Posted by: mlawrencekey | February 14, 2011

Review: The Da Vinci Code

The Da Vinci Code (Robert Langdon, #2)The Da Vinci Code by Dan Brown
My rating: 1 of 5 stars

Against my better judgment, I decided to read the book that it seems everyone else in the Western Hemisphere has read. I have to say that I spent many an enjoyable hour with this book, but not in the way the author intended. My critique of the book has two prongs–one being the content and the research, and the other being the writing style itself. Although I have many issues with the content and research, I think I’ll leave that to others out there who have richly eviscerated the book on these points. Besides, as long as it’s understood to be fiction, I have no problem with a book that explores conspiracy theories, no matter how wild (I do, however, take issue with the author’s claim of validity for his book’s claims, but that’s another story).

The most distracting thing about the DaVinci Code for me was not the so called "facts" and conspiracy theories. It was the writing, or lack thereof. On nearly every page, I found myself distracted by how awful this guy’s writing is–no better in many places than some of the worst writing of the Hardy Boys series. I could go into lots of detail, but all you have to do is check out the Wikipedia article on the critique of the book to find links to others who’ve detailed his many problems with style, grammar, descriptions, etc. I know how popular he is and how wonderful so many think he is, but I just don’t see it. His writing is no better than that of a pulp fiction hack, and I should know–I’m a professional writer after all, and if I wrote something like that, it would never get published. It must have been the controversial content that sold the books, not the brilliance of the writing. So that’s why it got the rating it did from me–not because of the content, but because the writing was so mystifyingly bad.

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