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Reading ahead

Posted at 8:10 AM on February 21, 2006 by Euan Kerr (5 Comments)

Seeing a trailer for "The Da Vinci Code" reminds me I have never managed to get round to reading the book. One of the blessings and curses of working in public radio is the huge number of books constantly floating across my desk. If you are going to interview an author, it's only polite and sensible to read the book. It's great fun but the downside is I seldom get to pick out a title strictly for pleasure.

I have been reading Philip Pullman's "His Dark Materials" trilogy, partly because Malcolm the 15 year old has been raving about them (as has the Maven herself.) I'm also reading them as preparation for the Anand Tucker adaptation of the first book, "The Golden Compass" which is in pre-production now, and due for release next year.

While I long ago realized I can't read all the books I'd like, if there is a story in which I am really interested I like to read the book before seeing the film adaptation. That way I get the chance to create my own images in my head before they are overwhelmed by what I see on the screen. Also while a film can ruin a book, a book never ruins a film.

My conflict over "The Da Vinci Code" is part of the film is set in Scotland, at a place called Roslin, just outside Edinburgh. It's a small family chapel once used by the Sinclairs which is festooned with ornate carvings on the inside. For centuries there has been debate over the meaning of the carvings and whether there is some deeper connection with the Crusaders quest for the Grail.

Apparently the place has been swamped with visitors since Dan Brown's book became a bestseller, to the point where preservationists are worrying about the impact on the building. They are also concerned the film may make things worse. Tom Hanks and Audrey Tatou shot scenes around the chapel for the film last September.

I am not hugely interested in reading "The Da Vinci Code" itself, but I'm intrigued about just this one little bit. So do read the book for that? Or wait for the film?

Comments (5)

I think you need to read the book! It would possibly be better to read Dan Browns earlier book, "Angels and Demons" first, but you don't have to read them in order. I think this book is better than "Davinci Code", but they both are make you think!

Posted by Steve | February 21, 2006 1:49 PM

I am rereading "The DaVinci Code" to see if I missed something important the first time around. What does the popular interest in this book say about our beliefs/culture/values/biases? Any book that has lingered for years (!) on the NYT best-seller list must be some kind of a mirror.

Posted by marblet | February 24, 2006 10:40 AM

OK, I went out and bought a second-hand copy last night and blasted through the first 50 pages. It's certainly a good read. No Roslin yet though.

Posted by Euan Kerr | February 28, 2006 9:15 AM

Read the book! It is like an addiction, but a good one. You cannot put it down. You notice folks everywhere reading it and want to stop them to see where they are at in the book. It is very well written and, although, somewhat predictable, still good. Angels and Demons wasn't great. It was good, but not great. Davinci Code, I've read a couple of times, enjoyed each time and now have the illustrated book to see what specific items actually look like as opposed to my imagination.

Posted by Allan Blair | March 20, 2006 4:12 PM

I just picked it up for an
English project and to my surprise it's an interesting read. It's making me think more then I really wanted to because of the controversial content. If you know anything about the religious content or why he writes these things please email me.

Posted by Bri Brown | March 24, 2006 10:05 AM

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