The Da Vinci Code

Paperback | March 31, 2009

byDan Brown

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#1 Worldwide Bestseller—More Than 80 Million Copies Sold


As millions of readers around the globe have already discovered, The Da Vinci Code is a reading experience unlike any other. Simultaneously lightning-paced, intelligent, and intricately layered with remarkable research and detail, Dan Brown's novel is a thrilling masterpiece—from its opening pages to its stunning conclusion.

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From the Publisher

PREMIUM MASS MARKET EDITION #1 Worldwide Bestseller—More Than 80 Million Copies Sold As millions of readers around the globe have already discovered, The Da Vinci Code is a reading experience unlike any other. Simultaneously lightning-paced, intelligent, and intricately layered with remarkable research and detail, Dan Brown's novel is ...

From the Jacket

"Read the book and be enlightened." —The Washington Post Book World“A pulse-quickening, brain-teasing adventure.” —People“Thriller writing doesn't get any better than this.” —The Denver Post“Blockbuster perfection.”—The New York Times

Dan Brown is the bestselling author of Digital Fortress, Angels & Demons, and Deception Point. He lives in New England.

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Format:PaperbackDimensions:624 pages, 7.5 × 4.2 × 1.4 inPublished:March 31, 2009Publisher:Knopf Doubleday Publishing GroupLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0307474275

ISBN - 13:9780307474278

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Customer Reviews of The Da Vinci Code


