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The Da Vinci Code

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tarav

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The Da Vinci Code

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Has anyone read this book? It was given to me as a gift. It is very good. I am not done with it; so if you post on it do not spoil the ending for me! I was wondering if the information in the book about paganism, Christianity, and symbolism in Da Vinci's art is accurate. *I have finished the book! Any and all comments are welcome! Edited by: tarav at: 2/21/04 2:30 pm
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Chris OConnor

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Re: The Da Vinci Code

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I haven't read it yet, but have heard it is a good read. Keep us posted. A few days ago I saw this book sitting on someones nightstand and I was tempted to strike up a conversation.Chris "The man who does not read good books has no advantage over the man who cannot read them"
pctacitus

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In accordance with our deal tarav, I got hold of a copy. Get yourself a copy of Between War and Peace. I'll post occasional thoughts on or comments about Da Vinci Code as I go along in it.
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Chris OConnor

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Re: The Da Vinci Code

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I'm waiting to hear your reviews!Chris "The man who does not read good books has no advantage over the man who cannot read them"
Blackadder9

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Tarav (and other interested parties), have you read the book the preceeds The Da Vinci Code, Angels & Demons? I highly recommend it. I also remember reading somewhere that Brown has a contract to write more novels featuring Robert Langdon, but I forget where I read it. ***Nullus Anxietas
pctacitus

Re: The Da Vinci Code

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Frankly I'm sorry I didn't post sooner, but I read the book during my midterms last spring and so at the time I was not thinking about posting. So now I'm stuck explain what I thought of a book I read months ago and haven't picked up since. Well, this is a book that can keep your attention and you can follow the narrative without it getting boring, but I found it rather light and fluffy. It was nice at the time because I needed something that was not intellectually strenuous.
pctacitus

