Warning: Spoiler Alert
A two thousand year old secret, a thousand year old secret society, multiple murders, an international chase that includes Paris and London, the Catholic church, and more—with all this how could The Da Vinci Code be boring? And yet, it is. As my spouse, who has read more than one of his novels and so speaks with more authority than I ever will, said, “Dan Brown is not a good writer. It’s a fun story, but he’s really not a good writer.” So it’s like bad television.
On top of boring, there are so many lame clichés and stereotypes that I was tempted to simply burn the thing—and that’s saying something coming from me; I mean, I’ll read and keep in my library books that most others would consider a waste of time (a lot of science fiction comes to mind). One example of the insulting level of the prose comes at the end of a chapter near the beginning of the book: “Langdon decided not to say another word all evening. Sophie Neveu was clearly a hell of a lot smarter than he was.” Were supposed to read this as funny, as in “isn’t it funny that a woman is smarter than the male academic/expert?” If Brown had actually made his character remain silent, it might have been more interesting.
The worst of it is that with all the potential villains and possible plots in the book, Brown collapses the whole thing to the perversity of being rich. It’s not a huge conspiracy; it’s not the systematic machinations of a society that considers some beliefs and the people that hold them good and others bad; it’s not an international gang of thieves; no the bad guy is exactly that: an individual twisted by a megalomaniacal quest only made possible by his inconceivable wealth. Not only is this boring, it’s plain lazy.