Dan Brown could be labelled as a revolutionary writer as he magically creates masterpieces from very real settings mingled with a real scientific phenomenon and fictitious characters and plots. Due to this merging of reality and story, one eventually loses track of the hazy line which separates fact from fiction. And this is no mistake by Brown. Critics have attempted to identify errors in his writing and story lines, but I think they are missing the best part of his work - the fascination of conspiracy theories - something which has been forced upon the world today to the point of obsession, and the split in opinion they cause.
For example, one may read "The Da Vinci Code" and be extremely offended, or another may get through it and profess the best read of their lives, stimulating pondering about things they hadn't considered before. You either love Dan Brown or you find you have no time for his wild, page-turning thrills.
The most shocking example of how we believe in and conjure up conspiracies is shown in the aftermath of the alarming events of 9/11. Were the planes really filled with passengers? Were terrorists really able to get through American security and onto those planes? How did one of the alleged terrorist's passport turn up unharmed under all the rubble of the World Trade Centre (WTC)? Was the way the WTC towers fell, the result of a plane flying into it? Or did it look rather suspiciously like a controlled explosion? Could America, the self-proclaimed most powerful country in the world, really not possess sufficient intelligence to know of the coming attacks, or even the ability to scramble in reinforcements before it was tragically too late?
Either there was something fishy going on, or all of these circumstantial events came together in one terrible, against-the-odds coincidence. Once a conspiracy starts it's rather difficult to ever stop it, its assumptions, and quite possibly, its false claims.
Dan Brown reflects the world's suspicious attitude with conspiracies of his own, leaving us wondering what the truth really is. "The Da Vinci Code" has the on-running saga of Opus Dei, a branch of the Catholic Church, and their efforts to kill off the royal bloodline of Jesus Christ. In "Angels and Demons" the Illuminati, a secret cult, seek to bring down the Vatican. In "The Lost Symbol" what eventually turns out to be Peter Solomon's own son, seeks to kill his father.
As with all of Brown's works, it's up to the reader to pick out the genuine facts, and generally, to just enjoy the fiction!