Saturday, May 27, 2006

Screwtape Reads Dan Brown

Some have suggested that I am too hard on Dan Brown and The DaVinci Code. I sort of thought I might be a bit biased myself. Yet, I did not like the book when I read it in 2004. Now that I am reading again I like it even less.

So I went searching for a positive review of the book so I could try and understand why some appreciated it. The most positive review of the book I have found comes from Screwtape. You may remember his best-selling letters that were published by C. S. Lewis in the 1940's. It seems he is still writing and Eric Metaxas has posted a recent letter from Screwtape to his nephew Wormwood on his webpage.

So, in the interest of fairness, I offer a "positive" review of The DaVinci Code.


Martin Foner said...

Actually there are plenty of favorable reviews out there; one might look no further than Roger Ebert

He says in summary, "It works." It must do something, you are reading it again.

Chris Benjamin said...

Ebert's review is a review of the movie. He says the movie works. However he is not so enamored with the book. He says, "While the book is a potboiler written with little grace and style, it does supply an intriguing plot. Luckily, Ron Howard is a better filmmaker than Dan Brown is a novelist; he follows Brown's formula (exotic location, startling revelation, desperate chase scene, repeat as needed) and elevates it into a superior entertainment, with Tom Hanks as a theo-intellectual Indiana Jones."

I would agree with Ebert's observation.

Also, the fact that I am reading the book again does not mean by critique of the book has changed. Critical review often involves more than one reading.

Kerouac Jack said...


Ok, so the movie and the book are average at best. Still, it is getting a lot of attention for some reason. Maybe it is not b/c D. Brown's "facts" are not facts, but b/c it brings up a painful but true point that is painful for those who rely on an inerrant Bible: Jesus' life as recorded in the NT was heavily edited by scribes and early church leaders. Also what is being literally unearthed for our times is that many early Christians viewed Jesus much differently than the books that finally made it into our NT. (And as you are probably aware, some of those--the gospels of Philip and Mary--say that Jesus had some kind of special relationship with Mary. And some scholars do think that meant marriage.)