Rated 5 out of 5 by from Loved it! I found this book completely compelling and I was eager to follow Robert Langdon's journey through Paris. However if you've read a few Dan Brown novels the formula becomes a bit repetitive. Great writing none the less.
Date published: 2017-01-12
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Great book! Dan Brown is an amazing writer and I absolutely love his work! This book is detailed and engaging, and a must read if you enjoy mystery, culture, and art. Great read.
Date published: 2017-01-12
Rated 5 out of 5 by from For Fantasy lovers Don't read this book if you are looking for FACTS. You will not find many. However, the book is a great work of fiction, a page turner (my favourite comment for the books I enjoy), keeps you at the edge and you can't put it down. I loved it for the reasons that it was a very well written ficitonal work.
Date published: 2017-01-11
Rated 2 out of 5 by from It was Ok Took me a long time to read, couldn't get into it. Not sure why all the hype?
Date published: 2017-01-10
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Good book Great suspense and mystery book. There are many twist and turns.
Date published: 2017-01-07
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Awesome book! Great read, but make sure you read the book before watching the movie.
Date published: 2017-01-06
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Amazing Great book. One of my favourites!
Date published: 2017-01-04
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Fast paced, but a compromise on style This book is not your classic mystery thriller. It is intriguing to the mind and full of unexpected twists and turns. However, the language in this novel is bland and flat. Expect to finish the book in a day or two, enjoy reading it, and never think back to it again.
Date published: 2017-01-04
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Fascinating... Unique and a compelling mystery.
Date published: 2016-12-29
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Fast paced It's fast paced, but explained enough for readers who have no experience with these topics.
Date published: 2016-12-28
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Loved it I wasn't sure what to expect when I first started reading this book, It was the first time I had ever read Dan Brown and it came highly recommended by my friends. To be honest, while I read it I still didn't know what to expect. The rich descriptions and the use of well known works of art captivated me as no one other than Anne Rice could.
Date published: 2016-12-27
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Interesting! Read this book before watching the movie!
Date published: 2016-12-26
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Fun to Read I really love reading this, it combines mystery and puzzle solving with action, adventure, and a bit of romance.
Date published: 2016-12-25
Rated 1 out of 5 by from Overrated This novel had a very primitive style of writing. Honestly very poor quality. #plumreview
Date published: 2016-12-22
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Truly a page turner The between the flow of the story and the short chapters, it is so easy to want to ready "one more chapter." Before you know it, you're halfway through the book, debating whether or not you need to go to bed at all.
Date published: 2016-12-21
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Finally got to read and I'm pleasantly surprised After taking extensive art history this book was a treat. So many interesting points are brought up, history and fiction molding together to create this journey of a book. Read it with an open mind and you won't be disappointed.
Date published: 2016-12-18
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Okay I didn't love it and I didn't hate it, but I did question what all the hype was about. There were definitely times when I was sucked into the narrative, but there were also other times I'd go days between reading it.
Date published: 2016-12-12
Rated 5 out of 5 by from love it! I would consider this book to be an "easy read". It's nothing overly complicated but some of the contents are quite shocking. I love the fast paced book and I have read this multiple times.
Date published: 2016-12-11
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Great read I loved this book. I can't think of any other way to say it. There were multiple nights in which i would actually to bed at 2am simply because i couldnt stop reading it. The short chapters pull you in and you just cant get out.
Date published: 2016-12-09
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Great read One of my all time favorites. dan brown is a great author
Date published: 2016-12-06
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Another great one by Dan Brown I read this book after falling head over heels for Dan Brown's work in Angels and Demons. Although not an extremely close second, this book is definitely one of my favourites as well. I recommend reading this book after reading angels and Demons, although it came first in published years. However, you can read this book on its own and still understand the characters. In my opinion, it is just more fun to be able to follow characters throughout their journeys through different books.
Date published: 2016-12-05
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Read the book - and don't watch the movie This is the first one in his series and it's the best. It introduces you to his writing pattern and has some interesting twists and turns. It also makes you really think. Just don;t watch the movie after
Date published: 2016-12-05
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Awesome! I'm sure everything that could be said about this book has been said but I've reread the Da Vinci code several times and love it just as much each time I do. As someone who's interested in art history but also loves a good suspenseful read this book is one of my favorites and brought me into the world of Dan Brown.
Date published: 2016-12-03
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Great book. It was an amazing read I highly recommend it!
Date published: 2016-12-02
Rated 5 out of 5 by from couldnt put it down it was so exciting and it tied into art that most people have heard of even if you aren't an art history buff. Awesome story
Date published: 2016-11-30
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Edge of My Seat This book is what got me hooked on Dan Brown and is intellectual character Robert Langdon. If you want an edge of your seat, shocking and entertaining book this is it. I can wait to read more!
Date published: 2016-11-29
