The Da Vinci Code in 4 days

SPOILER ALERT! If you havent read the book and don’t want to spoil any suprises, I highly rec­om­mend you NOT to read this post. Any­thing beyond this point cov­ers unex­pected twists and prob­a­bly the con­clu­sion of the story.TheDaVinciCode

13−3−2−21−1−1−8−5
O, Dra­con­ian devil!
Oh, lame saint!
P.S. find Robert Langdon

Sigh. I had to put down yet another amaz­ing thriller after only four days! Sim­ply because I had already fin­ished it. But really, 4 days is a per­sonal record. 490 pages in four days.. This book is defi­nately a page-turner, a fast-paced mys­tery novel (as var­i­ous review­ers put it) Never before I had read a novel this fast because you sim­ply can’t put it down! Not only its thrilling, the rid­dles are amaz­ingly clever and bril­liant! Two-thumbs up for Dan Brown!

The review by the San Fran­sisco Chron­i­cle sim­ply is enough to descibe Dan Brown’s book:

Let’s just say that if this novel doens’t get your pulse rac­ing, you need to check your meds… This is good fun — Umberto Eco on steriods.

And that is so seri­ously true.

I am no his­to­rian nor do I score in my His­tory papers, but some facts in this book (which has sparked much con­tro­versy and debate) cer­tainly did raise my eye­brows. For exam­ple, the claim that Jesus was mar­ried to Mary Mag­da­lene and had chil­dren and that Leonardo da Vinci is homo­sex­ual etc. Every­time I meet any of these facts, I would turn to the book’s cover to double-check where it says: ‘FICTION’ Umm..yeah, fic­tion. But what are the odds that what Dan had claimed is true?

Despite the doubt­ful claims, there are, in fact, facts that are true in the book. Very inter­est­ing facts. Many of you may have heard of PI (3.14) and the Fibonacci sequence (1 1 2 3 5 8 13 21 34), both of which are men­tioned in the book, but I’ve never heard of PHI. PHI aka the Divine Pro­por­tion or the Golden Ratio is sim­ply an irra­tional num­ber with many unusual appear­ances in nature. For example:

Mea­sure the dis­tance from the tip of your head to the floor, then divide it by the dis­tance from your belly but­ton to the floor — 1.618. Dis­tance from hip to floor by the dis­tance from knee to floor — 1.618. Divide the num­ber of female bees by the num­ber of male bees found in any bee hive in the world — 1.618. And count­less more exam­ples.. Pretty neat huh?

Did you even know that in the Last Sup­per by Leonardo, the per­son sit­ting to the right of Jesus is a woman when the last sup­per was attended by 13 men? Look closely head here for a hi-res if you want. Look out also for a dis­em­bod­ied hand hold­ing a dag­ger some­where in the paint­ing. These are a few of many inter­est­ing facts cov­ered I never knew.

The Da Vinci Code is cer­tainly a good read. I would highly rec­om­mend you to get a copy. As Nat­Geo put it: read it as a mys­tery thriller, not as a his­tory lesson.

Finally, do keep in mind that I am on neu­tral ground as to the authen­tic­ity of Dan Brown’s claims and do not wish to com­ment on the truth of it. Though I hope at some point the Grail existed :p

Links: Nat­Geo | More facts | Dan Brown | Off­i­cal website


by shenghan in General on 12th April, 2005 at 2pm, Tuesday, April 12th, 2005 02:40 pm GMT +8

4 Comments

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  1. Sashi said

    Two days, for me.

    And regard­less of what the book deals with in terms of Chri­tian­ity, I per­son­ally enjoyed it because it awoke my long-dormant inter­est in art again. :)

  2. Lex said

    thats fast.… I did it in 1 week.

    And I fin­ished all 4 Dan Brown’s book in 4 weeks time.

  3. Jon said

    One day for me, not that I want to boast, but I did dur­ing a free week­end with­out any inter­rup­tions. My brother read it in 15 hours on a flight from Dublin to KL.

    It is all pretty for­mulic. I have read all his books and all fol­low the same style of writ­ing. Even the other Lang­don adven­ture is sim­i­lar. Who wants to bet the next book about the freema­sons will begin with a mur­der again and huge twist 3/4th way from the end?

    Regard­ing the sub­stance of the claim, I have seen a doc­u­men­tary on Chan­nel 4 (UK) and it seems the claims made by Dan Brown is all pretty non-plausable.

  4. ember said

    Sashi, yeah I enjoyed it too, like I said, just as a fast-paced mys­tery novel.

    Jon, wow, you sure read pretty fast. I dont think I can fin­ish it even if I got a free week­end to myself!