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    Review of THE DA VINCI CODE by Dan Brown

    Doubleday, April 2003

    For two thousand years, orthodox Christian churches have feared and suppressed worship of the 'goddess' above almost everything. Yet, the symbols of the goddess survive. One of the great conspiracy theories is that the church has suppressed the true nature of Jesus as well--that Jesus married Mary Magdalene and left her pregnant with his death. According to this theory, Jesus was survived not only by his disciples, but also by a child and a bloodline--the bloodline of the holy grail. Author Dan Brown uses this theory to propell a thriller.

    American professor and 'symbologist' Robert Langdon is awakened by the French police with a request to come to a murder scene. The victim left some sort of cryptic message that Langdon, working with Sophie Neveu, the victim's granddaughter, must work together to interpret. Langdon quickly identifies the code as relating to the holy grail--but surely he isn't that close to one of the ultimate secrets. Because, in addition to the grave of Mary Magdalene, the grail is supposed to contain the original documents of the Christian faith--possibly even including words penned by Jesus himself.

    Langdon knows that the Catholic church will stop at nothing to prevent the Grail from becoming public. They suppressed the Knights Templar centuries earlier for exactly that reason. If the world learns that the entire male-dominated hierarchy is contrary to the teachings of Jesus, the outcome becomes unclear indeed. Striving to stay ahead of the French police who believe him to be the killer, Langdon sets off on a quest to crack the code and discover one of the ultimate secrets of mankind.

    Dan Brown's writing is clear and straightforward, drawing the reader in and propelling him through the adventure. Although the discussions of the grail theory are occasionally a bit heavy-handed and some of the clues are painfully obvious, Brown's personalizing of this ancient conspiracy theory makes for far more enjoyable reading than the many other books available on the subject.

    Anyone interested in a 'lite' version of the grail conspiracy or just a different slant on the basis of the Christian religion will enjoy this story.

    See more reviews of novels by Dan Brown.

    Three Stars

    Reviewed 5/21/04

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