Rated 3 out of 5 by from will never get the amount of controversy this book caused It's a fun piece of fiction to keep you occupied during summer vacation, but would I ban it from a library? Yeah, no. Story line is so full of twists and turns that you need to do a lot of mental gymnastics to understand how half of them are even possible. But, once you suspend all earthly knowledge about reality, it's quite exciting.
Date published: 2016-11-25
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Historical? No. Fun? YES. This, like much of everything else that Dan Brown writes, is thrilling and an addictive read.
Date published: 2016-11-24
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Loved this book! Read in one sitting - fantastic book!
Date published: 2016-11-23
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Great read. Read it in one sitting. Great entertainment.
Date published: 2016-11-23
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Good Every bit as interesting as it sounds, but I despise this cover but I couldn't even tell you why.
Date published: 2016-11-22
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Excellent I just love this stroy, I havent rend the sequel yet. But both angel and demons and the da Vinci Code are real page turners !
Date published: 2016-11-22
Rated 3 out of 5 by from It was okay I found it to be pretty predictable and was my least favorite of his books and it also took me a while to get into it. It's still an enjoyable read though.
Date published: 2016-11-21
Rated 5 out of 5 by from A classic such a good read, hard to put the book down
Date published: 2016-11-15
Rated 1 out of 5 by from Not sure What the hype is about this book!
Date published: 2016-11-11
Rated 5 out of 5 by from The Da Vinci Code Loved the book. Angels & Demons was a lot better in my opinion, but this one was still great. The conspiracy was a little ridiculous to be honest, but still made for a good story line.
Date published: 2016-11-10
Rated 1 out of 5 by from Don't get the hype I don't get it. This book is terrible. The plot is clunky and predictable, the characters read like a bubble gum comic strip, the conspiracy is lame. Awful. Good for Dan Brown for getting rich on a piece of garbage.
Date published: 2012-12-17
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Page Turner For the most part, it seems that people either passionately love this book or they passionately hate it. I happen to be one of the former. Most of us have heard of this controverisal book. It takes an open minded person to read this and to remember it is just fiction. But it brings up a lot of important questions about the Christian church, and the loss of paganism and the respect of the Goddess or the Woman. I was fascinated by the story and found myself believing that there might be a grain of truth to it. Therein lies the problem: as a reader of fiction I must remind myself that this book is just that - fiction. Despite what conspiracy theorists and fringe anthropologists might have us believe (and certainly, Brown was inspired in this story by both), there is no evidence that Jesus and Mary Magdalene were married, or had a child, or that the divinity of Christ was invented by followers centuries later. It might make for a nice story, and in fact in this case it's a very compelling story, but it's just a story. Brown speaks of fallacies as if they were fact, and we must remind ourselves once again that this is merely fiction. But we also live in a time when such things can be presented as fiction without the author being burned as a heretic. Thank goodness for that, or this story wouldn't exist. Brown writes a story that is fascinating and gripping, and presents it in such a way that it is believable. Isn't this the goal and duty of any good writer? He certainly achieves that aim with The Da Vinci Code.
Date published: 2012-07-01
Rated 5 out of 5 by from The best of the 3... This book seemed the best of the three to me. The storyline was fairly quickly paced, and at times, truly fascinating! I bought it, and continue to reread it.
Date published: 2011-05-21
Rated 3 out of 5 by from not bad kinda good.
Date published: 2011-04-11
Rated 5 out of 5 by from The Da Vinci Code Criticism The success of the book is that it is a page-turner despite the plot being quite convoluted and contrived; the book is well thought-out. A story that took 454 pages to tell simply cannot be telescoped into two and a half hours. The script is crammed with information, yet there’s very little room for humor or breathing spaces or characterizations that are very thin. Brown imagined his hero, Robert Langdon, a Harvard historian and symbolgist. He finds himself involved in a deadly web of conspiracy when an old man ends up murdered in the Louvre. A set of cryptic clues are left behind, leading Langdon to join forces with police cryptologist Sophie Neveu the grand daughter of the murdered old man. Together, they evade the cops and other religious zealots into the reasons behind what ends up being a series of mysterious murders, the answers to which threaten to rewrite over two millennia of religious history and faith. While they’re busy solving riddles, uncovering a conspiracy and avoiding entanglements with the police, they’re also on the run because Langdon is the prime murder suspect. The pair keeps getting into problems, escaping, and then getting double-crossed. Silas dominates his movie scenes as the serial-killer monk, Silas, who tortures himself and carries out murders ordered by the Mafia-like fundamentalist Catholic group, Opus Dei. The movie is most alive when Langdon and Teabing are discussing their opposing viewpoints and getting quite hot under the collar about the validity of each other’s version of Christian history. Unfortunately, most of the other talking-heads scenes threaten to bring the movie to a halt, even when they’re supplemented by abstract, color-drained illustrations of ancient Rome, witch-burnings, other phantoms or hocus-pocus. As the characters discuss conspiracies and anagrams and the hidden meanings in religious art, you wonder why they don’t seem to realize they’re on the run and they don’t have a lot of time. The movie may seem even harder than the book on Opus Dei, perhaps because Silas’ bloody behavior is so much more graphic on film. His murder of a devout nun is especially nasty. By minimizing locations, losing unnecessary characters, deleting repetitive plotting, and contracting time, The Da Vinci Codes screen play writer Goldsman makes Dan Brown’s story easier to digest. What Goldsman can’t change too much are the ingredients of the novel’s plot, but he can try and make them more pleasant. The ending of the film was the best part. Not in a “thank god, it’s over” kind of way, but the ending in the book has the resurrection of people previously thought dead. That was uncalled for, but it added a certain