My regular reader may have noticed the lull in Parrot posts towards the end of last week. This was partly explained by the sheer volume of football matches in these early stages of the World Cup, but when I wasn’t glued to the telly, I was also glued to The Last Templar by Raymond Khoury.
It’s very much a Dan Brownish potboiler with two-dimensional characters and ludicrous plotlines, but suspend disbelief and it’s a pacey, easy read heavy on twisting plotlines.
And at its heart is the premise that Jesus didn’t die on the cross or rise again and that he was actually an ordinary man with an extraordinary philosophy. In other words, he was a great prophet, but was not himself divine.
None of that Sang Real/Holy Grail stuff in this case, just that the central tenet of the Christian faith couldn’t have happened. Now I can understand how that might upset people, even these people, but that is rather missing which section of the library you’ll find these books.
History is a novel that has been lived, a novel is history that might have been.
Personally, discovering that Jesus was a man and not the Son of God would make the rest of the Bible more believable, not less so, and if Dan Brown and co have done anything it is to make people think about what it is to be Christian, even if it also leads to the question the role of the church.
Anyway, I suppose that blogs are like pubs — don’t discuss religion or football — and none of the above is meant to offend, so I’d better shut up, other than to say that I’m obviously hooked as I’ve now got stuck into the literary superior (so far) Labyrinth by Kate Mosse from which I lifted the quote above.
That and one other point that passed me by on that plagiarism case earlier this year which I didn’t pay great attention to, so I may be stating the bleedin’ obvious here. I was flicking through the excellent Rough Guide to Conspiracy Theories which made the point that one of Dan Brown’s key characters is the historian, Leigh Teabing, which I always thought was a bloody unlikely name.
The accusation was that Brown had lifted plot for the DaVC from The Holy Blood and the Holy Grail by Lincoln, Baigent and Leigh. I would have thought the names of the last two authors were the clincher, wouldn’t you?