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The Da Vinci Hoax: Exposing the Errors in 'The Da Vinci Code'

Carl E. Olson and Sandra Miesel

San Francisco: Ignatius Press, 2004; ISBN: 1-58617-034-1; Pp. 329

Review © 2004 Branislav L. Slantchev

After reading The Da Vinci Code, I thought that perhaps I missed something very important: it cannot be so replete with errors that even a relative historical ignoramus like me would notice them? Maybe my simplistic view of history and superficial knowledge really is blinding me to possible alternative interpretations? So I marched back to Borders and bought a few books on Christian history, the Middle Ages, and, more specifically, on Mr. Brown's book itself.

Upon perusal, the book by Olson and Miesel seemed the best of the bunch, and it turned out to be by far the most sustained, serious, and devastating expose of the flagrant errors and misrepresentations in Mr. Brown's novel. I am saying this even though I am an atheist and the two authors are avowed Christians who spend the first quarter of their book dealing with "historical Jesus" issues that are, frankly, not of great interest to someone like me. However, once we're past doctrinal details, the book picks up pace rather quickly and takes the reader on an exhaustive and fascinating journey through history and art. Nobody who reads this powerful and meticulously researched book would want to lend any credence whatsoever to Mr. Brown's novel (and its two most important conspiracy-laden sources). Most importantly, the several references from Oslon and Miesel's book that I did check turned out to be correct... surprise! It's a sad day that one should be surprised when the authors quote something correctly and do not take it out of context.

Recommended as an anti-dote to anyone doubting his or her historical knowledge and/or sanity after reading Mr. Brown's novel; atheist and Christian alike.

August 29, 2004