surprise to the viewer. How cheated would you feel if Harry Potter’s parents were really alive after all and had no reason whatsoever for pretending to be dead? Goldsman keeps the essence of that storyline but ignores the small details and makes it more poignant and true to the characters. The best parts of were ones that had little or nothing to do with Langdon, Sophie, or any other character in the film. The real meat of it is that, for millions of readers out there of Brown's book, this was the first time that the very compelling questions about the divinity of Jesus, the origins of Christianity, the power of the Catholic Church, were talked about in such a fascinating and interesting fashion. It might all be nonsense, but within the construct of the novel, you believe every word of it. By sucking out the bulk of the colorful material, what we have left is an occasionally interesting mystery that dishes up many interesting ideas that aren't really given their proper respect. The book “The Da Vinci Code” is hard for a young mind as they have too many plots playing at one time. For example, there is a saga on Silas’s murders and then another saga on Robert and Sophie on the run and then the plots some how come together. The movie was made well considering it had 454 pages to cover in a couple of hours. I can honestly say with the small details left out in the movie and the amazing storyline that the movie was a great cinematic experience.
Date published: 2011-01-13
Rated 4 out of 5 by from The Da Vinci Code Critique In 2003, Doubleday issued The Da Vinci Code, a novel by Dan Brown. A Mixture of homicide mystery, treachery tale, romance novel, religious depiction, historic alteration, and a page-turner. The novel had prompt success. Shining criticisms from primary newspapers and magazines, joined with the buzz from Brown’s earlier novel, Angels and Demons which abetted The Da Vinci Code enter as number one on bestseller lists. At mid-October in 2003 The Da Vinci Code has been on the New York Times bestseller list for more than twenty-eight weeks, and has been in the top two or three spots for the most of that time. There are now approximately three million copies of The Da Vinci Code book in print and it is being interpreted into thirty different languages. The Da Vinci Code is mainly about Robert Langdon, a symbolygist who is thrown into an enigmatic and peculiar murder. Along with Langdon is a cryptologist named Sophie Neveu, who with Langdon, discovers clues within Da Vinci's paintings. In order to further advance in finding the truth, Robert and Sophie travel from Paris to London, at the same time as crossing paths with friends and anti-heroes like Sir Leigh Teabing and Silas. Any place their route takes them, their finding could shake the fundamentals of manhood. This was truly an intriguing book Dan Brown's writing style is fascinating and at the same time weird. There are some people who think and criticize the short chapters and claim that character development is lacking in the book. But, I am not really an English major when it comes to reading books and I don't really give a damn about critics. I just want the book to achieve in grabbing my attention and entertaining me, and this book actually did that, not to mention, the messages that were taught to me. I find the short chapters in Dan Brown's book The Da Vinci Code most pleasurable. I think they make it feel faster as the chapters quickly jump to different areas of the story. I also think that the frequent chapter pauses makes it easier to find a point to stop the book, without having to quit in the middle of a chapter when something inconvenient comes up. As a final point, this fast paced thriller is well constructed and put together, the mystery and the epic clues that were spotted made it great to read. This book should have not been fit in a two and a half hour film there are far too many exhilarating chunks that are in the book that are excluded from the movie. In overall, Dan Brown’s interpretation of this novel is accurately astute.
Date published: 2011-01-13
Rated 5 out of 5 by from A Great Mystery book Leaves you gripping to find out what’s going to happen next. I tried solving some of the puzzles, but it was too hard. A definite recommendation :) Book was better than the movie.
Date published: 2010-06-28
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Brilliant! This story is great for those who enjoy conspiracy theories, as well as books with the thriller or mystery genre. I would have to say that this book is definitely captivating, suspenseful and brilliant! You will definitely enjoy the way the main character uses his knowledge to get the answers he needs.
Date published: 2010-06-08
Rated 5 out of 5 by from I could not stop reading! This is one of those books that made me stay up all night to finish and show me where it all ended. Love the main character and his ability to really use the knowledge he has gained.
Date published: 2010-05-13
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Totally Worth The Hassle! This is the one and only book that I was ever discouraged from reading in my home. Growing up in a place where reading was encouraged and books always given to me when I wanted them, I was shocked when almost everyone insisted that I not read the "Da Vinci Code". Being the curious person that I am, I bought the book and began reading it. My neighbors who I grew up with didn't approve and neither did my mother. Unfortunately for them, I was so deeply enthralled by the novel that I read it whenever people were not around, it was that good. A lot of hype as well as personal opinions surround this novel because of its content. Yes, it incorporated a lot of things that Christians would find utterly appalling, but that doesn't take away from the fact that the book was written amazingly and that the storyline was brilliant. Being a Catholic girl, I read this book with my faith in mind the entire time, but was able to distiguish what I felt in my heart was fact and fiction. After all, it IS a fictional book. There is many controversial subjects to be read about, but I would have to say that as far as the story itself goes, it's amazing. If you are one that is unsure of your faith or what you believe, then don't read the book; however, if you are comfortable with your beliefs or do not believe in the subjects based around Christianity, then by all means, read it. It's totally worth it. The story is suspenseful and always leaves the reader anticipating what will happen next. It's got its twists of drama, suspense, religious uncertainty, coded messages, and even a bit of romance. To anyone wanting to read a good, I would highly reccomend that you read this book and then go watch the movie, which is also really good.
Date published: 2009-07-26