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Someone I know past this along and I thought it relevant to this forum.The Sunday Washington PostFearing Repeat of Past, Lebanon Bans a BookConcerns About Stirring Up Sectarian Strife Get 'The Da Vinci Code'PulledBy Scott WilsonWashington Post Foreign ServiceSunday, October 17, 2004; Page A18 BEIRUT -- Few places seem to indicate how far this country has comefrom civil war better than the sunny hipness of the Virgin Megastorethat fills a blond-stone building in the heart of the new Beirut.Lebanon's largest mosque is being built nearby amid a cluster of lovelychurches, a sign that the religious tolerance shattered by years offighting between Christian and Muslim militias in these same streets ison the rise.But there is a hole in the megastore's inventory that suggests thewar's legacy has not entirely faded. The store's 60,000 books andmagazines include Playboy, "The Photographic Kama Sutra" and an arrayof French paperbacks whose titles alone would make much of MiddleAmerica blush. But "The Da Vinci Code," the most popular work ofAmerican fiction during the past 18 months, is not available.The international blockbuster was pulled from shelves last month byLebanon's domestic security agency at the request of the CatholicChurch. Church leaders claimed the murder mystery's use ofcontroversial theories regarding the life of Jesus defamed Christianityand warned that it could ignite Lebanon's old sectarian tensions in theprocess.In doing so, a country celebrated as the most progressive in the MiddleEast became the only one in the world to forbid the book, according tothe book's agent and publishers in the region. After selling more than17 million copies in at least 43 countries, "The Da Vinci Code" hasfallen victim here to the unresolved questions over Lebanon's religiousidentity as well as its own commercial success.The ban has stirred younger Lebanese, some with murky memories of the1975-90 war, who view the decision as a bizarre remnant of that timeand an absurd undertaking in the Internet age. In open letterspublished in Lebanon's free press, some Lebanese have argued that thetime has come to stop curtailing civil rights in the region's oldestfunctioning democracy in the name of religious sensitivity. But the ban has also reassured a generation with more vivid memoriesof a conflict that killed at least 150,000 people that the postwarconstitution is working, as designed, to head off the potential forreligious strife. The war emerged from the imbalance of power betweenChristians and Muslims, and to many older Lebanese, banning the book isa small price to pay to maintain good relations between the country's17 religious groups and subgroups. The outrage, however, has been confined mostly to talk shows andletters to Lebanon's many newspapers. Most Lebanese who want to readthe book have done so by buying copies abroad, downloading it from theInternet or buying it on a word-of-mouth black market. "We're not liberal, we're a mosaic," said Bassam Chebaro, a partner inthe Beirut-based Arab Scientific Publishers, which has theArabic-language publishing rights to "The Da Vinci Code." Although heis likely to lose a lot of money, Chebaro said he does not disagreewith the decision to ban the book. "It is sensitive. As long as thecountry is okay, that's more important than a book."Lebanon is renowned in the Middle East as a place to find the wine,food and seaside sins hard to come by elsewhere. War has given way overthe past 15 years to an avid materialism, reflected in the Europeanboutiques of downtown Beirut, and a culture that has embraced cosmeticsurgery as something close to a middle-class entitlement. Its freepress is a model in the region, and it is the Motown of Middle Easternmusic and video production.It is also a country of rival minorities, and the contest for politicalpower between Muslims and Christians laid the groundwork for the war.The region's more socially conservative Arab republics and Islamickingdoms have rarely, if ever, had to address those sectarian issues,or have chosen to quiet them with force when they arose.Lebanon's postwar constitution allows each of its once-battlingreligious groups to proscribe literature, films, magazines and musicdeemed insulting to a particular faith. In the past, Muslim groups havebeen the country's most aggressive censors, prohibiting the sale ofnearly anything critical of Islam and everything that discusses Israelin anything but the harshest terms.The Christians, a powerful minority, have been far less vigilant. Onlya handful of nonfiction books and movies have been forbidden over theyears by the Catholic Information Center, the media arm of the churchhere. Until the banning of "The Da Vinci Code," most Lebanese had neverheard of the center, which some Lebanese suspect is using the cause tomake a name for itself.But even the Christian censors are hard-pressed to name books they havebanned in the past, and Beirut's bookstores remain filled with obscuretitles contending that Christ was married to Mary Magdalene, fathered anumber of children, and lived a very human life -- all topics touchedon in "The Da Vinci Code." Part of the problem, church officialsacknowledge, is that people might actually read this book."There is a campaign now to defame the Christian faith and the life ofJesus, and this book is part of that," said Abdo Abu Kassm, thecenter's director, who argued for banning the book. "Lebanon combinesmany religions and groups, and maybe a non-Christian will see Christ'slife presented this way and think it's accurate. But it's wrong."Soft-spoken and serious, Kassm, 38, works in a busy commercial sectionof northern Beirut and allows himself one Cuban cigar a week. Only apicture of Pope John Paul II adorns the walls of his small office.Behind his desk sits an envelope containing a PBS documentary titled"From Jesus to Christ: The First Christians," sent recently by thedomestic security agency for his review.Because of its title, "The Da Vinci Code" initially sneaked by theagency, whose job is to steer new books and movies on religious themesto Christian and Muslim leaders for vetting. Several hundred copies ofthe book were on store shelves here -- in English and French -- andselling briskly after the book's launch in the country early lastmonth.The Arabic-language version hit stores a few days later, and soonafterward the security agency received a tip that the book could beoffensive to Christians. The authorities sent the book to Kassm.Chebaro, the Arabic-language publisher, estimates the book would havesold 10,000 copies in Lebanon's relatively small market. He is moreconcerned that he will not be allowed to export the book to the rest ofthe Middle East. His license to do so is pending with the securityagency.Kassm's contention is that the book is not fiction, which he said"stops when you are talking about real people and real events." DanBrown, the author, writes in a brief foreword that, while the story isfiction, the theories about Christ it draws on have been explored byhistorians, anthropologists and religious scholars for years. Whilethere is no specific passage of concern, the book's suggestion thatJesus had human desires and the contention that, in Kassm'sinterpretation, he "sinned" by having a sexual relationship with MaryMagdalene is considered particularly offensive. "By banning this book, this advanced country is preserving the dignityof people," Kassm said. "Is so-called advanced culture limited toundermining Christians and their beliefs? Is allowing things likehomosexual marriage the definition of being advanced? In Lebanon, weare being allowed to preserve our traditions." From the hushed elegance of his corner office at al-Nahar, thecountry's most influential newspaper, Gebran Tueni said the episode wassomething out of a past Lebanon is still struggling to overcome. Tueni,the paper's publisher, is a devout Christian. On his broad desk, with aview of Beirut's waterfront and the Mediterranean in the window behind,he keeps two small crucifixes near his in-box and unlit cigar. "The government is causing more tension between people by doing thisthan 'The Da Vinci Code' ever could," he said. "This is primitive. Weare intelligent enough to be able to know and understand what iswritten in novels." Roger Haddad, 25, is the floor manager of the Virgin Megastore's booksection. Bespectacled and harried, Haddad said he never intended toread the book, suggesting it was not quite up to the standards of aFrench literature major from Beirut's St. Joseph University. But hesaid that, in the few days it was on the shelf, 80 copies dwindled tothree, a pace he said was comparable to the popularity of Brazilianwriter Paulo Coelho. Haddad picked up a book from a display table titled "The MessianicLegacy," whose back cover asks "Was there more than one Christ?" "The Dead Sea Scrolls Deception," Nikos Kazantzakis's "The LastTemptation of Christ" and a French comic book series that has a pair ofteenagers finding the body of Jesus in the Paris sewers are also on theshelves. "I don't think this Catholic Information Center even knows aboutthese," he said. "It is absurd in Lebanon the kind of books you canfind right now and the kind of books you cannot."
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Chris OConnor

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Re: The Da Vinci Code

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I've now got a copy of the book, but haven't started it yet. I'm reading too many other books right now. Give me some time!Chris "Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world." - Nelson Mandella
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tarav

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Re: The Da Vinci Code

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I have just begun reading Angels and Demons! In fact, I borrowed it from the library last Tuesday! Someone from booktalk recommended it. So far, so good...
fpla83

Re: The Da Vinci Code

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I wasn't impressed with The Da Vinci Code. I found the plot terribly predictable and really not all that intriguing. I will admit certain aspects of it are somewhat amusing but overall not worth your time.
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