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Sunday, April 30, 2006

The Da Vinci Saturation

The The Da Vinci Code movie, starring Tom Hanks, is set to become one of Hollywood’s all-time blockbusters. With only a few weeks remaining before its release, however, it’s STILL getting less press than the bestselling book that began it all.

And the constant attention to Dan Brown’s book is starting to get on my nerves.

Earlier this month, London judge Peter Smith ruled against two authors who claimed Brown stole much of his book from their nonfiction work The Holy Blood and the Holy Grail. But Smith left a little surprise embedded within his ruling: a secret code of italicized letters, decrypted only a few days ago by a London lawyer and The Times newspaper.

These sleuths used a substitution pattern based on the Fibonacci sequence—a series of numbers in which each figure is the sum of the two previous ones—to reveal the message “Jackie Fisher who are you Dreadnought.” It’s an obscure reference to an equally obscure historical figure that Smith admires, British Admiral “Jackie” Fisher, who apparently helped developed the Dreadnought warship in the 1800s.

I have a hunch Judge Smith doesn’t get out much.

Dan Brown is probably chuckling about this, but the laughter has not inspired him to complete the long-anticipated follow-up to The Da Vinci Code. Brown’s publisher originally aimed to have the novel—which supposedly does for the society of Masons what The Da Vinci Code did for the Catholic church—in stores this year, but it is now not slated for release until at least 2007.

Brown reportedly has dropped the new book’s working title, The Solomon Key; a better name, given the delay in writing it, might be The Time Machine. Or, if Brown desperately inserts a boy wizard in his hurry to finish the manuscript, perhaps we’ll end up getting Harry Potter and the Resting-on-His-Laurels Author.

And there’s yet more related news, an additional excuse for Brown’s writer’s block: a new lawsuit, this one out of Russia.

St. Petersburg art historian Mikhail Anikin claims that back in 1998 he shared his theory about a coded theological message in Da Vinci’s Mona Lisa with colleagues in Texas. Anikin admits he granted one of them permission to share the idea with a “detective book author” as long as the writer gave attribution if he employed Anikin’s concept.

Any guesses who Anikin suspects that author was?

I have to be honest with you: After the deluge of Dan Brown book news this past week, I’ve had enough.

These trials and tribulations are enough to make me do something rash. Like run—not walk—to the closest theater on the day The Da Vinci Code hits the screen and lock myself inside to watch it over and over and over again.

At least in there, I won’t hear any more news about this damn book.

27 Comments:

At April 30, 2006 11:22 AM, Blogger kim replied to my musings ...

Heh. I will say that the Baigent & Leigh lawsuit was ridiculous. I didn't know about the judge's code - that's utterly bizarre.

 
At April 30, 2006 12:19 PM, Blogger angel, jr. replied to my musings ...

Yes we need to get over that book. I'm not going to see the movie because I'm so tired of hearing about all the controversy surrounding it.

 
At April 30, 2006 2:11 PM, Anonymous The Da Vinci Crock replied to my musings ...

INTERESTING BLOG

I shall return

 
At April 30, 2006 2:26 PM, Blogger Liz replied to my musings ...

I haven't read DC. It just became to large for me to be interested. All the Date Line specials really burned me out. I imagine I will wait till DVD before I see the flick too.

 
At April 30, 2006 2:33 PM, Anonymous Bruce replied to my musings ...

I've already seen this; it was a plot on "Alias", but was called the "Rombaldi Code".

 
At April 30, 2006 8:11 PM, Blogger Crazy Dan replied to my musings ...

I found the book pretty lame, but maybe the movie could keep my attention... maybe add a scene like entrapment when Catherine Zeta Jones goes around those lasers. That would kick ass!

 
At April 30, 2006 8:51 PM, Blogger An80sNut replied to my musings ...

I'm happy that I actually read the books and will be going to see the movie (I liked Angels And Demons better.) But, I find too many people hear about the religious conspiracy theory and think that is what the book is about. It's like saying the Harry Potter series is about a world of magic, centaurs, giants and all. It's based in that setting but there is a story that rises above the background. I think that's why you have churches wanting to boycott the film because they fear saying nothing is akin to accepting it which gives merit to the conspiracy.

 
At April 30, 2006 10:01 PM, Blogger Mimi replied to my musings ...

I am so sick of seeing that book in the news. But even worse than that is Tom's hair in the movie ;)

 
At April 30, 2006 10:04 PM, Blogger David Amulet replied to my musings ...

There's no doubt that the book fails to represent the height of American literarture. The writing is a bit wooden; the characters develop about as well as kate Moss's body did. But it's a page turner, and it got aa lot of people to read. For that, I have to tip my hat.

I'm still up to HERE with it, though. Time for a new book to sweep us away.

-- david

 
At April 30, 2006 10:24 PM, Blogger David Amulet replied to my musings ...

Mimi: I read in EW this week that Ron Howard used a stylist "who tells stories through his hair" to design Robert Langdon's/Tom Hanks's hair. A stylist known for bringing characters to life through their do.

And, as silly as it looks in the previews, I must admit: It looks EXACTLY as I pictured it from the book.

