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The Da Vinci Code: (Robert Langdon Book 2) (Anglais) Broché – 1 mars 2004


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Extrait

1

Robert Langdon awoke slowly.

A telephone was ringing in the darkness--a tinny, unfamiliar ring. He fumbled for the bedside lamp and turned it on. Squinting at his surroundings he saw a plush Renaissance bedroom with Louis XVI furniture, hand-frescoed walls, and a colossal mahogany four-poster bed.

Where the hell am I?

The jacquard bathrobe hanging on his bedpost bore the monogram:

HOTEL RITZ PARIS.

Slowly, the fog began to lift.

Langdon picked up the receiver. "Hello?"

"Monsieur Langdon?" a man's voice said. "I hope I have not awoken you?"

Dazed, Langdon looked at the bedside clock. It was 12:32 A.M. He had been asleep only an hour, but he felt like the dead.

"This is the concierge, monsieur. I apologize for this intrusion, but you have a visitor. He insists it is urgent."

Langdon still felt fuzzy. A visitor? His eyes focused now on a crumpled flyer on his bedside table.

THE AMERICAN UNIVERSITY OF PARIS
proudly presents
An evening with Robert Langdon
Professor of Religious Symbology, Harvard University

Langdon groaned. Tonight's lecture--a slide show about pagan symbolism hidden in the stones of Chartres Cathedral--had probably ruffled some conservative feathers in the audience. Most likely, some religious scholar had trailed him home to pick a fight.

"I'm sorry," Langdon said, "but I'm very tired and--"

"Mais monsieur," the concierge pressed, lowering his voice to an urgent whisper. "Your guest is an important man."

Langdon had little doubt. His books on religious paintings and cult symbology had made him a reluctant celebrity in the art world, and last year Langdon's visibility had increased a hundred-fold after his involvement in a widely publicized incident at the Vatican. Since then, the stream of self-important historians and art buffs arriving at his door had seemed never-ending.

"If you would be so kind," Langdon said, doing his best to remain polite, "could you take the man's name and number, and tell him I'll try to call him before I leave Paris on Tuesday? Thank you." He hung up before the concierge could protest.

Sitting up now, Langdon frowned at his bedside Guest Relations Handbook, whose cover boasted: SLEEP LIKE A BABY IN THE CITY OF LIGHTS. SLUMBER AT THE PARIS RITZ.

He turned and gazed tiredly into the full-length mirror across the room. The man staring back at him was a stranger--tousled and weary.

You need a vacation, Robert.

The past year had taken a heavy toll on him, but he didn't appreciate seeing proof in the mirror. His usually sharp blue eyes looked hazy and drawn tonight. A dark stubble was shrouding his strong jaw and dimpled chin. Around his temples, the gray highlights were advancing, making their way deeper into his thicket of coarse black hair. Although his female colleagues insisted the gray only accentuated his bookish appeal, Langdon knew better.

If Boston Magazine could see me now.

Last month, much to Langdon's embarrassment, Boston Magazine had listed him as one of that city's top ten most intriguing people--a dubious honor that made him the brunt of endless ribbing by his Harvard colleagues. Tonight, three thousand miles from home, the accolade had resurfaced to haunt him at the lecture he had given.

"Ladies and gentlemen . . ." the hostess had announced to a full-house at The American University of Paris's Pavillon Dauphine, "Our guest tonight needs no introduction. He is the author of numerous books: The Symbology of Secret Sects, The Art of the Illuminati, The Lost Language of Ideograms, and when I say he wrote the book on Religious Iconology, I mean that quite literally. Many of you use his textbooks in class."

The students in the crowd nodded enthusiastically.

"I had planned to introduce him tonight by sharing his impressive curriculum vitae, however . . ." She glanced playfully at Langdon, who was seated onstage. "An audience member has just handed me a far more, shall we say . . . intriguing introduction."

She held up a copy of Boston Magazine.

