[identity profile] kippurbird.livejournal.com
The Da Vinci Code came today!

I barely got any time off. Oh well. Onward! In the name of... Trying to Kill My BRAIN!! WOO!


I got the picture edition of the Da Vinci code. Which should be fun.

The book begins with something very important:

Fact:

The Priory of Sion - a European secret society founded in 1099 - is a real organization. In 1973 Pari's Bibliotheque Nationale discovered parchments known as
Les Dossiers Secrets, identifying numerous members of the Priory of Sion, including Sir Issac Newton, Botticelli, Victor Hugo, and Leonardo da Vinci.

The Vatican prelature known as Opus Dei is a deeply devout Catholic sect that has been the topic of recent controversy due to reports of brainwashing, coercion, and a dangerous practice known as "corporal mortification". Opus Dei has just completed construction of a $47 million National Headquarters at 243 Lexington Avenue in New York City.

All descriptions of artwork, architecture, documents and secret rituals in this novel are accurate.


Now, my first wholly unanalytical thought about this paragraph is, "I thought it was the Scientologists who did the brainwashing." Anyway. Brown has made a huge claim here in these paragraphs. One that is very dangerous. By asserting that every description of artwork, architecture, documents and secret rituals are true, he forces the world to take place in our world as opposed to an alternate reality. What I mean by an alternate reality is that if he didn't say that they were true, the then reader would just assume that these things are true in the world that the story takes place in. By saying that they are accurate, he has to prove this point when ever he brings up one of these items. If the above section had happened within the actual text of the story, then it would be assumed that the documents are true within the story's world. Much like those little factual things sometimes put at the beginning of chapters.

However, separated as it is, from the actual text of the novel, leaves himself open to being proven wrong, thus discrediting the story.

Prologue: Louvre Museum, Paris. 10:46 P.M.

We begin with the curator Jacques Sauniere staggering into the Louvre's Grand Gallery where he yanks a painting -a Caravaggio- off the wall and sends the security doors slamming down. Laying on the ground he thinks to himself that he is still alive as he looks for a place to hide. He's being chased then.

He's being chased by an albino with a gun with an accent that's not easy to place. The albino wants the curator to tell him where something is. The curator, obviously, denies knowing whatever it is that the albino wants. They have a mysterious discussion where the albino asserts that he knows something that the curator's brethren told him, saying that he killed them too. There is a delicious line of "If I die; the truth will be lost forever." Very cliche that line, but it's setting up the mystery so, I suppose it has to be allowed.

And then the albino shoots him, but doesn't kill him. He goes to shoot him again, but is out of bullets.

The click of an empty chamber echoed through the corridor.

The curator's eyes flew open.

The man glanced down at his weapon, looking almost amused. He reached for a second clip, but the seemed to reconsider, smirking calmly at Sauniere's gut. "My work here is done."


And then, he leaves.

Yes. He leaves. The Albino knows that the man he just shot has a secret and that he's the last one with the secret. He has a fatal wound but not completely fatal as it'll take about fifteen minutes for him to die and by then help might get there, by the way, where are the guards? Shouldn't they have come running once the alarms were set off? He's not out of bullets, it would take a couple of seconds to reload, and he DOESN'T KILL THE GUY! YOU DON'T LEAVE AN ENEMY ALIVE IF YOU CAN KILL HIM!! This is called the bad guys being intentionally stupid so that the plot can move forward. Because, if the bad guy didn't leave him alive, the curator couldn't leave clues to his murderer.

Also, while we're talking stupid plot holes, why doesn't the curator have a cell phone? Because if he did, then he could have called for an ambulance or security to get down their quicker. If they did that, then he wouldn't be able to pass on his secret to the right man for the job. If anything, he could have had a cell phone, tried to use it and discover that he doesn't have any signal and then go off and do whatever it is he's going to do.

Chapter one:

We begin with our hero, Robert Langdun waking up. He's asleep in the Hotel Ritz Paris, and is woken up by a phone ringing. It's the concierge who says that Robert has a visitor. Apparently he had only been asleep for an hour, "but felt like the dead". A curious turn of phrase, seeing as how it's past midnight and usually, after being woken up after an hour's sleep that late at night, it would be perfectly normal to feel like the dead. Usually, if I don't get three hours of sleep I feel like the dead. The way the sentence is structured makes it seem like he shouldn't be feeling like the dead.

Mr. Langdun is in Paris, having given a lecture. He thinks that his visitor is someone who got their feathers ruffled from his lecture that evening. He tells the concierge to tell the guy to go away and hangs up the phone. We then get a look of Robert Langdon in the mirror, thus letting us know what he looks like. Having your character look at himself in the mirror is a cliched way to let the reader know what they look like. It works, but it sometimes it's simpler just to have your character be described in the narrative. That way you don't have to hope you have a mirror around for them to look in.

He reminisces about earlier that evening and about an article that Boston Magazine did on him naming him as one of the city's ten most intriguing people. Apparently the person who introduced him that night used the article in her opening speech. We learn, from this that Robert was involved in an incident with the Vatican's conclave and that his voice has been described as "chocolate for the ears." Nummy.

The phone rings again and the guy down stairs is telling Robert that the very important visitor is coming up to his room and apparently he didn't have the authority to stop him. The visitor turns out to be the French equivalent of the FBI. He wants Langdon to come with him now. Apparently Langdon was to meet with the curator that night, but the curator never showed up.

The Agent shows Robert a photograph that was taken an hour ago in the Louvre. We are not told what is in the photograph, but instead shown Robert's reaction. He's horrified. We're told it's a bizzare image. But what is bizzare, we don't know. For all I know it could be two goats fucking a girl. Which is a very bizzare image and certainly disturbing and would cause rage, which is what happens to Robert.

Apparently there is symbology in the picture of the two goats and girl which is why they came to Robert. He's an expert in it, plus he was going to be meeting with the curator. Then we learn that there's a corpse in the picture. So, the goats are fucking a dead girl. Lovely.

Finally we get a bit of a hint on whats in the picture,

Langdon stared at the picture, his horror now laced with fear. The image was gruesome and profoundly strange, bringing with it an unsettling sense of deja vu. A little over a year ago, Langdon had received a photograph of a corpse and a similar request for help. Twenty four hours later, he had almost lost his life inside Vatican City. This photo was entirely different, and yet something about the scenario felt the same

Okay, so, he's seen something similar. Perhaps a pair of sheep fucking a dead girl? I don't know. I'm getting kinda frustrated here. All I know is that there's this picture with something horrifying on it. And there's a dead person.

Langdon finally wonders who would do such a thing. The Agent says that the curator did it to himself.

GASP! So it's not a pair of goats fucking a dead girl! It's the curator mysteriously position (again, we don't know how, perhaps there are goats involved after all) and there are symbols. But we are missing vital information. We've been missing it since the photograph was introduced. This information is vital for us to understand what's happening in the story. We need to know what is so horrifying about the way this man has positioned himself? What do these symbols look like? What is so special about it.

We're not told this, however. Instead we have to read on to find out. Thus, the reader is forced to continue on to learn the answer to this mystery instead of trying to figure out what the actual mystery (why was his body positioned the way it is and what the symbols could mean) is. This takes away some of the reader participation. After all, they're not allowed to puzzle over the meaning along with Robert. They just have to kind of hang around in the background, like spies over-hearing a conversation. Technically speaking, we would have gotten as much information about the picture if we had heard them talking out loud and not reading about their conversation.

While, yes, it does create a sense of mystery. What is in the picture? What is so horrifying? We're detached from the situation, because well, we're just being told that there's something horrifying to see, instead of actually seeing it for ourselves. For all we know, the goat scenario isn't as horrifying as the picture. But for all we know, it isn't.
[identity profile] kippurbird.livejournal.com
The photograph mentioned in the last chapter is now going to be known as the goat picture until disproved.

Do we get to know what the Goat Picture is in our next chapter? No. Instead we get to go back to our albino shooter. His name is Silas. And he has a limp. So, Brown has given us a highly identifiable shooter, with a limp. Which'll make him stand out even more. He apparently has something called a "Cilice Belt" on his leg which cuts into his flesh, "and yet his soul sang with satisfaction of service to the Lord." He then thinks, "Pain is good". This makes me want to edge away from him very slowly, least I make sudden moves and he shoots me. Silas enters a brownstone residence where numeraries live. There are no locks on the doors. He apparently feels that he owes God a debt of some sort.

He finds his cell phone hidden in his bottom drawer. How is it hidden, I don't know. The way it's written it sounds like he's got this empty drawer with a cell phone in it. And really, if Crazy Albino Dude has a cell, why didn't Curator have one? I mean, it's far more likely that the curator would need one than this guy who's staying where there's a mat for a bed.

Silas calls someone, a male who he calls Teacher. At least it's not master, because with that cilice belt and a joy for pain, well... you get the picture. The two of them have a conversation about something that's not mentioned - they call it a keystone- which is "an engraved tablet that revealed the final resting place of the brotherhood's greatest secret.. information so powerful that it's protection was the reason for the brotherhood's very existence." So, we're looking for a tablet that tells the resting place of... something. Something very secret. Something that is mockery by being hidden in the house of the Lord, one of Paris' ancient chruches -the Eglise De Saint-Sulpice.. The Afikomen? (Which would be the piece of Matzah hidden by the head of the house during the Passover Seder. If it's not found, then the Seder can't be finished.) It's the only thing I can think of that could be hidden in a house of the Lord that would be offensive (especially since some old fashioned myths said that the matzah is made of the blood of Christian babies.) So the keystone is the missing Afikomen. The photograph is the Goat Picture. Got it? Good.

The Teacher tells Silas that he must retrieve the stone that night! They've waited centuries for this. The only people who know about it are dead. And yet they must get the stone now! Silas seems to be concerned about trying to find away in. Apparently the church is a fortress at night.

And yet he had no problems getting into the Louvre.

Right.

Okay.

The Teacher knows all and tells Silas how he's going to get into the Church.

After he hangs up on the teacher, Silas beats himself to purify himself for his sins.

Nothing quite like having someone beat themselves up, is there?

We then switch back to Langdon. Langdon and the unnamed agent, who really should have been named by now, there's no reason why he doesn't have a name. His name is now Bobo. Bobo and Langdon drive through Paris. Lots of things are described. There's talk about phallic imagery. Unfortunately there's no way I can make it funny.

They make it to the Louvre and talk about the pyramid. Langdon the meets the captain, nick named the Bull.

Actually, looking at this chapter, absolutely nothing of importance happened. I'd have cut this chapter all together. It was basically a tour of Paris. It didn't forward the plot at all. Looking at the next chapter, we could have started there and not missed a single bit of information. One of the things that I've discussed in classes is that every chapter has to have a purpose. Every chapter has to move the story forward and give some sort of information, be it for story or character. This chapter we didn't learn squat about Langdon, Bobo left the scene after dropping him off, and they talked about the phallic imagery of Paris as well as some of the other monuments and their backgrounds. Perhaps this is trying to show us how knowledgeable Langdon is, but it's boring and such information could be given to us, about his knowing stuff, in a manner more directly related to the plot. Like him examining what is in the Goat Picture.
[identity profile] kippurbird.livejournal.com
Chapter four begins with

Captain Bezu Fache carried himself like an angry ox, with his wide shoulders thrown back and his chin tucked hard into his chest. His dark hair was slicked back with oil, accentuating an arrow-like widow's peak that divided his jutting brow and preceded him like the prow of a battleship. As he advanced, his dark eyes seemed to scorch the earth before him, radiating a fiery clarity that forecast his reputation for unblinking severity in all matters.

