An endearing aspect of "The Da Vinci Code" phenomenon has been the creation of a new kind of action man. The boffin-as-hero, exemplified by Robert Langdon, marks a change from the traditional male adventurers of page and screen: the gun-toting muscleman, the caped superhero, the suave secret agent lethally accessorized with an exploding fountain pen. Guns and gadgets now have to make room for middle-aged professors more familiar with biblical symbolism than how to deal with ominously ticking briefcases or what to wear for cocktails in South American embassies. These eggheads may not be destined for glory as articulated dolls or interactive video games, but their ability to foil evil cults by drawing on a knowledge of dead languages and ancient statuary has undeniably captured readers' imaginations.Dead languages and ancient statuary rule.
Saturday, August 22, 2009
THE LAST EMBER, by Daniel Levin, is reviewed by Ross King in the Los Angeles Times. Excerpt: