July 16, 2003

By Michael Strickland

The Da Vinci Code

Though I've had trouble finding time to keep up with this column of late (not to mention cleaning my apartment or doing the laundry), I've managed to dig into a new thriller, the best-selling novel "The Da Vinci Code." It didn't take long to hook me. With an exciting mix of action, art history, religion and mystery, all set in romantic Paris, it doesn't surprise me that this book debuted at the top of the bestseller lists (it currently sits at #2 on the New York Times' list). Besides being a compelling murder mystery, the novel is littered with fascinating tidbits of information on topics ranging from Egyptian theology to Renaissance history. I can't decide what I'm enjoying more, the fiction or the non-fiction.

Take, for instance, the fascinating phenomenon of the Divine Proportion. Without getting too technical, the Divine Proportion is represented by dividing a line segment into two smaller segments, such that the proportion of the larger piece to the whole is equal to the proportion of the smaller piece to the larger piece. What makes this so interesting is the strange and inexplicable coincidence that this proportion (1.618:1) crops up countless times in nature. Your arm is a perfect example: the ratio between your full arm's length and the length between your elbow and tip of your fingers is roughly the same as the ratio between the latter and the length between your shoulder and elbow. Similar proportions can be found in the anatomies of many animals, the characteristics of some planets, even in the structure of DNA itself.

I'm only about one-quarter of the way into the book, and I already find it difficult to put down. Usually, books that have so much drama and fact packed into the same volume suffer from an imbalance between the two. Either the author shows off his considerable research at the expense of the story, or the story is supported by the barest, poorly researched facts. Not so with Dan Brown's thriller. I'm so enthralled by it that I'm daring to post this glowing endorsement without having even finished it. So go buy it... but if you finish it before me, don't spoil the ending.


©2003 Michael Strickland ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

What is "The Daily Strick"?

I have long called myself a writer, but too often I don't do what a writer must do daily: write. So you, dear reader, are the beneficiary of my resolution to make a positive change in at least one area of my life. Every single day of this new year (almost), I will write something, anything, and post it here. It is my intention to use this daily exercise to jump-start my too-long-dormant creative energies, and perhaps generate some worthwhile material this year. Hopefully you will find at least an occasional amusement or insight in my daily musings.

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July Columns:

7/21: Hiatus
7/17: Death Ship
7/16: The Da Vinci Code
7/15: Bad Moon Rising
7/14: Adios, Compay
7/13: Ty Odeh
7/10: Muse
7/6: Memories
7/4: On the Road Again
7/3: Onion Valley
7/2: Happy Independence Day
Previous months in The Archive

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