First off, here's an essay on the inspiration for The Da Vinci Code, Holy Blood, Holy Grail
in the New York Times Book Review.
The essay reminded me of a book I own, The Templar Revelation
, which contains a lot of the same claims and uses very similar "reasoning" to HBHG (and by extention The Da Vinci Code
). Tangential yet intriguing factoids and legends are heaped on top of each other, creating the illusion that the book's conclusion is supported by the evidence without ever presenting an actual argument.
Of course, the grandaddy of conspiracy novels is Umberto Eco's Foucault's Pendulum
, one of the most mind-bending books ever written IMO. It's an honest piece of fiction, however, never claiming that it is nonfiction (like The Templar Revelation
or Holy Blood, Holy Grail
), or based on nonfiction (like The Da Vinci Code
). Still, it's a disturbing piece of work--a friend of mine likes to say, half-jokingly, that it takes three months to really read: if you finish reading it before the third month, you'll spend the remainder huddled in a corner, twitching.