book #3

Jan. 18th, 2008 11:45 am
realthog: (Default)
To describe Javier Sierra's The Secret Supper (2004; trans from the Spanish by Alberto Manguel 2006) as the thinking reader's The Da Vinci Code would be trite and misleading, even if in many ways accurate. Sierra's book is an historical novel in which, in 1497, a senior member of the Inquisition, alerted by an anonymous informant, goes to the monastery in Milan where Leonardo is painting his great mural The Last Supper. According to the informant, the painting is dangerously heretical -- the work of Satan. Our Inquisitor, who serves as the book's primary narrator (and who, obviously, is not the nicest of guys), must try to solve two mysteries: the identity of the informant, and the riddle of the painting. There's plenty of Cathar heresy and Mary Magdalene thrown in.

The novel's a little slow to get under way but, once it starts moving, it's absorbing stuff -- I found the pages turning happily. I have no way of knowing if the book's underpinning is valid or complete hokum, but certainly it convinced me for the purposes of the fiction. The translation, despite a few proofing errors (like "edging on" for "egging on"!), is generally the smooth ride you expect from Alberto Manguel. I had the odd sense when finishing the book that I'd at last got out of my mouth the bad taste -- which I'd not even realized was there -- left over from when, a couple of years back, I read (and detested) The Da Vinci Code as research for my parody Da Easter Bunny Code. At last I was reading a Leonardo da Vinci conspiracy-theory novel that I could enjoy as rattling good fun rather than be forcing myself to read.

(There's one irritating element near the end of the novel, when all the characters are implausibly slow to notice something that's patently obvious, but I forgave the book this.)

realthog: (morgan brighteyes)

[* Note for Ayn Rand Fans: This does not mean you'll find only 25% of a chapter here. Be reassured: there's a complete chapter, all right. The explanation for your confusion is that the French, for reasons best known to themselves, speak a different language from us. How inconsiderate! But they do. And in their language, the word quatre means . . .


I've lost you already, haven't I?]

Yes, the moment has come for the fourth -- and so far final -- chapter of the gut-curdlingly enthralling saga of love, lust, bad theology, pseudohistory and appalling writing that is Da Easter Bunny Code. Accept no substitutes unless you must!!!!

If you are one of those fortunates who've managed to escape earlier instalments, fear not. You can find them as follows: (the official blurb -- widely touted as the very Faberge of blurbs!!); (the official Prologue, redolent of Chanel and a certain je ne comprends pas!!!!!!!); (the official Chapitre Un, deftly tailored for your lectatory pleasure by Brewster & Scrimshaft of Saville Row!!!!); (the official Chapitre "Daffy" Deux, a thrumming coruscation of which Ferrari can only be jealous!!!!); and (the official Chapitre Trois, which is so completely expensive and posh it doesn't even have a flipping label!!!!!!!!!!!!!).

I'm gasping -- as would you be if you'd just used as many gratuitous exclamation marks as I have.

realthog: (Default)

[*Note to Ayn Rand fans: this is not a reference to Helen of Trois.**]

[**Note to real diehard Ayn Rand fans: Helen of Troy was this beauteous queen in the ancient world. She had a religious relative called Chretien de . . . oh, never mind.]

Yes, folx, it's time to move away from the dizzying delirium of those star-crossed lovers whose names even I temporarily forget (thereby postmodernistically creating yet another point of verisimilitude between this neo-Dostoevskyan epic and the work of Dan Brown) -- those star-crossed lovers whose names I have just looked up in the earlier postings of their adventures, viz: (astonishingly gripping blurb -- if this doesn't have you thrusting $25 at your nearest bookseller I don't know what will); (the astonishingly informative Prologue, filled with facts I can guarantee you never knew before); (the astonishingly poignant Chapitre Un, featuring the prime number that defeated the best efforts of the Enigma Machine by surreptitiously removing the "b" from "bun"); and (the similarly astonishingly poignant Chapitre "Donald" Deux).

As I say, in this chapitre we leave Roger Lapin and his breathy telephonic French babe to one side briefly


realthog: (Default)

Thanks to e-mails from Dan Brown fans the world over, I've been encouraged to post the next chapter of that spinechilling epic Da Easter Bunny Code, which would most certainly have been optioned for film by now had it not been for the covert intervention of the Vatican.

You have been warned.

Those who are courageous Seekers After Truth can find the book's blurb at, its informative Prologue at, and its exquisitely formed Chapitre Un (hint for Ayn Rand fans: that does not mean "Chapter Three") sveltely ensconsed at But for more of the coruscating revelation thingie, you gotta peek . . .

realthog: (Default)

Here it is! The knuckle-whitening opening chapter of Da Easter Bunny Code, the finest heretical thriller that Dan Brown never wrote, suffused though it is with the inimitable poesy of diction of the master riveter himself. Sort of thing.

The blurb for this monstrosity -- the book they tried to ban! -- can be found at and the Prologue bit at

But under the cut is where the real excitement begins to throb!



realthog: (Default)



1 The texts of the Bible were originally written, by hand, in Aramaic. When the editors of the book which today we call the Bible were deciding which texts to allow in the compilation, they decided, as editors have always done, that presentation was all-important. They therefore rejected those texts where the handwriting was so poor they had difficulty reading it. Those suppressed texts are today knows as the Dead Sea Scrawls.

2 If you go to the Vatican Library and ask to see the Dead Sea Scrawls, they look at you funny.

3 Only very, very clever people can read the Dead Sea Scrawls. Fortunately for you, dear reader, I am very, very clever.

4 In 1642 a rogue cleric called the Theologonius Monk founded an ascetic cult which so threatened the existing structures of the Roman Catholic Church that the Pope of the day, Urban VIII, instructed the Knights Templar to carry out the instant extirpation of Monk and all his adherents, and the complete destruction of every last relic of the cult's existence. It is widely believed that nothing of the cult has survived except its name, the Dopus E.B., and that even this should not be mentioned except in conditions of the strictest secrecy in case a Knight Templar jumps out of the wall or something and gets you.

5 That belief is false.

6 Astronomers have for centuries conspired to conceal the fact that the moon really is made of green cheese.

nota bene )
realthog: (morgan brighteyes)
The other day hutch0 (, who should have known better, foolishly asked to have a gander at the first four (and so far only) chapters of Da Easter Bunny Code, my unfinished Dan Brown parody. Well, naturally I sent him several copies before he'd finished getting the words out of his mouth.

His reaction -- a failure to cast himself from a high building, and so far as I can tell not a single bout of uncontrollable vomiting (As an aside, have you ever experienced controllable vomiting? Well, neither have I. So why is it people always feel they have to describe vomiting as "uncontrollable", as if normally you'd upchuck with a certain debonair aplomb, and only for the entertainment of your fellow sophisticates?) -- was such that I'm beginning to wonder if I should post it here.


Not sure about this.

However, what I'll do for the moment is paste the blurb here, then stand back and see if the Vatican threatens to sue. Or the Priory of Sion. Or if I'm found one morning with all the blood drained out of me, having been murdered by the infliction of a million discrete paper cuts, each administered by a page from a separate copy of The Da Vinci Code.

And not just any page from The Da Vinci Code.

Oh no.

An albino page from . . .

I'd better get on with the blurb, hadn't I? I think I'll place it cunningly after the cut.

March 2013

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