The Da Vinci Code: An Overnight and Controversial Hit
Dan Brown’s most illustrious novel is, without a doubt, entitled The Da Vinci Code. First published in the year 2003, this fictional novel revolves around the story of Robert Langdon who finds himself on the trail of a very dark religious secret, stemming from a murder case in modern-day Louvre. Under the genre of a mystery-detective thriller, this book has been well received by the public as a fascinating, cannot-be-put-down kind of story.
Upon its publication, The Da Vinci Code has gained innumerable acclaims for its extraordinary plot, fast-paced storyline, and realistically intelligent characters. It has sold over 40 million copies in about 44 different languages. However, for every commendation that this novel received, criticisms also followed – targeting its historical and scientific inaccuracy. With the amount of attention it was given, The Da Vinci Code stayed on the top spot of best-selling books for about a year.
For most readers, a good well-written story is all it takes for them to pick up a book and to start reading it. The Da Vinci Code is one such story and more. With over four hundred and fifty pages, about eighty-five percent of The Da Vinci Code merely moves within a time frame of eight hours, from eleven in the evening to seven in the morning of the following day. It is a chase that takes the reader to a journey of cleverly posed puzzles, sneaky surprises, and superb storytelling that keeps the reader turning every single page until the narrative finally reaches its conclusion.
Nevertheless, even though the conspiracy theories and premises of the movie are conceivable, most historians and critics say that the basis of The Da Vinci Code is not at all legitimate and not based on credible research. There have been many accusations regarding the inconsistency and misrepresentation of truth in the book, especially since Dan Brown claims at the very first page that all findings presented in The Da Vinci Code are accurate. (“All descriptions of art work, architecture, documents, and secret rituals in this novel are accurate.”)
Most of the criticisms facing The Da Vinci Code are issued by the Christian community, as the controversial premises do in fact go against the very fundamental teachings of the Roman Catholic Church. The book claims that Jesus Christ was not a deity, was married to Mary Magdalene, who was pregnant with His child. It also points out the manner by which the patriarchal church chose the books of the Bible, and how the canonical books were chosen by a pagan, not Christian, king.
It is a novel that interlaces fact with fiction, in a manner that makes it impossible to separate the truth from the creative designs of the author. The publication of The Da Vinci Code has brought about various teachings, lessons, and reactions that aim to debunk the claims of the fictitious novel that passes itself off as nonfiction. That, in essence, is why this novel has become such a controversy in recent times.
As a work of fiction, it presents an intriguing plot. But can The Da Vinci Code act as a theology reference book, as it claims it can be? Most likely not, though that remains to be the sole business of the reader.