The DaVinci Code (Bookring)

by Dan Brown | Mystery & Thrillers |
ISBN: 0385504209 Global Overview for this book
Registered by JesseBC of Duluth, Minnesota USA on 9/24/2003
Buy from one of these Booksellers: | Amazon UK | Amazon CA | Amazon DE | Amazon FR | Amazon IT |
9 journalers for this copy...
Journal Entry 1 by JesseBC from Duluth, Minnesota USA on Wednesday, September 24, 2003
It is the inspiration of kings. The quest of the knight. The song of the troubadour. The only means of restoring the wounded Fisher King. Few myths are as enduring as that of the Holy Grail. Now, to the compilation of its tales, we can add Dan Brown’s bestseller The DaVinci Code (Doubleday, New York, 2003).

According to legend, the Grail was either the cup from which Christ drank at the Last Supper or the cup which caught his blood at the crucifixion. Some believe it to be the Christianized version of Cerridwen’s cauldron, the chalices of the Tarot. In any case, the Grail is considered a sacred vessel which contained sacred blood. With the unearthing of Nag Hammadi and the Dead Sea Scrolls, theories arose that the vessel itself was not a literal cup, but the wife of Jesus and the holy bloodline of their descendants – information protected by the Knights Templar for centuries in order to protect the descendants and maintain Christendom’s faith in the divinity of Christ.

Add to that murder, corruption, obsession, classical art, cryptograms, one Harvard professor, and you get The DaVinci Code. It’s an odd mix of fact and conspiracy theory which roars by so quickly that the reader is captured in its intellectual slipstream. In fact, at times, the near-constant climaxes in the plot and switchback turns of scene changes become so dizzying that it makes for an exhausting read.

The story features Robert Langdon, the second Brown novel to which the Harvard professor is central (he also starred in Angels and Demons, which Brown published in 2001). This time, Langdon is framed in a murder and must decipher messages left in the paintings of Leonardo da Vinci in order to locate the true killer. The codes themselves are ingenious, painfully obvious, and almost impossible to break until Brown graciously provides the reader with the solution.

The setting of the novel is romantic and splendid, from the gallery of the modern Louvre to the chambers of the Westminster Abbey. The very words taste like the splendor of Medieval Europe. The characters, if not wholly believable, inspire the proper mix of either empathy or disdain, which Brown switches on the reader at a moment’s notice. The sole flaw in characterization comes when Grail enthusiast Leigh Teabing explains the legend to the novel’s heroine – police cryptologist, Sophie Neveu. Brown needed to outline the legend for the uninitiated in order for the rest of the plot to unfold properly. This is a cumbersome task in the midst of a fast-paced thriller, which, to his credit, Brown carries off succinctly. Unfortunately, Sophie, who heretofore had been a genius at anagrams and crime-solving, replaces the reader in ignorance and becomes something of a wide-eyed, naive dolt throughout the scene.

The most obvious question posed by the novel is: Is it true? Did Jesus marry and father children? Was this secret and it descendants protected from the church for centuries by the Knights Templar? Is the secret revealed in the paintings of Leonardo da Vinci?

There’s compelling evidence that Jesus was, in fact, not celibate. Jesus’ behavior at the wedding at Cana was only socially acceptable were he the groom. He is called a Rabbi, which carries with it the expectation of a married man. Mary Magdalene anointed Jesus’ body after his death, which would only have been permissible if she were his wife. The Greek word for “woman” and “wife” are the same and thus Mary Magdalene as the “woman who followed Jesus” could easily have been a mistranslation intended to convey that she was his spouse. Such theories have generally been refuted by Christendom on the basis that scripture never explicitly states that Jesus was married and that the Christian doctrine of Jesus’ divinity rests in part on the basis of his celibacy – a belief not shared by Jews.

After the book’s publication, art historians were quick to criticize Brown’s treatment of Leonardo da Vinci in the story. Leonardo spent less time in Rome and was commissioned by the Vatican much less than Brown suggests. The theories on both the Mona Lisa and the Vitruvian Man put forth in The DaVinci Code are shaky at best. And Brown’s connection between the details of Leonardo’s work and the sacred feminine are almost completely unfounded.

But otherwise the major icons in the story are above dispute. Opus Dei is, in fact, a conservative Catholic sect, controversial for its aggressive recruitment and use of corporal mortification. The Priori of Sion is, indeed, a 900-year-old secret society whose leadership has included some notoriety.

However, the more important questions raised in the book aren’t the obvious ones. The story highlights the dichotomies of truth versus secrecy and science versus religion. How important (and objective) is knowledge? How much are we willing to pay to have mystery in our lives? Are knowledge and reason more important than a truth that brushes our cheeks like the wispy hint of a cobweb?

One facet of our human existence is the desire to seek answers to the unanswerable, to seek that which feels true to the heart despite reason. And the legends of the Holy Grail speak to that desire. Ultimately, the book is about the loss of the sacred feminine and humanity’s gnawing sense that She has been extracted from our notions of God.