Chapter three, three paragraphs above this statement reads:

...The man was stocky and dark, almost Neanderthal, dressed in a dark double-breasted suit that strained to cover his wide shoulders. He advanced with unmistakable authority on squat, powerful legs.

So, within less than a page we have two descriptions of the same man. The second description being horribly purple and doesn't really match the rest of the prose in the book. It's as if Brown decided to show how descriptive he is in describing people and giving a feel for their personality. He does, however, mix his metaphors, going from describing Fache from an ox to a ship to some sort of demon like critter. Which now makes me think he looks like a giant fiery ship with an ox figure head. Whee!

Also, the way this chapter beginning is structured it could have been the beginning of chapter three, without any need for that pointless ride in the car with Bobo. We're right at the action now, going down to the crime scene. They pass under the glass pyramid, which Langdon says has 666 panes of glass requested at President Mitterand's explicit request. The actual number of glass panes are 672. Brown is being a conspiracy nut here. The Devil is at Work Here. WHooOOooOO... Mystery!!

As Langdon and Fache head down, Fache asks Langdon questions, like who asked to see who and what about. Langdon said that the Curator wanted to see him, but didn't know why. The Curator was also apparently the foremost expert on goddess worship iconography. Langdon was hoping to pick his brain for a book that he's writing that has some potentially controversial discussions of modern day religions.

Langdon has a minor problem getting in the elevator, apparently having a phobia of them. But it's really just getting in the way of the story and I don't really care enough about him to sympathize. In a wonderful bout of feeding us information twice, Langdon sees Fache's tie clip and recognizes it as a Crux Gemmata. Fache then says, "It's a Crux Gemmata". Calling the department of redundancy department. Now, what Brown could be doing is trying to capture real life situations where a person recognizes an object and then told what it is. However there are better ways to go about it, than naming it and then naming it again. Blah, blah. Nothing happens. None of the security cameras are real, museums instead work on containment instead of seeing. Blah. More words. No, really. Nothing happens. They just walk and talk a little bit.

Then we switch to New York where learn the address of the new Opus Dei National Headquarters. And how much it cost. I think that Brown is confusing useless detail for description. We meet Bishop Manuel Aringarosa who is going somewhere. He's going to Rome. He's the president-general of Opus Dei. There's some talk about how Opus Dei is like a cult and the Bishop denying it. There's even a website address, www.odan.org (it's a real site) for watching the Opus Dei.

Somehow, Mr. Bishop has a cell phone that's on during the flight and receives a call on it. Cell phones are not allowed on during flights because bad things will happen. This is of course isn't as important as the plot, because, he needs to take the phone call while on his way to Rome, since it's about the Keystone. He couldn't have gotten the phone call before he left. No, he had to get it on the plane. It would have made more sense for him to have gotten it before he left (as well as safer) but this is ignored for... some bizzare reason. The caller wants the Bishop to influence... something. Again we're not told what. So perhaps the mafia needs a little influence.

And then we get our first innuendo! "Silas was feeling an aroused anticipation that he had not felt since his previous life".

Silas apparently had a very violent path until he found The Way. He thinks about Jesus' message of peace and non-violence and then the need to protect their faith.

He dons a robe, admires his reflection and the chapter ends.

So, once again. Nothing happened in this chapter. I'm beginning to think we've got a short story here smashed out into a novel There's a lot of info-dumping for description and not enough happening.
[identity profile] kippurbird.livejournal.com
And so we begin chapter six.

Let us sum up what we know so far. Something horrible happened to someone somewhere which he did to himself. And Someone has to find something somewhere. Got that? Because I don't.

Anyway. Bull boy and Langdon are walking. And they're walking. And you know what? They walk some more. However they discuss the crime scene and what happened. And they walk some more. And Langdon flashes back to some chick named Vittoria, probably the side-chick from the last book. Though there's no particular reason for him to bring her up, except to let us know that she awoke passions in him that he never thought he could have. My heart's all a flutter, but still, pointless paragraph.

As they go, we learn that security actually did show up, but they couldn't get into the gallery and didn't see anyone but, did hear someone, who they thought was the bad guy so they called the cops. See if the curator really wanted to live, he should have stayed where he was so that the security people could find him, and you know, save his life. Which also would have probably allowed him to live longer since he wouldn't have been exerting himself and causing more blood to pool out. If he had stayed still, then he would have been alive and wouldn't have to worry about the secret being lost. I mean, Silas was actually stupid enough to walk off while he was still alive. So, he didn't have a cell phone, at least he knew that security would be there quickly. Because he is the fricking CURATOR of the bloody museum. He'd know these things.

But, apparently I'm being logical and intelligent here.

Finally we get to the goat picture I mean the crime scene.

The pallid corpse of Jacques Sauniere lay on the parquet floor exactly as it appeared in the photograph. Seeing as how the fact that Jacques was arranged in such a strange manner and they're bringing the expert back to see him, I really think that it's unlikely that they'll move the body. As Langdon stood over the body and squinted in the harsh light, he reminded himself to his amazement that Sauniere had spent his last minutes of life arranging his own body in this strange fashion.

Sauniere looked remarkably fit for a man of his years...
And this is important to know, why? and all of his musculature was in plain view. He had stripped off every shred of clothing, placed it neatly on the floor Okay, I'm dying of a gun shoot wound to the gut. I only have a certain amount of time to relay my message because I was stupid to move from where the guards can find me, so I'm going to take the time to fold my clothes neatly into a pile, because God knows that they might think I'm a slob if I don't. and lain down on his back in the center of the wide corridor, perfectly aligned with the long axis of the room. His arms and legs were sprawled outward in a wide spread eagle like those of a child making a snow angel... or, perhaps more appropriately like a man being drawn and quartered by some invisible force.

Just below Sauniere's breastbone a bloody smear marked the spot where the bullet had penetrated his flesh. The wound had bled through surprisingly little, leaving only a small pool of blackened blood.

Sauniere's left index finger was also bloody, apparently having been dipped into the wound to create the most unsettling aspect of his own macabre deathbed; using his own blood as ink, and employing his own naked abdomen as a canvas, Sauniere had drawn a simple symbol on his flesh -five straight lines that intersected to form a five-pointed star.

The pentacle

And he couldn't have told us that it was a pentacle in the first place? The whole five lines making a star thing is just pointless words that delay the reader getting to the actual information. Not only that, it's not the pentacle that's the important thing, but what the pentacle symbolizes. Or symbolizes according to Brown. Which is apparently that the pentacle is part of the Pagans now considered synonymous with the devil worship (as opposed to Wiccians) and then starts to ramble on about how the pentacle is part of the female half of all things.

The Truth behind the Da Vinci Code by Richard Abanes says this:


Quote from the Da Vinic Code: The pentacle. This symbol, a five pointed star within a circle, represents "the female half of all thing all things - a concept religious historians call the 'sacred feminine' or the divine goddess... in it's most specific interpretation, the pentacle symbolizes Venus - the goddess of female sexual love and beauty."

The Truth behind the code

The pentagram (which is called a pentacle when drawn inside a circle) has no "specific interpretation." Writer and lecture Kerr Cuhulain, who is a recognized spokesman for Wicca explains that, "There seems to have been no single tradition concerning their [pentagrams'] meaning and use, and in may contexts they seem simply to have been decorative." Popular Wiccan Doreen Valiente also has noted that the pentagram's uses, adding, "The origin of the magical five pointed star is lost in the mists of time."



So, basically, we were just told a great big lie. The book's front piece said that everything is factual, but it's not. Neither is the fact that the planet Venus traces a perfect pentacle shape in the sky nor the fact that the Olympic rings were originally going to be a pentacle. HOWEVER according to Langdon, "The pentacle's demonic interpretation is historically inaccurate. The original feminine meaning is correct, but the symbolism of the pentacle has been distorted over the millennia. In this case, through bloodshed."

Bloodshed being the Roman Catholic Church having a smear campaign against pagans and the divine symbols.

Sauniere is apparently positioned himself into a pentacle which is supposed to reinforce the imagery of the pentacle.

The bull asks him about why he used blood, and Langdon suggests that was the only ink available to him. However the Bull contradicts him motioning to an invisible ink pen. When they turn off the lights and turn on the Black Light Langdon sees that Sauniere has written a dirty limerick. Well... no, but again we're not told what it is that he's written. So, instead he sees:

Young man Jerry Hank
Went down to the national bank
He fell in the grass
getting a surprised in the ass
by a cock the size of a tank.


Meanwhile someone named Lieutenant Collet had returned to the Louvre. I'm GUESSING this is Bobo from earlier. Who else would be returning to the Lourve that's been mentioned? See, this is the problem here, we have no idea who this Collet is and why he's in Sauniere's office eavesdropping on Langdon and the Bull. The way the that the paragraph is written, it sounds like we should know who this guy is, but if it's Bobo, he never was given a name earlier.

Our next chapter is about a Nun. She doesn't like Opus Dei but apparently she has to give one of its numeraries a tour of the Church of Saint-Sulpiece which is where the Keystone to the Afikomen is hidden. The entire point of this two page chapter was apparently to talk about how Opus Dei treats women like slaves. And that's it. Really. Absolutely nothing has been added to our needed knowledge of the story. The plot did not inch forward one bit. It's just there.
[identity profile] kippurbird.livejournal.com
Chapter eight reveals the Shocking Dirty Limerick.

13-3-2-21-1-1-8-5
O, Draconian devil!
Oh, lame saint!


It doesn't really scan well does it? I like mine better. Anyway, it's the Draconian devil bit that apparently makes the Bull think about devil worship. They discuss the message and what it could mean, Langdon not having a clue to it. And then the Bull reveals that the most shocking thing about the message is that a French man in France wrote the message in English. Which, actually, I'll give Brown, as something actually strange. Another thing is that with that invisible ink pen of his, the Curator drew a circle around himself. Thus, according to Langdon, symbolizing The Vitruvian Man, by Da Vinci.

Da Vinci, according to Brown and Langdon:

"Was a flamboyant homosexual and a worshiper of Nature's divine order, both of which placed him in perpetual state of sin against God. Moreover, the artist's eeire eccentricities projected an admittedly demonic aura: Da Vinci exhumed corpses to study human anatomy; he kept mysterious journals in illegible reverse handwriting; he believed he possessed the alchemic power to turn lead into gold and even cheat God by creating an elixir to postpone death; and his inventions included horrific, never-before-imagined weapons of war and torture."


And this is why apparently Fache thinks that Da Vinci was a devil worshiper.

Now, I did a bit of research and yes there is some speculation that Da Vinci may have been a homosexual, but there's nothing concrete about it. He certainly wasn't flamboyant about it. If anything that would have been suicide. As for the rest, people have been searching for a way to turn lead into gold for ages and the same for the elixir to postpone death. It has nothing to do with devil worshiping at all. But why should we let facts get in the way?

Also, apparently:

Even Da Vinci's enormous output of breathtaking Christian art only furthered the artist's reputation for spiritual hypocrisy. Accepting hundreds of lucrative Vatican commissions, Da Vinci painted Christian themes not as an expression of his own beliefs but rather as a commercial venture - a means of funding a lavish lifestyle. Unfortunately Da Vinci was a prankster who often amused himself by quietly gnawing on the hand that fed him. He incorporated in many of his paintings hidden symbolism that was anything but Christian -tributes to his own beliefs and a subtle thumbing of his nose at the Church.


