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The Da Vinci Code
DaVinciCode


First U.S. edition cover

Author(s) Dan Brown
Country United States

United Kingdom

Genre(s) Mystery, detective fiction, conspiracy fiction, thriller
Publisher

Doubleday Group (United States) Transworld Publishers, UK Bantam Books (United Kingdom)

Pages 454 (U.S. hardback)

489 (U.S. paperback) 359 (UK hardback) 583 (UK paperback)

ISBN 0-385-50420-9 (US) / 9780552159715 (UK)
OCLC Number 50920659
Dewey Decimal 813/.54 21
LC Classification PS3552.R685434 D3 2003
Preceded by Angels & Demons
Followed by The Lost Symbol

"The Da Vinci Code is simply an entertaining story that promotes spiritual discussion and debate and suggests that the Book may be used to "as a positive catalyst for introspection and exploration of our faith". -Dan Brown.

The Da Vinci Code is the 2003 novel written by Dan Brown. It follows Harvard professor and symbologist Robert Langdon and the gifted French cryptologist Sophie Neveu as they investigate a murder in Paris' Louvre Museum. They are stunned to discover bizarre riddles that lead them to a trail of clues hidden in the works of Leonardo da Vinci, seemingly left by the museum's late curator, Jacques Saunière minutes before his death. Their race to discover the closely guarded secret held by Saunière uncovers a battle between the Priory of Sion and Opus Dei over the possibility of Jesus having been married to Mary Magdalene.

The title of the novel refers to, among other things, the fact that the Saunière is found in the Grand Gallery of the Louvre, naked and posed like Leonardo da Vinci's famous drawing, the Vitruvian Man, with a cryptic message written beside his body and a pentacle drawn on his chest in his own blood.

The novel explores the theory that the Merovingian kings of France were descended from the bloodline of Jesus Christ and Mary Magdalene. The book has markedly provoked a popular interest in speculation concerning the Holy Grail legend and Magdalene's role in the history of Christianity. Critics often point to the fact that these ideas are derived from Clive Prince's The Templar Revelation (1997) and books by Margaret Starbird. The book also refers to The Holy Blood and the Holy Grail (1982) though Dan Brown has stated that it was not used as research material.

Plot summaryEdit

In the Louvre, a monk of Opus Dei named Silas, who is working on behalf of someone known only as the Teacher, apprehends Jacques Saunière, the museum’s curator, and demands to know where the Holy Grail is. Under the Teacher's orders, Silas aims to discover the location of the "keystone," an item crucial to the search for the Holy Grail. After Saunière tells him, Silas shoots him and leaves him to die. However, Saunière lied to Silas about the Grail’s true location and realizes that he has only a few minutes to live and that he must pass on his important secret. He subsequently undresses, paints a pentacle on his stomach and draws a circle with his blood, before dragging himself into the center of the circle, re-creating the position of Da Vinci’s Vitruvian Man. He also leaves a code, a line of numbers, and two lines of text on the ground in invisible ink.

A police detective, Jerome Collet, calls Harvard professor and symbologist, Robert Langdon, and asks him to come to the Louvre to try to interpret the scene. Langdon does not yet realize that he himself is suspected of the murder.

After murdering Saunière, Silas calls the “Teacher” and tells him that, according to Saunière, the keystone is in the Church of Saint-Sulpice in Paris. The Teacher sends Silas there.

As Langdon arrives at the crime scene, Police Captain Bezu Fache tells him that he was summoned to help the police decode the cryptic message Saunière left during the final minutes of his life. The code that Saunière left written, is the Fibonacci sequence, apparently out of order. Langdon explains to Fache that Saunière was a leading authority in the subject of goddess artwork and that the pentacle Saunière drew in his own blood represents an allusion to the goddess and not "devil worship", as Fache believes.

As Langdon and Fache are discussing this, Sophie Neveu, an agent of the department of cryptology, arrives at the crime scene and tells Fache that she had worked out the code and also tells Langdon that he must call the U.S Embassy. When Langdon calls the number Sophie gave him, he reaches her answering service. The message warns Langdon that he is in danger, should not react to the message and should meet Sophie in the bathroom at the Louvre.

