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Search - The Da Vinci Code (Special Illustrated Edition) (Robert Langdon, Bk 2)
The Da Vinci Code - Special Illustrated Edition - Robert Langdon, Bk 2 Author:Dan Brown One of the bestselling novels of all time, Dan Brown's The Da Vinci Code has intrigued and thrilled millions of readers around the world. Now all the artwork, symbols, architecture, and historic locations -- over 160 images -- are beautifully compiled in this full-color collector's edition. — A mind-bending code hidden in the works... more » of Leonardo da Vinci. A desperate race through the cathedrals and castles of Europe. An astonishing truth concealed for centuries … unveiled at last.
While in Paris on business, Harvard symbologist Robert Langdon receives an urgent late-night phone call. The elderly curator of the Louvre has been murdered inside the museum, a baffling cipher found near the body. As Langdon and a gifted French cryptologist, Sophie Neveu, sort through the bizarre riddles, they are stunned to discover a trail of clues hidden in the works of Da Vinci -- clues visible for all to see and yet ingeniously disguised by the painter.
The stakes are raised when Langdon uncovers a startling link: the late curator was involved in the Priory of Sion -- an actual secret society whose members included Sir Isaac Newton, Botticelli, Victor Hugo, and Da Vinci, among others. Langdon suspects they are on the hunt for a breathtaking historical secret, one that has proven through the centuries to be as enlightening as it is dangerous. In a frantic race through Paris, and beyond, Langdon and Neveu find themselves matching wits with a faceless powerbroker who appears to anticipate their every move. Unless they can decipher the labyrinthine puzzle, the Priory's secret -- and an explosive ancient truth -- will be lost forever.« less
I remember a time when this book was the absolute talk of the town and I wondered what was so revolutionary about it that it had people split into camps either rejecting or embracing its ideas. I haven't even heard of Dan Brown back then and only became interested enough in his work to wishlist the book on PaperBackSwap after watching the movie by the same name with Tom Hanks playing Robert Langdon. When it arrived it was no mere mass market paperback. It was an illustrated special edition hardcover with glossy pages and color pictures of the things and places described in the book. It was fascinating. It was like reading a history book that actually did something other than bore me to the point of stupidity. I blew through the thick volume in no time at all, immediately wishlisted the other books by Dan Brown and went back to savor the illustrations one more time - I have to admit, they added to the experience.
One thing about Brown's Langdon and the rest is that they are likable. Even the villains are sympathetic because they are misguided in one way or another but for the most part they are motivated by faith or thirst for knowledge as opposed to greed or prestige. I actually felt sorry for Silas, the albino priest, because he really believed that he was doing God's work and suffered for it.
What wasn't very apparent when I first read the book but is more so now that I've read two more by Brown is that strong female leads are a staple in his novels. While Langdon is the fount of knowledge who comes up with ideas as for the location of the subject of their search and can gain access to otherwise off-limit places because of his renown it is the women who protect the professor and figure out the logistics of getting him out of jams. Sophie Neveu is no exception and it was great fun reading about a woman with such an unusual profession and life.
Pacing in this book is characteristic of other Brown's work - Langdon and Neveu are always on the go in their mad race against time and the police and that's a lot of action even for a hefty volume such as this. It sucks you in and I haven't met a person yet who hasn't been reading faster than usual to get to the bottom of the mystery, impatient to find the characters at their destination. Because of this there isn't too much character development but we do get a sense of who these people are when the events happen, what motivates them and what their backgrounds are, which is more than adequate for an action thriller.
The only thing that slowed down the story were the explanations connecting the pieces of the puzzle into one whole. While necessary, they sometimes went on for too long and kept me from finding out the location of the Holy Grail and I was really tempted to skip over those passages but read on because I didn't want to miss anything important.
As far as the controversial subject goes I really didn't see what all the fuss is about. Yes, it is a very non-traditional take on Jesus and his disciples and it is very convincingly written but this is a novel and anyone who starts taking it particularly close to heart should remember that a novel is by definition fiction, make-believe if you will, and has no claim on historical accuracy. Its purpose is entertainment and here it is masterfully fulfilled. Thumbs up to Dan Brown for writing a book I couldn't put down.
The illustrations add quite a bit to the story, especially for those not familiar with the famous artworks. I originally read the regular book, before all the hype about it - I think this version is better.