Wall Street Opinion Journal Daniel Henninger May 19, 2006
“The Da Vinci Code” shows that conspiracy theories have no limits.
“The Da Vinci Code” would not be the subject of this column had it not sold 60.5 million copies, according to its publisher Doubleday. Of course this does not make it the best-selling book of all time. That title, as irony would have it, goes to the Bible, half of which one of Dan Brown’s characters dismisses as “false.”
Like the Bible but unlike Mr. Brown’s novel, most of the books in the sales Pantheon have had utilitarian staying power–McGuffey’s Reader, the Guinness Book of Records, Noah Webster’s “The American Spelling Book,” Dr. Spock’s baby book and the World Almanac. Now comes “The Da Vinci Code,” selling twice as many copies as the 30 million attributed to Jacqueline Susann’s “The Valley of the Dolls.”
“The Valley of the Dolls” was about people having sex. “The Da Vinci Code” is about Jesus leaving Mary Magdalene pregnant with his baby while he dies on the cross. So in a sense, Mr. Brown’s novel respects tradition.
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