Da Vinci Code
Genre: Historical religious conspiracy
Anything Da Vinci has fascinated ever since Ive been a child. The only painting that I knew of his when I was a kid was the Mona Lisa of course. Famous for her enigmatic smile, the mystery behind it and the eternal question everyone wanted an answer to: why the hell is she smiling like that!? Like she KNOWS something the rest of us don’t!? Honestly though I never saw it. Didn’t bother about the smile ever. In fact I found her downright ugly and wondered why everyone was so obsessed with her. But I gotta give it to her. She is and was and will always be famous. And then to be told that there might actually be a thriller novel about its painter; I was hooked before I ever laid my eyes on it.
It was suggested by a very good and a very old friend that Ive lost touch with. The sort of friend you could sit with over tea and have in depth conversations with about life and such. The sort of friend who you could sit next to quietly and read with. Geez. I had to get the book the minute he recommended it to me.
I never did know much about Christian theology or about a lot of other religions. Not even my own. But I am a staunch believer. Suffice is to say that this is the sort of book that shakes your beliefs to their very core and tests your faith to the extent of disbelief. Whether you pass that test and remain a believer or whether you end up disbelieving is entirely dependant on you. The book will just open your mind to question everything you believe and to question everything anyone asks you to believe in the name of religion.
It scared me. Faith is one of the most fundamental bricks that Ive built my life on quietly. Someone tries to take that away from you and you feel fear. I did. I finished reading the book in two days, devouring every word from cover to cover. Most of that time was spent jumping out of my bed where I was reading and heading over to the computer to do the research this book requires you to do. Who couldn’t love a book that pushed you? That made you curious? That drove you mad and frustrated you? That scared you? I crave for books that instigate my need to learn. I love them and I loved this.
Who was this person MARY MAGDALENE?! Why had I never heard about her? Why didn’t any of my Christian friends talk about her? Why hadn’t I noticed the mention of her in the Bible or the Old Testament? What role did she play in Jesus’s life? I wanted to know. It drove me to sleeplessness but I savoured every moment of it. It was a roller coaster ride not just with my emotions but with my faith, with an overload of information. It blew the socks of my feet. It was THAT exhilarating. Two parts Leonardo, two parts religious conspiracy, two parts mind-blowing action packed thriller. What more could anyone ask for!?
No spoilers though. Although I seriously doubt there is anyone left in the world who hasn’t read this book, but Im not going to tell on it. This book exceeded all my expectations. It left me hungry for more and converted me into (if not a disbeliever) a conspiracy-theory fan. Im paranoid, Im a geek and I love it!
I wish this book had never ended. It jump-started my love for reading, my love for learning and my curiosity. I can’t thank Dan Brown enough. It begs you to question what you know, shows you that you don’t know enough, and reinforces the idea that you will never truly KNOW. Because you were never there. Which is when it brings you full-circle. You only can believe what you choose to believe. It is your choice. Its inside you. You cannot be influenced by things that you are told are the word of God. At the end of the day, everything written in the Holy Books also have double-triple and God knows how many meanings within meanings hidden in them. It is our job to question, challenge, use logic and common sense to glean whatever hidden meaning is there behind the letters and between those lines. A lot of the times, the situation in our life affects the way we see things. It goes for everything.
In conclusion, this book was beyond brilliant. It managed to do things and instigate feelings and emotions that probably didn’t exist within me. Its awoken the dormant hunger of curiosity and now I buy every book I can find pertaining to this historical, religious conspiracy theory fiction that I can find. Its allowed me to expand my mind beyond the horizons I had been comfortable with earlier. It made me want to look for more intelligent literature, to appreciate the brilliance of other peoples minds. To see God in every little thing, rather than a pedestal that we love to put Him on.
Yes, most of these other historical conspiracy books were disappointing no doubt. Rip-offs and loose and scattered. None have the togetherness of the Da Vinci code. But I have found some authors that do justice and explore other avenues. Give other solutions to the problems and anomalies in our history and in our religions. Here’s hoping my horizons keep expanding.