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Quote of the Day

posted by awelborn

From a story on DVC paperback sales:

Laurence J. Kirshbaum, the longtime head of the Time Warner Book Group and now a literary agent, said "Jaws" in the 1970s might have been the last paperback so in demand.

"Unborn babies must be reading `Da Vinci,’" Kirshbaum said. "Who else on this planet is left?"



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Tom Mohan

posted April 5, 2006 at 10:42 pm


I haven’t read it….too many good books out there. Probably should read “de-coding DaVinci” before the movie hits the fan.



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Tina

posted April 5, 2006 at 11:09 pm


Sometimes I feel like everybody and their mother has read this book except for me. Every time I see a Catholic friend with “DVC” listed as a favorite book on their Facebook profile, I want to scream. I just had another friend recommend it to me. I had to suppress the urge to say, “No thanks, I’m not really interested in a book that slams everything about the faith I know and love.”



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Shy One

posted April 5, 2006 at 11:37 pm


Tina….why suppress your desire? I’d come right out with it. Charitably, mind you. Think of it as defending Christ from slander, lies and defamation.



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Sonetka

posted April 5, 2006 at 11:37 pm


Hey, if unborn babies really are reading it, it would go a long way towards explaining why they seemed so royally ticked-off when they emerge from the womb :). (“THIS is the kind of literature my post-birth life has to offer? NOOOOOOOO!!!”)



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Adam

posted April 6, 2006 at 2:22 am


I haven’t read it. Sounds boring.



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sharon d.

posted April 6, 2006 at 8:55 am


The Da Vinci Code has become for Catholics what Harry Potter was for homeschoolers: a shibboleth which declares ones allegiances simply through the act of reading or not reading. I’ve been declared a disappointingly non-thinking Catholic, in lockstep obedience to the diktats of the Pope, just because I haven’t read the d— thing (I don’t even *like* the genre, I wouldn’t have read it if it were Dostoevsky). Just like when not having made your child read HP meant you must be an ultrareligious, censorious homeschooler terrified of the “occult” and you must have an opinion of the book just so everyone can know what kind of homeschooler you are.



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Henry Dieterich

posted April 6, 2006 at 9:09 am


I haven’t read it. I don’t intend to read it. I haven’t read Mein Kampf either. I have heard that both are badly written and full of lies. But I think I’ll read Mein Kampf (in translation) before I read Da Vinci Code. I might actually learn something from it.



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CMick

posted April 6, 2006 at 9:24 am


It is boring. I read the first couple of chapters.
I don’t really mind my friends reading it so much.
I do mind them accusing me of *not* reading it because I’m a sheep of a Catholic.



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Sandra Miesel

posted April 6, 2006 at 10:41 am


HARRY POTTER was falsely accused; TDVC is guilty of attacking the fundamentals of Christianity. You really have to wonder why so many Catholics/Christians profess to have enjoyed seeing their faith trashed by a woefully bad writer.



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lourdes

posted April 6, 2006 at 10:47 am


I don’t want to give my money to Dan Brown. However, last week a priest told me the book was a “good read”. A couple of months ago I was at a parish where the pastor was touting a used copy of the DVC at the used book sale. Thank God Benedict is a teacher. We are in great need of teachers within the priesthood.



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Sandra Miesel

posted April 6, 2006 at 11:23 am


Goes double for priests, doesn’t it? Why are they enjoying seeing the Faith trashed and encouraging others to enjoy it, too? Good old “treason of the clerks,” which incidentally helped make the Reformation.



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Davida

posted April 6, 2006 at 11:26 am


Don’t know how it affects the numbers, but boxes of the book were shipped to military locations- my husband had no trouble locating multiple copies-boxes of them- when he was deployed. Though maybe that just happens when a book reaches a certain popularity- there were also dozens and dozens of copies of The Purpose Driven Life.



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Fuinseoig

posted April 6, 2006 at 11:27 am


“Who else on this planet is left?”
Me, for one. And even if every single other person in the English-speaking world succumbs, I still won’t be reading it (and this from someone who reads even the backs and sides of cereal boxes).