Extra Content

Read from the Book

1Robert Langdon awoke slowly.A telephone was ringing in the darkness--a tinny, unfamiliar ring. He fumbled for the bedside lamp and turned it on. Squinting at his surroundings he saw a plush Renaissance bedroom with Louis XVI furniture, hand-frescoed walls, and a colossal mahogany four-poster bed.Where the hell am I?The jacquard bathrobe hanging on his bedpost bore the monogram: HOTEL RITZ PARIS.Slowly, the fog began to lift.Langdon picked up the receiver. "Hello?""Monsieur Langdon?" a man's voice said. "I hope I have not awoken you?"Dazed, Langdon looked at the bedside clock. It was 12:32 A.M. He had been asleep only an hour, but he felt like the dead."This is the concierge, monsieur. I apologize for this intrusion, but you have a visitor. He insists it is urgent."Langdon still felt fuzzy. A visitor? His eyes focused now on a crumpled flyer on his bedside table.THE AMERICAN UNIVERSITY OF PARISproudly presentsAn evening with Robert LangdonProfessor of Religious Symbology, Harvard UniversityLangdon groaned. Tonight's lecture--a slide show about pagan symbolism hidden in the stones of Chartres Cathedral--had probably ruffled some conservative feathers in the audience. Most likely, some religious scholar had trailed him home to pick a fight."I'm sorry," Langdon said, "but I'm very tired and--""Mais monsieur," the concierge pressed, lowering his voice to an urgent whisper. "Your guest is an important man."Langdon had little doubt. His books on religious paintings and cult symbology had made him a reluctant celebrity in the art world, and last year Langdon's visibility had increased a hundred-fold after his involvement in a widely publicized incident at the Vatican. Since then, the stream of self-important historians and art buffs arriving at his door had seemed never-ending."If you would be so kind," Langdon said, doing his best to remain polite, "could you take the man's name and number, and tell him I'll try to call him before I leave Paris on Tuesday? Thank you." He hung up before the concierge could protest.Sitting up now, Langdon frowned at his bedside Guest Relations Handbook, whose cover boasted: SLEEP LIKE A BABY IN THE CITY OF LIGHTS. SLUMBER AT THE PARIS RITZ.He turned and gazed tiredly into the full-length mirror across the room. The man staring back at him was a stranger--tousled and weary.You need a vacation, Robert.The past year had taken a heavy toll on him, but he didn't appreciate seeing proof in the mirror. His usually sharp blue eyes looked hazy and drawn tonight. A dark stubble was shrouding his strong jaw and dimpled chin. Around his temples, the gray highlights were advancing, making their way deeper into his thicket of coarse black hair. Although his female colleagues insisted the gray only accentuated his bookish appeal, Langdon knew better.If Boston Magazine could see me now.Last month, much to Langdon's embarrassment, Boston Magazine had listed him as one of that city's top ten most intriguing people--a dubious honor that made him the brunt of endless ribbing by his Harvard colleagues. Tonight, three thousand miles from home, the accolade had resurfaced to haunt him at the lecture he had given."Ladies and gentlemen . . ." the hostess had announced to a full-house at The American University of Paris's Pavillon Dauphine, "Our guest tonight needs no introduction. He is the author of numerous books: The Symbology of Secret Sects, The Art of the Illuminati, The Lost Language of Ideograms, and when I say he wrote the book on Religious Iconology, I mean that quite literally. Many of you use his textbooks in class."The students in the crowd nodded enthusiastically."I had planned to introduce him tonight by sharing his impressive curriculum vitae, however . . ." She glanced playfully at Langdon, who was seated onstage. "An audience member has just handed me a far more, shall we say . . . intriguing introduction."She held up a copy of Boston Magazine.Langdon cringed. Where the hell did she get that?The hostess began reading choice excerpts from the inane article, and Langdon felt himself sinking lower and lower in his chair. Thirty seconds later, the crowd was grinning, and the woman showed no signs of letting up. "And Mr. Langdon's refusal to speak publicly about his unusual role in last year's Vatican conclave certainly wins him points on our intrigue-o-meter." The hostess goaded the crowd. "Would you like to hear more?"The crowd applauded.Somebody stop her, Langdon pleaded as she dove into the article again."Although Professor Langdon might