Now I work at the American Jewish University. It's the largest Jewish University in America, I believe. We have non-Jews working there. Does that mean they're being hypocritical for taking a job that will allow them to sustain their preferred lifestyle since they're not Jewish? Of course not! They got the job there because it was where they were able to work using the skills that they knew. In Da Vinci's time the Church was the largest client of artwork. Only the really rich could afford it and he wouldn't have made enough money waiting around for the rich to want a portrait. So, it's only logical that he goes to the Church to take their commissions to earn a living. He may not believe in what they believe in, but that doesn't stop him from painting a picture and earning money so he doesn't starve to death. He may have been a genius but that really have anything to do with earning a living.

There's a brief discussion on the fact that the Curator and Da Vinci shared spiritual beliefs and that the fact that Sauniere would want to tell them who killed him by writing down the murder's name, which he didn't but apparently Fuche thinks that Langdon did it.

Bobo is apparently watching the conversation at Fuche's request. Fuche is apparently a Master at... something. I'm not really sure, but it has to do with his ability with suspects and getting them to confess or something. They suspect Langdon and have managed to slip a tracking device -GPS unit- on him.

Suddenly, the Girl Shows up. She's a Cryptographer (unforunately this doesn't mean she studies crypts). Fuche does not like women in the police force. Fache argued, was weakening the department. Women not only lacked the physicality necessary for police work, but their mere presence posed a dangerous distraction to men in the field I don't think Fache gets laid enough. Or at all. And that's his real problem with women.

The Girl is named Sophia Neveu and she barges right into the crime scene without permission. She gives Langdon a note with a phone number saying it's from the American Embassy. Someone wants to get in touch with him. Langdon doesn't wonder why they didn't call him on his cell phone, but instead wonders who it could be. Does the man not own a cell phone? I mean really.

Anyway, he calls up the number on the paper and it's not the Embassy but instead the Girl's answering machine. Confused, of course, he starts to question her, but she insists that he continue on with the phone call. Her eyes can talk, "Her green eyes sent a crystal clear message".

The message on the machine for Langdon is "Do not react to this message. Just listen calmly. YOu are in danger right now.Follow my directions closely."

My reaction to this would be, "Is this some sort of joke?" I imagine this won't be Langdon's.
[identity profile] kippurbird.livejournal.com
[livejournal.com profile] the_norseman suggested a drinking game:
Lets make the Dan Brown drinking game!

Take a drink every time:
* A name has a "cute" meaning.
* Someone does something idiotic.
* A character begins a rambling monologue.
* Something happens, but you're not told what.
* He gets something utterly wrong.
* The truth is precisely the opposite (make it a double).

Keep going until the book makes sense, or you pass out.



I think this is an utterly brilliant idea. So, lift up your glasses and find the wine! It's our Dan Brown Drinking Time!

Silas has a car. It's a black Audi that cost 56,000 (okay it doesn't actually say that but still...) He's at the church where the keystone is. I keep on thinking of Delaware because that's the Keystone State. (That's your random fact for the evening). Silas muses on how finding Delaware will make the Opus Dei that much more powerful before musing on his childhood. It's a lovely sob story. He doesn't remember his name, he left home at age seven from an abusive and drunken father who beat him and his mother. And then his father killed his mother... blah, blah, runaway, blah... gets thrown in prison... miracle sets him free after twelve years..he thinks of himself as the ghost... he's rescued by a Priest who names his Silas. I think that deserves a drink.

Then we go to Mr. Priest in the Airplane Who Uses Cell Phones While Flying and Makes the Plane Crash in a Fiery Ball of DOOM. He muses about how the Teacher told him not to contact Silas for the plan to succeed.

And that's it.

Really. The entire chapter. Now, I know that there's something to be said about letting your readers know about your villains to make them sympathetic, but really this is sort of like what Paolini did with Durza. He just infodumps Silas' entire life on us, instead of showing us why he does what he does through out the story. We're saturated with all this information, which is hardly new for a villain's background (in fact it's rather cliche. How many villains out there were beaten and abused before being rescued by someone and were then turned into a weapon?) It's ridiculous, really. And it completely stalled the story, again. I mean, here we were hoping to see Silas actually do something and instead he mopes and angsts. And I don't care! Move on with the damn story all ready. The second part with the priest was completely unnecessary. It doesn't tell us anything we need to know for the story to progress. It was a complete and utter tangent.

So, instead we go back to Langdon, Sophie and Fache.

We're in the midst of the conversation that well... we never heard the beginning of. The chapter begins with Fache expressing disbelief that our lottery numbers were in fact a numerical joke. Sophie has rearranged them into this order: 1-1-2-3-5-8-13-21 This, she declares is one of the most famous mathematical progressions in history. I looked at Wikipedia, and there were a lot of equations and my eyes glazed over. But apparently it's correct. Up until the point Spohie says, "Mathematician Leonardo Fibonacci created this succession of numbers in the thirteenth century".

Wikipedia says, however:

The Fibonacci numbers first appeared, under the name mātrāmeru (mountain of cadence), in the work of the Sanskrit grammarian Pingala (Chandah-shāstra, the Art of Prosody, 450 or 200 BC). Prosody was important in ancient Indian ritual because of an emphasis on the purity of utterance. The Indian mathematician Virahanka (6th century AD) showed how the Fibonacci sequence arose in the analysis of metres with long and short syllables. Subsequently, the Jain philosopher Hemachandra (c.1150) composed a well known text on these. A commentary on Virahanka's work by Gopāla in the 12th century also revisits the problem in some detail. Wikipedia"


Two hundred BC is a lot earlier than the thirteenth century. So, that's another drink!

Sophie informs Fache that the dead guy is playing games with them (which is highly unlikely since you know, he went out of his way to do this and all...) and when Fache says she better have a better explanation than that she says, he might appreciate the idea that Sauniere might be playing games with them and if he doesn't well maybe they don't need the cryptography department anymore.

Then Fache's attention turns to Langdon who is still on the phone with the "U.S. Embassy". He hates the U.S. Embassy because they make his job hard. Insert another drink here. When Langdon hangs up he looks awful and all sweaty and such. Fache asks Langdon if he's all right and is told that there was a horrible accident back home and he needs to leave in the morning. He then asks to use the bathrooms.

Fache lets him go, figuring he can't get out, and goes to talk to Bobo wanting to know who let Sophie in to the building. They don't know and they can't find her. However they know that Langdon is still in the potty.

Seeing as how the phone message Langdon got was not from the U.S. Embassy but instead from Sophie we can assume that she told him to go to the bathroom. I now wonder, why is he listening to her? What is it about her that make him trust her? She just told him that the police were out to get him. And now he's going to do what she says, which probably involves some sort of long and dramatic chase scene of sorts where his life is in danger and the police are really out to get him. Wouldn't it be better to just let the police relieve themselves of their suspicions of Langdon and then talk to him, instead of making him run off. Or even have Langdon cooperate with the police while at the same time trying to find the meaning of the limerick? That way he wouldn't have to worry about the police chasing him all around Europe and instead could do things in a quiet and efficient manner. Or perhaps even, I don't know, cooperating with the police on this matter.

Why is it that no one ever cooperates with the police in these stories?

So, I believe that's a total of four drinks!
[identity profile] kippurbird.livejournal.com
Langdon goes to the bathroom. Sophie comes in. They have hot mad sex against the urinals. Well, no. They don't. But I like to think that they did. It would have been much more interesting than what happens next.

Langdon stood besides the sinks, staring in bewilderment at the DCPJ cryptographer Sophie Neveu. Only minutes ago, Langdon had listened to her phone message, thinking the newly arrived cryptographer must be insane. And yet, the more he listened, the more he sensed Sophie Neveu was speaking in earnest. Do not react to this message. Just listen calmly. You are in danger right now. Follow my directions very closely. Filled with uncertainty, Langdon had decided to do exactly as Sophie advised. He told Fache that the phone message was regarding an injured friend back home. Then he had asked to use the bathroom at the end of the Grand Gallery.


Let me translate that.

Langdon: Oh Crazy Chick is telling me I'm in danger. Let me believe her instead of this police officer who obviously is trying to solve this case and go off into the bathroom, lying to the nice police man where she can maybe do something horrible to me because she's crazy. WEEE!

And that's a drink there, yup.

We get a description of Sophie, "In the fluorescent lights, Langdon was surprised to see that her strong air actually radiated from unexpectedly soft features. Only her gaze was sharp, and the juxtaposition conjured images of a multilayered Renoir portrait... veiled but distinct, with a boldness that somehow retrained its shroud of mystery."

So, she's hidden but in plain sight? I'm not really sure what that means.

Sophie tells Langdon that he is the chief suspect. She says that Fache planted a homing beacon on Langdon because they were hoping he would run, thus making their case even stronger. So, what is he going to? He's going to run! (that's another drink there, by the way) Why? Because apparently our dirty limerick had a fourth line. "P.S. Find Robert Langdon".

Let us look at the entire limerick now.

13-3-3-21-1-1-8-5
O, Draconian Devil!
Oh, Lame Saint!
P.S. Find Robert Langdon.


We have, Code, Gibberish, Gibberish and intelligible. Question: Why did Sauniere do this? I have no idea. If anything he should have put that last line in code as well. Or at least something a bit less damning than "Find Robert Langdon". Perhaps "Robert Langdon can help" or something like that besides Find Robert Langdon, because that sounds like he's the one who did it. No wonder Fache is suspicious of him. It's the name of the murderer that Fache was looking for.

Langdon is of course, stunned. He babbles about having gone straight to bed and there not being any evidence. Sophie tells him that they have enough to bring him in on for questioning cause his name was on the floor and in Sauniere's little black book. She says that even if he's innocent or not, they're going to hold him until they can figure out what happened.

And this is supposedly a bad thing? It's typical police procedure. They'd easily be able to tell that Langdon doesn't have any gunshot residue on his hands and after checking through Langdon's things and stuff, they would discover no clothes with gunshot residue on them either. I know this from watching too much CSI.

Sophie tells Langdon that she thinks he's innocent and this is all her fault. The code was in fact meaningless and the message on the floor was meant for her. See, Sauniere was her grandfather and the Vitruvian man was her favorite painting and P.S. stands for Princess Sophie.

BUMP BUMP BUUUUUMMM!!

So that's another three drinks, I believe.
[identity profile] kippurbird.livejournal.com
First of all, Robert Jordan died. It's a sad thing. Even though I despised his books, many people were his fans and I'm genuinely sad that he wasn't able to finish the Wheel of Time series. After all, it was his life's work and I imagine it must have been horrible to know that he wasn't able to finish it.

So, here's to a prolific author, Robert Jordan.


Now, back to something completely horrible.

Fache is upset that Langdon is taking so long in the bathroom. He's been in there ten minutes. Instead of going out to check on him, he paces in the command post and asks, "Where's Langdon". From Bobo we learn that Fache needs the arrest because he's having issues with the Board of Ministers and the media because of the way he does things and so now he needs an arrest to prove that he's doing the right thing. Then Fache gets a phone call from the Cryptology department. It's about Sophie Neveu. Some thing's not right with her. She's really a MAN! (And that's another drink \~/ for withholding information.)

Oh, by the way? That last paragraph was an entire chapter. Did we learn anything pertinent. No. Why? Because that information was withheld. Yes, that bit with Fache is important for his motive of doing things, however it could have been seeded into the text instead of just info-dumping it on us in one gigantic paragraph of DOOOM.