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Joe Gloor

posted April 6, 2006 at 11:28 am


I received the book from my brother two years ago for Christmas. I couldn’t get past the introductory statement of ‘facts’ because they were so full of lies rather than facts.
As soon as it started describing Opus Dei as something ‘bad’ I knew the book was not for me and stopped reading it.



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Theocoid

posted April 6, 2006 at 11:53 am


I read it as a prelude to reading Sandra Miesel’s book. I knew several friends who had read it, and I wanted to be prepared to rebut any falsehoods they chose to toss my direction.
Plus, I wanted to see just how many Gnostic fabrications from my agnostic days (hey, irony, eh?) krept into his work. I think he covered nearly all of them.



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Patricia Gonzalez

posted April 6, 2006 at 12:04 pm


Read it out of curiosity — got it from the local library — a badly written piece of anti-Catholic dreck, IMO. My son, unfortunately, has a paperback copy and looks at it as “just a story”, not interested in reading De-coding Da Vinci though (sorry, Amy). Grrr…



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Patricia Gonzalez

posted April 6, 2006 at 12:06 pm


BTW, Jaws is much better written, and a much better story in general. Better than the movie, even.



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capulet

posted April 6, 2006 at 12:07 pm


I read DVC because several people had asked me about it and I thought I should have something to say. Well, now I do.
Aside from all the inaccuracies, it’s just not very good. It seems as if every “historical novel of ideas” is compared to Umberto Eco these days, and I keep wanting to say, “Don’t lie to me!”



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Ken

posted April 6, 2006 at 12:32 pm


“Who else on this planet is left?”
Da Vinci Code for Pets, anyone?



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Jean

posted April 6, 2006 at 12:58 pm


Umbrto Eco is one of the best writers I have read recently but his philosophy and consequently the endings of his novels are so very disappointing. They left me depressed after finishing them. Now DVC does not interest me at all so I guess I am one of the only people on the planet that never read it. I am a voracious reader btw.



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TheLeague

posted April 6, 2006 at 1:33 pm


I haven’t read it either. I went through my “gnostic/magdelene” stage in college 15 years ago. I was even studying medieval Arthruian literature at the time.
I tell people I got this DaVinci Code foolishes out of my system before the book even existed. And I then suggest they do the same.



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Aumgn

posted April 6, 2006 at 5:04 pm


Interesting that people are mentioning Umberto Eco here. Personally, I think his book ‘Foucault’s Pendulum’ (Englished in ’89 I think) is an excellent pre-emptive rebutting of Dan Brown (or his missus’) scribblings. Ok, he’s parodying The Holy Blood and the Holy Grail and the similar books that came out around the same time, but the examination of the conspiratorial mindset is rather delicious. Think of it as the ‘anti’ Name of the Rose, where, instead of the signs all signifying some hidden secret, they merely signify nothing …



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Ed the Roman

posted April 6, 2006 at 5:29 pm


Foucault’s Pendulum is a crushing rejoinder to DVC, written years and years before the fact.
Name of the Rose didn’t do much for me, particularly the Obligatory Sex Scene with a young friar and a scullery maid (you can tell that it was the OSS because it practically came out of nowhere at all), but Foucault more than made up for it. The part where the hero describes the Eucharist, and points out just what a tin-foil-hatted dweeb you have to be to think that THAT is just the cover story – that there has to be something really BIG and SECRET behind the idea of God feeding Himself to us every day in the form* of bread and wine.
* modern sense of form



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Dan

posted April 6, 2006 at 8:17 pm


“Who else on this planet is left?”
Plenty:
The Da Vinci Code Video Game.
The Da Vinci Code TV Series.
The Da Vinci Code, The Movie Sequel
The Da Vinci Code Action Figures.
The Da Vinci Code Monthly Calendar.
The Da Vinci Code Daily Calendar.
The Da Vinci Code Jigsaw Puzzle.



