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For use in schools and libraries only. An intelligent, lucid thriller that marries the gusto of an international murder mystery with a collection of fascinating esoteria culled from 2,000 years of Western history.
Dan Brown, the author who turned secret societies and cryptic conspiracies into an international sensation with his bestseller THE DA VINCI CODE, is surprisingly forthcoming about his own life. He was born in Exeter, New Hampshire in 1964, and he attended the Phillips Exeter Academy, the renowned boarding school that has been famously depicted in award-winning works by John Knowles and Robert Anderson. Brown's father was a teacher at Exeter, and Brown himself later taught there before turning full-time to writing. Brown majored in Spanish and English at Amherst College in Massachusetts, and he spent multiple semesters studying abroad in Spain. Brown would later recall a particularly memorable lecture he attended in Seville, wherein the professor pontificated on some of the dark oddities to be found within Leonardo Da Vinci's legendary painting "The Last Supper." After graduation, Brown spent time in Los Angeles, where he worked as a songwriter and met his wife, Blythe, whom he would marry in 1997. After returning to the east coast, Brown published his first novel, DIGITAL FORTRESS, a thriller about a code encrypted in the powerful computers of the National Security Agency. The book failed to find a significant audience, and Brown's next two efforts, ANGELS & DEMONS and DECEPTION POINT, were similarly ignored. But in 2003, the stars aligned and the codes clicked into place for Brown.||THE DA VINCI CODE became one of the biggest, and most controversial, bestsellers in publishing history. It quickly garnered the ire of the Christian community for its blasphemous portrayal of a relationship between Mary Magdalene and Jesus Christ. Brown never hid from the criticism, and openly defended his book (and reminded people that it was a work of fiction) from many forums. He also had to (successfully) defend himself against charges of plagiarism from the authors of the 1982 book HOLY BLOOD, HOLY GRAIL, who claimed that Brown's religious ideas were lifted from their work. After the fervor surrounding the book finally settled a bit, Brown receded into seclusion to work on the much-anticipated sequel.
"In this gleefully erudite suspense novel, Mr. Brown takes the format he has been developing through three earlier novels and fine-tunes it to blockbuster perfection."
"[I]f this novel doesn't get your pulse racing, you need to check your meds."
"Dan Brown's novel is an ingenious mixture of paranoid thriller, art history lesson, chase story, religious symbology lecture and anti-clerical screed, and it's the most fun you can have between the sort of covers that aren't 300-count Egyptian cotton."
From the Publisher
A sequel to ANGELS & DEMONS, THE DA VINCI CODE starts off with a bang and doesn't quit, leaving the reader gasping to keep up with the twists and turns of this amazingly popular academic thriller. The naked, spread-eagled corpse of a senior curator is found in the Louvre's Grand Gallery, next to a mysterious message written in his blood. The discovery and the subsequent investigation plunge Harvard professor Robert Langdon into the heart of a centuries-old religious conspiracy. Assisted by the brilliant and beautiful Sophie Neveu, a French police cryptologist who also happens to be the curator's granddaughter, Langdon races to gather clues about an ancient goddess-worshipping cult--purportedly once led by Da Vinci himself--whose members hold the key to one of the most sacred legendary objects, the Holy Grail. Meanwhile, the couple must dodge both the police, who believe Langdon guilty of the curator's murder, and an albino assassin from an extremist Catholic sect who is desperate to prevent Langdon and Neveu from uncovering a secret that could rock Christianity to its very foundations. THE DA VINCI CODE is a blockbuster bestseller that has gained legions of fans around the globe; the extremely obsessed can even take a special tour in Paris that points out all the key locations in the storyline. The book also has many detractors who say they have found significant flaws in the religious and historical research upon which it is based. The debate reached such a fever pitch that the Vatican even appointed a Cardinal responsible for refuting the book's claims. The controversy has only increased the book's popularity, producing a whole host of imitators as well as several books and videos purporting either to further explicate or to poke holes in the THE DA VINCI CODE's plot and historical background.
Renowned curator Jacques Sauniere staggered through the vaulted archway of the museum's Grand Gallery.