-- david

 
At April 30, 2006 10:42 PM, Blogger fatty ~ replied to my musings ...

hehe, havent heard anything about all this controversy...

i agree - when i saw the previews, they looked so distinctly familar i was shocked.

i liked the book - but i hated the publicity. He's written better, and i can BET the sequel with signify the lowest point of his writing.

isn't it funny that all the bestsellers that people claimed would encourage others to read - get made into movies. Then people stop reading again and wait for the movie!

 
At April 30, 2006 11:34 PM, Blogger The Phoenix replied to my musings ...

I didn't find the book as entertaining. I thought it was a pretty bad novel, to be perfectly honest. Luckily, I was able to read it long before all the hype, and it was pretty forgettable.

It's unfortunate, because the story really includes all the cool stuff I love.

But as a storyteller, Brown is not very good. I'm a big Tom Hanks fan, as my first make out session included Tom jumping up and down on a giant piano at FAO Schwartz...but it's not enough to make me see the film.

 
At May 01, 2006 12:27 AM, Blogger Anita replied to my musings ...

I'm in grad school getting a degree in rhetoric (just so you know I'm not some jackass insulting popular books), and I found the book to be an incredibly easy read. I'd hardly call it "a bad novel" though (see above).

But I'm with you here, Sir Amulet. Obsessive behavior is off-putting in general. Plus it sucks when people fawn over something that's not spectacular. Like Britney Spears. =)

 
At May 01, 2006 1:06 AM, Blogger Tai replied to my musings ...

I read "Holy Blood, Holy Grail" several years ago (after all, the book DID come out in the 80's!) and "Da Vinci Code" a few years ago...perhaps it's just a big money making scheme?

Everybody wins...including the lawyers!

 
At May 01, 2006 6:35 AM, Blogger Curare_Z replied to my musings ...

Is the Russian guy's name really Anikin? I mean, he might have a better chance than Baigent & Leigh if the force is with him....

 
At May 01, 2006 8:41 AM, Blogger Big D replied to my musings ...

Never read the book, seemed all hype to me.

 
At May 01, 2006 11:25 AM, Blogger Stacy The Peanut Queen replied to my musings ...

I'm a sucker...I went to Waldenbooks to buy the book so I could read it before the movie came out....but sadly, funds wouldn't allow it.

Sounds like I'm wasting my time with reading the book, huh?

 
At May 01, 2006 12:25 PM, Blogger Perplexio replied to my musings ...

The book is well researched but very poorly written. It's a formulaic airport mass market suspense novel.

I've read suspense novels by the likes of Ken Follett, John Grisham, and Clive Cussler that have all been infinitely more compelling reads than this poor excuse for expensive toilet paper.

Maybe the real secret is in Dan Brown's name-- because that's what color the pages will be when I'm done with the book.

 
At May 01, 2006 2:05 PM, Blogger Blonde Vigilante replied to my musings ...

I thought Angels & Demons was much better than the Da Vinci Code. Call me crazy or......

Jamaica me crazy!!!!

;P

 
At May 01, 2006 4:25 PM, Blogger BuffyICS replied to my musings ...

I seem to be in the minority here, but I thought the book was great--maybe that's just because I thoroughly enjoyed the subject matter. Regardless, I've been dying to see this movie, even though I'll have to wait several weeks after it comes out before I can actually see it. I'm not at all surprised that the whole thing has been controversial, considering the issues it raises with a major religion.

 
At May 01, 2006 4:41 PM, Blogger Perplexio replied to my musings ...

buffyics: Organized religion has plenty to be afraid of. The original church leaders basically picked and chose which gospels to include and exclude based on how favorable or unfavorable a light Jesus was portrayed. There's a recent book out on the recently translated/restored Gospel According to Judas Iscariot that of course portrays Judas in quite a different light than the rest of the Bible portrays him.

 
At May 01, 2006 6:47 PM, Blogger KC replied to my musings ...

The Boy read it and liked it. I read it and Angels & Demons but afterwards told the Hub-Man that I had to read something good now to get the taste of formula thriller writing out of my mouth. Still haven't come up with my next book yet because I've been too busy, but I think I need to go back to the classics... maybe it's time to re-read anything by Robertson Davies. He's a keeper.

 
At May 01, 2006 8:10 PM, Blogger Zen Wizard replied to my musings ...

Any code you can't figure out with a ring in select boxes of Cracker Jacks is totally lost on me.

Lucky I wasn't the recipient of the Zimmerman Telegram.

 
At May 02, 2006 1:08 AM, Blogger PDD replied to my musings ...

I have yet to read the book. I've got it sitting right here in front of me. My husband has read it. He thought it was alright. He hated the ending. I want to read the book before I see the movie, but my butt will probably end up in a theatre seat before my fingers start flipping pages. It's not that I don't want to read the book, it's that I am busy as hell and dealing with a lot of bimbos lately.

 
At May 02, 2006 2:59 AM, Blogger exquisite corpse replied to my musings ...

ExQuIsitE CoRpsE
InviTeS yoU tO
plaY wE gAmE

 
At May 03, 2006 11:17 AM, Blogger BrianAlt replied to my musings ...

I'm really not interested in this book or the movie, but obviously the judge is! Doesn't that indicate a bit of a conflict of interest or a personal bias on the part of the judge?

Eh, what a world...

 
At May 04, 2006 10:21 AM, Blogger cube replied to my musings ...

I haven't read DaVinci yet, but I did read Holy Blood Holy Grail a long time ago.

 

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