Summary and book reviews of The Da Vinci Code by Dan Brown

The Da Vinci Code

By Dan Brown

The Da Vinci Code
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  • Hardcover: Mar 2003,
    464 pages.
    Paperback: Mar 2006,
    496 pages.

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About this Book

Book Summary

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.

Chapter 1

Robert Langdon awoke slowly.

A telephone was ringing in the darkness--a tinny, unfamiliar ring. He fumbled for the bedside lamp and turned it on. Squinting at his surroundings he saw a plush Renaissance bedroom with Louis XVI furniture, hand-frescoed walls, and a colossal mahogany four-poster bed.

Where the hell am I?

The jacquard bathrobe hanging on his bedpost bore the monogram:

HOTEL RITZ PARIS.

Slowly, the fog began to lift.

Langdon picked up the receiver. "Hello?"

"Monsieur Langdon?" a man's voice said. "I hope I have not awoken you?"

Dazed, Langdon looked at the bedside clock. It was 12:32 A.M. He had been asleep only an hour, but he felt like the dead.

"This is the concierge, monsieur. I apologize for this intrusion, but you have a visitor. He insists it is urgent."

Langdon still felt fuzzy. A visitor? His eyes focused now on a crumpled flyer on his bedside table.

THE AMERICAN UNIVERSITY OF PARIS
proudly presents
An ...

Please be aware that this discussion guide may contain spoilers!
The following questions are intended to enhance your discussion, spotlight memorable passages, and make your reading experience of The Da Vinci Code even livelier.

  1. As a symbologist, Robert Langdon has a wealth of academic knowledge that helps him view the world in a unique way. Now that you've 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?
    ...
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Reviews

Media Reviews
The New York Times - Janet Maslin

The word for The Da Vinci Code is a rare invertible palindrome. Rotated 180 degrees on a horizontal axis so that it is upside down, it denotes the maternal essence that is sometimes linked to the sport of soccer. Read right side up, it concisely conveys the kind of extreme enthusiasm with which this riddle-filled, code-breaking, exhilaratingly brainy thriller can be recommended. That word is wow.

Library Journal

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.

Publishers Weekly

Brown sometimes ladles out too much religious history at the expense of pacing, and Langdon is a hero in desperate need of more chutzpah. Still, Brown has assembled a whopper of a plot that will please both conspiracy buffs and thriller addicts.

Author Blurb Harlan Coben
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.

Author Blurb Robert Crais
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.

Author Blurb Nelson DeMille
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.

Author Blurb Clive Cussler
Intrigue and menace mingle in one of the finest mysteries I've ever read. An amazing tale with enigma piled on secrets stacked on riddles.

Author Blurb Vince Flynn
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.

Reader Reviews
cryptic moon

nothing to say!!
woow!! What a book is this? I've never read a book like this before. But sometime I lost the coincidence. In every chapter Mr. Brown creates new things which I like the most. But the thing was that, being a high school student, at first I didn't get ...   Read More

Peter

Wait til you read this
DA VINCI CODE, for all the hoopla, generated more heat than it merited. As a page turner, pulling the reader in and keeping him/her to the end, it achieved its goal, though it isn't by any means a classic of literature. I don't think Brown meant it ...   Read More

Ashlyn R

what a book!
This "on my toes" mystery was jammed packed with action from the very first pages. "The Da Vinci Code" by Dan Brown was fast moving and kept me thinking the entire time. I did not want to put it down. I LOVED IT!

Chris C.

A Good Book
I think this book is very well written in many ways. I think that the character development is well put together and the characters fit well with the plot. I found this book very interesting and enjoyed all of the twists and turns. It is a very ...   Read More

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