Monday, June 10, 2013

Overrated: The Da Vinci Code

Adam C. Zern has a few thoughts on an overrated book:

"Toy Story 3 was one of the highest rated films on Rotten Tomatoes (if not the highest rated) the year it came out, 2010.  I didn't rush to the theatre to see it but eventually saw it on DVD and sat dumbfounded at the conclusion wondering why so many loved it and with so much passion.  I have had similar experiences with certain books that have received such effusive praise but disappointed me thoroughly.  One book in particular I will never forget as a colossal disappointment was Dan Brown's The Da Vinci Code

I'm not sure if others remember how pervasive that book felt in our American culture for a period of time.  It seemed to be everywhere.  It supposedly revealed shocking revelations about Jesus Christ to shake the very foundation of Christendom; readers would simply be blown away, never be the same again, etc., etc.  All of this was wrapped up in the facade of a fast-paced caper of sorts to entertain and keep the interest of the average reader.  My desire to read The Da Vinci Code actually increased after reading Angels and Demons, also by Dan Brown, because I thought it was a decent, fun, and tightly-paced thriller.  What could go wrong with the Robert Langdon follow-up which promised so much? 

Well, apparently plenty can go wrong.  As I slogged my way through The Da Vinci Code, I kept wondering what the heck other people were reading.  I found The Da Vinci Code to be cheap in its thrills, contrived in its plot, and hopelessly inadequate in its 'unspeakable' revelations.  And I wondered yet again why some books get into the public zeitgeist and stick and others, often times much better books, are quickly forgotten or never even noticed.

The Da Vinci Code was certainly not the only book I have felt was incredibly overrated, but it's one that stands out the most in my memory.  No doubt there will be plenty more to come, including so-called classics, which will make me scratch my head in utter incredulity.  In a way, reading an overrated book provides its own level of entertainment.  I'm usually smiling when I'm thinking to myself: 'what the heck is everyone else reading?'"

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