Conveniently, I just read the Da Vinci Code last week. Totally by chance, in fact. I am clearly in tune with the universe. I'm going to give it some extra points off the top because I'd already seen the movie so I can't say what it must have been like to read it when the element of surprise still existed. Maybe it was better?
And...I don't get it. Why is this so popular? It's not tremendously interesting or exciting, it's got lots of history and no sex, and the writing is very, very middling. I mean, it's not that bad. I'm not going to dump on it--it's competent, it puts words in orders that communicate things. Which, as an editor, I can promise you is harder for most people than it sounds.
It is total crap with adjectives, definitely. How do you "wake up slowly"? How do you take a "long sip"? What does it look like when somebody is walking with "a haunting certainty to her gait"?
It also leans heavily on one of my favorite pet peeves - informing the audience that something is interesting by having a character directly tell them so by word or action. To whit:
"With an unexpected jolt, Langdon stopped short."
'And not just any person,' Teabing blurted, clambering excitedly to his feet.
And my personal favorite, all of the following are from one conversation. One.
"Sophie felt a little chill...Sophie was surprised....Sophie glanced at the art book before her, eager to move on....Uncertain, Sophie closed her eyes...Sophie glanced up, looking surprised...Sophie shook her head...Sophie looked overwhelmed...Sophie felt as if the entire night had turned into some kind of twilight zone where nothing was as she expected...Sophie was sure she had missed something...Sophie turned to Langdon to help...Sophie was mesmerized...Sophie was amazed...Again, Sophie was speechless...Sophie was starting to feel overwhelmed...Sophie was surprised...The words seemed to echo across the ballroom and back before they fully registered in Sophie's mind...Sophie stood transfixed...Sophie felt the hairs stand up on her arms..."
Soooo, yeah. Mostly readable, kind of fun, a good way to feel highbrow and still read trashy writing. I guess. I'm sure there must be better ways.