Langdon cringed. Where the hell did she get that?

The hostess began reading choice excerpts from the inane article, and Langdon felt himself sinking lower and lower in his chair. Thirty seconds later, the crowd was grinning, and the woman showed no signs of letting up. "And Mr. Langdon's refusal to speak publicly about his unusual role in last year's Vatican conclave certainly wins him points on our intrigue-o-meter." The hostess goaded the crowd. "Would you like to hear more?"

The crowd applauded.

Somebody stop her, Langdon pleaded as she dove into the article again.

"Although Professor Langdon might not be considered hunk-handsome like some of our younger awardees, this forty-something academic has more than his share of scholarly allure. His captivating presence is punctuated by an unusually low, baritone speaking voice, which his female students describe as 'chocolate for the ears.''

The hall erupted in laughter.

Langdon forced an awkward smile. He knew what came next--some ridiculous line about "Harrison Ford in Harris tweed"--and because this evening he had figured it was finally safe again to wear his Harris tweed and Burberry turtleneck, he decided to take action.

"Thank you, Monique," Langdon said, standing prematurely and edging her away from the podium. "Boston Magazine clearly has a gift for fiction." He turned to the audience with an embarrassed sigh. "And if I find which one of you provided that article, I'll have the consulate deport you."

The crowd laughed.

"Well, folks, as you all know, I'm here tonight to talk about the power of symbols . . ."

* * *

The ringing of Langdon's hotel phone once again broke the silence.

Groaning in disbelief, he picked up. "Yes?"

As expected, it was the concierge. "Mr. Langdon, again my apologies. I am calling to inform you that your guest is now en route to your room. I thought I should alert you."

Langdon was wide awake now. "You sent someone to my room?"

"I apologize, monsieur, but a man like this . . . I cannot presume the authority to stop him."

"Who exactly is he?"

But the concierge was gone.

Almost immediately, a heavy fist pounded on Langdon's door.

Uncertain, Langdon slid off the bed, feeling his toes sink deep into the savonniere carpet. He donned the hotel bathrobe and moved toward the door. "Who is it?"

"Mr. Langdon? I need to speak with you." The man's English was accented--a sharp, authoritative bark. "My name is Lieutenant Jerome Collet. Direction Centrale Police Judiciaire."

Langdon paused. The Judicial Police? The DCPJ were the rough equivalent of the U.S. FBI.

Leaving the security chain in place, Langdon opened the door a few inches. The face staring back at him was thin and washed out. The man was exceptionally lean, dressed in an official-looking blue uniform.

"May I come in?" the agent asked.

Langdon hesitated, feeling uncertain as the stranger's sallow eyes studied him. "What is this is all about?"

"My capitaine requires your expertise in a private matter."

"Now?" Langdon managed. "It's after midnight."

"Am I correct that you were scheduled to meet with curator of the Louvre this evening? "

Langdon felt a sudden surge of uneasiness. He and the revered curator Jacques Saunière had been slated to meet for drinks after Langdon's lecture tonight, but Saunière had never shown up. "Yes. How did you know that?"

"We found your name in his daily planner."

"I trust nothing is wrong?"

The agent gave a dire sigh and slid a Polaroid snapshot through the narrow opening in the door.

When Langdon saw the photo, his entire body went rigid.

"This photo was taken less than an hour ago. Inside the Louvre."

As Langdon stared at the bizarre image, his initial revulsion and shock gave way to a sudden upwelling of anger. "Who would do this!"

"We had hoped that you might help us answer that very question. Considering your knowledge in symbology and your plans to meet with him."

Langdon stared at the picture, his horror now laced with fear. The image was gruesome and profoundly strange, bringing with it an unsettling sense of deja vu. A little over a year ago, Langdon had received a photograph of a corpse and a similar request for help. Twenty-four hours later, he had almost lost his life inside Vatican City. This photo was entirely different, and yet something about the scenario felt disquietingly familiar.

