Customer Review

6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars A very disappointing read., 2 Jan 2006
This review is from: Codex (Paperback)
Read the synopsis on the cover and the story promises a great deal, but in reality it fails to deliver. There are supposed to be parallels between the central plot, the hunt for a secret message hidden within a lost medieval manuscript, and a highly complex computer game played by the main character, Edward. Where this connection was I failed to see, but perhaps I missed something! To me the pages of description of the computer game just seemed to be a filler. It added virtually nothing to the plot, apart from a link to one of the other characters towards the and the sudden realisation by Edward about the location of the manuscript.
I found myself disliking Edward, the central character, more and more as the story progressed. He was portrayed as a hot shot, decisive and combative young banker with a great future ahead of him. However, within a matter of a couple of days he is prepared to give this all up for the chance of a working for some dotty English aristocrat. As the days pass by the guy descends into an aimless existence, supposedly obsessed with finding the missing Codex. At the outset of the story this guy was portrayed as decisive, give me a break he would find making a decision to change his underwear taxing.
The biggest disappointment of all was the ending, after wading through 350 pages I hoped to be rewarded with a twist or two at the end. Unfortunately, the final encounter between Edward and his employer is totally implausible and makes the whole story almost pointless. I was left with the distinct impression that after those 350 pages the author felt the same as me, he was bored with it and just wanted to get the book finished as soon as possible.
Some reviewers have alluded to a similarity between this book and the "Da Vinci Code" due to its connection with medieval artifacts, but the similarity ends there. Where Dan Brown moves the storyline along at a rapid pace, the Codex lumbers along. The author, Lev Grossman, fails to engage the reader in the story or allows you to either like or identify with either of the main characters. Whilst the blurb on the cover wisely avoids mentioning the "Da Vinci Code", it does draw parallels with "The Name of the Rose", but two books less alike I cannot imagine.
A reviewer from the San Francisco Chronicle said of the book "A genuine treat, with its sneaky plot and richly textured storytelling. It also moves so fast that readers won't realize how smart it is." I was left wondering if I had read the same book as this reviewer or perhaps I was just not smart enough to see all those sinister sub-plots!!
Finally, the best advice I can give anyone is if you want a good read, look elsewhere. Sorry to say this book will not be finding a permanent place on my bookshelves.
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2.3 out of 5 stars (51 customer reviews)
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