In the bathroom, Sophie tells Langdon that she is Saunière's estranged granddaughter and that Fache thinks Langdon is the murderer, because of the note her grandfather left saying to "find Robert Langdon," which she says Fache had erased prior to Langdon's arrival. She also believes that the last line in the secret message, “P.S. Find Robert Langdon,” was her grandfather’s way of alerting her: P.S. are the initials of her grandfather’s nickname for her, Princesse Sophie. She throws a tracking device planted in Langdon's jacket out the window onto a passing truck in bar of soap, tricking the police into thinking that Langdon has escaped from the Louvre. However, Langdon thinks that P.S. might stand for Priory of Sion, an ancient brotherhood devoted to the preservation of the pagan goddess worship tradition, and to the maintenance of the secret that Saunière died protecting.

As the police are busy chasing the travelling tracking device away from the Louvre, Langdon decodes the second and third lines in Saunière’s message from "O draconian devil! Oh lame saint!" to “Leonardo Da Vinci, The Mona Lisa”. Sophie returns to the paintings to look for another clue and finds a key behind the Madonna of the Rocks. The police have returned to the Louvre as well, intent on arresting Langdon. An alerted museum guard prevents their escape, but Sophie, by using the painting as a hostage, manages to disarm the police officer and get herself and Langdon out of the building.

Meanwhile, Silas has followed Saunière’s clues to the keystone’s location and discovers that he has been tricked. In a fit of rage, he kills Sister Sandrine Bieil, the church’s keeper and a sentry for the Priory of Sion.

As Sophie and Langdon drive toward the Swiss bank identified on the back of the key, Langdon explains the history of the Priory of Sion and their armed force, the Knights Templar. He reveals that the Priory protects secret documents known as the Sangreal, or the Holy Grail. Langdon’s latest manuscript is about this very subject and something which Saunière wished to talk to him about, but did not have the chance to.

When Sophie and Langdon enter the bank, they realize that the number left near Saunière’s body must be the account number that will open the vault. Doing so successfully, the safe deposit box reveals a cryptex: a cylindrical, hand-held vault with five concentric, rotating dials labeled with letters that when lined up properly form the correct password, unlocking the device. If the cryptex is forced open, an enclosed vial of vinegar ruptures and dissolves the message, written on papyrus. As they are in the vault, an unnamed security guard realizes that Langdon and Sophie are fugitives that appear on the evening's news and calls the police, but André Vernet, the bank’s manager and a friend of Saunière’s, recognizes Sophie and helps her and Langdon escape.

Vernet successfully smuggles Sophie and Langdon past Collet in the back of a locked armored car. However, once safely away from the bank, Vernet turns on them, intent on keeping the contents of the safe deposit box back in the bank and thus, keeping his role as the bank's manager intact. But Langdon and Sophie manage to get away with the cryptex, which Langdon realizes is actually the Priory's keystone — that is, the key to all of the secrets the Priory holds about the location of the Holy Grail.

Langdon and Sophie go to the house of Sir Leigh Teabing, a historian and friend of Langdon's, to ask for his help opening the box. Teabing tells them the legend of the Grail, starting with the historical evidence that the Bible didn’t come straight from God but was compiled by Emperor Constantine. He also cites evidence that Jesus’ divinity was decided by a vote at Nicaea, and that Jesus was married to Mary Magdalene, who was of royal blood, and had children by her. Teabing shows them the hidden symbols in The Last Supper and the painted representation of the Magdalene. He tells them that the Holy Grail is not a cup but is actually Mary Magdalene’s remains and that it proves Mary’s blood line is related to Jesus. He also says that he thinks Saunière and the others may have been killed because the Church suspected that the Priory was about to unveil this secret.

As Langdon is showing off the cryptex, Silas appears and hits him over the head. Silas holds Sophie and Teabing at gunpoint and demands the keystone, but Teabing attacks Silas, hitting him on the thigh where his punishment belt is located, and Sophie finishes him off by kicking him in the face and bind him before he escapes.

Meanwhile Collet arrives at the castle, but Sophie, Langdon, the bound Silas, Teabing, and his personal servant, Rémy, escape and board Teabing’s private plane to England. Sophie reveals the source of her estrangement from her grandfather, ten years earlier. Arriving home unexpectedly from university, Sophie clandestinely witnesses a spring fertility rite conducted in the secret basement of her grandfather's country estate. From her hiding place, she is shocked to see her grandfather making love to a woman at the center of a ritual attended by men and women who are wearing masks and chanting praise to the goddess. She flees the house and breaks off all contact with Saunière. Langdon explains that what she witnessed was an ancient ceremony known as Hieros gamos or "sacred marriage".