Myths are a vehicle for veiling truth. And it’s heartening to imagine that knowledge of the Goddess has remained, veiled in symbolism or the Tarot cards or famous works of art. That like those questing for the Holy Grail, the sincere seeker can find Her in all things. She is ever-present, wrapped in the commonplace. Waiting for us to find Her again.

© Jennifer Jackson, 2003, All Rights Reserved.

Journal Entry 2 by wingAnonymousFinderwing on Wednesday, September 24, 2003
I received this book as part of an online interloan library and I'm enjoying it immensely! I plan to pass it along to the next person on the waiting list.


Journal Entry 3 by JesseBC at Postal release in Factoryville, Pennsylvania USA on Thursday, September 25, 2003
Released on Thursday, September 25, 2003 at Postal release in Factoryville, Pennsylvania USA.

Journal Entry 4 by DopeyK17 from Factoryville, Pennsylvania USA on Sunday, September 28, 2003
Received this book as part of a BookCrossing bookring. I found it to be a real page-turner. It kept me interested and guessing right to the very end, which is unusual for me. Typically, I have mystery/suspense novels figured out by the halfway point or sooner. Next stop in the bookring: FL.

Journal Entry 5 by SueJQSS from Ocala, Florida USA on Friday, October 17, 2003
Received today - this is my daughter's bookring. Received from PA and going to GA when I finish - great so far.

Journal Entry 6 by SueJQSS at Mail in -- Mail or by hand,rings, RABCK, meetings, web, Georgia USA on Monday, October 27, 2003
Released on Monday, October 27, 2003 at Sending to reader via US mail in Kennesaw, Georgia USA.

Sending the book on to the next reader in the Book Ring. It will be going to GA and on from there. Hope you enjoy it as much as I did. GREAT!

Journal Entry 7 by prplpec from Kennesaw, Georgia USA on Sunday, November 2, 2003
Just received in mail.

Journal Entry 8 by prplpec from Kennesaw, Georgia USA on Friday, November 7, 2003
This is probably one of the best books I've ever read! Having grown up Catholic made it especially interesting to me. A perfect combination of historical fiction, religious history, mystery and intrigue.
Thanks for sharing, JesseBC!
In the mail to mjm.

Journal Entry 9 by mjm from Draper, Utah USA on Wednesday, November 12, 2003
Just received in the mail today. I'm SO excited to dive into this one. I have two other bookrings here, and I'm trying to hurry. I will get to this ASAP!

Journal Entry 10 by JesseBC from Duluth, Minnesota USA on Friday, November 14, 2003
Current order for the bookring:

kalipriestess <--- currently here

Journal Entry 11 by mjm from Draper, Utah USA on Monday, December 8, 2003
Interesting, interesting, interesting. I agree that this book grabs you and doesn't let you go. I had/have two other bookrings that arrived before this, that were shoved aside once I read the first chapter. Although I became frustrated by the constant jerking around that Brown put us through (like a drawn out action flick) in the last ten chapters, I still really enjoyed reading the book. It definitely caused me to think a little bit, and to consider what I believe as well. I don't necessarily believe in Bible Code, and all of that stuff, but I definitely feel that there are significant portions that have been altered or taken out of the Bible. This really caused me to think about the role of Christ in Christianity and how man considers him as central deity. Interesting read.

Off to dragonfly4 on 12/11/03.

Journal Entry 12 by dragonfly4 on Tuesday, December 23, 2003
This arrives in my mailbox today - what a great Christmas present. I'm really looking forward to reading this one.

Journal Entry 13 by dragonfly4 on Thursday, January 8, 2004
I sent the book off a couple of days ago and haven't had the chance to write the journal entry.

I loved this book. I read it in 3 days, which is unheard of for me these days. The cliff hangers at the end of each chapter made me keep reading much longer than I should have, late at night. He puts forward some interesting theories which I'd like to look into more.

Thanks JesseBC!

Journal Entry 14 by starlit45 from Brooklyn, New York USA on Tuesday, January 20, 2004
I was thrilled to receive this in the mail and already started reading it. There has been a lot of "buzz" about this book so I am very interested in reading it.

Journal Entry 15 by starlit45 at -- By Hand Or Post, Ray/Ring, RABCK in Brooklyn, New York USA on Thursday, February 5, 2004
Released on Thursday, February 05, 2004 at post office in Brooklyn, NY, postal release USA.

It's a testiment to the popularity of this book that the next two people on the bookring list after me already got the book! I found the book a quick read, gripping and interesting because of its focus of women. The ending is a little contrived, but overall the book is a good read! The book is now off to kaliprietess. Enjoy!

Journal Entry 16 by kalipriestess from Tallahassee, Florida USA on Saturday, February 14, 2004
Just received. This book looks fascinating. So much so that I may have to beat my husband off with a stick! Or I may let him read it while I'm catching up on all the other rings/rays I have on my plate. Good thing my mother lives five hours away or she'd be reading it, too! I'll read it as soon as I can, but please understand I have been flooded with books just in the last few days!

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