I have about 20 pages to go before finishing Dan Brown’s The Da Vinci Code. I cannot believe this book sold 40 million copies. Anything positive I had to say about it was burned away when the villain was revealed. I swear, it’s like Brown realized he was at the end of the book and had to pick a secondary character to be a villain, so he chose the one he thought would have the most shock value. And the explanation for how this person did the things s/he did … just pathetic.
And yet, I don’t blame Brown for the book becoming a phenomenon. He wrote what he wrote and, like all authors, hoped it would be a success. Sure, he made up stuff he presented as facts. He tried to convince us the Louvre still has bar soap in the restrooms and that you can read digits entered into a cell phone after the call is connected. His research is for crap, his writing often clunky, characters made of plywood and a suck-ass ending that makes Dean Koontz look like he knows how to end a book. But he’d never have to work again if he didn’t want to.
I blame the Christian right for that. Yep.
Back in about 1997 some shock-rocker named Marilyn Manson was slated to do a show in Oklahoma City. He’d sold about 200 tickets when the moral folks in these parts realized he was coming and tried to get the governor to cancel the show. (Surprisingly, Frank Keating didn’t do it.) Anyway, once the stink was made, tickets sold like crazy. Unfortunately, I was poor and didn’t get to go, but that’s another story.
I think the same thing happened with The Da Vinci Code. If people hadn’t made a stir about, it would have faded away quickly, the same way Brown’s earlier three books did. Instead, we’re left with this bit of tripe being one of the best-selling novels of all time.
We are one messed up society. I may have to reread The Exorcist just to cleanse myself of this book.
(And, by the by … would it really matter if Jesus and Mary Magdalen were married and had a baby? Would the admonition to do unto others as you would have them do unto you suddenly lose all validity if it came from the mouth of a married man?)