Sophie also realizes that the writing on the cryptex is decipherable if viewed in a mirror. They come to understand the poem, which refers to “a headstone praised by Templars” and the “Atbash cipher,” which will help them arrive at the password. Langdon remembers that the Knights Templar supposedly worshipped the god Baphomet, who is sometimes represented by a large stone head. The word, unscrambled by the Atbash Cipher, is Sofia. When they open the cryptex, however, they find only another cryptex, this one with a clue about a tomb where a knight was buried by a pope. They must find the orb that should have been on the knight’s tomb.

Fache realizes that Teabing and the rest of them are on a jet. He calls the British police and asks them to surround the airfield, but Teabing tricks the police into believing that there is nobody inside the plane but himself. Then he goes with Sophie, Langdon, Rémy, and Silas to the Temple Church in London, the burial site of knights that the Pope had killed.

As Sophie, Langdon and Teabing are in the church, Rémy frees Silas and reveals that he, too, follows the Teacher. Silas goes to the church to get the keystone, but when he tries to force Langdon to give it up, Langdon threatens to break it. Rémy intervenes, taking Teabing hostage and thus forcing Langdon to give up the cryptex.

Meanwhile, Collet and his men look through Teabing’s house and become suspicious when they find that he has been monitoring Saunière. Over the phone, the Teacher instructs Silas to let Rémy deliver the cryptex.

Sophie’s and Langdon’s research leads them to the discovery that Sir Isaac Newton is the knight they are looking for, the one buried by a Pope, because they learn he was buried by Alexander Pope. They go to Westminster Abbey, where Newton is buried. There, the Teacher lures them to the garden with a note saying he has Teabing. They go there only to discover that Teabing himself is the Teacher. Teabing suspected that Saunière had decided not to release the secret of the Priory of Sion, because the Church threatened to kill Sophie if the secret was released. Wanting the secret to be public knowledge, he had decided to find the Grail himself.

Teabing gives Langdon the cryptex and asks Langdon and Sophie to help him open it. Langdon figures out that the password is apple — the orb missing from Newton’s tomb. He opens the cryptex and secretly takes out the papyrus. Then he throws the empty cryptex in the air, causing Teabing to drop his pistol as he attempts to catch it and prevent the map inside from being destroyed. Suddenly, Fache bursts into the room and arrests Teabing.

Bishop Aringarosa, realizing that Silas has been used to murder innocent people, rushes to help the police find him. When the police find Silas hiding in an Opus Dei Center, he assumes that they are there to kill him, and he rushes out, accidentally shooting Bishop Aringarosa. Bishop Aringarosa survives but is informed that Silas was found dead later from a bullet wound. In the hospital the next day, Aringarosa bitterly reflects that the Teacher tricked him into helping with his murderous plan by claiming that if the Bishop delivered the Grail to him, he would help the Opus Dei regain favor with the Church.

The papyrus inside the second cryptex directs Sophie and Langdon to Rosslyn Chapel in Scotland, whose docent turns out to be Sophie's long-lost brother, whom Sophie had been told died as a child in the car accident that killed her parents. The guardian of Rosslyn Chapel, Marie Chauvel Saint Clair, is Sophie's long-lost grandmother, and the widow of Jacques Saunière. It is revealed that Sophie is a descendant of Jesus Christ and Mary Magdalene. The Priory of Sion hid her identity to protect her from possible threats to her life. Sophie and Langdon part, promising to meet in Florence in a month.

Back in Paris, Langdon comprehends the real meaning of the poem, which leads him back to the Louvre, where he is sure that the Grail is buried beneath the small pyramid directly below the inverted glass pyramid of the Louvre. It also lies beneath the "Rose Line," an allusion to "Roslyn." Langdon figures out this final piece to the puzzle in the last pages of the book, but he does not appear inclined to tell anyone about this.

