Utterrly tired from my flight. No sleep. I stumble around my sister Leslie's flat, talking on the phone and trying to drum up some free theater tickets or at least good seats. On the flight over I finish The Da Vinci Code. (** 1/2 out of 4). I can't tell you the really absurd part of the book without spoling the finale. But trily the controversy is silly. The spoiler is at the bottom and clearly marked so skip it if you want to see the movie first.
I'm getting really sleepy around 2:30 p.m. so I decide to wander around a bit. I'll get a drink, maybe step into Hatchard's (a wonderful book store) for a minute and then walk to Wyndham's Theater where the revivial of Sondheim's Sunday in the Park With George begins previews tomorrow. Their phone has been busy all day and I really do need tickets to that one.
I only get as far as Hatchard's. Bookstores are like black holes to me, or more accurately time machines, my own personal TARDIS. I step in, browse around for a minute, pick up a few books so I don't run out of reading while I'm in Cannes (the local English bookshop charges exorbitant prices) and as I'm at the counter paying I casually ask the man what time it is and he says 7 p.m. Good Lord. I rush home and Leslie has been there for an hour or so waiting. More games.
SPOILER FOR THE DA VINCI CODE
Don'r read on if you don't want to know the entire plot. In "Angels & Demons," there was a renegade priest, by Dan Brown went out of his way to depict most of the cardinals as peacful, loving men who wouldn't resort to assassination (four top cardinals were burtally murdered by the Illuminati -- we thought) for any reason. And it turned out that the Pope (who himself was murdered before the book began) was very liberal and loved science, which is what drove the renegade priest mad. In short, murdered Pope and most cardinals good; one wacko bad.
Now in "The Da Vinci Code" we are squaring off against Opus Dei. Laughably, the real villain isn't Opus Dei or even the Vatican: it's only a renegade Opus Dei bishop and his albino ward who themselves are suckered in by an atheistic baddie who wants to destroy the Church. Again, Brown goes out of his way to show most of the faithful as genuinely religious, he depicts the new Pope as very liberal and he even takes the time to present a reasonable broad brushstroke depiction of the complaints and thoughts of the real Opus Dei. Mind you, Opus Dei doesn't come off well -- the book indulges the liberal fantasy that the new Pope would send them and their billions of dollars packing. (I could only wish.) The book overall is less ludicrous than "Angels & Demons" but only just. Still numerous silly, clunky bits of dialogue. But it would be churlish of me to pretend I wasn't page-turning there for a bit.