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Sandra Miesel

posted April 6, 2006 at 8:30 pm


Quote from FOUCAULT’S PENDULUM to give the flavor:
“The challenge isn’t to find links between Debussy and the Templars. Everybody does that. The problem is to find links between, for example, cabala and the spark plugs of a car.”



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carolyn

posted April 6, 2006 at 9:16 pm


I’m waiting for the Cliff Notes for DVC.



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Jimmy Huck

posted April 8, 2006 at 9:48 pm


I read it and thoroughly enjoyed it. I wouldn’t rank it with Kristin Lavransdatter, Anna Karenina, The Brothers Karamazov, or The Sound and the Fury; but then it’s not really that kind of fiction, is it? As a mystery thriller, it’s much better than anything Scott Turow, John le Carre, or John Grisham has ever written. I accepted it for the fiction that it was. And, frankly, I find quite offensive the patronizing attitude towards the “hoi polloi” that somehow thinks they must be saved from their poor, uncritical, unthinking, impressionable, ignorant, poorly chatecized selves. What ever happened to trusting the good judgment of regular people of faith? The Church is infinitely stronger than this book and its truth will endure long after TDVC is an insignificant footnote in the history of literature. That doesn’t take away from the fact that TDVC is a good, gripping read.



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capulet

posted April 8, 2006 at 10:45 pm


I don’t think it’s a “fact” that DVC (or any book) is a “good read.” Literate people can certainly differ on the quality of Dan Brown’s writing. It’s difficult for me to separate my opinion of his historical knowledge from my opinion of his skill as a writer, but I thought it just wasn’t that good a novel. For instance, there was too much exposition in his dialogue. He can’t tell a story without literally telling it instead of revealing the plot through characterization and other devices I vaguely recall learning in seventh-grade creative writing.
As for my attitude toward “hoi polloi” (whom I don’t treat condescendingly; I’m too young, for one thing): I’m a grad student in religious studies. This doesn’t mean I know everything about my area of study. It does mean that people ask me about DVC and other trendy developments in early church history (the Gospel of Judas came up just tonight). If it were so obvious that DVC and its basis were fictional, why would people bother to ask me? Obviously the novel provokes questions. That doesn’t mean the people who read it have poor judgment. It means there’s a difference between a fictional story and fictional premises for that story. That DVC is fictional in the first sense is obvious to anyone who has reached the age of reason. That it is fictional in the second sense isn’t as obvious, because most people who read historical fiction assume that the historical premises are true, or at least plausible given what we know of history. Dan Brown, as I understand it, not only implicitly but explicitly claims that his historical premises are sound. Intelligent people might well find that confusing!
I agree with you that the Church will endure DVC (thanks be to God!). But I don’t think that means we should be indifferent in the face of bad history–or bad fiction. Which I think DVC is, although if you enjoy Brown’s writing, then by all means, do so! I will curl up in a quiet corner with Umberto Eco and encourage others to do likewise.



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Jimmy Huck

posted April 9, 2006 at 2:43 am


capulet – Good comments and I’d have to say that I agree with you in your categorization of the two distinctions you make relative to TDVC as fiction. I’d only say in response that my “hoi polloi” comment was directed not at those who would engage critical questioning or even the confused minds of those who have read TDVC, for that is part and parcel of the process of critical thinking and discovery, but rather at those supposedly “in the know” who would preach that people burn TDVC before even bothering to consider reading such heretical hogwash. The mantra that I hear by those “in the know” (who, themselves, must claim to have read TDVC so that they can be trusted when they tell others its trashy, horrible writing, and should be avoided) is that “Good” Catholics shouldn’t read TDVC and don’t need to in order to engage the debate. Where does anyone get off telling others who have “reached the age of reason” that they shouldn’t bother reading TDVC in the first place because, trust me, it’s trash. No need for you theological simpletons to cloud your heads and confuse yourselves with such deceptions and heresies. Just listen to me and I’ll spoon feed you the truth.
It is this patronizing and, frankly, anti-intellectual attitude, implicit in this line of thinking, which offends me.



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