CharactersEdit

Secret of the Holy GrailEdit

[1][2]Detail of The Last Supper by Leonardo da VinciIn the novel Leigh Teabing explains to Sophie Neveu that the figure at the right hand of Jesus in Leonardo da Vinci's painting of "The Last Supper" is not the apostle John, but actually Mary Magdalene. Leigh Teabing says that the absence of a chalice in Leonardo's painting means Leonardo knew that Mary Magdalene was the actual Holy Grail and the bearer of Jesus' blood . Leigh Teabing goes on to explain that this idea is supported by the shape of the letter "V" that is formed by the bodily positions of Jesus and Mary, as "V" is the symbol for the sacred feminine. The absence of the Apostle John in the painting is explained by knowing that John is also referred to as "the Disciple Jesus loved", code for Mary Magdalene. The book also notes that the color scheme of their garments are inverted: Jesus wears a red tunic with royal blue cloak; John/Magdalene wears the opposite.

According to the novel, the secrets of the Holy Grail, as kept by the Priory of Sion are as follows:

The secrets of the Grail are connected, according to the novel, to Leonardo Da Vinci's work as follows:

  • Leonardo was a member of the Priory of Sion and knew the secret of the Grail. The secret is in fact revealed in The Last Supper, in which no actual chalice is present at the table. The figure seated next to Christ is not a man, but a woman, his wife Mary Magdalene. Most reproductions of the work are from a later alteration that obscured her obvious female characteristics.
  • The androgyny of the Mona Lisa reflects the sacred union of male and female implied in the holy union of Jesus and Mary Magdalene. Such parity between the cosmic forces of masculine and feminine has long been a deep threat to the established power of the Church. The name Mona Lisa is actually an anagram for "Amon L'Isa", referring to the father and mother gods of Ancient Egyptian religion (namely Amun and Isis).

ReactionEdit

SalesEdit

Brown's novel was a major success in 2004 and was outsold only by J. K. Rowling's Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix.[2] The book appeared on a 2010 list of 101 best books ever written, which was derived from a survey of more than 15,000 Australian readers.[3]

CriticismEdit

The book was not generally well received by critics, and it has been the subject of numerous negative appraisals concerning its literary value and its portrayal of history. Its writing and historical accuracy were reviewed scathingly by The New Yorker,[4] The New York Times,[5] and Salon.com,[6] among others.

Historical inaccuraciesEdit

Main article: Inaccuracies in The Da Vinci CodeThe book generated criticism when it was first published for inaccurate description of core aspects of Christianity, the history of the Catholic Church, and descriptions of European art, history, and architecture. The book has received mostly negative reviews from Catholic and other Christian communities.

Many critics took issue with the level of research Brown did when writing the story. New York Times writer Laura Miller characterized the novel as "based on a notorious hoax", "rank nonsense", and "bogus", saying the book is heavily based on the fabrications of Pierre Plantard, who is asserted to have created the Priory of Sion in 1956.

Critics accuse Brown of distorting and fabricating history. For example, Marcia Ford wrote: {C Regardless of whether you agree with Brown's conclusions, it's clear that his history is largely fanciful, which means he and his publisher have violated a long-held if unspoken agreement with the reader: Fiction that purports to present historical facts should be researched as carefully as a nonfiction book would be.[7]Richard Abanes wrote: {C The most flagrant aspect ... is not that Dan Brown disagrees with Christianity but that he utterly warps it in order to disagree with it ... to the point of completely rewriting a vast number of historical events. And making the matter worse has been Brown's willingness to pass off his distortions as ‘facts' with which innumerable scholars and historians agree.[7]The book opens with the claim by Dan Brown that "The Priory of Sion — a European secret society founded in 1099 — is a real organization". This assertion is broadly disputed. Some critics claim that the Priory of Sion was a hoax created in 1956 by Pierre Plantard. The author also claims that "all descriptions of artwork, architecture, documents ... and secret rituals in this novel are accurate", but this claim is disputed by numerous academic scholars expert in numerous areas.[8]

Dan Brown himself addresses the idea of some of the more controversial aspects being fact on his web site, stating that the "FACT" page at the beginning of the novel mentions only "documents, rituals, organization, artwork and architecture", but not any of the ancient theories discussed by fictional characters, stating that "Interpreting those ideas is left to the reader". Brown also says, "It is my belief that some of the theories discussed by these characters may have merit." and "the secret behind The Da Vinci Code was too well documented and significant for me to dismiss."[9]

