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Flags of Our Fathers
James Bradley, Ron Powers
Paul Levine
The Da Vinci Code  - Dan Brown, Paul Michael Where to start? I’ll start with the writing specifically the writing of the dialogue of this worldwide bestseller.

Brown's writing is stilted and silly, not flowing and intelligent which is what these main characters, the protagonists are supposed to be; one (Langdon) a Harvard professor of religious symbology and the other (Sophie) a cryptologist with the French Central Directorate Judicial Police, the equivalent of the CIA or FBI. Either one, she should be extremely bright. In case you didn't know, there is a lot about symbols and cryptology (and clues and secrets) in this novel.

Here’s an example of the boring dialogue: Langdon chuckled. “no more false than that of a mathematical cryptographer who believes in the imaginary number ‘i’ because it helps her break codes.” Sophie frowned. “That’s not fair.” A moment passed. “What was your question again?” Langdon asked. “I can’t remember," she smiled. “Works every time.” I just opened the book to see that silly exchange which added nothing at all to the story.

The flip side is that there is less dialogue (a good thing) and more descriptions of the Paris scenery and historic sites, which I admit, were quite nice and well done. Must admit, I can only guess they were fairly accurate because I've never been there.

There were trite comments and clichés from beginning to end which I found tedious and boring. The storyline, it was ok, not as "astonishing" and "ingenious" as described on the back cover of the book. However, I saw the movie The Last Temptation of Christ, so I wasn't blown away with the theory. And why the Catholic Church was upset with its publication, is beyond me. Nothing else to worry about, I guess.

Could I put it down? Easily…in fact, I welcomed putting it down between chase scenes (there were many)…clue scenes (there were many)…'oh, I get it' scenes (there were many)…and everything in between including not so clever italicized sentences which gave the reader 'insight' or explained to the reader what the character was thinking, had decided or was feeling.

While I realize many more people gave the book four and five stars than my paltry two stars, I’m not good on following the pack so I’ll stick with the two stars.

I was at the book store just today and we were talking about the book and the fellow said his son didn’t like it much either but really enjoyed Brown’s Angels and Demons. My response was "no thanks. I’ve had quite enough of Dan Brown and his writing to last a lifetime" which is how long I felt it took me to get through this so-so worldwide bestseller. Bestseller...I should have known better.

My only saving grace is that after finishing the book, took a look at some reviews and there were in fact some one and two stars. Dan Brown should be happy I gave it two stars for effort.