Scott Horowitz | August 24, 2005
Has anyone else read this book? I enjoyed it. I'm reading all the controversy surrounding the filming of the movie and, to put it bluntly, "rolling my eyes." The entire religious Catholic community is in outrage over this, when they turned a blind eye to obvious anti-semitism in The Passion of the Christ. I liked the book from a story stand point. The solving of riddles and "wild goose chase" it follows. The religious back dropping was just "filler" for me. I had to look several things up that I didn't know about within Catholic mythology. (I thought Mary Magdalene and Mary the Virgin were the same person... aparently not).


Anyone else have any thoughts on this?

Megan Baxter | August 24, 2005
I haven't read the book, but I enjoyed the unexpected consequences of my husband reading it - after he was done, he was inspired to create a birthday "mission" for me which entailed running around the city photographing historical plaques and then decoding them to find out where my present was.

Amy Austin | August 24, 2005
That sounds pretty cool, Megan -- is your husband usually so creative, or did he just really like the book that much? How long did it take you to "break the code"? ;-) (And where/what was the present, if I may ask?) How much fun is that!

I haven't yet read the book myself and know very little of it aside from the religious backdrop and controversial film-making, as Scott has already mentioned. As usual, this alone is enough to pique interest... (although I still have yet to see Mel Gibson's Passion!)... but I just think it sounds like a cool story. I'm not sure that "National Treasure" did all that well at the box office, but I really enjoyed it and it seems like a similar concept to me -- am I wrong to draw a parallel here?

Megan Baxter | August 24, 2005
He's pretty creative - he's a writer - but that was the first time he'd done something quite like that.

It took me a while. Finding the plaques was pretty easy, but I am not so smart at number puzzles, and for some reason it took me a long time to figure out that 9-7-9 meant "ninth line, seventh word, ninth letter."

The code worked out to "on hold novel idea" - Novel Idea being our local small bookshop, and the present was The Harafish by Naguib Mahfouz, an Egyptian novelist who is one of my favourite authors. (My other present was a pair of pearl earrings, but he gave me those in person.)

It was tremendously fun. I'm trying to think of something as inventive to do to him, but I've already staged a surreal birthday kidnapping once. (Well, twice. Once my husband, once someone else.)

Scott Horowitz | August 24, 2005
It is similar to National Treasure in the type of story, but this draws more on Religious parallels than NT did. I read the book in the course of a day, it's a very easy read. Personally, I liked Angels and Demons better (the first novel with the protagonist of Robert Langdon), it had more of a NT feel.

Amy Austin | August 24, 2005
Megan: That's so cool!!!

Scott: Good to know... gives me some incentive for getting "with it"!

Scott Hardie | August 25, 2005
That sounds like a great idea for a birthday, Megan. :-) Off the top of my head, the best birthday idea I can recall hearing about was what John Gunter helped put together for John Edwards, who was turning 40 and couldn't stop bitching about how old he had gotten: Instead of a birthday party, they threw him a funeral. He had to sit there silently while everyone else, who had come dressed in funereal attire, eulogized him. Even the cake was a little tombstone. Great idea.

As for Da Vinci, I haven't read it, but I suspect the charges of anti-Catholicism are just as unfounded as the charges of anti-Semitism against "Passion" (sorry Scott). Frankly, Da Vinci is a work of fiction that draws upon the mythology of one of the oldest and most convoluted of organizations for its inspiration; that it turns the Vatican into villains is a consequence of the storytelling choice, not a point the author is trying to make. I've read that the book opens with a statement that everything in it is true, but Tom Sawyer and "Fargo" both opened with similar statements despite being works of fiction and nobody takes them seriously. I suspect that people are only offended by Da Vinci who want to be offended by it.

Scott Horowitz | August 25, 2005
It doesn't say that "everything in it is true." It states that all the places and pieces of art work are accurately depicted, there is a difference.

Michael Paul Cote | August 25, 2005
I loved both books, can't wait to see Tom Hanks as Langdon, and as a former Catholic I say :-ppppppppppp to anyone who gets offended by the stories. (If you have nothing to hide, why be offended?) I am worried that Hollywood will change the story like they so often do.
And I do believe that some of the speculation could have been true. Unfortunately we will probably never know.

Scott Horowitz | August 25, 2005
I just don't see Hanks as Langdon for some reason... maybe when I see the movie I'll be more convinced

Aaron Fischer | August 26, 2005
I listened to the audio book. Although I am a quite religious person (not catholic), I don't really see why all the religious leaders are outraged over this book. Folks, this is FICTION. It's called fiction for a reason. A really entertaining read (or um listen) nonetheless. Highly recommended.

John E Gunter | August 29, 2005
I could be wrong, but I think what most religious leaders have a problem with where it pertains to anything is, their possible loss of control. Notice I said most religious leaders, not all. I think you'll find that the leaders who have a problem with anything, politics, work, religion, etc, deep down they are afraid that it's going to threaten the control they have.

Leaders who don't worry about it are not so much in the position of leadership to control those under them, but more to lead them to a better condition. It's just something that's human nature.

John

Scott Hardie | August 31, 2005
Good point, John. It can be liberating to give up control of something, but it's just not in most people's nature. I recently read about a couple in their early twenties who were calling off their wedding because he insisted on a Presbyterian church and she, a lapsed Catholic, insisted on a Catholic church just to spite him for being insistent. Look, if you aren't even willing to consider a compromise for the sake of your beloved, you're nowhere near mature enough to marry.

Kris Weberg | September 4, 2005
I still recommend Foucault's Pendulum to anyone who likes Brown's book. It's a lot of the same ideas, but 15 years earlier, and with one more little twist on things....

Scott Horowitz | September 13, 2005
Not to say anything bad about Catholics, but people like this piss me off

(link)

Scott Hardie | September 15, 2005
Why do they piss you off, Scott? I'm merely curious, since I find them more amusing than anything. Is it the same as what you said at the start of this discussion, that some of these same people found nothing wrong with anti-Semitism in "The Passion of the Christ"? I would say that it's no big deal for a Catholic to protest something anti-Catholic and not be bothered by something anti-Semitic, except of course that Catholics were the largest audience for "Passion."

I'm glad the filmmakers aren't using Michael Moore's idiotic comeback to the protestors and thanking them for driving up ticket sales.

Scott Horowitz | September 15, 2005
Because they pass a blind eye towards Anti-semitism and then go off on a tangent like this. Personally, if I were Catholic, I would find different view points about the one I believe to be my savoir. It would help me understand my faith better.

Michael Paul Cote | September 16, 2005
I don't know, but to me the picture of the protester in Scott's link looks like a cross between a young republican and a Hitler youth. Could just be me though. I will not deny there right to protest, but, I really wish they would do it quietly and not try to force their opinions on others especially me. If they want to bitch about the book and or movie, start a reading group. Barnes and Nobles lets groups like that meet free.

Amy Austin | September 16, 2005
HAHAHA... I was thinking the EXACT SAME THING about that picture, Mike -- I wanted to say something (along the lines of "you could be looking at the next Pope!), but I passed on that opportunity -- GOOD CALL! ;-DDD

E. M. | September 18, 2005
[hidden by request]

Michael Paul Cote | September 19, 2005
I am currently reading "Deception Point" also by Brown and find it as intriguing as either of the other two. This one speaks of lies and deception in the federal government, which we all know must be fiction. But I don't see any politicians out protesting the book.

Scott Horowitz | September 19, 2005
I read all 4 of his books and they all follow the same formula.


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