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Book Review

Book: The Da Vinci Code
Author: Dan Brown
Published: March, 2003
Publisher: Doubleday & Company, Incorporated

available at

Synopsis: The curator of the Louvre Museum is murdered and a baffling cipher is left at the scene of the crime. Harvard symbologist Robert Langdon works with the gifted French cryptologist, Sophie Neveu, to solve the cipher that leads to a trail of clues cunningly disguised in the works of the great painter, Leonardo da Vinci. Learning that the late curator was a member of a centuries-old, secret society whose members included Da Vinci himself, Langdon is drawn into the quest to discover a shocking historical truth. Langdon finds he is soon competing with a fanatical member of a clandestine Catholic organization who is also in search of the truth. Langdon’s wild and dangerous adventure takes him from the city of Paris across the channel to England and leads to a very surprising personal discovery.

Editor’s Review: In the latter half of 2004, it seemed that “everyone” was talking about The Da Vinci Code. But was it too popular to be good? In other words, if everybody likes it so much, then chances are I wouldn’t. My daughter, an English major and passionate bibliophile had put it on her list of “must reads” after two recommendations by fellow students and I decided to buy the book for her for Christmas. I don’t even like mysteries much, I thought. When my daughter pronounced it a winner, too, I went for it. And I wasn’t disappointed in the least! This story moves along non-stop, with never a dull moment. I finished it in less than three days, feeling quite agitated with anything else I had to do between readings. There is enough art history here to satisfy even the most avid of enthusiasts and a series of intriguing ciphers and riddles to keep even the most easily distracted engaged. I wouldn’t consider The Da Vinci Code to be an example of profound and lofty English literature; it is a well-written mystery with an unusually creative and dynamic plot, plenty of suspense, and believable characters. I am proud to say that I guessed the secret historical “truth” before it was revealed but was totally unprepared for the twist at the end. If you haven’t read The Da Vinci Code yet, I recommend you treat yourself to this “history mystery” as soon as possible.

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Diana Blake is a professional artist and art history enthusiast. Her fascination with art history began when she encountered European art firsthand during several trips abroad as a young adult. As she began to compose a portfolio for her own art career, she called upon what she had seen in Europe and extended her knowledge to other styles of art through profuse reading and exhaustive research. As a result, Diana has written more than one hundred articles in which she delves into a variety of art history topics and she has compiled a list of links that she believes to be invaluable for art history enthusiasts. In addition, she also reviews books and movies on the topic of art history and has assembled an extensive list of online stores that sell books, movies and gift items related to art history.
   You can see Diana's own artwork by visiting her site at