In 2003, while promoting the novel, Brown was asked in interviews what parts of the history in his novel actually happened. He replied "Absolutely all of it." In a 2003 interview with CNN's Martin Savidge he was again asked how much of the historical background was true. He replied, "99% is true ... the background is all true". Asked by Elizabeth Vargas in an ABC News special if the book would have been different if he had written it as non-fiction he replied, "I don't think it would have."[10]

In 2005, UK TV personality Tony Robinson edited and narrated a detailed rebuttal of the main arguments of Dan Brown and those of Michael Baigent, Richard Leigh and Henry Lincoln, who authored the book Holy Blood, Holy Grail, in the programme The Real Da Vinci Code, shown on British TV Channel 4. The program featured lengthy interviews with many of the main protagonists cited by Brown as "absolute fact" in The Da Vinci Code. Arnaud de Sède, son of Gérard de Sède, stated categorically that his father and Plantard had made up the existence of the Prieuré de Sion, the cornerstone of the Jesus bloodline theory - to quote Arnaud de Sede in the program, "frankly, it was piffle". The program also cast severe doubt on the Rosslyn Chapel association with the Grail and on other related stories, such as the alleged landing of Mary Magdalene in France.

According to The Da Vinci Code, the Roman Emperor Constantine I suppressed Gnosticism because it portrayed Jesus as purely human. The novel's argument is as follows.[11] Constantine wanted Christianity to act as a unifying religion for the Roman Empire. He thought Christianity would appeal to pagans only if it featured a demigod similar to pagan heroes. According to the Gnostic Gospels, Jesus was merely a human prophet, not a demigod. Therefore, to change Jesus' image, Constantine destroyed the Gnostic Gospels and promoted the gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John, which portray Jesus as divine or semidivine.

According to Tim O'Neill, Gnosticism did not portray Jesus as merely human.[12] All Gnostic writings depict Christ as purely divine, his human body being a mere illusion (see Docetism).[13] Some Gnostic sects saw Christ this way because they regarded matter as evil, and therefore believed that a divine spirit would never have taken on a material body.[12] The Da Vinci Code also portrays the Council of Nicaea's decision to recognize the fully human and divine aspects of Christ as being a close vote, but O'Neill says this is not reflected in any of the sources.[14][15]

Literary criticismEdit

The novel has also attracted criticism in literary circles regarding artistic and literary merit, and its representation of British and French characters.

Salman Rushdie claimed during a lecture, "Do not start me on 'The Da Vinci Code,' A novel so bad that it gives bad novels a bad name."[16]

In an interview in The Paris Review, Umberto Eco, whose novel Foucault's Pendulum has been compared favourably to The Da Vinci Code, remarked, "Dan Brown is a character from Foucault’s Pendulum! I invented him. He shares my characters’ fascinations—the world conspiracy of Rosicrucians, Masons, and Jesuits. The role of the Knights Templar. The hermetic secret. The principle that everything is connected. I suspect Dan Brown might not even exist."[17]

Stephen Fry has referred to Brown's writings as "complete loose stool-water" and "arse gravy of the worst kind."[18] In a live chat on June 14, 2006, he clarified, "I just loathe all those book[s] about the Holy Grail and Masons and Catholic conspiracies and all that botty-dribble. I mean, there's so much more that's interesting and exciting in art and in history. It plays to the worst and laziest in humanity, the desire to think the worst of the past and the desire to feel superior to it in some fatuous way."[19]

Stephen King likened Dan Brown's work to "Jokes for the John," calling such literature the "intellectual equivalent of Kraft Macaroni and Cheese."[20] The New York Times, while reviewing the movie based on the book, called the book "Dan Brown's best-selling primer on how not to write an English sentence".[21] The New Yorker reviewer Anthony Lane refers to it as "unmitigated junk" and decries "the crumbling coarseness of the style."[4] Linguist Geoffrey Pullum and others posted several entries critical of Dan Brown's writing, at Language Log, calling Brown one of the "worst prose stylists in the history of literature" and saying Brown's "writing is not just bad; it is staggeringly, clumsily, thoughtlessly, almost ingeniously bad."[22] Roger Ebert described it as a "potboiler written with little grace and style," although he did say it did "supply an intriguing plot."[23] In his review of the film National Treasure, whose plot also involves ancient conspiracies and treasure hunts, he wrote: "I should read a potboiler like The Da Vinci Code every once in a while, just to remind myself that life is too short to read books like The Da Vinci Code."[24]