Next chapter. We go back to Silas. As he walks to the Church we learn that he hasn't had sex or masturbated in ten years. And that he knocks on the door.

No. really. He gets out of the car. Sees some hookers, gets horny, mentions the fact that he hasn't had sex in ten years and that's okay for what Opus Dei has done for him and now he's going to go find the keystone.

Chapter sixteen actually lasts for more than two pages.

Sophie reminisces about her his grandfather as she wonders if cornering Langdon was the right thing to do. Apparently, we learn, that their relationship evaporated ten years ago when she came home and found grandpa engaged in something she he wasn't supposed to see. What was it? Why playing with some Barbie dolls, of course. Or maybe he was cross-dressing. I don't know. So, that's a drink \~/. Apparently the Cross-dressing Barbie incident was so traumatic that she made her his grandfather promise never to contact her him again, afraid to know the real reason, least it be worse that what she he saw.

Until he called on the phone and told her him that her life was in danger (I got tired making the strike outs)and that she had to call him at the Louvre and it was about her family (who died in a car accident everyone but her). And that she was in danger.

Her response to this?

It's bait.

Obviously her grandfather wanted desperately to see her. He was trying anything. Her disgust for the man deepened. Sophie wondered if maybe he had fallen terminally ill and had decided to attempt any ploy he could think of to get Sophie to visit him one last time. If so, he had chosen wisely.

My family

Now, standing in the darkness of the Louvre men's room, Sophie could hear the echoes of this afternoon's phone message. Sophie, we both may be in danger. Call me.

She had not called him. Nor had she planned to. Now, however, her skepticism had been deeply challenged. Her grandfather lay murdered inside his own museum. And had written a code on the floor.


So, two things here. Grandpa calls her sounding absolutely desperate to talk to her. She thinks that he might have a terminal illness. And yet, despite all the good things that happened with him in the past, she's not willing to give up and make the call, even after he had been so good at not communicating with her for ten years just like she asked, so she knows this has to be important for him to make contact with her again. No. She didn't call him back. She didn't even plan to. She doesn't even want to see if he's dying to try and make amends. She's just going to leave him to maybe die. Two, her grandfather his shot and she thinks that maybe he might have been right? Her skepticism has been deeply challenged not defeated, but challenged. It's still there.

Her grandfather has been MURDERED. He told her, on the phone, that she might be in danger, they both might be, and she's STILL SKEPTICAL! How dense is she? That's another drink. \~/

Sophie is a master cryptographer. She used to do puzzle like things with grandpa when she was little. Apparently she is impressed with how her grandfather managed to use a simple code to get her and Langdon together. And then comes a important question. "Why?"

She pressed again, "You and my grandfather had planned to meet tonight. What about?"

Langdon looked truly perplexed. "His secretary set the meeting and didn't offer any specific reason, and I didn't ask. I assumed he'd heard that I would be lecturing on the pagan iconography of French cathedrals, was interested in the topic, and thought it would be fun to meet for drinks after the talk."

Sophie didn't buy it. The connection was flimsy. Her grandfather knew more about pagan iconography than anyone else on earth. Moreover, he was an exceptionally private man, not someone prone to chatting with random American professors unless there were an important reason.


Okay, so Brown comes out and SAYS there is no reason for Langdon to be involved. "Sophie didn't buy it. The connection was flimsy". No reason. No connection. There should at least be a tenuous thread of connection between Langdon and Grandpa. They had met before. He was helping Langdon with his book. Anything. But just to have No Connection makes this seem incredibly random and pointless. \~/ \~/ Right now it's just some weird coincidence that makes Langdon important to the story. Even if Sophie doesn't know the reason, she should at least come up with one herself, even one that might not make much sense but is something she holds to be maybe true, so that the reader knows why she's doing this. By her not thinking that there's a reason, but still going on with it makes her seem foolish and idiotic, because she's not thinking things through.

Also, grandpa obviously knew he was in danger yet did nothing about it, like call the police or something intelligent like that. Instead he has his secretary make a mysterious appointment with Langdon for some mysterious reason. Wait... I know... he wanted to know if Langdon liked cross dressing as much as he does. \~/

Plowing straight ahead with no thought of dignity Sophie tells Langdon that he has to come with her because Fache is going to do his job and lock him up. There for he has to run. "If you let Fache take you into custody now, you'll spend weeks in a French jail while DCPJ and the U.S. Embassy fight over which courts try your case. But if we get you out of here, and make it to your embassy, then your government will protect your rights while you and I prove that you had nothing to do with it."

Small problem. First of all, running will only prove Langdon's guilt. Second, running will make him a fugitive and once he's in the embassy he won't be able to leave because then they'll be able to arrest him because he'd no longer be on American soil and not being able to leave will make it hard for him to prove that he's innocent. Thirdly if he does manage to leave the embassy he'll be a fugitive, once again, and unable to do anything for fear of the cops after him.

Langdon mentions this.

Sophie continues to plead her case saying that Fache has made it his mission to prove that he's guilty. Langdon is still unconvinced.

Sophie decides that Langdon is running whether he wants to or not. Isn't that nice? She has his best interests in mind and listens to him. Yes. Wonderful.
[identity profile] kippurbird.livejournal.com
First off: The amended drinking game list:

Take a drink every time:
* A name has a "cute" meaning.
* Someone does something idiotic.
* A character begins a rambling monologue.
* Two if the monologue is just repeating information we already have.
* One more every time he shows his own agenda when it comes to religion.
* Something happens, but you're not told what.
* He gets something utterly wrong.
* He turns a generalization into an absolute, but you can think of exceptions.
* The truth is precisely the opposite (make it a double).
* Any time a "secret agenda", "hidden agenda", or similar phrasing is mentioned
* The plot hinges on the exact wording of a translation of the original text.
* He mentions the Knights Templar, Masons or any other organization rumored to be the secret rulers of the world.
* A drink every time the words "secret" and "Vatican" are seen together
* Any time he gets all goddess/female power-happy.
* Any time that Langdon has an epiphany.
* And whenever a villain does something Stereotypically Evil (killing off his henchman who Knows Too Much, etc.).
* Any time Langdon has a flashback that shows How Totally Awesome his class is.
* Any time the novel becomes just plain boring
* Any time Brown appears to be writing one-handed.
* Any time that somebody comes up with an obviously cliche excuse and everyone buys it.
* Any time the villain angsts about Needing To Tell The Truth To All.
- Any time the hero does the same, make it a double.
- And a triple if they later decide NOT To Tell The Truth To All.

Right. Everyone got their cups? \_/ Good!



So, Langdon and Sophie...interesting here but the Hero is always referred to by his last name and the girl sidekick by her first name. Obviously the Goddess power doesn't extend to his actual leading lady who gets treated the pretty girl with tits. She's definitely not Langdon's equal, even if Brown is trying to make her one. He says that she's smart (though we don't know why... I mean she's acted like a complete and utter idiot so far) but he's always derogatory towards her. One would think that since a main theme in this book is Women Power that she would be portrayed in a better light. I think that's a drink. \~/ So, after this digression, the two of them sneak, sneak, sneak out into the Grand Gallery, Langdon trying to figure out what's going on. For some reason he suggests that maybe Fache wrote the message on the floor. Which is then obviously discounted as Sophie goes over the reasons why it couldn't have been, recounting why it was for her. \~/

They discuss about maybe the numbers do mean something and Sophie says that the numbers were her grandfather's way of flagging her attention. Just like the Pentacle. Apparently they used to play Tarot cards for fun and her indicator was always the Pentacle.

Langdon felt a chill. They played Tarot? The medieval Italian card game was so replete with hidden heretical symbolism that Langdon had dedicated an entire chapter in his new manuscript to the Tarot. The game's twenty two cards bore names like The Female Pope, The Empressand the Star> Originally, Tarot had been devised as a secret means to pass along ideologies banned by the Church. Now, Tarot's mystical qualities were passed on by modern fortune-tellers

The Tarot indicator suit for feminine divinity is pentacles, Langdon thought, realizing that if Sauniere had been stacking his granddaughter's deck for fun, pentacles was an apropos inside joke.


I checked wikipedia. The Tarot decks did not start in Italy. It is not replete with hidden Heretical symbolism and it was not devised as a secret means to pass along banned ideologies. The female pope however is the Priestess card. And the pentacle is the sign for earth not female divinity. \~/ \~/ \~/ \~/ However, Brown seems to be intent on turning every little thing into some sort of symbol towards the church banning female things and forcing people to hide it everywhere.

Robert and Sophie get to the stairwell and start heading down, with no interruption from guards or anything. As they do we get into a discussion about the number PHI, which Sophie says her grandfather used to joke she was half divine. soPHIe \~/

We then get a ramble about PHI in a flashback in Robert's class. \~/ where we learn about how PHI is everywhere. And then where the Pentacle is a symbol of the sacred feminine. Because it's a PHI which is the most beautiful number and the sacred feminine is beautiful.

When he comes out of his flash back, Robert has an epiphany \~/ about the Limerick. Apparently it's a very simple code; an anagram. O, Draconian Devil! Oh, Lame Saint! becomes Leonardo da Vinci! The Mona Lisa! Which is all well and good, but I don't see how he figured it out. He tells us that the sequence is the clue, but he doesn't tell us how it works with the letters. I would love to know how the code was figured out and what numbers correspond to what letters and now. I'm not a math wiz and this is something I would dearly love to know. \~/ Withholding information, another drink.

This discovered, Sophie suddenly remembers that her grandfather loved anagrams. He turned "Les Demoiselles d'Avignon" into "vile meaningless doodles" for example and he had her do them all the time. Obviously, this means a trip to the Mona Lisa, which is off the Grand Galley and near where they found him. She knows she should get Langdon out of the museum (since she turned him into a fugitive and everything) but after a flashback to where Sophie sees the Mona Lisa for the first time, she decides to go see if her grandfather left her a message.

Langdon is very WTF! What about me being a fugitive and all? And she's all... riiiiight. Here, take my car keys and flee by yourself. Langdon is Okay but only if you stop calling me Mr. Langdon. Awwwww... the Perky Tits have over come his common sense.

So, Langdon goes off on his merry way... and has another epiphany.

With an unexpected jolt, Langdon stop short. Eyes wide, he dug into his pocke and yanked out the computer printout. He stared at the last line of Sauniere's message.

P.S. Find Robert Langdon

He fixated on two letters.

P.S.

In that instant, Langdon felt Sauniere's puzzling mix of symbolism fall into stark focus. Like a peal of thunder, a career's wroth of symbology and history came crashing down around him. Everything Jacques Sauniere had done tonight suddenly made perfect sense.

Langdon's thoughts raced as he tried to assemble the implications of what this all meant. Wheeling, he started back in the direction from which he had come.

Is there time?

He knew it didn't matter.

Without hesitation, Langdon broke into a sprint back toward the stairs.


So... something mysterious just happened with the letters P.S. What is it?! What does it mean?! Why does Langdon have to get back to Sophie in time... in time for what? What is there to be rushing about? They're in an empty museum having cleverly tricked everyone into leaving. Well, since Grandpa is such a fan of anagrams let's say "P.S." stands for Stupid People. So, it would be "Stupid People find Robert Langdon". No wonder he's upset. Sophie wasn't supposed to find him at all.

Well, now he's off to tell her the truth and we'll see what happens. Oh, and that's two more \~/ \~/ .

