The Corner

Before The Da Vinci Code

After reading The Da Vinci Code earlier this year (and writing about it here), I decided to check out Angels and Demons, the first book starring Dan Brown’s protagonist Robert Langdon. It’s been on the best-seller lists because flocks of DVC readers have felt a similar impuluse, wanting to go back and enjoy Langdon’s adventures before he discovered (in DVC) that Jesus and Mary Magdalene were husband and wife (which is nonsense, of course). There are a lot of similarities between the two books: breakneck storytelling, deep-seated anti-Catholicism, an obsession with the occult, European setting, the love interest is the daughter of a murdered man, etc. But Angels and Demons isn’t nearly as inventive as it more popular sequel. Despite my objections to DVC, I sort of enjoyed the novel and found the experience of examining several of its chief claims edifying. Not so with A&D. I was glad to have finished it because it means I can move on to something else, which won’t be another Dan Brown book.

John J. Miller, the national correspondent for National Review and host of its Great Books podcast, is the director of the Dow Journalism Program at Hillsdale College. He is the author of A Gift of Freedom: How the John M. Olin Foundation Changed America.

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