• The Da Vinci Code

  • A Novel
  • By: Dan Brown
  • Narrated by: Paul Michael
  • Length: 16 hrs and 59 mins
  • 4.5 out of 5 stars (12,657 ratings)

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The Da Vinci Code

By: Dan Brown
Narrated by: Paul Michael
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Publisher's Summary

While in Paris on business, Harvard symbologist Robert Langdon receives an urgent late-night phone call: the elderly curator of the Louvre has been murdered inside the museum. Near the body, police have found a baffling cipher. While working to solve the enigmatic riddle, Langdon is stunned to discover it leads to a trail of clues hidden in the works of Da Vinci, clues visible for all to see, yet ingeniously disguised by the painter.

Langdon joins forces with a gifted French cryptologist, Sophie Neveu, and learns the late curator was involved in the Priory of Sion - an actual secret society whose members included Sir Isaac Newton, Botticelli, Victor Hugo, and Da Vinci, among others.

In a breathless race through Paris, London, and beyond, Langdon and Neveu match wits with a faceless powerbroker who seems to anticipate their every move. Unless Langdon and Neveu can decipher the labyrinthine puzzle in time, the Priory's ancient secret - and an explosive historical truth - will be lost forever.

The Da Vinci Code heralds the arrival of a new breed of lightning-paced, intelligent thriller...utterly unpredictable right up to its stunning conclusion. 

Can't get enough of The Da Vinci Code? Check out our store devoted to all things Da Vinci.
©2003 Dan Brown (P)2003 Books On Tape, Inc.

Critic Reviews

"In this gleefully erudite suspense novel, Mr. Brown takes the format...to blockbuster perfection." (The New York Times)
 

"Many notches above the intelligent thriller; this is pure genius." (Nelson DeMille) 

"Brown solidifies his reputation as one of the most skilled thriller writers on the planet with his best book yet, a compelling blend of history and page-turning suspense." (Library Journal

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What listeners say about The Da Vinci Code

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  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars

A Bestseller? A Travesty.

This doesn't deserve any stars. Being a writer myself, I can only surmise that after reading this, and then suffering through the listening to it as an audio book just to make sure I wasn't being unfair, that Dan Brown must have a huge following of fans. It reads like a first novel, and I am surprised that so many people find it "enthralling". The dialogue is horrendous, the narrative is pedestrian, and the writing overall seems remarkably amateurish for a celebrated novelist. It reads like a book he wrote years ago, hid in a closet, got well known, then brought it out and dusted it off to present it to his agent and publisher. I wrote better than this when I was in the 3rd grade. His prediliction to repeat sentences and phrases over and over again is annoying, as if the reader is mentally challenged and didn't get it the first time. It is an insult to a reader to "write down" to your audience. It just goes to show that perserverance pays off in the publishing world. If any other writer had tried to peddle this manuscript, they would have racked up truckloads of rejection slips, and been told to take elementary writing classes, in addition to "get an imagination". This writing is almost as bad as Danielle Steele, another publishing miracle. Add to the fact that the narrator does a pretty horrendous french accent, I was aghast. It is on the best seller list, so of course audible is going to offer it, but honestly, I am sorry I wasted a book credit on this sophomoric drivel. It stinks.

294 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars

Extraordinary!

Brown weaves the legends of the Church into a wonderful web that will keep you listening until it's finally unraveled. Brown clearly knows his stuff and the listener will find his story informative and provacative as well as enjoyable. The only reason I held back one star was that as he unfolds the mystery, Brown makes sure to go back and connect all the dots for the reader (listener), not trusting that his narrative is sufficiently strong, which it certainly is, that the the reader can make the connections her or himself. As for the narration, the strained accents and melodrama of the narrator can take some getting used to, but the story is so powerful that soon any awareness of the narration is left behind. A highly recommended choice!

112 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars

Adjust Your Perspective...

It's important for readers to understand, as many previous reviewers do not, that not all books are works of literature. Chances are that if you are purchasing a(n)(audio)book that appears on the New York Times Bestseller List, it has most of the characteristics that the Average Joe looks for in a book: entertaining, fast-paced, transparent, filled with action (as opposed to thought), and sex.

Although "The Da Vinci Code" features a prudish protagonist that precludes much of the latter, it does serve up an orgy of controversial historical facts that will prod all but the most closed-minded of readers to question their beliefs and research the presented details further. If the indignant one-star-reviewers wanted character development they should have bought some Saul Bellow or Philip Roth. The self-proclaimed writer who fumed, "I wrote better in the 3rd grade" should check her ego and realize that this effective piece of entertainment isn't trying to be deft with the English Language, just thought provoking and fun. I find it funny that those who thought the reading and the book itself was so unbearably horrendous wasted 15+ hours listening to the purported drivel.

Ultimately, this book is great for those who have an interest in religious history and don't mind the cliched plotline and hackneyed characters roughed-in to deliver the truly interesting ideas on the roots of Christianity and the rise of patriarchal society.

98 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars

Surprised at the negative reviews...

I've read some of the reviews of this book and find them surprising. I found the book entertaining, thought provoking, and somewhat educational. I agree with one reviewer that the people who have a problem with this book probably object more to the theme than its plot or how the story is constructed.