Total drinks: 12
[identity profile] kippurbird.livejournal.com
First off: The amended drinking game list:

Take a drink every time:
* A name has a "cute" meaning.
* Someone does something idiotic.
* A character begins a rambling monologue.
* Two if the monologue is just repeating information we already have.
* One more every time he shows his own agenda when it comes to religion.
* Something happens, but you're not told what.
* He gets something utterly wrong.
* He turns a generalization into an absolute, but you can think of exceptions.
* The truth is precisely the opposite (make it a double).
* Any time a "secret agenda", "hidden agenda", or similar phrasing is mentioned
* The plot hinges on the exact wording of a translation of the original text.
* He mentions the Knights Templar, Masons or any other organization rumored to be the secret rulers of the world.
* A drink every time the words "secret" and "Vatican" are seen together
* Any time he gets all goddess/female power-happy.
* Any time that Langdon has an epiphany.
* And whenever a villain does something Stereotypically Evil (killing off his henchman who Knows Too Much, etc.).
* Any time Langdon has a flashback that shows How Totally Awesome his class is.
* Any time the novel becomes just plain boring
* Any time Brown appears to be writing one-handed.
* Any time that somebody comes up with an obviously cliche excuse and everyone buys it.
* Any time the villain angsts about Needing To Tell The Truth To All.
- Any time the hero does the same, make it a double.
- And a triple if they later decide NOT To Tell The Truth To All.

Right. Everyone got their cups? \_/ Good!



So, Langdon and Sophie...interesting here but the Hero is always referred to by his last name and the girl sidekick by her first name. Obviously the Goddess power doesn't extend to his actual leading lady who gets treated the pretty girl with tits. She's definitely not Langdon's equal, even if Brown is trying to make her one. He says that she's smart (though we don't know why... I mean she's acted like a complete and utter idiot so far) but he's always derogatory towards her. One would think that since a main theme in this book is Women Power that she would be portrayed in a better light. I think that's a drink. \~/ So, after this digression, the two of them sneak, sneak, sneak out into the Grand Gallery, Langdon trying to figure out what's going on. For some reason he suggests that maybe Fache wrote the message on the floor. Which is then obviously discounted as Sophie goes over the reasons why it couldn't have been, recounting why it was for her. \~/

They discuss about maybe the numbers do mean something and Sophie says that the numbers were her grandfather's way of flagging her attention. Just like the Pentacle. Apparently they used to play Tarot cards for fun and her indicator was always the Pentacle.

Langdon felt a chill. They played Tarot? The medieval Italian card game was so replete with hidden heretical symbolism that Langdon had dedicated an entire chapter in his new manuscript to the Tarot. The game's twenty two cards bore names like The Female Pope, The Empressand the Star> Originally, Tarot had been devised as a secret means to pass along ideologies banned by the Church. Now, Tarot's mystical qualities were passed on by modern fortune-tellers

The Tarot indicator suit for feminine divinity is pentacles, Langdon thought, realizing that if Sauniere had been stacking his granddaughter's deck for fun, pentacles was an apropos inside joke.


I checked wikipedia. The Tarot decks did not start in Italy. It is not replete with hidden Heretical symbolism and it was not devised as a secret means to pass along banned ideologies. The female pope however is the Priestess card. And the pentacle is the sign for earth not female divinity. \~/ \~/ \~/ \~/ However, Brown seems to be intent on turning every little thing into some sort of symbol towards the church banning female things and forcing people to hide it everywhere.

Robert and Sophie get to the stairwell and start heading down, with no interruption from guards or anything. As they do we get into a discussion about the number PHI, which Sophie says her grandfather used to joke she was half divine. soPHIe \~/

We then get a ramble about PHI in a flashback in Robert's class. \~/ where we learn about how PHI is everywhere. And then where the Pentacle is a symbol of the sacred feminine. Because it's a PHI which is the most beautiful number and the sacred feminine is beautiful.

When he comes out of his flash back, Robert has an epiphany \~/ about the Limerick. Apparently it's a very simple code; an anagram. O, Draconian Devil! Oh, Lame Saint! becomes Leonardo da Vinci! The Mona Lisa! Which is all well and good, but I don't see how he figured it out. He tells us that the sequence is the clue, but he doesn't tell us how it works with the letters. I would love to know how the code was figured out and what numbers correspond to what letters and now. I'm not a math wiz and this is something I would dearly love to know. \~/ Withholding information, another drink.

This discovered, Sophie suddenly remembers that her grandfather loved anagrams. He turned "Les Demoiselles d'Avignon" into "vile meaningless doodles" for example and he had her do them all the time. Obviously, this means a trip to the Mona Lisa, which is off the Grand Galley and near where they found him. She knows she should get Langdon out of the museum (since she turned him into a fugitive and everything) but after a flashback to where Sophie sees the Mona Lisa for the first time, she decides to go see if her grandfather left her a message.

Langdon is very WTF! What about me being a fugitive and all? And she's all... riiiiight. Here, take my car keys and flee by yourself. Langdon is Okay but only if you stop calling me Mr. Langdon. Awwwww... the Perky Tits have over come his common sense.

So, Langdon goes off on his merry way... and has another epiphany.

With an unexpected jolt, Langdon stop short. Eyes wide, he dug into his pocke and yanked out the computer printout. He stared at the last line of Sauniere's message.

P.S. Find Robert Langdon

He fixated on two letters.

P.S.

In that instant, Langdon felt Sauniere's puzzling mix of symbolism fall into stark focus. Like a peal of thunder, a career's wroth of symbology and history came crashing down around him. Everything Jacques Sauniere had done tonight suddenly made perfect sense.

Langdon's thoughts raced as he tried to assemble the implications of what this all meant. Wheeling, he started back in the direction from which he had come.

Is there time?

He knew it didn't matter.

Without hesitation, Langdon broke into a sprint back toward the stairs.


So... something mysterious just happened with the letters P.S. What is it?! What does it mean?! Why does Langdon have to get back to Sophie in time... in time for what? What is there to be rushing about? They're in an empty museum having cleverly tricked everyone into leaving. Well, since Grandpa is such a fan of anagrams let's say "P.S." stands for Stupid People. So, it would be "Stupid People find Robert Langdon". No wonder he's upset. Sophie wasn't supposed to find him at all.

Well, now he's off to tell her the truth and we'll see what happens. Oh, and that's two more \~/ \~/ .

Total drinks: 12
[identity profile] kippurbird.livejournal.com
The List:

Take a drink every time:
* A name has a "cute" meaning.
* Someone does something idiotic.
* A character begins a rambling monologue.
* Two if the monologue is just repeating information we already have.
* One more every time he shows his own agenda when it comes to religion.
* Something happens, but you're not told what.
* He gets something utterly wrong.
* He turns a generalization into an absolute, but you can think of exceptions.
* The truth is precisely the opposite (make it a double).
* Any time a "secret agenda", "hidden agenda", or similar phrasing is mentioned
* The plot hinges on the exact wording of a translation of the original text.
* He mentions the Knights Templar, Masons or any other organization rumored to be the secret rulers of the world.
* A drink every time the words "secret" and "Vatican" are seen together
* Any time he gets all goddess/female power-happy.
* Any time that Langdon has an epiphany.
* And whenever a villain does something Stereotypically Evil (killing off his henchman who Knows Too Much, etc.).
* Any time Langdon has a flashback that shows How Totally Awesome his class is.
* Any time the novel becomes just plain boring
* Any time Brown appears to be writing one-handed.
* Any time that somebody comes up with an obviously cliche excuse and everyone buys it.
* Any time the villain angsts about Needing To Tell The Truth To All.
- Any time the hero does the same, make it a double.
- And a triple if they later decide NOT To Tell The Truth To All.

Glasses? \_/ check. Drink of the day? Rum. After all, it's Talk Like A Pirate day.

And we're back to Silas. Good old Silas who should be threatening our Heroes but instead completely destroys any tension because he's off doing his own thing. The police have been thwarted and no one is in any danger, except for me from liver poisoning. What's the point of having this threatening demon eyed villain if he's off doing other things besides harassing the heroes? Silas is off at the Church pretending to pray. He looks down at the ground and sees a brass line with graduated markings on it. He calls it the Rose Line.

It is not the Rose Line or Paris Meridian. "The meridian line on the floor of Saint-Sulpice is not a part of the Paris Meridian, which passes about 100 meters (yards) east of it. The line was instead installed in the 1700s as a gnomon or type of sundial." (Wikipedia) \~/

There's some info dump on the Rose Line and meridian which has absolutely no bearing on the story at all. Does it really matter that the Prime Meridian used to be in France and now is in Greenwich England? Do we need to know that Compass Rose has been used with maps and things? No. It's interesting (and maybe even true) but completely stalls the story. I want to know what the keystone is. I don't care about this other crap. Brown is trying to make the story feel all historical and full of information about all these interesting things, it kind of reminds me of Moby Dick with all those chapters about whales and whaling information and things that went on and on. I think Brown is trying to say, "Look this could be real! Look at all these real things I'm putting into it!" But this is the wrong sort of novel for that. This is a thriller novel, action packed mystery what is the code sort of novel. Not a dissertation on the history of... stuff. \~/

Silas gets up, he walks to the Obelisk and we cut to the priest on the plane that lands. So, that chapter was completely useless. All it did was talk about how wonderful the Rose Line was. That was dull. \~/

And we're back to Sophie. She's grousing about her grandfather keeping appalling secrets from her which is making her feel guilty because of all of the times he tried to reach out to her. She goes to get a black light and runs into Langdon. Robert wants to know if letters PS mean anything to her besides Princess Sophie. She has a flashback to when she was young and found a mysterious key necklace thing with the initials PS. Grandpa gets upset that she found the key and makes her promise never to tell anyone about it, in return she would get it when she was older.

Sophie tells Langdon about seeing the PS on something important to grandpa. Somehow Langdon knows that the PS (which keeps on reminding me of Piss) stands for the Priory of Scion. Because Leonardo Da Vinci was in it. Which is a secret society. \~/\~/. Sophie is amazed at this, especially when Robert starts rambling about the goddess mystique \~/ and thinks back to the fact that maybe that's what her grandfather was doing \~/. She tells him that he needs to leave, but he refuses to.

Meanwhile, Fache realized he's been duped. Oh dear. Too bad he didn't leave anyone at the museum to check up on what's happening there. Then he'd be able to catch Sophie and Langdon. Oh well.

Next chapter.

Silas gazed upward at the Saint-Sulpiec obelisk, taking in the length of the massive marble shaft. His sinews felt taut with exhilaration. He looked around the church one more time to make sure he was alone. Then he knelt at the base of the structure, not out of reverence but of necessity.


I think I'm going to leave with that.

Seven drinks.
[identity profile] kippurbird.livejournal.com
Chapter twenty five is a page. Barely. It's not even a chapter. It's a scene. Scenes are not chapters... or at least, scenes that are chapters are usually longer than a couple of paragraphs. The chapter is supposed to significantly move the story forward, there should be characters taking actions that result in something happening, or there should be character development or something should be revealed to the reader. None of this happens.

In this "Chapter" Fache learns that Langdon didn't call the Embassy and instead called Sophie. Also, we learn that "The [U.S. Embassy] is considered U.S. Soil, meaning all those who stand on it are subject to the same laws and protections as they would encounter standing in the United States." Which is wrong. The soil is still considered part of the foreign country, but the outside government has to ask permission to come in and retrieve people. \~/

Anyway, that was chapter twenty five.

