‘The Da Vinci Code’ – Throwback Thursday

Why ‘The Da Vinci Code’ is NOT like Nancy Drew and what makes it both intriguing and controversial.

Fiction Thriller & Mystery

I have to be completely honest here, I saw the movie before I read the book in the case of this TBT. That’s right, “Bookworm Lisa” is admitting to seeing a movie before reading a book, but in my defense, I was only days away from turning nine when The Da Vinci Code (the movie) was released and it became one of those movies I grew up watching over and over again with my family.

I wanted to open with that statement because The Da Vinci Code by Dan Brown is a book that is either loved or hated, rarely ever falling somewhere in between. It is for that reason that I was inclined to love the book once I got to the age of realizing there was even a book behind the movie in the first place, and then deciding I absolutely had to read it. At that point, I was reading the book with the faces of Tom Hanks, Paul Bettany, and the legendary Ian McKellen already in my mind. Did you really expect me to dislike a book knowing that Ian McKellen plays one of the characters in the movie adaptation?




Anyway, The Da Vinci Code. This was probably my first dive into the world of mystery since becoming what I consider to be a more grown-up reader and it has certainly left me with a certain craving for more. Even though one of the Goodreads reviews for The Da Vinci Code compares it to Nancy Drew, I am here to rebuttal that statement as someone who read a lot of Nancy Drew in my childhood. What can I say? Old habits die hard. I was a sucker for mystery as a child and I ended up being a sucker for mystery as an adult, too.



I guess in the sense that they are both mystery novels, sure, they’re similar in that aspect. I already admitted that in the previous paragraph. But Nancy Drew books are written for children and because of that, the mysteries are more often than not pretty comical in nature. Do you really see a child picking up a book about a murder in the Louvre? If they did somehow decide it to be a topic of interest, do you think they would be able to understand a single reference within the first twenty pages? How about in any of the 400+ pages, if they even make it that far? No? I don’t either, so let’s put that argument to rest right now.

The Da Vinci Code had me chomping at the bit to know more, even with something as small as a misinterpretation of a “P.S.” Add in the legend of the Holy Grail, a private jet bringing the protagonists from one of my favorite cities (Paris) to another one of my favorite cities (London), Da Vinci’s famous mirrored writing, a visit to Westminster Abbey, and some family secrets, then I am fully enthralled by the novel. Why do you think Indiana Jones was so popular? Besides the obvious reason of a young Harrison Ford in a low-buttoned shirt, people will always be intrigued by the legend that surrounds the Holy Grail.




Plus, did you know The Da Vinci Code is a sequel in a book series entitled Robert Langdon? I did not have a clue of this for the longest time, so I went back and read the first book afterwards. Eventually I’ll also put the rest of the series on the top of my priority reading list. If you haven’t noticed yet, I am a reader who falls on the love end of the spectrum for Dan Brown, so this is just a logical step for me somewhere along my various literary journeys.



So, what of the daunting question that surrounds Dan Brown’s The Da Vinci Code, which makes it as controversial of a novel as it is: science or religion? I say both. Unlike the debate over whether this is a good or bad book, I personally believe there to be a medium as to whether science or religion is the dominating force. I am not a religious person, but I think faith can be separated from fact in order to bring someone a bit of comfort, so long as faith does not blind them from seeing the facts.

But that’s just me… until our next TBT.