The agent checked his watch. "My captain is waiting, sir."

Langdon barely heard him. His eyes were still riveted on the picture. "This symbol here, and the way his body is so oddly . . ."

"Positioned?" the agent offered.

Langdon nodded, feeling a chill as he looked up. "I can't imagine who would do this to someone."

The agent looked grim. "You don't understand, Mr. Langdon. What you see in this photograph . . ." He paused. "Monsieur Saunière did that to himself."

2

One mile away, the hulking albino named Silas limped through the front gate of the luxurious brownstone residence on Rue la Bruyere. The spiked cilice belt that he wore around his thigh cut into his flesh, and yet his soul sang with satisfaction of service to the Lord.

Pain is good.


His red eyes scanned the lobby as he entered the residence. Empty. He climbed the stairs quietly, not wanting to awaken any of his fellow numeraries. His bedroom door was open; locks were forbidden here. He entered, closing the door behind him.

The room was spartan--hardwood floors, a pine dresser, a canvas mat in the corner that served as his bed. He was a visitor here this week, and yet for many years he had been blessed with a similar sanctuary in New York City.

The Lord has provided me shelter and purpose in my life.

Tonight, at last, Silas felt he had begun to repay his debt. Hurrying to the dresser, he found the cell phone hidden in his bottom drawer and placed a call to a private extension.

"Yes?" a male voice answered.

"Teacher, I have returned."

"Speak," the voice commanded, sounding pleased to hear from him.

"All four are gone. The three sénéchaux . . . and the Grand Master himself."

There was a momentary pause, as if for prayer. "Then I assume you have the information?"

"All four concurred. Independently."

"And you believed them?"

"Their agreement was too great for coincidence."

An excited breath. "Excellent. I had feared the brotherhood's reputation for secrecy might prevail."

"The prospect of death is strong motivation."

"So, my pupil, tell me what I must know."

Silas knew the information he had gleaned from his victims would come as a shock. "Teacher, all four confirmed the existence of the clef de voûte . . . the legendary keystone."

He heard a quick intake of breath over the phone and could feel the Teacher's excitement. "The keystone. Exactly as we suspected."

According to lore, the brotherhood had created a map of stone--a clef de voûte . . . or keystone--an engraved tablet that revealed the final resting place of the brotherhood's greatest secret...information so powerful that its protection was the reason for the brotherhood's very existence.

"When we possess the keystone," the Teacher said, "we will be only one step away."

"We are closer than you think. The keystone is here in Paris."

"Paris? Incredible. It is almost too easy."

Silas relayed the earlier events of the evening . . . how all four of his victims, moments before death, had desperately tried to buy back their godless lives by telling their secret. Each had told Silas the exact same thing--that the keystone was ingeniously hidden at a precise location inside one of Paris's ancient churches--the Eglise de Saint-Sulpice.

"Inside a House of the Lord," the Teacher exclaimed. "How they mock us!"

"As they have for centuries."

The Teacher fell silent, as if letting the triumph of this moment settle over him. Finally, he spoke. "You have done a great service to God. We have waited centuries for this. You must retrieve the stone for me. Immediately. Tonight. You understand the stakes."

Silas knew the stakes were incalculable, and yet what the Teacher was now commanding seemed impossible. "But the cathedral, it is a fortress. Especially at night. How will I enter?"

With the confident tone of man of enormous influence, the Teacher explained what was to be done.

* * *
When Silas hung up the phone, his skin tingled with anticipation.

One hour, he told himself, grateful that the Teacher had given him time to carry out the necessary penance before entering a house of God. I must purge my soul of today's sins. The sins committed today had been Holy in purpose. Acts of war against the enemies of God had been committed for centuries. Forgiveness was assured.

Even so, Silas knew, absolution required sacrifice.