Twenty six, we go back to the Mona Lisa, finally. Brown tells us that since its been in the Louvre she's been stolen twice, most recently in 1911. Unfortunately, I've been able to find no information in regards to this first theft. Also he says, "Parisians wept in the streets and wrote newspaper articles begging the thieves for the painting's return. Two years later, the Mona Lisa was discovered hidden in the false bottom of a trunk in a Florence hotel room." A Time magazine article says, however, "Then the Louvre received word from the Uffizi Gallery in Florence. The Italian officials said they had arrested a man named Vincenzo Perugia, who had brought the Mona Lisa to a local antiques dealer in order to sell it and restore it to Italy." Time article So, that's two things blatantly wrong. \~/, \~/

Langdon then goes on a monologue \~/ about the Mona Lisa and how Da Vinci's reverence for the picture has nothing to do with it's artistic Mastery but instead about how it is a joke about the Sacred Feminine \~/, he does this in a flash back to a class with in a prison, \~/. Brown also has Langdon mention that the Mona Lisa may be Da Vinci in drag. And that he was gay (which has not been proven) \~/ \~/ and that the Mona Lisa was supposed to be androgynous because her name is an anagram of Amon (The Egyptian god of male fertility)and his counterpart Isis who's ancient pictogram was once called, L'isa. \~/ \~/, which is impossible because Da Vinci never named the painting. It was named by other people. \~/

So, in this extremely long discussion of the painting which should be about whatever it is on the painting... everything discussed is wrong. And is all about Brown trying to be clever about his puzzles and things. One would think that a professor of Langdon's supposed intelligence and learning, would know that the Mona Lisa wasn't named until much later and therefor couldn't be part of his feminine mystique. \~/

The big problem with this is that an average reader isn't going to know much about this stuff (And indeed I've been having to do a lot of research on it) and so they're going to be trusting Brown to be giving them correct information because he says that everything he talks about is true in the very beginning of the book. This, I feel, is a violation of the reader's trust. The reader has certain expectations when the read a book. Sure, they don't expect everything to be accurate, that's what the suspension of disbelief is all about. Most of the time they want to go along for the ride. The anagrams and puzzling clues would be very interesting, if they were presented in a way that the reader could puzzle along with the characters. But the fact that Brown has I want to say deliberately put in miss-information, betrays the reader's trust. The author has a certain responsibility to their readers to take them through the story and give the information that is relevant and true for that story. This is what every writer has to do. If the horses in a world are always yellow, then the author is obliged to the reader that in some fashion. If the United States lost the War of Independence, again the author is obliged to tell their readers that. If the author tells the reader that things in the book are true then the things in the book better be true, because the reader is trusting the author on this.

This is different than the idea of the unreliable narrator which is, "A narrator who, for some reason, cannot or does not fully comprehend the world about him or her and whose conclusions and judgments the reader thus mistrusts. An author who uses an unreliable narrator generally provides clues indicating the narrator's fallibility and expects the reader to be wary of the narrator reports. Some authors, however, may purposely fail to provide the reader with the means to correct the narrator's false perceptions; others even intentionally fail to give the reader adequate clues to determine whether a narrator is unreliable in the first place" (page 413 the Bedford Glossary of Critical and Literary Terms). Some may say that then Langdon might be the unreliable narrator, but again the unreliability happens even when Langdon isn't narrating and the things that end up wrong are, according to BROWN and not any of his characters, true. Brown wants us to trust his characters. He wants us to see how awesome and intelligent they are. He's not going to make them fallible by making them unreliable. That would ruin their hero status.

That aside after our digression onto the Mona Lisa, we finally see something on the painting itself! Or at least the glass. Six words. So, apparently, Grandpa had enough time to walk into the Mona Lisa's room write on it, walk back out without leaving a blood trail, walk to the back of the gallery, write a message in the invisible ink, undress, fold his clothes up neatly, draw something in his blood and position himself in a specific placement before dying of a gunshot wound. And all of this without bleeding all over the place.

But, he can't sit around, hold his insides and wait for help to come.

Right.

\~/, \~/ That one deserves two drinks there.

Do we get to know what these six words are? No.

I believe they might be "I'm dying and I'm an idiot!" \~/

Drinks: 14
[identity profile] kippurbird.livejournal.com
Chapter twenty seven is another one of those non-chapters. Bobo and Fache discuss how Langdon could have known about the tracking device and that Sophie must be working with him. They decided to send ONE guard into the Grand Gallery to see what's happening. \~/ He's an armed guard, but still, he's only one guard. These two people have already thwarted an entire "army" of cops and they think that one guy is going to be able to corner them. Eh... but what do I know? Obviously the cops are stupid, because how else will the heroes look heroic? By perhaps outwitting someone who is actually perhaps worth out witting because they're intelligent? Personally, I'm just waiting for something to happen.

And finally we find out what those six words are. "So Dark the Con of Man". Which, to Langdon, proves that her grandfather was a part of the Priory. As this was their fundamental philosophy.

The Priory believes that Constantine and his male successors successfully converted the world from matriarchal paganism to patriarchal Christianity by waging a campaign of propaganda that demonized the sacred feminine, obliterating the goddess from modern religion forever.


The previous statement is utter crock. Paganism was not exclusively matriarchal. Constantine didn't successfully convert the world to patriarchal Christianity by waging a campaign of propaganda that demonized the sacred feminine and he didn't obliterate the goddess from modern religion forever either. The Priory also doesn't even believe in this (or exist...). This is just Brown pushing his agenda about how the church is evil and the sacred feminine is wonderful. (Which is, of course, the entire point of the book...) \~/, \~/, \~/, \~/, \~/, \~/, \~/

... I think I just emptied a bottle there. And that was just one sentence.

Putting that aside, Sophie believes that grandpa sent her there for some reason. Meanwhile, Langdon is busy thinking about the dark con of man, which I'm currently believing is those natural penis enlargement supplements that spam my inbox. Either that or the Send us money scams in Ethiopia. He goes into a monologue \~/ about the church reeducating the Pagans and the publishing of the The Witches' Hammer which "indoctrinated the world to "the dangers of freethinking women" and instructed the clergy on how to locate, torture and destroy them." the book was never sanctioned by the church however. \~/ Long boring bit about how the Church is evil \~/ for wiping out women from important roles.

"Today's world was living proof. Women, once celebrated as an essential half of spiritual enlightenment, had been banished from the temples of the world. There were no female Orthodox rabbis, Catholic priests, nor Islamic clerics." I shall like to pause here and comment on the "female Orthodox Rabbi" part of that sentence.

First of all, there is an Orthodox woman Rabbi. She works at my University and her name is Rabbi Mimi. She has an orthodox Smicha (which is what you need to have to be a rabbi). Second off, Rabbis are basically teachers. They aren't "holy". They're there to teach people the prayers, they were created sometime after the Second Temple was destroyed as a way to keep the Jewish people together in the light that they couldn't go to the Temple and offer up their sacrifices. Instead of going to the Temple, they substituted prayers for sacrifice, and this was long before Constantine. Third, women were never allowed to be priests or even allowed up into the Temple and this was long before Christianity so there was never anyway for them to be banished. Fourth, women are not obligated to pray. They don't have to say prayers on a set schedule, they are not bound by time. They have charge of the home and in it, the man has to do what they say. The men are obligated to pray and study Torah. These two tasks are completely equal and some say that the women wield more power for they are the ones in charge of the children's upbringing (how's that for Sacred Feminine?) and education.

I think that's four? \~/, \~/, \~/, \~/ and I'm not even going to touch on the other two religions, however, I do remember that one of Mohammed's wives were very high up in the religion after he died, \~/ and that women in the early church did have positions even if they couldn't become priests and look at Mary, Jesus' mother. \~/

Moving on. Talk about repression of sexual urges \~/ and that the days of the goddess were over. Curiously, he refers to God with a capital letter but never Goddess. One would think that if the Goddess is supposed to be equal or better than God, she would rate a capital letter in the text. Just a thought.

After all of this, Sophie lets Robert know that someone is coming! GASP. It's our Security Guard. He orders Langdon onto the ground while Sophie manages to hide in the dark. Now this is an actual legitimate place to stop a chapter. The Heroes are in danger. They've been caught. There doesn't appear for away for them to get out. How are they going to get out of this situation? Now there's real tension for you. Not.. the Ethopian Penis Enlargement Scheme.

Eighteen drinks... I think I'm gonna stop here.
[identity profile] kippurbird.livejournal.com
I need new water color paints. This has absolutely nothing to do with the Da Vinci Code, but I thought I'd put that out there. I pulled them out to do a painting and realized well.. half of them are empty. And important colors too. *sighs* Oh well.

On to getting drunk.

The following is not at all sexual. Nope. Not at all.

Inside Saint-Sulpice, Silas carried the heavy iron votive candle holder from the altar back toward the obelisk. The shaft would do nicely as a battering ram. Eyeing the gray marble panel that covered the apparent hollow in the floor, he realized that he could not possibly shatter the covering without making a considerable noise.

Iron on marble. It would echo off the vaulted ceilings.

Would the nun hear him? She should be asleep by now. Even so it was a chance Silas preferred not to take. Looking around for a cloth to wrap around the tip of the iron pole, he saw nothing except the altar's linen mantle, which he refused to defile. My cloak, he thought. Knowing he was alone in the great church, Silas untied his cloak and slipped it off his body. As he removed it, he felt a sting as the wool fibers stuck to the fresh wounds on his back.


No. Silas stabbing a large iron shaft to break a covered hole while naked is not at all sexual. Or kinky because it's done in the church. I'm beginning to wonder if Brown has a thing for Silas. The way he keeps on putting the poor man into these descriptions. Which have nothing to do with sex at all. \~/

After breaking the barrier with his might ram, Silas digs around inside until he finds stone tablet. The tablet says, "Job 38:11" Surprisingly Silas doesn't remember what the verse is, but there's a bible. In the church. How surprising.

However, this is another information blockage here. Because now we skip over to the Nun, remember her? She's been watching Silas. She's horrified at seeing his "broad pale back" taunt with the strai... sorry. I'll stop now. I meant his "broad pale back" with all the blood on it. Apparently the Nun works for whoever Grandpa works for. The Priory. That's right. So, she sees Silas and she thinks about how horrible it is what Opus Dei does to its members and that they're searching for the keystone. She then flees to her room and retrieves a sealed envelope with four phone numbers.

Back to Silas! He finds the Verse! He's so excited! It says, "Hitherto shalt thou come, but no further".

Personally I'm surprised that we actually get to know what the verse is, but I'm supposing that Brown figures that since everyone can look it up on their own, that he doesn't need to hide it. Or it would be useless to hide it. So, he has to break from his formula and actually give the reader the wanted information because he can't trick them here. The information here is already known. He could only stall them for a while, when he went and focused on the Sister. So, he actually has to leave on a legitimate cliffhanger. What is Silas going to do now that he's run into a dead end?

