I read the prequel to this last year, the unmitigated turd soup called Angles & Demons. I hated the book. The big reveal at the end wasn’t much better than the it was all a dream trope that I tacked on to the end of a short story I wrote in the third grade. Even third grade me realized how trite and predictable it was to pull that out of the hat.
Well, Dan Brown returns to tell an equally stupid story about Robert Langdon standing around talking to people about overly complicated conspiracies. And he came away from this book with wealth beyond his dreams. So what do I know?
Robert Langdon, a symbologist specializing in the occult, is summoned by the police to the Louvre, where a curator has been murdered. Before the curator, Jacques Sauniere, died, however, he left a series of clues to his estranged granddaughter, the most beautiful and seductive woman in Paris (I guess). Also, the clues happen to point to Langdon as the murderer. Oh no! Shocker. What follows is a
hilarious romp tense and suspenseful chase through Paris as Langdon tries to prove his innocence.
And, blah blah blah, Sauniere was really the head of a totally real “not at all anti-semitic bullshit” secret organization called the Priory of Sion, founded to preserve Christ’s bloodline via the ancient French Merovingian dynasty.
As far as it goes, I thought this was better than its predecessor. But that’s a pretty low bar to clear. Dan Brown is guilty of many of the same things I found so eye roll inducing the first time. There are long stretches of this book where characters are just sitting around explaining the plot. This book is the epitome of the “show don’t tell” problem. Often, Robert Langdon simply explains what’s going on, rather than Brown showing us in an interesting way.
It gets really tiresome.
And Sophie Neveu is the most superfluous central character that I’ve read in awhile. She is the point upon which this entire story hinges. Without her, there’s nothing here. And she does nothing. She’s supposed to be a cryptologist for the French police, trained since childhood by her grandfather – and she isn’t able to really help with any of the puzzles. For most of the book, Langdon and Leigh Teabing provide most of the answers and explanations. Sophie is often a bystander.
I don’t know why this book was so popular. It sold 80 million copies. That’s insane. Those are Harry Potter numbers. Maybe it was the time period. George W. Bush was president, and The Passion of the Christ was the number one movie. It was weird.
I don’t have much else to say, but this is worth watching.