Wednesday, May 03, 2006


Jared Bridges over at TruePravda has a good post on The Da Vinci Code book. Writes Jared:
Having recently finished The DaVinci Code, I’m left a bit mystified — and not at whether or not Jesus married Mary Magdalene. I’m just wondering how such a mediocre novel has gone so far in the first place. All heresies aside, it’s just not that good of a book.
I can't tell you how many times in discussing this book I've had someone say to me, "Yeah, I know that the facts aren't true and his history is a mess, but gosh, the book is just so darned well-written."

To which, in my gentle way, I'm forced to respond, "Um, actually no. It's complete crap as fiction too. It's horribly written. The exposition is clumsy at best, and the dialogue makes Tom Clancy's dialogue sound like Shakespeare."

I suspect what they actually mean when they say "well-written" is that it's well-plotted--that it's a page-turner. That's probably the book's strongest point, yet even there it falls well-short of excellence. The last third of the book is silly, didactic, and clumsy even from a pure action standpoint. The plot completely falls apart, and the characters do things that make no dramatic sense.

So when you hear someone telling you how "well-written" The Da Vinci Code is, what you should actually hear them saying in your head is "I'm a hyperactive chimp with the attention span of Larry King. Yet even I didn't get totally bored with this book, because its 105 chapters are only three to four pages each. It's the one book I've actually finished in my adult life, because it fit perfectly into my bathroom breaks."

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