More on The Da Vinci Code.
“How to explain the novel’s success? For openers, ‘Weird sells,’ as a colleague who teaches literature commented, wryly. Then, too, Brown and the Doubleday promotion machine, with suberb timing, capitalized on the current disenchantment with Roman Catholicism due to the pedophilia and ‘lavender clergy’ scandals, thus aiming at an already vulnerable target. The rise of radical feminism and the women’s movement in general was also a powerful assist, as Newsweek‘s cover story on Mary Magdalene demonstrated (December 8, 2003). In The Da Vinci Code, the author claims to restore the feminine role to the place supposedly denied it by male church authorities. Add to that an opening murder inside the Louvre Museum in Paris, a labyrinth of symbolic clues followed by an embattled couple chased by Interpol, and intrigue involving the church, the state, and secret societies, and you have the perfect formula for a page turner” (Paul Maier, “The Da Vinci Deception” in The Da Vinci Code: Fact or Fiction? A Critique of the Novel by Dan Brown [Wheaton, IL: Tyndale House, 2004], 6).