not be considered hunk-handsome like some of our younger awardees, this forty-something academic has more than his share of scholarly allure. His captivating presence is punctuated by an unusually low, baritone speaking voice, which his female students describe as 'chocolate for the ears.''The hall erupted in laughter.Langdon forced an awkward smile. He knew what came next--some ridiculous line about "Harrison Ford in Harris tweed"--and because this evening he had figured it was finally safe again to wear his Harris tweed and Burberry turtleneck, he decided to take action."Thank you, Monique," Langdon said, standing prematurely and edging her away from the podium. "Boston Magazine clearly has a gift for fiction." He turned to the audience with an embarrassed sigh. "And if I find which one of you provided that article, I'll have the consulate deport you."The crowd laughed."Well, folks, as you all know, I'm here tonight to talk about the power of symbols . . ."* * *The ringing of Langdon's hotel phone once again broke the silence.Groaning in disbelief, he picked up. "Yes?"As expected, it was the concierge. "Mr. Langdon, again my apologies. I am calling to inform you that your guest is now en route to your room. I thought I should alert you."Langdon was wide awake now. "You sent someone to my room?""I apologize, monsieur, but a man like this . . . I cannot presume the authority to stop him.""Who exactly is he?"But the concierge was gone.Almost immediately, a heavy fist pounded on Langdon's door.Uncertain, Langdon slid off the bed, feeling his toes sink deep into the savonniere carpet. He donned the hotel bathrobe and moved toward the door. "Who is it?""Mr. Langdon? I need to speak with you." The man's English was accented--a sharp, authoritative bark. "My name is Lieutenant Jerome Collet. Direction Centrale Police Judiciaire."Langdon paused. The Judicial Police? The DCPJ were the rough equivalent of the U.S. FBI.Leaving the security chain in place, Langdon opened the door a few inches. The face staring back at him was thin and washed out. The man was exceptionally lean, dressed in an official-looking blue uniform."May I come in?" the agent asked.Langdon hesitated, feeling uncertain as the stranger's sallow eyes studied him. "What is this is all about?""My capitaine requires your expertise in a private matter.""Now?" Langdon managed. "It's after midnight.""Am I correct that you were scheduled to meet with curator of the Louvre this evening? "Langdon felt a sudden surge of uneasiness. He and the revered curator Jacques Saunière had been slated to meet for drinks after Langdon's lecture tonight, but Saunière had never shown up. "Yes. How did you know that?""We found your name in his daily planner.""I trust nothing is wrong?"The agent gave a dire sigh and slid a Polaroid snapshot through the narrow opening in the door.When Langdon saw the photo, his entire body went rigid."This photo was taken less than an hour ago. Inside the Louvre." As Langdon stared at the bizarre image, his initial revulsion and shock gave way to a sudden upwelling of anger. "Who would do this!""We had hoped that you might help us answer that very question. Considering your knowledge in symbology and your plans to meet with him."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 disquietingly familiar.The agent checked his watch. "My captain is waiting, sir."Langdon barely heard him. His eyes were still riveted on the picture. "This symbol here, and the way his body is so oddly . . .""Positioned?" the agent offered.Langdon nodded, feeling a chill as he looked up. "I can't imagine who would do this to someone."The agent looked grim. "You don't understand, Mr. Langdon. What you see in this photograph . . ." He paused. "Monsieur Saunière did that to himself."2One mile away, the hulking albino named Silas limped through the front gate of the luxurious brownstone residence on Rue la Bruyere. The spiked cilice belt that he wore around his thigh cut into his flesh, and yet his soul sang with satisfaction of service to the Lord.Pain is good.His red eyes scanned the lobby as he entered the residence. Empty. He climbed the stairs quietly, not wanting to awaken any of his fellow numeraries. His bedroom door was open; locks were forbidden here. He entered, closing the door behind him.The room was spartan--hardwood floors, a pine dresser, a canvas mat in the corner that served as his bed. He was a visitor here this week, and yet for many years he had been blessed with a similar sanctuary in New York City.The Lord has provided me