Thursday, July 17, 2008

a real page turner

I finished the latest book I was reading, Angels & Demons by Dan Brown. I mentioned in an earlier post how much I enjoyed reading this book. It was a real page turner.

I know there is some controversy over this book and one of his other books, The DaVinci Code. Both books involve history and most specifically, the Catholic church. I enjoy the fact that Mr. Brown uses enough history ('cuz I love history) to make the story interesting. And I really, really like the way he writes. Did I mention it was a page turner?

The problem, and where the controversy comes in, is that he skews the facts a bit in order to make a compelling story and I can see where the Catholic church takes offense to the way the early church is portrayed. I think if the reader starts reading these books knowing that what the author writes isn't the truth, they can enjoy the story.

One of the themes in Angels & Demons is religion versus science. Part of the plot is about how science can be used to prove the existence of God. There is some great dialog in the book on this. There is also some excellent content on how science has robbed us as spiritual beings. Here is a excerpt in which a priest from the Vatican addresses the public because of an upcoming danger. I'm not spoiling anything by sharing this.

"Science may have alleviated the miseries of disease and drudgery and provided an array of gadgetry for our entertainment and convenience, but it has left us in a world without wonder. Our sunsets have been reduced to wavelengths and frequencies. The complexities of the universe have been shredded into mathematical equations. Even our self-worth as human beings has been destroyed. Science proclaims that Planet Earth and its inhabitants are a meaningless speck in the grand scheme. A cosmic accident. Even the technology that promises to unite us, divides us. Each of us is now electronically connected to the globe, and yet we feel utterly alone."

This came from chapter 94 in the book and I highly recommend everyone to read this one chapter. I think so highly of it, I've typed out most of the chapter and posted it here. I hope sincerely hope you can take the time to read it. Again, I don't think any of the plot is spoiled by reading this. Please let me know what you think.

Dan Brown has written two other books. From what I understand, they don't involve the church. I've added both to my reading list. I'm looking forward to reading them both.


Momma Roar said...

"knowing that what the author writes isn't the truth, they can enjoy the story."

Isn't this probably the biggest problem? People think it is truth? I remember someone saying something about The DaVinci code - that he has something in the front that says it is fact.

Anyway, it was an interesting chapter to read - and had some good points.

I look forward to being able to read more books - right now, I just have to stick with what I can read so I can learn to be a better mom/homeschool teacher...someday I'll read more! LOL!!

I still haven't finished The Shack - ugh!

Mary@notbefore7 said...

So with Momma Roar on this one. People don't seem to want to enjoy the work of FICTION. They want it to be true, but it isn't.

I think he is an excellent writer. I wish people wouldn't take his writing as "biblical". It is just well put together adventure and story.

My list of book is too long...but I'll have to add this one :)

Michelle said...

Thanks for stopping by my blog..I can't say enough good things about the beGirls :) They are great to work with.

I really enjoyed Angels&Demons, and being Catholic, anytime complaints came up about Dan Brown's books, I just want to say, "It's fiction, people!!" I really like how he sets his books up with few parallel story lines and then brings them all together.

I'll check out the other title you suggested--thanks!!

Humble wife said...

Well I am a book fiend and a history nut. I struggled with how many people believed DaVinci code, to the point that many churches had to come out in defense of it.

You rightly cited a perfect paragraph that has truly taken away wonder!

I am off to add to the library list.

Btw- I stopped by a bit ago to read and was sidetracked by party prep for daughter...she is going to a b-day party at White Sands today!

Have a great day

Janice said...

I just got done reading what you posted from that one chapter. That was pretty incredible. Too bad the church can't get up in front of the country and give the same or similar speech.

I haven't read this book but think I'll look into it now.

Just Mom said...

I read The DaVinci Code and enjoyed it, and will probably read Angels & Demons.

btw ... I'm Catholic. *gasp*

Barb said...

I read the DaVinci code, but not Angels & Demons. I thoroughly agree with what the author and you said about taking science taking away the wonder -- and I would add the word "mystery." It seems like people today have to know and prove everything ~ leaving out the mystery.

Mystery is part of God and life until we get to heaven.

I love the mystery of our lives and of God!

I finally blogged again.

Mam said...

Great comments on the book. I read and enjoyed it very much. I also read one other of his but I can't recall..."Deception"?
I skipped the DaVinci code because of all the controversy. I was mad about all the expensive books in the Christian book stores that were spawned by it. Commercial claptrap, if you ask me.