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June Book of the Month: The DaVinci Code


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#1 Alexandra

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Posted 08 June 2003 - 08:33 AM

Seems like we're off and running.

Here are some posts from the summer reading thread to get you going:

In response to GWTW's query, "What's it about?" BW Posted:

[quote]The author is Dan Brown. Here is a description from Amazon's pages: "In a two-day span, American symbologist Robert Langdon finds himself accused of murdering the curator of the Louvre, on the run through the streets of Paris and London, and teamed up with French cryptologist Sophie Neveu to uncover nothing less than the secret location of the Holy Grail. It appears that a conservative Catholic bishop might be on the verge of destroying the Grail, which includes an alternate history of Christ that could bring down the church. Whoever is ordering the deaths of the Grail's guardians--modern-day members of an ancient society descended from the famed Knights Templar--must be stopped before the treasure is lost forever. To do so, Langdon and Neveu have to solve a series of ciphers and riddles while evading a tireless French police commander and a ruthless albino monk. Despite being hampered by clunky flashback sequences and place descriptions that read like tourist brochures, the story is full of brain-teasing puzzles and fascinating insights into religious history and art. Ultimately, Brown's intricate plot delivers more satisfying twists than a licorice factory. Frank Sennett
Copyright American Library Association. All rights reserved"[/quote]

Vagansmom replied:

[quote]I'm on page 154 right now. I SHOULD be cleaning the house, preparing a meal, taking a shower but all I want to do is read.

I see why people are so enthralled by it. It's chock-full of background on all kinds of topics: the Catholic Church's relationship to Opus Dei and paganism, feminism, fine arts and the lives of the artists, architecture, religious symbology, cryptology, mathematics (Fibonacci sequence is a biggie here) as well as being a really good mystery and, I hear, romance too.[quote]

Here's the link to The DaVinci Code on Amazon.

#2 vagansmom

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Posted 08 June 2003 - 09:59 AM

I don't know if this can be accessed if you don't register with the NYT but there's a review of The Da Vinci Code here:

http://query.nytimes...750C0A9659C8B63

#3 atm711

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Posted 08 June 2003 - 10:59 AM

Just last night I saw a program on the History Channel about the "Holy Grail'--and the theory states that it was not a cup---but the 'blood line' of Christ and chronicled His descendants through his union with Magdalen. I am off to the bookstore!.

#4 Calliope

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Posted 08 June 2003 - 02:33 PM

There was a book in the 80's (and it's referenced in DaVinci Code) called Holy Blood, Holy Grail.
That book opened up a watershed when published, it was not in a fiction setting.

#5 Nanatchka

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Posted 08 June 2003 - 03:51 PM

Don't forget to click on the link above when ordering from Amazon.com. A pittance of your total--no charge to you--goes back to Ballet Alert. I'm going there now to get this book!

#6 Alexandra

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Posted 09 June 2003 - 05:05 AM

Calliope has volunteered to be discussion leader for the book -- take it away, Calliope :D

#7 Old Fashioned

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Posted 09 June 2003 - 10:36 AM

I didn't realize that this book is apart of a series featuring Robert Langdon. Before The Da Vinci Code there was Angels & Demons and a new one is currently being written. It's also about a secret society, the Illuminati, and deals with the Catholic Church. There are a few references to Langdon's experiences in Vatican City, where A&D took place, in TDVC. I think I'll have to go out and read it now.

#8 Alexandra

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Posted 09 June 2003 - 11:05 AM

On the religious content, I think we should be able to discuss it. If the content offends someone, then don't read the book or read these discussions. (Again, I haven't read it, but have read enough reviews to know that the content could be contentious. My prohibition against religious comments on the site are either the signature lines that some of the teens put in that are rather like religious bumper stickers, and we fear may put off those who are of another religion, that they will think the site is a religious site; and the throwaway comments that we all sometimes make, not meaning any harm, but on the nature of "just like an atheist" -- fill in the religious/nonreligious group.)

#9 Calliope

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Posted 09 June 2003 - 11:09 AM

Thanks Old Fashioned, I didn't realize it was part of a series either.
DV Code is actually #1 on the NY Times bestseller list.

And apparently there's a controversy over whether the book is plagiarism... (SPOILER ALERT, if you haven't read the book and don't want to learn plot line...don't read this)


http://www.msnbc.com...20480.asp?cp1=1

#10 BW

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Posted 10 June 2003 - 03:58 PM

Well, I've now purchased the book...but I am hoping to finish my current one first. I'm worried that you all are going to be too fast for me as you've already picked out one for July!

I know, I know... It's not a race! ;)

#11 vagansmom

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Posted 10 June 2003 - 05:50 PM

I finished it yesterday. It's forced me to hit the Internet over and over again to research some of the organizations, paintings and individuals mentioned.

#12 Old Fashioned

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Posted 10 June 2003 - 07:42 PM

Oh, I had the same reaction, Vagansmom. Most of the theories the author wrote about I had never heard before. When I did the research online, I was frightened by how much of this stuff is out there.

If you go to www.danbrown.com, there's a gallery of photographs of places and paintings he describes in the book. Also, check out www.thedavincicode.com; it takes you on a fun little quest.

#13 Alexandra

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Posted 10 June 2003 - 07:48 PM

An administrative note: The way you all handle this is up to you. I suggested DVC for the June book because it seemed that lots of people either had read, or were reading it. And I put up Bel Canto for July to give others a head start. If you want to change that to make DaVinci for June AND July, and move Bel Canto to August, that's fine with me.

Also, if you just want to have people make comments as they read -- that's one way. Or if you want to pose questions for discussion (start a new thread, perhaps, with Da Vinci Code, or DVC, in the thread title?) that's another way to do it.

#14 carbro

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Posted 10 June 2003 - 08:14 PM

I just ordered from Amazon yesterday. Got a decent price, but to qualify for free shipping (I ordered another book), I opted for slow shipment. Never gonna finish before the end of June. So I vote for DVC for July, and then I'll decide if I'm up to Bel Canto (I'm so backed-up with books now). But I do look forward to an exciting discussion. I'm going to invite my aunt, who's been reading DVC, to join us.:)

#15 Old Fashioned

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Posted 12 June 2003 - 09:19 PM

Warning: those that have not finished The Da Vinci Code may not want to read this post.

For those that have already read the novel, does anyone remember the part explaining the little significant details in The Last Supper? My book is currently being borrowed by a friend, so I can't refer to it directly. I think it was either Leigh or Langdon pointing out a random, unattached hand holding a dagger. Whether this was an observation made alone by the author or that of art scholars, I don't know. I took a close look out of a HUGE picture book of a collection of Da Vinci's works, and it didn't seem to me like it was just some mysterious hand. It looks like the hand of the fourth disciple to the left, the hand which is sitting on his hip. He's the one placing his other hand on Mary Magdalene's shoulder, leaning over the fifth man with a menacing look at Mary.


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