What does he do? I don't know. We'll have to wait and see. Because we're back with Langdon, Sophie and our Security Guard. Security Guard hates Langdon for killing Sauniere. Because we all know that he did it and that Fache would be giving out such sensitive information to the security guards. \~/ . Apparently the single Security guard can't call for back up because electronics don't work very well in there. Which wouldn't be a problem if he didn't go down there by himself. But then again, if he didn't go down there by himself then Sophie and Langdon couldn't escape. \~/

He sees Sophie scanning the floor with her ultraviolet pen and he's all WTF? And she's PTS which is basically CSI (Where's Grissom when you need him?) and she says, that Langdon is innocent and that she's Sauniere's granddaughter, and that the guard should know this. Which he doesn't believe. And apparently he's old enough to remember when Sophie was a little girl so this is an OLD guard that they sent to stop Langdon and Sophie. \~/

In a masterful tactic, somehow knowing that the guard wouldn't shoot her, Sophie checks out another painting in the room. Behind it, was a key. The key that Grandpa said that Sophie could have later. So, now Grandpa has managed to write a note on the Mona Lisa, Hide the key, walk down the hall, write another message, take off his clothes, fold them neatly, draw a circle in his own blood and lay himself out neatly all the while not dripping blood all over the place, before dying. \~/, \~/. But, apparently he couldn't sit still and hold his guts in and wait for security to find him. Right.

So, Sophie uses the painting as a hostage. Basically threatening to punch a hole in it with her knee unless the guard does what she says. Like she'd actually do it. Unfortunately the guard believes her. \~/ And she manages to get the gun and free Langdon.

The painting by the way is called Madonna of the Rocks. Which is an anagram for So Dark the Con of Man and the painting is also full of pagan symbolism. \~/ \~/. The anagrams. They begin to annoy.

Short tonight. But am sleepy.

Nine Drinks.
[identity profile] kippurbird.livejournal.com
How the Da Vinci Code should have really happened.

The click of an empty chamber echoed through the corridor.

The curator's eyes flew open.

The man glanced down at his weapon, looking almost amused. He reached for a second clip
and shoved it into the pistol. "Good-bye," the man with the demon eyes said before shooting the curator through the head.

The curator looked surprised for a moment before falling backwards, dead.

Smiling to himself, the shooter turned and walked away, satisfied that he had done what his teacher had wanted and that the keystone would soon be his.

-----


Silas ran his hands slowly down the tall marble shaft, kneeling before it, muscles taut with excitement. Bent over before it, he put his head to the ground, listening to the stones, searching for where the keystone must be hidden. Finally his prayers were answered with a hollow knocking. One of the stones covered a space! Need drove him to stand straight as he looked around the church.

No one was there. No one would see him do what he had to do. Quickly he brought over a tall iron candle holder to puncture the barrier between him and his prize. Removing his robe he wrapped it around the iron to protect it.

So close to the end of his journey, Silas found himself panting with excitement as he raised his rod ready to pierce the stone into the hollow. Once! Twice! Three times he thrusted the ram into the barrier before finally he was through! Breathing heavily from the effort, he put down his now useless stick before reaching down to grab his treasure.
[identity profile] kippurbird.livejournal.com
Heroes. Mmmmmm........ yummy.

Chapter thirty one, Sylar eats the Nun's brains learning the location of the keystone. Wait... no... that's not right. He can't do that. Right.

Chapter thirty one, the Nun calls up four people and tries to get in touch with them Three people she calls she gets a hysterical widow, a detective at a murder scene and a priest. These are apparently the three other people Silas killed before going to grandpa. Silas has been busy. And yet there's no APB out for creepy albino dude. There has to have been a witness or something. I mean he's obviously killed three people - four people- in one night. No one has put any connections to this yet. Okay, perhaps the fact that the four people were connected might not be there, but really, Silas should have been mentioned at least once or twice. Which would clear up Langdon right quick. Wait, sorry, being logical again. We can't have Langdon cleared because then he couldn't be a fugitive which means that he can't run around worrying about getting caught which would then amp up any tension. Right. \~/

Silas discovers the Nun as she's making a plaintive call on the answering machine of the top guy (grandpa). He is a gog that she's part of it and demands to know where the keystone is. She tells him she doesn't know. Others knew. And that Opus Dei will never get it.

Silas kills her. \~/ Such a nice man of God he is.

Back to Sophie and Robert. They make it out to her car which is a "SmartCar" which gets 100 kilometers to the liter. Which is pretty good. A kilometer is about 62 miles. A liter is about .30 gallons. Which is about 236 miles on a gallon. My car takes about eight - ten gallons. Which is about at max 2360 miles on a full tank. I'd only have to fill up every three months or so. Wow. I want. \~/

The two of them bolt out of there as Brown switches between kilometers and miles. \~/ And Langdon starts to think about the Madonna on the Rocks. Apparently there's another painting called the Virgin on the Rocks which is practically the same.


The Nus gave Leonardo specific dimensions, and the desired theme for the painting - the Virgin Mary, baby John the Baptist, Uriel, and Baby Jesus sheltering in a cave. Although Da Vinci did as they requested, when he delivered the work, the group reacted with horror. He had filled the painting with explosive and disturbing details.

The painting showed a blue-robed Virgin Mary sitting with her arm around an infant child, presumably Baby Jesus. Opposite Mary sat Uriel, also with an infant, presumably baby John the Baptist. Oddly, though, rather than the usual Jesus blessing John scenario, it was baby John who was blessing baby Jesus... and Jesus was submitting to his authority! More troubling still, Mary was holding one hand high above the head of infant John andmaking a decidedly threatening gesture, -her fingers looking like eagle's talons, gripping an invisible head. Finally, the most obvious and frightening image: Just below Mary's curled fingers, Uriel was making a rude cutting gesture with his hand - as if slicing the neck of the invisible head gripped by Mary's claw-like hand.

Langdon's students were always amused to learn that Da Vinci eventually mollified the confraternity by painting them a second, "Water-down" version of the Madonna of the Rocks in which everyone was arranged in a more orthodox manner. The second version now hung in London's National Gallery under the name Virgin of the Rocks, although Langdon still preferred the Louvre's more intriguing original.


\~/ , \~/ , \~/

Now, I'm fairly certain that there has to be something wrong there. There is a comparison of the two paintings in the book, and I can see what Brown is Babbling about. BUT it also looks like Uriel is pointing to the supposed John Baby and Mary is holding her hand as if blessing the supposed Jesus baby. In the second picture, the two babies have switched "Positions" and Uriel has lost his arm. (Perhaps the nuns were too cheap to pay for a second one?)

Sophie muses over the key, trying to figure out where it might fit. After all it doesn't have the traditional teeth to move tumblers but instead laser burned marks which are examined electronically. She figures Langdon will be able to tell her were the key goes because he knew about the key's embossed seal before ever seeing it.

Yes, because being able to guess a symbolical thingy from clues is exactly like being able to guess where a key comes from. I'd like anyone to take a look at my keys and from the fact that I work at a library tell me which one opens the door to the library without trying any of them. \~/ .

She then flashes back to that, whatever it was, which caused her to be so upset with her grandfather. Apparently they were... doing something dressed as giant chess pieces and chanting... Karokee Chess? Apparently Sophie didn't like it and fled. \~/

Meanwhile the DCPJ has sealed off the street they were going down and they have to make a turn. The police of course, give chase.


Drinks: nine (and before work too. WOO!)
[identity profile] kippurbird.livejournal.com
Tonight I think I'll be drinking tea cause I feel eww.

Sophie is driving like someone in those cops movies who are trying to avoid getting caught by the cops, while Langdon is wishing that he didn't decide to run. Then he recalls, wait Sophie made him do it. Perky Tits strike again. As he momentarily regains his senses and tries to figure out how to get out of this mess, Sophie senses that she's losing her hold on him and so gives him a shiny object to distract him. This is the Key to the women's locker room for the LA Lakers cheerleading team. With the sign of the Priory of Sion. Well, we don't know what the key belongs to, so until then, that's what it is. \~/ In any case, it's shiny enough to distract Langdon from remembering that he's just been kidnapped by a loony. He doesn't know what it opens, Sophie was hoping that he did.

So, they've reached a dead end. Sophie says that it looks Christian.

Langdon was not so sure about that. The head of this key was not the traditional long-stemmed Christian cross but rather was a square cross- with four arms of equal length- which predated Christianity by fifteen hundred years. This kind of cross carried none of the Christian connotations of crucifixion associated with the longer-stemmed Latin cross, originated by Romans as a torture device. Langdon was always surprised how few Christians who gazed upon the "the crucifix" realized their symbol's violent history was reflected in its very name: "cross" and "crucifix" came from the Latin verb Cruciare to torture.


According to Dictionary.com "Cross" originates from "Origin: bef. 1000; ME, late OE cros < ON kross < OIr cros (< British Celtic) < L crux; see crux]"

Wikipedia says, "The word cross was introduced to English in the 10th century as the term for the instrument of the torturous execution of Christ (gr. stauros', xy'lon), gradually replacing rood, ultimately from Latin crux, via Old Irish cros. Originally, both 'rood' and 'crux' referred simply to any "pole," the later shape associated with the term being based on church tradition, rather than etymology."

And on the origin of the cross:

It is not known when the first cross image was made; after circles, crosses are one of the first symbols drawn by children of all cultures. There are many cross-shaped incisions in European cult caves, dating back to the earliest stages of human cultural development in the stone age. Like other symbols from this period, their use continued in the Celtic cultures in Europe. For example, celtic coins minted many centuries before the Christian era may have an entire side showing this type of cross, sometimes with the five cardinal points marked by concave depressions in the same style as in stoneage carvings. Other coins may be showing the cross held by a rider on a horse and springing forth a fern leaf, sometimes identified as a Tree of Life symbol.


So, the cross just happened to be a very handy shape to torture people on, but wasn't "created" or able to be "predated" by anything as it's a very ancient symbol about as old as a circle. I'm sure they were using it in pictographs in ancient Sumaria. Before I add up our drink total, I must add this to the party:

"Sophie," he said, "all I can tell you is that equal armed crosses like this one are considered peaceful crosses. Their square configurations make them impractical for use in crucification, and their balanced vertical and horizontal elements convey a natural union of male and female, making them symbolically consistent with Priory philosophy."


This, is actually right. At least the part about it being peaceful and male/female bits. (Hehhehe...) the part about the crucification? While logical, is utter bubkiss because you can still crucify someone on it. It just looks like this "x". So, while he actually manages get something right. He also continues to fail. \~/, \~/, \~/, \~/.

They have no where to go. So they discuss Langdon's watch.

No really. They talk about what to do and then we get this digression about Langdon's Micky Mouse watch. He's had it since he was ten and he's never owned anyone since. Despite the fact that he still wears it everyday, it still functions. That's one damn amazing watch. It's vintage and a collector's edition. I wish my watches lasted that long. \~/

They go to the train station where Sophie gives a cabbie a lot of money before he drives off and she says that they're taking the next train out of Paris.

Only one chapter tonight, but it's been broken up by long vigils of staring out into space. Generally that means bed. So finish your six drinks and I'll hopefully will see you tomorrow. If I'm coherent.
[identity profile] kippurbird.livejournal.com
Remember the priest from the Airport who wanted to die because he used his cell phone on the plane. Right? Well, we're back to him. He's picked up in a Fiat sedan and remembers the good old days when he got to ride in a fancy car with lots of flags and things but now because of 'cost cutting' or as he thinks of it a security measure they have to have unmarked cars because "advertising your love of Jesus Christ was like painting a bull's-eye on the roof of your car". For some reason that feels like a drink. \~/. Because I honestly can't recall anything of that sort of thing happening. I could be UTTERLY wrong, but I can't recall. Anyway, Priest is going to Castel Gandolfo Or Gandalf's Castle. where he went five months ago. We then flash back to his trip five months ago when he had gotten a mysterious phone call from the Vatican requesting his presence. He goes expecting the that the Pope wants a picture opportunity because the Vatican likes "modern" things. There's some dribble about how the new Pope is evil because he likes modern things and is a Liberal *GASP* And the new Pope wants to maybe soften the church laws which is EVIL because it would be rewriting the laws of God. \~/, \~/

Excuse me while I laugh over here.