shelter and purpose in my life.Tonight, at last, Silas felt he had begun to repay his debt. Hurrying to the dresser, he found the cell phone hidden in his bottom drawer and placed a call to a private extension."Yes?" a male voice answered."Teacher, I have returned.""Speak," the voice commanded, sounding pleased to hear from him."All four are gone. The three sénéchaux . . . and the Grand Master himself."There was a momentary pause, as if for prayer. "Then I assume you have the information?""All four concurred. Independently.""And you believed them?""Their agreement was too great for coincidence."An excited breath. "Excellent. I had feared the brotherhood's reputation for secrecy might prevail.""The prospect of death is strong motivation.""So, my pupil, tell me what I must know."Silas knew the information he had gleaned from his victims would come as a shock. "Teacher, all four confirmed the existence of the clef de voûte . . . the legendary keystone."He heard a quick intake of breath over the phone and could feel the Teacher's excitement. "The keystone. Exactly as we suspected."According to lore, the brotherhood had created a map of stone--a clef de voûte . . . or keystone--an engraved tablet that revealed the final resting place of the brotherhood's greatest secret...information so powerful that its protection was the reason for the brotherhood's very existence."When we possess the keystone," the Teacher said, "we will be only one step away.""We are closer than you think. The keystone is here in Paris.""Paris? Incredible. It is almost too easy."Silas relayed the earlier events of the evening . . . how all four of his victims, moments before death, had desperately tried to buy back their godless lives by telling their secret. Each had told Silas the exact same thing--that the keystone was ingeniously hidden at a precise location inside one of Paris's ancient churches--the Eglise de Saint-Sulpice."Inside a House of the Lord," the Teacher exclaimed. "How they mock us!""As they have for centuries."The Teacher fell silent, as if letting the triumph of this moment settle over him. Finally, he spoke. "You have done a great service to God. We have waited centuries for this. You must retrieve the stone for me. Immediately. Tonight. You understand the stakes."Silas knew the stakes were incalculable, and yet what the Teacher was now commanding seemed impossible. "But the cathedral, it is a fortress. Especially at night. How will I enter?"With the confident tone of man of enormous influence, the Teacher explained what was to be done.* * *When Silas hung up the phone, his skin tingled with anticipation.One hour, he told himself, grateful that the Teacher had given him time to carry out the necessary penance before entering a house of God. I must purge my soul of today's sins. The sins committed today had been Holy in purpose. Acts of war against the enemies of God had been committed for centuries. Forgiveness was assured.Even so, Silas knew, absolution required sacrifice.Pulling his shades, he stripped naked and knelt in the center of his room. Looking down, he examined the spiked cilice belt clamped around his thigh. All true followers of The Way wore this device--a leather strap, studded with sharp metal barbs that cut into the flesh as a perpetual reminder of Christ's suffering. The pain caused by the device also helped counteract the desires of the flesh.Although Silas already had worn his cilice today longer than the requisite two hours, he knew today was no ordinary day. Grasping the buckle, he cinched it one notch tighter, wincing as the barbs dug deeper into his flesh. Exhaling slowly, he savored the cleansing ritual of his pain.Pain is good, Silas whispered, repeating the sacred mantra of Father Josemaria Escriva--the Teacher of all Teachers. Although Escriva had died in 1975, his wisdom lived on, his words still whispered by thousands of faithful servants around the globe as they knelt on the floor and performed the sacred practice known as "corporal mortification."Silas turned his attention now to a heavy knotted rope coiled neatly on the floor beside him. The Discipline. The knots were caked with dried blood. Eager for the purifying effects of his own agony, Silas said a quick prayer. Then, gripping one end of the rope, he closed his eyes and swung it hard over his shoulder, feeling the knots slap against his back. He whipped it over his shoulder again, slashing at his flesh. Again and again, he lashed.Castigo corpus meum.Finally, he felt the blood begin to flow.From the Hardcover edition.