I found the reader to be very good, too. I'm not going to get picky about how well someone does a foreign accent. If they get too authentic I probably won't be able to understand what they are saying! Hey, I'm trying to drive while I listen. I value clear diction and good pacing.

In all, if you are looking for an entertaining book, listen to this one.

28 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars

Terrible

Don't waste your time on this book! The only reason I gave it one star, is because audible won't let you give it none. Something they need to change, by the way. It is terrible on several different levels. It is poorly written. The dialogue made me laugh out loud several times. The book basically consists of one long historical lecture (I use the term historical lightly - it's all fiction), peppered intermittently with moments of suspense. The assertions Brown makes on Da Vinci's art are simply absurd. A small effort at research will prove that art historians support very few of his ideas. The deductive logic he uses to make his arguments is gaping with holes. I won't go into too many examples, because it would reveal plot elements, but he claims that the Catholic Church "decided" Eve would be responsbile for originial sin. Without getting into debates on what Genesis means, you only need to point out that Genesis is a part of the Old Testament, not the New, and therefore existed for thousands of years before the time of Christ. Whether you're hunting for an intellectually stimulating book or a history of Christianity, you waste your time in reading this.

20 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

My Most Recommended Book to others

I both read and listen to many books, and this was relatively captivating, although less captivating than Angels & Demons and Deception Point. This story is extremely well developed from an art history, religious history and character development point of view. It might be my favorite book of all time, but part of the reason is that he took the theme of the Holy Grail and put a twist on it which is totally new. Most devout Catholics I have recommended this to say it is pure drivel, but those more open-minded people, no matter their religion thought it was also one of the best books they have read. He follows a what-if type of scenario, includes suspense, a little bit of Agatha Christie plot and a religious plot which rivals Pauls Maier's "A Skeleton in God's Closet." For those who are a little skeptical, I am NOT normally a relious book reader, merely picked this up because my daughter was headed for a year of college in Paris and another person recommended this to me. I have since read Dan Brown's other three books. He's another Robert Ludlum, Clive Cussler and Tom Clancy ... another mystery of where they have the time to do the research and keep it almost beleivable and very possibly close to what history should have been written to.

19 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars

Unabridged version is Wonderful

I listened to the abridged version first (it was available much earlier). Even if you listened to that one, GET THIS UNABRIDGED VERSION. Paul Michael is a great narrator (his characterizations and accents are perfect) and the details they cut out of the abridged version were critical to the tightly woven tapestry of the story. A fun ride with lots of interesting historical and regional detail. Don't miss it.

15 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars

Incredible

Having read some reviews, and encouraged by the fact that this book is a best seller, I eagerly purchased the unabridged audio version of "The Da Vinci Code'. I am a great fan of many genres of writing, and the audio product allows me to 'read' when normal reading is impossible.
I love a good story, a deep dark impenetrable mystery; the hero, the heroine, the antihero; I love the mirthful laugh, the tear jerking tragedy, the jolting twists, the heart pounding tension, and the satisfying ending as much as anyone. I love the entire journey.
However, 'The Da Vinci Code' inexcusably, and often, preaches outside of the bounds of reasonable fiction and imprisons the listener inside a bizarre conspiracy theorists paradise. I felt as if I had stumbled upon some sort of coven, chanting at midnight, in preparation of a virgin sacrifice. I kept looking for a way out.
All for a good story, you say? You would be surprised to discover that many people believe almost anything presented within a wrapper of large scale design and production - as is this book. It is the 'facts' that concern me. The authors freedom in his interpretation of people and events in history are reminiscent of revisionist thought rampant eveywhere. There are millions who will be barraged to this conjecture without the means or motivation to search any of it out and discover the truth. Character assasination comes to mind here. And truth becomes relative at best.
What did I like about this book? When it quit telling me its version of the past, and got about the business of telling a story. Unfortunately, there were too many departures from its primary purpose for my tastes. And too often did it become like fingernails running across a chalkboard.

13 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

excellent

I thought this was an excellent read or listen. A lot of well researched information, enough to really piss off Catholics. And that is the whole point. I went to a Catholic college and took a lot of theology courses (an art major), several with some really good teachers. (Others very boring and predictible). Everything I heard in the Da Vinci Code rung true to me and really set all I previously learned in perspective. Along with the informative story line was a well written and thought out mystery. I saw no problems with the plot at all, I suspect that the reviewer who had a problem with the plot really had a problem with the theme. I have run into several people who had strong reactions to the story and found out that they were affronted with the anti-catholic theme. If they could just go back and change history............

13 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars

So Dumbed Down It Hurts

This book has go to be the biggest insult to a reader's intelligence in years. Don't believe the hype. If you aren't comatose, you'll easily see each "revelation" coming long before the author drops it on you as if revealing something extraordinary. Brown even has a character (Sophie) whose main literary purpose appears to be repeating anything important said by other characters just in case the reader isn't paying attention.

If you like the idea of this book, do yourself a favor and read Umberto Eco's The Name of the Rose instead. It's vastly superior.

12 people found this helpful