Jews received their laws from God. On Mount Sinai. With Moses. The Torah? That's, according to Orthodox Tradition, from God's mouth to Moses' ears. In it are all the laws from keeping Kosher to sacrifices. The Sermon on the Mount that Jesus did basically said, to be in touch with God you don't need to follow those rules. They were just things that kept you from God. (this isn't exactly right, I'm trying to remember what my mother told me, I'd ask her exactly, but she's asleep). Anyway the gist that I'm trying to get her is that basically what Jesus did was rewrite the laws of God. I suppose there could be some sort of protest saying "Well Jesus is God/Son of God/Prophet of God" and all but from the JEWISH standpoint, that's what happened.

But I digress.

Cell phone priest is surprised when his car takes him to the Pope's summer home instead of the Vatican. There he comments about how the two Telescope domes are ugly and that the Vatican is Evil for failing to provide "Coherent, stringent guidelines for spiritual growth and yet somehow still found time to give astrophysics lectures to tourists." There,

Bishop Aringarosa would have never imagined the shocking news he was to receive inside, or the deadly chain of events it would put into motion. It was not until an hour later, as he staggered from the meeting that the devastating implications settled in. Six months from now! he had thought. God help us!


Ladies and gentlemen, I regret to inform you but the Pope is becoming a woman in six months and will answer to the name of Lisa. \~/ >.>

It's been five months since he was last there and he's upset that the Teacher hasn't called him. I guess he misses the phone sex. So he distracts himself with something shiny. "Trying to ease his nerves, the bishop meditated on the purple amethyst in his ring". \~/

We then go back to Perky Tits and Langdon. In the train station Perky Tits has Langdon buy two tickets with his credit card. And then instead of boarding the train they go out the station and to find that Taxi cab driver is waiting for them. They get in the cab and speed off somewhere. As they do that they examine the key and smell alcohol on it It turns out that grandpa also had time to write something on the key. \~/ (Really, why didn't he just wait around for someone to find him? He obviously wasn't that badly wounded, I mean look at what he was able to do!) Surprisingly we're told what it says on the key. It's an address.

The address is 14 Rue Haxo.

As they drive off to this place, Perky Tits tells Langdon that she wants him to tell her all about the Priory of Sion.

Meanwhile Fache gets pissy that a girl and a teacher are eluding him and calls Interpool. He's not going to let them get the best of them. HA! Poor Fache, he's being set up as the typical fumbling bumbling police officer who's so good at his job but for some reason can't catch two people who should be easy to catch. God forbid he actually be a worthy adversary. Nope. He's just a clown in a policeman's clothing. \~/


I believe my icon currently states how I feel about the story right now. I'm on page 165 and I don't give a damn about what happens to anyone. They're all idiots and fools and just bumbling around. The mystery of the Priory doesn't mean anything to me as information about it isn't seeded through the story but instead going to be infodumped in the next chapter. I just want something exciting to happen. Something with tension. just SOMETHING!

Drinks: seven
[identity profile] kippurbird.livejournal.com
A summing up. The police are running around like a bunch of headless chickens looking for Langdon and Perky Tits. Silas is sitting around with a very large marble pillar In his pants and Perky Tits and Langdon are going somewhere. Also something is at stake. We just don't know what. As I started to mention in another comment in the previous entry, this is a bad idea. If the reader doesn't know what's at stake then they have nothing at stake in finishing the story. Being strung along like this can only work so long. Being told that something is important (but not told what it is) isn't as exciting as say if they don't discover what her grandfather was blathering about a new Crusades would happen. I think that would be kinda interesting. A new Crusades, after all the other one was so bloody etc and that would be something at stake that they wouldn't want to happen. That would have consequences. Dire consequences. After all this what Brown is insinuating will happen if the whatever gets out. That there are Dire World Shaking Consequences. It'd be a different story all together if he hadn't been hinting at that, but since that's what he declares the stakes to be, that's what we need to see.

Now that we're all caught up, Brown starts to wank off again. Langdon and Perky Tits are driving through a park called, "Bois de Boulonge" which is also known as "The Garden of Earthly Delights" as a reference to the Bosch painting. There Langdon gets to see "... two topless teenage girls [who]shot smoldering gazes into the taxi. Beyond them, a well-oiled black man in a G-string turned and flexed his buttocks. Besides him, a gorgeous blond woman lifted her miniskirt to reveal that she was not, in fact, a woman." \~/ Really Brown... Fortunately to distract Langdon from the Sights, Perky Tits asks him to tell her about the Priory of Sion.

The following will be an infodump of everything you wanted to know about the Priory but is still probably wrong because Dan Brown is telling it. We get our first mention of Secrets and Pope (Vatican) here. \~/ The Knights Templar \~/ are the original members of the Priory of Sion and they found a secret stash of documents under the ruins of Herod's temple which was built on top of Solomon's temple. \~/ First off these are more commonly known as the First and Second Temples. Second off, Herod wasn't the one who built the second temple that was Ezra (check out the books of Ezra and Jeremiah for that bit) and Herod only made additions to it. \~/ The Knights find SOMETHING \~/ that made them really rich. The Knights some how get limitless power from the Church. Whereupon the Templars get too much power and according to Brown, the Pope conspires with King Philippe IV to get rid of the Knights and had them all killed and disbanded. He charges them with "Devil worship, homosexuality, defiling the cross, sodomy and other blasphemous behavior. \~/ According to Wikipedia King Philippe owed the Knights a bunch of money and pressured the Pope into disbanding them. \~/ Apparently what the Pope really wanted was the Knights rich library of secret documents. \~/ Which he didn't find because the Priory already moved them and they're called the "Sangreal" or the Holy Grail! *GASP*

Continuing on, Langdon says that Holy Grail is the literal meaning of "Sangreal". It started out as Sangraal which changed to Sangreal and then slit into San Greal which is translated into Holy Grail. Brown actually got this right. \~/ Langdon goes onto explain that the Grail is not a cup like in Indiana Jones (also a professor who goes on a quest for the Holy Grail. But much more interesting. Why have someone who looks like Harrison Ford when you can have him yourself? =D ) but instead "Something far more powerful, Something that fits perfectly with everything your grandfather has been trying to tell us tonight, including all his symbolic references to the sacred feminine." \~/

Langdon flashes back to talking to his Editor about the same subject where the guy doesn't believe him either. But what is it that the editor doesn't believe, we're not told. \~/ but apparently a lot of top scholars believe it.

To distract us from this Perky Tits starts yelling at the cabbie in French, telling him to put it down. Apparently the cabbie is snitching on them. She then pulls a gun on the driver and tells him to get out. The question is, how did the cabbie know who they were?It's not like they introduced themselves to him or said anything to indicate that they were on the run. So, how does he know? And by pulling the gun on him, they just proved that he's got the right ones. After all why should they care if they're not them. \~/ . No, wait apparently the cabbie was just answering a call about the two of them. Or something... in any case Robert and Tits drive off in his cab. Which Robert immediately botches because he only drives automatics and the cab isn't one. \~/

We then go to Silas. He's in anguish because he was tricked and deceived. And he killed a nun In his pants. \~/ Which he tries to rationalize because she was working against God and scored Opus Dei. Good rationalization there buddy. \~/. He doesn't know what to do. He flashes back to him and his Bishop friend who rescued him who told him that Noah was an albino (according to Talmudic traditions this is true) and that God needs Silas to do His work.

He then beats himself. In his pants \~/ That was dull.

Drinks: Seventeen.
[identity profile] kippurbird.livejournal.com
I apologize if this makes less sense than usual, the cold that's been threatening me finally hit. So, if something sounds funky, it may actually not be Brown. =D


Right, so Langdon and Perky Tits switch places so that someone knows how to drive a stick shift can drive. This also gives Langdon time to ponder the "key" in his pants. >.> Well, it is in his pocket...Is that a mysterious key that is part of some thousand year old conspiracy involving the Knights Templar, Opus Dei, the Holy Grail and the Priory of Sion in your pants or are you just happy to see me? Langdon starts monologing about how the grail is stored in England and that Da Vinci knew where it was and left clues about it in his paintings.

Some claimed that the mountainous backdrops in Madonna of the Rocks matched the topography of a series of caves in Scotland. Others insisted that the suspicious placement of disciples in the Last Supper was some kind of code. Still others claimed that X rays of the Mona Lisa revealed that she had been painted waring a lapis lazuli pendant of Isis - a detail Da Vinci purportedly later decided to paint over.
\~/

He then goes on to muse how everyone loves a conspiracy. \~/ I believe he's trying to be ironic here. But really, at this point Langdon should realize that he's in the middle of a conspiracy or something. Perhaps better would have been "Who would have thought the conspiracies were true?" \~/

Moving on we start learning about the Adoration of the Magi painting that Da Vinci did not do, but instead only did the outline sketches and some other guy painted. This is true. However, I highly doubt that the guy "made suspicious departures from the underdrawing... as to subvert Da Vinci's true intention." Because, yes, Da Vinci was incapable of making a drawing without putting something mysterious into it. Everything he did had to do with the mystery of the Grail and how the Church was evil and the Goddess was good. No one is that obsessed about something ... unless they were obsessive compulsive. Like BROWN! \~/

Langdon knows a surprising amount of information on the dealings of the Priory. Like how many people know the location of the Grail at any given time and things like that. I would think that such things would be something that the Priory would keep secret. Top secret. Like the location of the Grail secret. But then he can't say something ironic like, "The probability of your grandfather being one of those four top people is very slim."

Ahahha... it is to laugh. How little does Langdon know how wrong he is. Ha Ha Ha. Also, if he didn't know so much he wouldn't be able to infodump us about it in the guise of telling it to Perky Tits, who basically said, "Give me an Infodump so that I and the readers can know what's going on". \~/

The key turns out to belong to a Swiss bank account.

Brown is slipping. He's giving us actual cliffhangers for his chapter ends than just random garbage.

Cellphone Bishop finally gets to Gandalf's Castle, where he mentions that he was there five months ago. \~/ See, we don't really need to have known what happened those five months ago (the Pope becoming Lisa) because we weren't told. If you're not going to tell us what the purpose of the meeting was then you've just wasted the reader's time. That entire chapter could have been skipped. The way he presents the beginning of this chapter lets us know that he's been there before and that something ominous happened there. What happens? The Bishop picks up some Vatican Bonds for his Teacher while saying that it's a perfectly legal transaction. Of course usually, perfectly legal transactions don't happen in the middle of the night in Gandalf's Castle. He's then off to Paris.

Mostly infodumping these two chapters. It feels like we're supposed to be caught up in this mystery, but really, I'm just waiting for the story to start. See, what Brown did wrong is that he never gave us the Story Question. The "What is at Stake" question right up at start. That being: We need to find the Holy Grail before Opus Dei does because of ... whatever reason. Then the fact that the police are after them becomes more important because if they're caught by the police then they won't be able to stop Opus Dei. As of right now there's no "deadline". I mean, in theory, they could have dealt with Langdon's police issues and then go hunting for the whatever it is. They have no reason to rush. The fact that they're rushing now because the police is after them is because of their own making. Which is false tension because we know that the only reason they're in this mess is because they acted like idiots. And really, why do you want to root for heroes that act like idiots?

drinks: Six

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