5.22.2006

Soul Food

I figured it’d be a good idea to find out what all the hubbub was about, so I finally read The Da Vinci Code.It was a blast. Nothing spectacular, just a fast-paced thriller dealing with important spiritual themes. Rather along the lines of the Left Behindseries (as far as genre goes, not content), although perhaps not as well written. Dan Brown may not have much of a way with words—even the (overabundant) anagrams were spectacularly dull—but the plot was fabulous. That bit in the second chapter with the bar of soap and the GPS? So. Much. Fun.

And the way he jumbled together various elements of history was absolutely hilarious. A gnostic sect preserving knowledge of Christ’s... humanity? The ironic twists are riotously funny on so many levels. That he’s using this novel to blind the historically ignorant masses to the true nature of gnosticism just makes the inside jokes that much funnier. I suppose it would be funnier still if I was the sort of person (ie. a gnostic heretic) who generally liked the idea of keeping truth away from the general population.

At any rate, the big thing I learned from the DVC is that life is ever so much sweeter when I’m in the middle of a just-for-fun book. And Kripkedoesn’t count, even if he is amazingly light and fast-paced for a philosopher, and truly quite a fun read.

I need some mystery and adventure.

So I picked up a collection of Chesterton short stories, The Innocence of Father Brown.Fun, fun, fun.

And of course, I expected it to be fun. That is, after all, why I checked it out of the library. What I didn’t expect was for it to be brilliant and important.

But every bit as surprising as the doddering old priest who solves the mystery, is the light-hearted mystery story that turns all our ideas about faith and reason inside out.

If that wasn’t enough, as I began re-reading some of the stories aloud to my husband, I kept seeing crazy patterns to the structure of the book as a whole. Like theological banter, pretty much irrelevant to the plot at hand... but those ideas are the underlying theme to the next short story. Which has irrelevant theological banter of its own, which... well, you get the idea.

But the most amazing thing of all is that Chesterton’s ideas would so naturally express themselves in this way. It is a winsome Christianity indeed, that flows out in such sweetness and wit.

G. K. Chesterton is a newfound hero of mine.

2 comments:

Mrs. Speckperson said...

Father Brown is great! Chesterton is awesome!

For a hilarious read check out The Flying Inn by Ol Papa Chesterton. We just laughed and laughed...especially funny when read aloud.

Euphrosyne said...

I also really enjoyed DVC. Another fun read that I recently discovered is Sherlock Holmes. They're about the right size to read one right before bed.