Thursday, March 23, 2006
The IT Factor
There's a movie that is schedule to release in less than two months. It's one you've heard talked about around the water cooler. You may even think you have an idea of the content. But what you may not understand is the impact this movie could have on humanity. Strong words? Not nearly as strong as the words in the book the movie is based upon. The book? The DaVinci Code.
I am just about 50 pages from completing this 450 page novel. I must say that I was extremely captivated from the get go. Dan Brown is, if nothing else, a fantastic novelist. He knows how to draw the reader in. As a matter of fact, I could hardly put down the book in the first 250 pages. But then IT happened. The IT I am referring to is the most controversial part of this book. I won't ruin it for those of you who have yet to read this novel or who might want to see the movie, but let me just say that IT will be cause for many discussions in the near future.
The book, as I mentioned before, was so well written in the beginning that I could hardly stand to put it down. The historical thoughts and ideas were eloquently woven inside a most believable plot. I was definitely intrigued by the possibility that some of the historical ideas Mr. Brown was espousing were true. That is, until IT happened. Just over the midway part of the novel the tides turned. No longer was the novel intertwining between a great story line and historical evidence. At that point Mr. Brown no longer cared whether or not he was true to his intentions, but in my opinion, his gluttony of pushing the envelope bacame his main focus.
I would certainly understand if a writer wanted the reader to question their belief systems, historical evidence, etc., but what happened with Mr. Brown is simply quite unexcusable. He left the world of excellent writing to pursue a selfish desire of causing conflict. The first half of the novel he accomplishes both incredibly well - story combined with conflict. During the IT stage he abandons his writing style and focuses solely on establishing conflict. Conflict, in my opinion, which was aimed at selling his book and not to further his writing style.
Let me describe it this way. For those of us who appreciate jazz music, you might possibly equate this book to Kenny G. In his early years, Kenneth Gorelick was really a quite competent and established jazz musician. He was well versed in many styles, including be-bop. At some point in his career however, he was presented with the same scenario as Mr. Brown - abandon his roots and value system in exchange for the almighty dollar. That's exactly what Kenny G did - a new name, a new style, a new music. Both artists gave up on their roots and chose a new pathway.
You might claim that I am being harsh on this book and the writer. I have not been in the position where I had to choose between money and my core values, and quite frankly, I hope to never be in that place. I can only tell you what I have read and how it struck me. You will have to read the book and discover this for yourself. I love a good book. I love the journey you take while reading. I even love conflict when it causes me to question myself and I grow from that experience. The DaVinci Code had all of those wrapped into one but chose to finish in another direction.
I would love to hear thoughts from those of you who have read this book. The movie is due out shortly as well. Maybe God is setting this whole thing up. Maybe God is telling us that we don't do a good job talking about all this stuff; we try to hide things, cover them up, pretend they don't happen. I smile at the thought that God is opening up opportunities for all of us to discuss our faith. Honest, open, authentic communication. Will we seize this opportunity to "crack" the code? Or we continue to veil our lives in the shrouds of history? For now, THIS story remains to be written.