The Spectacle Blog

Da Vinci Decoded

By on 5.19.06 | 12:57PM

Since the film version of The Da Vinci Code is out today I thought I'd link to two hilarious takedowns of the much-heralded story. First, Mark Steyn on "bad writing for biblical illiterates." Here's the opening graph:

It's a good rule in this line of work to respect a hit. But golly, The Da Vinci Code makes it hard. At the start of the book, Dan Brown pledges, "All descriptions of artwork, architecture, documents and secret rituals in this novel are accurate." It's everything else that's hokum, beginning with the title, whose false tinkle testifies to Brown's penchant for weirdly inauthentic historicity. Referring to "Leonardo da Vinci" as "da Vinci" is like listing Lawrence of Arabia in the phone book as "Of Arabia, Mr. L," or those computer-generated letters that write to the Duke of Wellington as "Dear Mr. Duke, you may already have won!"

And then there's Tim Cavanaugh on taking in a bestseller by osmosis. A taste from the middle of a brilliant piece:

Having made the decision to enter into the Da Vinci Code phenomenon obliquely, with disciplined passivity, I am puzzled by the tagline for the upcoming film, zooming by on buses whenever I step outside. "Be Part of the Phenomenon," it reads. Is this not the stupidest tagline in the history of movie hype? You'd have to go back to another Tom Hanks vehicle, 1986's Nothing In Common, to find one that's nearly as bad: "It's a comedy and a drama, just like life." Does Columbia Pictures still believe audiences are so inert that they can be requested (in fact, commanded) to join its top-down phenomenon? I'm proof that you can be part of the phenomenon without putting another ten dollars into Opie's pocket.

Thus the controversey rages on...

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