Bookclub Guide

US1. As a symbologist, Robert Langdon has a wealth of academic knowledge that helps him view the world in a unique way. Now that you've read The Da Vinci Code, are there any aspects of life/history/faith that you are seeing in a different light?2. Langdon and Teabing disagree as to whether the Sangreal documents should be released to the world. If you were the Grand Master of the Priory of Sion, would you release the documents? If so, what do you think their effect would be?3. What observations does this novel make about our past? How do these ideas relate to our future?4. Other than his fear of being framed for murder, what motivates Langdon to follow this perilous quest? Do his motivations change?5. The novel's "quest" involves numerous puzzles and codes. Did you enjoy trying to solve these puzzles along with the characters? Did you solve any of the puzzles before the characters did?6. If you could spend a day in any of the places described in this novel, where would it be, and why? The Louvre? Westminster Abbey? Rosslyn Chapel? The Temple Church? Somewhere else?7. Historian Leigh Teabing claims the founding fathers of Christianity hijacked the good name of Jesus for political reasons. Do you agree? Does the historical evidence support Teabing's claim?8. Has this book changed your ideas about faith, religion, or history in any way?9. Would you rather live in a world without religion or a world without science?10. Saunière placed a lot of confidence in Langdon. Was this confidence well-placed? What other options might Saunière have had? Did Saunière make the right decision separating Sophie from the rest of her family?11. Do you imagine Langdon should forgive Teabing for his misguided actions? On the other hand, do you think Teabing should forgive Langdon for refusing to release the Sangreal documents?12. Does the world have a right to know all aspects of its history, or can an argument be made for keeping certain information secret?13. What is interesting about the way this story is told? How are the episodes of the novel arranged and linked? In your discussion, you might want to identify where the turning points in the action are where those moments are after which everything is different. Did you anticipate them?14. What is the novel's theme? What central message or idea links all the other components of the novel together?15. For most people, the word "God" feels holy, while the word "Goddess" feels mythical. What are your thoughts on this? Do you imagine those perceptions will ever change?16. Will you look at the artwork of Da Vinci any differently now that you know more about his "secret life?"

Editorial Reviews

"Read the book and be enlightened."
The Washington Post Book World

“A pulse-quickening, brain-teasing adventure.”

“Thriller writing doesn't get any better than this.”
The Denver Post

“Blockbuster perfection.”
The New York Times