The massive success obtained by this novel deserves to be analyzed with very deep eye. Everybody has heard the raw debates that Dan Brown's famous book has provoked. The american writer suggests an interpretation of the Da Vinci masterpiece "The last dinner", which would contain elements that explain some secret and hidden knowledge. A secret knowledge which couldn't be divulgated, and had to be expressed only in the form of a "code", so a series of symbols. Dan Brown's story starts from the mystery of this code: there's somebody who wants to know the truth, and somebody else who's highly interested in making the truth disappearing. The author's fiction imagines that the "Da Vinci code" would symbolize the path that Christ followed really, not according to the canonic accepted religious truth. Jesus Christ wouldn't have died on the cross; he would have survived, thanks to the help of his strict disciples and Maria Magdalena, who - according to heretical Da Vinci theory - would have been Christ's wife.
After surviving, Christ would have left his land, and moved to France. There, he would have had sons with Maria Magdalena, and from his sons there would have been originated the Meruvinges dinasty - so the same dinasty that had in Charlemagne the most important character.
So, here Dan Brown develops a very modern thriller story. The ecclesial authority would have all the interest in covering this story under clouds of darkness. Diabolical killers act with cruely in order to eliminate all the people who know something about this secret stories - and as well who's able to decript the complicated Da Vinci code.
The suspence runs along the whole book: it's the run of professor Langdon, who's looking for the solution of the biggest enygma of the western history.
Analyzing the success of the book, it must be recognized that large size of merit for its success must be reconnected with the reactions produced by Catholic Church.
The fact that the Catholic Church took the book so seriously, is a fact that demonstrate how much importance has been attributed to the ideas promoted by the book. Over the thriller story, Dan Brown stresses a lot on the alternative possibility of Christ's death.
If it's true that Christ has gone to die in another place, and he was regularly married and had children - all these facts would represent a serious threat to the bases of Catholic Church, which was founded by Saint Peter in Rome. A serious danger: because the Vatican Church would lose the legitimation to be considered the coherent representative institution of Jesus Christ on the world.
This interpretation explains why the reaction of the ecclesial spheres has been very strong.
Of course, the ideas showed by Dan Brown contain a lot of pure fantasy. First of all, we cannot know if really Leonardo Da Vinci wanted to create some symbolic secret meanings, under his paintings. The possible interpretations are always accorded to the creative talent of the interpreters.
And then, we must notice that the portrait of Opus Dei that the american writer realizes is based only on fantasies. Nothing of what is showed in the novel corresponds to some real story, about the Vatican secret service.
By the way, considering all these necessary introductive notes, the Da Vinci Code has to be considered like a very interesting fantastic thriller, with the flavour of Indiana Jones classical adventures and also a taste for esoterism and secret doctrines, which nowadays are conquering some interest for the masses.
Unfortunately, the movie which has been realized from the book loses the thrilling atmosphere; also the main character, professor Langdon, isn't perfectly represented by Tom Hanks performance.