This latest novel by Dan Brown continues to be on various Best Seller lists with 4.3 million copies in print. It's currently #1 again at Amazon and is being made into a movie to be directed by Ron Howard and released in 2005. Having just finished the book, I came across two articles in the December 22 editions of US News and World Report, and Time Magazine that serve to balance or to temper some of the statements made by the author. Nevertheless, I found the book to be a masterpiece. Intensely stimulating, engrossing, and electrifying. And it is spectacularly well articulated...Brown is a master storyteller. Without giving away the plot, I'll just say that the book is based on historical research into the pre-Catholic Gospels (gospels are biographies of the life of Christ and there are many such biographies). The book is in some ways about the search for the Holy Grail. Do you really know what the Grail is? If not, you'll find out (or at least one account of it). Do you understand the symbology captured in the paintings of Da Vinci? Do you know the significance of the Mona Lisa? Or the Last Supper? Or Madonna on the Rocks? Do you know how today's Christian beliefs came to be? Do you know the real history of the early church? The real history of Jesus? And His wife? And their daughter? The Dark Ages weren't so called for no reason (pun intended). The book has sparked a renewed interest in religious history and the search for the truth. If, as is said, history is written by the victorious, our popular account of the history of Jesus was fabricated by the early church which emerged victorious over the pagans (and pagans aren't what you have been told they are). The early church burned 5 million women at the stake for being witches, undertook the Crusades to wipe out any remnants of the Old Ways and Old Books, and otherwise attempted genocide against the pagans. How much of this is fact, how much is fiction, how much is a reasonable extension of fact? If the basic assertions are true about the life of Jesus and the "nature" of Jesus (man or divine manifestation), then it has the potential to uproot some of the most fundamental pillars of Christian/Islamic thought.