LawsuitsEdit

Author Lewis Perdue alleged that Brown plagiarized from two of his novels, The Da Vinci Legacy, originally published in 1983, and Daughter of God, originally published in 2000. He sought to block distribution of the book and film. However, Judge George Daniels of the US District Court in New York ruled against Perdue in 2005, saying that "A reasonable average lay observer would not conclude that The Da Vinci Code is substantially similar to Daughter of God" and that "Any slightly similar elements are on the level of generalized or otherwise unprotectable ideas."[25] Perdue appealed, the 2nd US Circuit Court of Appeals upheld the original decision, saying Mr. Perdue's arguments were "without merit".[26]

In early 2006, Baigent and Leigh filed suit against Brown's publishers, Random House. They alleged that significant portions of The Da Vinci Code were plagiarized from Holy Blood, Holy Grail, violating their copyright.[27] Brown confirmed during the court case that he named the principle Grail expert of his story "Leigh Teabing", an anagram of "Baigent Leigh", after the two plaintiffs. In reply to the suggestion that Lincoln was also referenced, as he has medical problems resulting in a severe limp, like the character of Leigh Teabing, Brown stated he was unaware of Lincoln's illness and the correspondence was a coincidence.[28]

Because Baigent and Leigh had presented their conclusions as historical research, not as fiction, Justice Peter Smith, who presided over the trial, deemed that a novelist must be free to use these ideas in a fictional context, and ruled against Baigent and Leigh. Smith also hid his own secret code in his written judgement, in the form of seemingly random italicized letters in the 71-page document, which apparently spell out a message. Smith indicated he would confirm the code if someone broke it.[29] Baigent and Leigh appealed, unsuccessfully, to the Court of Appeal.[28]

In April 2006, Mikhail Anikin, a Russian scientist and art historian working as a senior researcher at the Hermitage Museum in St. Petersburg, stated the intention to bring a lawsuit against Dan Brown, maintaining that he was the one who coined the phrase used as the book's title, and one of the ideas regarding the Mona Lisa used in its plot. Anikin interprets the Mona Lisa to be an Christian allegory consisting of two images, one of Jesus Christ that comprises the image's right half, one of the Virgin Mary that forms its left half. According to Anikin, he expressed this idea to a group of experts from the Museum of Houston during a 1988 René Magritte exhibit at the Hermitage, and when one of the Americans requested permission to pass it along to a friend, Anikin granted the request, on the condition that he be referenced in any book using his interpretation. Anikin eventually compiled his research into Leonardo Da Vinci or Theology on Canvas, a book published in 2000, but The Da Vinci Code, published three years later, makes no mention of Anikin, and instead asserts that the idea in question is a "well-known opinion of a number of scientists."[30][31]

ParodiesEdit

Release detailsEdit

The book has been translated into over 40 languages, primarily hardcover.[32]

In reference to Richard Leigh and Michael Baigent, two of the authors of The Holy Blood and the Holy Grail, Brown named the principal Grail expert of his story "Leigh Teabing", an anagram of "Baigent Leigh". Brown confirmed this during the court case. In reply to the suggestion that Lincoln was also referenced, as he has medical problems resulting in a severe limp, like the character of Leigh Teabing, Brown stated he was unaware of Lincoln's illness and the correspondence was a coincidence. After losing before the High Court on July 12, 2006, Michael Baigent and Richard Leigh appealed, unsuccessfully, to the Court of Appeal.[33][34]

Following the trial, it was found that the publicity had actually significantly boosted UK sales of The Holy Blood and the Holy Grail.[35]

Major English-language (hardcover) editions include:

  • (US) The Da Vinci Code, April 2003 (First edition), Doubleday, ISBN 0-385-50420-9.
  • The Da Vinci Code, Special Illustrated Edition, November 2, 2004, Doubleday, ISBN 0-385-51375-5 (as of January 2006, has sold 576,000 copies).
  • (UK) The Da Vinci Code, April 2004, Corgi Adult. ISBN 0-552-14951-9.
  • (UK) The Da Vinci Code: The Illustrated Edition, October 2, 2004, Bantam Press. ISBN 0-593-05425-3.
  • (US/Canada) The Da Vinci Code (Trade Paperback edition), March 2006, Anchor Books.
  • On March 28, 2006, Anchor Books released 5 million paperback copies of the book, and Broadway Books released 200,000 paperback copies of The Da Vinci Code Special Illustrated Edition.
  • On May 19, the day of the film's release, Doubleday and Broadway Books released The Da Vinci Code Illustrated Screenplay: Behind the Scenes of the Major Motion Picture, by screenwriter Akiva Goldsman, with the introductions by Ron Howard and Dan Brown. It included film stills, behind-the-scenes photos and the full script. There were 25,000 copies of the hardcover, and 200,000 of the paperback version.[36]

PuzzlesEdit

Book jacketEdit

Part of the advertising campaign for the novel was that the artwork in the American version of the bookjacket held various codes, and that the reader who solved them via the author's website would be given a prize. Several thousand people actually solved the codes, and one name was randomly chosen to be the winner, with the name announced on live television, Good Morning America, in early 2004. The prize was a trip to Paris.

The five hidden puzzles reveal:

  • That the back of the book jacket conceals latitude and longitude coordinates, written in reverse, light red on dark red. Adding one degree to the latitude gives the coordinates of the headquarters of the Central Intelligence Agency in Northern Virginia, which is the location of a mysterious sculpture called Kryptos. The coordinates were taken from part of the decrypted text of part 2 of the sculpture (part 4 has never been solved). When asked why the coordinates are one degree off, Brown's reply has been, "The discrepancy is intentional".
  • Bold letters are present on the book jacket. There is a secret message hidden in the text of the book flaps. The message: Is there no help for the widow's son (a reference to Freemasonry).
  • The words "only WW knows" can be seen on the back cover. It is a phrase printed invertedly, in the torn part of the book cover. This too is a reference to part 2 of the Kryptos sculpture.[37]
  • A circle with numbers, between the Doubleday logo and the barcode, reveals a secret message. These are the chapter numbers where the initial letters are arranged in Caesar box format, revealing the code "E Pluribus Unum".
  • There is reverse writing on the cover of the book, which is the riddle for the first cryptex.

Brown, both via his website and in person, has stated that the puzzles in the bookjacket give hints about the subject of his next novel, The Lost Symbol. This repeats a theme from his earlier novels. For example, Deception Point had an encrypted message that, when solved, said, "The Da Vinci Code will surface".

In the simplified Chinese version of The Da Vinci Code, the cover has a secret text; however, this text can be easily seen. It reads: "13-3-2-21-1-1-8-5 O, Draconian devil! Oh, Lame Saint! P.S. Find Robert Langdon." This is the multiply encrypted clue written in invisible ink next to the dead body in the museum, which kicks off the plot of the entire novel.

PagesEdit

All of the puzzles listed below can be found within the page headers in the Mass Market US Paperback edition of The Da Vinci Code.

  • Page 60: "Ankh Fendile" (anagram of "knife handle") in place of "Dan Brown"
  • Page 95: "De Lancs" (anagram of "candles") in place of "Da Vinci"
  • Page 138: "Das Brilli" (anagram of "billiards") in place of "Dan Brown"
  • Page 141: "La Sufrete" (anagram of "true/false") in place of "Da Vinci"
  • Page 155: "sos" in place of page number
  • Page 192: "Reon Tigaldo" (anagram of "Golden Ratio") in place of "Dan Brown"
  • Page 217: "De Ysosy" (anagram of "odyssey") in place of "Da Vinci"
  • Page 262: "Mer Reve" (anagram of "Vermeer") in place of "Dan Brown"
  • Page 322: page number replaced by three asterisks

FilmEdit

Main article: The Da Vinci Code (film)Columbia Pictures adapted the novel to film, with a screenplay written by Akiva Goldsman, and Academy Award winner Ron Howard directing. The film was released on May 19, 2006, and stars Tom Hanks as Robert Langdon, Audrey Tautou as Sophie Neveu, and Sir Ian McKellen as Leigh Teabing. The film had an opening weekend gross of $77,073,388 and grossed $217,536,138 in 2006, making it the fifth highest grossing movie of 2006. The film did very well overseas, grossing over $758,239,852 worldwide. On November 14, 2006 the movie was released on DVD.

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