Welcome friends! I have started this entry in the global technosphere because I have been in love with books since the age of 2. Among the busy business of being a new teacher, this is my outlet for sharing thoughts on a love of reading a wide variety of books. My inspiration can be summed up with a yearbook quote from a teacher written when I was 8: "To the only girl at recess I see reading a book. Good for you!"
My blog title is quoted from a classmate who asked me this once. Believe it or not, I've also heard it as a teacher :D

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Angels & Demons and The DaVinci Code- Dan Brown

Purchase:  Amazon | Chapters
Purchase:  Amazon | Chapters

Angels & Demons
Published: 2000
Length: 569 pages
ISBN: 0671027360
Genre: Suspense

Summary: A Harvard symbologist investigates the branded symbol on a murdered Swiss physicist that uncovers a long-hidden extremist group plotting to bomb the Vatican.

Start Date: Sometime in 2005-6
Finished Date: Sometime in 2005-6

The Da Vinci Code
Published: 2003
Length: 489 pages
ISBN: 1400079179
Genre: Suspense

Summary: Symbologist Robert Langdon is summoned to the Louvre after its curator is murdered, the motives of which reveal a historical secret society and a controversial religious history.

Where Found: Chapters-Indigo (both)
Why Read: Mostly due to popularity (both).


I blame popularity for enticing me to read these. Sometimes word of mouth and media coverage is too much to ignore and will get the better of even the most disciplined reader. Dan Brown writes irresistibly, ending each chapter on a climax like a true page-turner.

I habitually read series in chronological order—I can’t help it, I must know how it all begins. So, even though The Da Vinci Code had long been released, I decided to read Angels & Demons first (note that there have been some interesting reactions from those who read DVC first).

The novels are alike: Robert Langdon, a Harvard symbologist (semiotics combined with history, philosophy & culture) is contacted by investigators to decrypt a message left on the murdered body of a prominent figure (a physicist in A&D, a curator at the Louvre in DVC), and is paired with a beautiful woman of interest to the case. Brown sets a formula far from original but nonetheless attractive as chapters unfurl secrets like rapidly blooming roses. A number of fun but farfetched chases ensue as the clock ticks towards a disastrous calamity (the bombing of the Vatican by a secret society in A&D) or the unveiling of a controversial truth (the existence of a Holy Grail that proves the existence of a bloodline from the brief union of Mary Magdalene and Jesus in DVC).

Brown’s two Langdon books are certainly exciting, fun crime thrillers with a generous bending of history that should not have been taken as seriously as it was at the time of the books’ and movies’ releases. Facts are present, plot twists are plentiful, and interpretations are varied. Brown’s willingness to accept and court controversy only adds to his success. He is obviously able to write a good cat-and-mouse game, but by manipulating historical fiction into a crime thriller formula is even more impressive. And fun. Don’t forget fun :o)

Rank: (A)- Highly recommended (both)

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