Friday, May 19, 2006

Duh Vinci Code


Well the verdict is in. It sucks. The movie, that is.

But first more important news.

I just finished the book last Wednesday.

As chronicled here before I grew up a voracious book reader but as I have “matured” I find myself having trouble starting and finishing books. A Prayer for Owen Meany is still sitting there with 100 pages to go. Lonesome Dove too. Meanwhile I can rip through The Fountainhead and Atlas Shrugged for some reason but I think that may be because I welcomed both of their altruistic natures. And maybe because I was stuck on a boat in the middle of the Arabian Gulf some 20 years ago.

Now, I travel a lot – but not really far enough to blow down a book (and besides I read the paper like its nobody’s business). I marvel at these people who pull out hardback copies on a plane to read at their leisure. I mean I don’t have room in my laptop-briefcase –purse-satchel-thing to cram a hardback in there – I have files, contracts and a computer to carry – don’t any of these people have work to do? It’s much more functional for me to cram a Time or People next to the laptop than War and Peace. Besides I really need to know what Heather and Denise are up to.

And I don’t really like the small compressed paperback – but I am in love with the “in-between” paperback that is sort of the size of the hardback but still soft – if you know what I mean. So I got one of those for the Da Vinci Code as they rolled them out in preparation for the movie’s release.

And, of course, there is no greater motivation to completing a book than when the movie blockbuster is due to come out. I mean – I cannot see the movie without reading the book – it’s almost sacriligious. Hmm – that’s almost prescient.

Now Deborah had already read it a year ago so I had to blow it down. And I liked the premise. First I’m a mystery murder fan to no end (I still have my Hardy Boys collection somewhere). Next I grew up Catholic so I was going to be preeminently interested in what the book had to say (and more importantly what my parents might say later). And lastly I spent some time in Paris for work a few years after I. M. Pei’s beautiful creation at the Louvre was finished and had the pleasure of spending several hours there – I mean I have been in that tourista crowd mingling before the Mona Lisa as they say. Been there done that. So I was very much looking forward to what this tome may provide – and a trip down memory lane.

After the first few pages I had a revelation – this guy can’t write! This murder action was written worse than a comic book! This swill sold 50 million! Jesus Christ!

But soon our hero Langdon is brought in and it starts to read pretty good (Hey Dan work on your intro buddy). And then you start to notice as it goes along – this is written like a movie! I mean the chapters are all of six pages long and he cuts to varying plot lines like a Tom Clancy novel, er, I mean movie. So as I am reading this in preparation for the movie I am anticipating the film to be great. It has my alter ego Tom Hanks is in it and I can see him playing Langdon, but where did they come up with this French chick – hmm, I don’t think so. Where was Juliette Binoche?

I thought the book ended badly – all this build-up for what? I dunno – do you? I kept looking for the other pages. I checked Deborah’s hardcopy for the other pages. What was it? Bones? Is this all we get?

Anyone who lives in airports can attest to all of the ancillary Da Vinci books that are out there. While wiling the way in Oakland or somewhere I picked up Fodor’s Guide to the Da Vinci Code. Anybody who travels know Fodor’s knows best. This edition debunks most of the Code in a very friendly conversational way – while showing you all of the works of art and places in the book. I wanted to see what this Madonna on the Rocks deal was big time – and it doesn’t really come down as it was portrayed in the book. And yeah John the Baptist looks like a girl - hey back then who didn't? Duh?

Meanwhile I think the historical and religious conversation is great. Hope it doesn’t tank Hanks’ and director Ron Howard’s career though – two of this H-town’s nice guys. It’s amazing to me what can look like a slam dunk in Hollywood can be something else. Bonfire of the Vanities anyone?

I didn’t finish that book either.

8 comments:

"kinkymomo" said...

the movie its good, but... no hay como el libro para imaginar y crear en la mente

lildb said...

Hey, Rock - I merely skimmed the post here, because I only came by to say thanks for your nice words. I'm not allowing myself more than a minute to be online right now (I really am addicted!), but I promise to return and read this (and probably many more) post(s) in full.

Have an awesome weekend, dude.

p.s. I dig that you're hyper-political. I am ridiculous about that shit. I can't get enough of air america, etc.

Marcie said...

I read the DiVinci code and was very entertained. I'm not a book snob so I judge books on whether I liked it or not. Pretty simple huh? The premise may not be true, but the powerful manipulating religion to control people isn't a very big stretch. I've heard the movie stinks, I haven't decided whether to see it yet.

wordgirl said...

Uh...you mean "Bonfire of the Vanities"?

wordgirl said...

I read it and I can take it with a grain of salt. Like Marcie, I'm aware that organized religions (of all kinds)teach theologies that are
riddled with untruths. Just as I can honor the inclusion of some historical facts in holy texts, I also make allowances for the human-fueled errors which many take for God's intentions. With the DaVinci Code, I do the reverse. I see it as a work of fiction with great possibility for undiscovered fact. Neither the Bible nor the DaVinci code offend me until I try to take either as unvarnished truth. Then I start to get pissed.

Rock said...

Thanks Wordgirl - I guess it was getting late.

Tink said...

"but I am in love with the “in-between” paperback that is sort of the size of the hardback but still soft" Me too! In fact, I'll wait to buy a book until it's out in that form.

kidslovecandy said...

I haven't read the book or seen the movie. I heard a lot about the plot second hand and it didn't really grab my attention. I'm a recovering Catholic.
I try to heed the advice of my 77 year old Aunt, "Life is too short to spend time on a book that doesn't hold your attention."
Thanks for coming by and visiting my site.