Pulling his shades, he stripped naked and knelt in the center of his room. Looking down, he examined the spiked cilice belt clamped around his thigh. All true followers of The Way wore this device--a leather strap, studded with sharp metal barbs that cut into the flesh as a perpetual reminder of Christ's suffering. The pain caused by the device also helped counteract the desires of the flesh.

Although Silas already had worn his cilice today longer than the requisite two hours, he knew today was no ordinary day. Grasping the buckle, he cinched it one notch tighter, wincing as the barbs dug deeper into his flesh. Exhaling slowly, he savored the cleansing ritual of his pain.

Pain is good, Silas whispered, repeating the sacred mantra of Father Josemaria Escriva--the Teacher of all Teachers. Although Escriva had died in 1975, his wisdom lived on, his words still whispered by thousands of faithful servants around the globe as they knelt on the floor and performed the sacred practice known as "corporal mortification."

Silas turned his attention now to a heavy knotted rope coiled neatly on the floor beside him. The Discipline. The knots were caked with dried blood. Eager for the purifying effects of his own agony, Silas said a quick prayer. Then, gripping one end of the rope, he closed his eyes and swung it hard over his shoulder, feeling the knots slap against his back. He whipped it over his shoulder again, slashing at his flesh. Again and again, he lashed.

Castigo corpus meum.

Finally, he felt the blood begin to flow. --Ce texte fait référence à l'édition Relié .

Revue de presse

"'Intrigue and menace mingle in one of the finest mysteries I've ever read. An amazing tale with enigmas piled on secrets stacked on riddles'" (Clive Cussler)

"'The more I read, the more I had to read. Dan Brown has built a world that is rich in fascinating detail, and I could not get enough of it. Mr. Brown, I am your fan'" (Robert Crais)

"'Wow...Blockbuster perfection...An exhilaratingly brainy thriller. Not since the advent of Harry Potter has an author so flagrantly delighted in leading readers on a breathless chase'" (The New York Times)

"'Fascinating and absorbing...A great, riveting read. I loved this book'" (Harlan Coben)


Détails sur le produit

  • Broché: 608 pages
  • Editeur : Corgi; Édition : New edition (1 mars 2004)
  • Collection : Robert Langdon
  • Langue : Anglais
  • ISBN-10: 0552149519
  • ISBN-13: 978-0752100401
  • Dimensions du produit: 10,6 x 3,6 x 17,8 cm
  • Moyenne des commentaires client : 3.6 étoiles sur 5  Voir tous les commentaires (62 commentaires client)
  • Classement des meilleures ventes d'Amazon: 128.670 en Livres anglais et étrangers (Voir les 100 premiers en Livres anglais et étrangers)
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3 internautes sur 3 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile  Par F. Damaj sur 23 janvier 2005
Format: Broché
Strangely this book does manage to catch your interest immediately. The idea of starting with a murder under mysterious circumstances does lock you into further reading in this 'whodunnit' chase. However, the storyline, which the author unfolds like a Russian doll, loses its threads and falls apart midway through. What shocked me however, was that some of the information in the book was taken straight off websites (verbatim!) which alarmed me at the level of plagerism the author undertook without the least effort to change the wording. And while some of the historical information discussed is intersting and has been the question of dispute for years, the author's plot is an insult to anyone's intelligence. The storyline becomes so rediculous at one stage that I simply read it till the end just to see how far the author will go. Unfortunately he went way too far.
I second the earlier comments on the in-accuracies mentioned in the book. I live in Paris and some of the commentary is pure americana writing destined to impress the reader with the knowledge (or lack of it thereoff) of the author on the city of Paris and the French. The book makes you learn a little, gawk a little, and certainly entertain you a little, but it is far from being anywhere close to a masterpiece. I do not understand all the hype.
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2 internautes sur 2 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile  Par Arnaud Meuret sur 13 janvier 2009
Format: Relié
Au delà de toute considération historique et de polémiques
religieuses, je ne cherchais qu'un bon roman mélant aventure,
machinations et énigmes. J'ai été très déçu de ne rien trouver de
tout cela. Malgré un début assez prometteur, on trébuche rapidement sur
les nombreuses naïvetés de l'auteur. Là où l'on espérait de belles
énigmes on ne trouve que de pathétiques "casses-têtes" pour enfant
de huit ans. Les descriptions et décryptages pseudo-historiques
ne sont que des dérives hors-sujet par rapport à l'intrigue et
ininteressantes pour le lecteur venu seulement se divertir. On
dirait par moment un exercice d'écriture "à la manière de..."
Umberto Eco fait par un étudiant en litérature médiocre.

