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PostPosted: Mon Feb 23, 2004 12:52 am 
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.


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PostPosted: Mon Feb 23, 2004 6:36 pm 
Eco is a hellaciously good writer. Foucault's Pendulum is a wonderful, wonderful read. Like most good conspiracy books, it's 90% factual - but distinguishing the remaining 10% from the reality is the hard part.

He's also got a series of (nonfiction) letters published originally in an Italian newspaper (very polite, succinct, and erudite arguements) between himself and a Catholic Cardinal. VERY good reading, if you're even remotely interested in christianity's take on athiesm and intellectual European athiesm's take on Christianity.

-John


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PostPosted: Mon Feb 23, 2004 11:54 pm 
In a related topic, Will Eisner is drawing a new nonfiction comic about the forging of the "Protocols of the Elders of Zion". (article in the New York Times)


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PostPosted: Fri Apr 07, 2006 4:14 pm 
Heh, they're good types of books. They let people think they actually know something that everyone else doesn't, for once in their lives, which usually shuts them up for a while.


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