Jesus Lives, And He’s Serving You Fries

Just finished The DaVinci Code today, mainly to see what all the fuss was about–and boy, can I see it. It’s undeniably entrancing, sure, but it’s so damn obvious in doing so. If this book was a movie, it’d be one of those old outer-space flicks where you can see the wires holding up the spaceship as it flies in front of a spraypainted bedsheet. (Yes, I know it’s going to be a big-budget Ron Howard movie; I’m talking more in metaphoric than cinematic terms here.) But there are lessons to be learned here, friends.

First off, the plot, if you’re not already aware. We’ve got The Church, here represented sort of as the Legion of Doom in purty robes. (They’ve even got their own Solomon Grundy-like lunatic albino.) And we’ve got the Priory of Sion, this super-secret society that’s tasked with protecting The Greatest Secret In All Human History. When Solomon Grundy knocks off a Louvre curator with connections to the Priory of Sion (I’ll preserve suspense for the three of you who haven’t yet read it), all hell breaks loose, and a resourceful (of course), ruggedly handsome (of course) Harvard symbologist (wha…?) and an attractive (of course) French codebreaker chick (ooookay) find themselves in pursuit of the Holy Grail itself, while themselves being pursued by the French police and The Church, who are both in this book a lot more resourceful than you’d think. The symbologist and the French hottie are forced to jump through all kinds of logical hoops and riddles left by the dead curator, most of which are either 1. completely obvious or 2. of the CSI variety, where they just happen to stumble onto exactly the right answer.

Anyway, I’m going on way too long here, but here’s the upshot. Dan Brown can write him a cliffhanger. I HAD to keep reading this book to figure out what was going on. The cliffhangers in this book are like pizza or sex; even though they’re weak and obvious, they’re still pretty good. (Also like bad sex, I felt a little used and dirty after reading this–like I could’ve spent the five or six hours in MUCH better ways.)

So–do I recommend it? Aw, sure; you know already if you’ll like this. I’m a conspiracy–well, not “obsessive,” not “nut” or “freak”–let’s say “conspiracy enthusiast,” and this feeds into the suspicion that a lot of folks have that there’s Somebody Out There Pulling All The Strings. And although the theology and academic rigor is grade-school level, I do like the idea espoused here that true faith understands that the stories of the Bible are metaphoric. That’s another journal for another day, but the literature professor in me has always been at war with the faithful side; knowing how texts are created through history tends to make me look a bit askance at certain stories that I was told to, literally, take as gospel.

The Da Vinci Code ain’t gospel, not by a long shot, but if I can pull off the kind of page-turning tome that Brown has here, I’ll be mucho pleased with myself.

Jay

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