of political correctness?
All joking aside, what could have been for me a fantastic story with riddles to ponder and concepts to consider revealed itself to be just another myopic vehicle for emerging social/political concepts like gay and women’s rights. Those concepts are fine, but they date the piece. It for me is no longer a timeless story my grandfather and I could read on an equal scale. Good literature can be shared through generations. This story cannot. Nonetheless, The Da Vinci Code is a marvelous read. I haven’t seen the movie, but I suspect, as is always true, the book has more to offer.
Copyright 2007 JO Janoski