Synopses & Reviews
Robert Langdon receives an urgent late-night phone call while on business in Paris. The elderly curator of the Louvre has been found murdered inside the museum, his body surrounded by a series of bizarre ciphers scribbled in invisible ink. As Langdon and a gifted young French crvptologist, Sophie Neveu, attempt to make sense of the chilling clues left around the body, they are stunned to realize the riddles are connected to the works of Da Vinci and may be linked to a mystery that stretches deep into the history of the Catholic Church.
Langdon learns the late curator was the gatekeeper of the Priory of Sion an actual secret society whose members included Sir Isaac Newton, botticelli, Victor Hugo, and Da Vinci and has sacrificed his life to protect the Priory's most sacred trust: the location of a vastly important religious relic hidden for centuries. It appears that Opus Dei, a clandestine, malevolent, Vatican-sanctioned religious sect that has long plotted to seize the Priory's secret, has now made its move. Unless Langdon and Neveu can crack the Da Vinci code and quickly assemble the pieces of the puzzle, the Priory's secret and a stunning historical truth will be lost forever.
In an exhilarating blend of scholarly intelligence, relentless adventure, and cutting wit, Robert Langdon (first introduced in Dan Brown's Angels Demons) is the most original detective to appear in years. Combining the punch of Robert Ludlum, the intriguing historical touch of Umberto Eco, and the nonstop suspense of Michael Crichton, The Da Vinci Code is a rocket ride of an intelligent thriller.
"[A] gleefully erudite suspense novel....Not since the advent of Harry Potter has an author so flagrantly delighted in leading readers on a breathless chase and coaxing them through hoops." Janet Maslin, The New York Times
"[A]n exhaustively researched page-turner....Brown has assembled a whopper of a plot that will please both conspiracy buffs and thriller addicts." Publishers Weekly
"[A]n ingenious mixture of paranoid thriller, art history lesson, chase story, religious symbology lecture and anti-clerical screed, and it's the most fun you can have between the sort of covers that aren't 300-count Egyptian cotton....[A] hugely entertaining book." Charles Taylor, Salon.com
"Brown solidifies his reputation as one of the most skilled thriller writers on the planet with his best book yet, a compelling blend of history and page-turning suspense." Library Journal
"The Da Vinci Code mixes page-turning suspense with art history, architecture and religious history." Ayesha Court, USA Today
"By pulp thriller standards, Code is brainy stuff....[I]t ain't Clive Cussler. But it's not Umberto Eco, either...a straightforward, code-cracking mystery quest for the Sunday Jumble set. (Grade: B)" Scott Brown, Entertainment Weekly
"Brown keeps the pace fast, the puzzles that lead to the Grail are exceedingly clever, and there is a flurry of surprises and betrayals before the mystery is finally solved." Patrick Anderson, The Washington Post Book World
"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." Frank Sennett, Booklist
"[A] dazzling performance...a delightful display of erudition....Brown delivers a crackling, intricate mystery, complete with breathtaking escapes and several stunning surprises. It's challenging, exciting, and a whole lot more." Jim Fusilli, Boston Globe
"Dan Brown has to be one of the best, smartest, and most accomplished writers in the country. The Da Vinci Code is many notches above the intelligent thriller; this is pure genius." Nelson DeMille
"Intrigue and menace mingle in one of the finest mysteries Ive ever read. An amazing tale with enigma piled on secrets stacked on riddles." Clive Cussler
"Dan Brown is my new must-read. The Da Vinci Code is fascinating and absorbing perfect for history buffs, conspiracy nuts, puzzle lovers or anyone who appreciates a great, riveting story. I loved this book." Harlan Coben, New York Times bestselling author of Tell No One
"The Da Vinci Code sets the hook-of-all-hooks, and takes off down a road that is as eye-opening as it is page-turning. You simply cannot put this book down. Thriller readers everywhere will soon realize Dan Brown is a master."
Vince Flynn, New York Times bestselling author of Separation of Power
"I would never have believed that this is my kind of thriller, but I'm going to tell you something the more I read, the more I had to read. In The Da Vinci Code, Dan Brown has built a world that is rich in fascinating detail, and I could not get enough of it. Mr. Brown, I am your fan." Robert Crais,
New York Times bestselling author of Hostage
In an exhilarating blend of scholarly intelligence, relentless adventure, and cutting wit, Robert Langdon (first introduced in Angels & Demons) and his new adventure combines the punch of Robert Ludlum, the intriguing historical touch of Umberto Eco, and the nonstop suspense of Michael Crichton.
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. Near the body, police have found a baffling cipher. While working to solve the enigmatic riddle, Langdon is stunned to discover it leads to a trail of clues hidden in the works of Da Vinci clues visible for all to see yet ingeniously disguised by the painter. Langdon joins forces with a gifted French cryptologist, Sophie Neveu, and learns 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.
In a breathless race through Paris, London, and beyond, Langdon and Neveu match wits with a faceless powerbroker who seems to anticipate their every move. Unless Langdon and Neveu can decipher the labyrinthine puzzle in time, the Priory's ancient secret and an explosive historical truth will be lost forever. The Da Vinci Code heralds the arrival of a new breed of lightning-paced, intelligent thriller utterly unpredictable right up to its stunning conclusion.
About the Author
Dan Brown is the bestselling author of Digital Fortress, Angels & Demons, and Deception Point. He lives in New England.
Reading Group Guide
1. As a symbologist, Robert Langdon has a wealth of academic knowledge that helps him view the world in a unique way. Now that youve read The Da Vinci Code
, are there any aspects of life/history/faith that you
are seeing in a different light?
2. Langdon and Teabing disagree as to whether the Sangreal documents should be released to the world. If you were the Grand Master of the Priory of Sion, would you release the documents? If so, what do you think their effect would be?
3. What observations does this novel make about our past? How do these ideas relate to our future?
4. Other than his fear of being framed for murder, what motivates Langdon to follow this perilous quest? Do his motivations change?
5. The novels “quest” involves numerous puzzles and codes. Did you enjoy trying to solve these puzzles along with the characters? Did you solve any of the puzzles before the characters did?
6. If you could spend a day in any of the places described in this novel, where would it be, and why? The Louvre? Westminster Abbey? Rosslyn Chapel? The Temple Church? Somewhere else?
7. Historian Leigh Teabing claims the founding fathers of Christianity hijacked the good name of Jesus for political reasons. Do you agree? Does the historical evidence support Teabings claim?
8. Has this book changed your ideas about faith, religion, or history in any way?
9. Would you rather live in a world without religion…or a world without science?
10. Saunière placed a lot of confidence in Langdon. Was this confidence well-placed? What other options might Saunière have had? Did Saunière make the right decision separating Sophie from the rest of her family?
11. Do you imagine Langdon should forgive Teabing for his misguided actions? On the other hand, do you think Teabing should forgive Langdon for refusing to release the Sangreal documents?
12. Does the world have a right to know all aspects of its history, or can an argument be made for keeping certain information secret?
13. What is interesting about the way this story is told? How are the episodes of the novel arranged and linked? In your discussion, you might want to identify where the turning points in the action are where those moments are after which everything is different. Did you anticipate them?
14. What is the novel's theme? What central message or idea links all the other components of the novel together?
15. For most people, the word “God” feels holy, while the word “Goddess” feels mythical. What are your thoughts on this? Do you imagine those perceptions will ever change?
16. Will you look at the artwork of Da Vinci any differently now that you know more about his “secret life?”
The following questions are intended to enhance your discussion, spotlight memorable passages, and make your reading experience of The Da Vinci Code even livelier.