Ecrire une bonne fin est toujours très délicat, ici l'auteur nous
inflige un épilogue particulièrement navrant.
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18 internautes sur 21 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile  Par Fran59 sur 3 juin 2004
Format: Broché
Ce livre est apparemment assez controverse de par son contenu : certains trouvent que les faits "historiques" ne sont pas fiables, ensuite il y a le sujet meme du livre...
Quant a moi, j'ai trouve cette lecture tres plaisante; je ne pense pas que l'auteur ait voulu ecrire un precis d'histoire, ni de religion d'ailleurs, il a simplement ecrit une fiction pour seul but de nous divertir. Les speculations faites ne sont d'ailleurs pas nouvelles et certains enonces sont d'ailleurs des faits (ex : l'image de Marie tenant l'enfant Jesus est une transposition de la reine Isis avec son fils Horus en Ancienne Egypte que les Romains ont reprise)
Au deuxieme degre, j'attirai simplement l'attention aux deux dernieres pages du chapitre 82, qui a mon avis est ce qu'il y a d'important a retenir au-dela de l'intrigue : toujours pouvoir remettre ses croyances en question, quelles qu'elles soient... Tout dogme rigide n'invite pas forcement a la reflexion et a la remise en cause. Gardons l'esprit ouvert et soyons tolerant.
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22 internautes sur 26 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile  Par Connie Richards sur 16 septembre 2004
Format: Broché
Sorry my French is not good enough, so I must review in English. While I found this book entertaining, I did not think it much better then the average thriller. Its something to pass the time at the airport or the beach, but it is by no means great literature. I am facsinated by the fact it has sold so many copies. Why? The author plays fast and loose with historical fact, so I hope the average reader does not read it as fact. If you like thriller/mysteries with an arcehological bent, check out: "A Tourist in the Yucatan" entertaining read!
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2 internautes sur 2 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile  Par Megalê Hellas sur 3 décembre 2005
Format: Broché
Peut-être le livre le plus "addictif" qu'il m'a été donné de lire. Cependant les ficelles sont grosses: suspens artificiel en fin de chapitres, changement de point de vue à chaque chapitre... Et une fois la lecture finie on est bien déçu, il s'est finalement pas passé grand-chose. Pas suffisamment pour donner envie de le relire en tout cas.
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11 internautes sur 13 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile  Par M. Bauvieux Mme Dervillé sur 20 novembre 2004
Format: Broché
Un roman écrit comme un scénario de blockbuster. Le lecteur ou le futur spectateur n'est pas supposé reprendre son souffle. Il ne faut pas chercher une création littéraire mais un divertissement rythmé comme un « Indiana Jones » avec qui le héros porte un certain nombre de ressemblances. Avis aux susceptibles qui ne manqueront pas de se froisser de remarques anti-françaises visant à caresser dans le sens du poil le lecteur américain lambda 2004, ou aux parisiens qui découvriront par exemple que des Tuileries on a vue sur quasiment tous les monuments de Paris ! Les codes qui ponctuent l'histoire sont parfois naïfs et les rebondissements propres au genre film d'action. Ce qui fait le charme du sujet est sans doute l'exotisme de la secte Opus Dei.
A lire une fois.
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