Posted in Historical

Code 632

This was way better than the Da Vinci Code!!!!! So a Codex is an old manuscript. I think specifically from the Middle Ages. 

Thomas Noronha is a professor of history and an expert crypotographer teaching at a university in Lisbon Portugal. He is hired to finish the research/investigation of a scholar (Toscano) found dead in Brazil under usual circumstances. It has to due with the scholar’s research on Christopher Columbus. 


It’s the code on Toscano’s papers that drives Noronha’s investigation. His investigation takes him from Lisbon to New York to Brazil back to Lisbon. He revisits history, the more contradictory parts, to determine who was man who supposedly discovered American, because it doesn’t seem Christopher Columbus was the man we thought. 

This book was awesome!! I liked it so much better than The Da Vinci Code. There were three main things I liked about it:

Main Character
The protagonist is very ordinary. He’s a professor who when the story begins is teaching hieroglyphics. He does have a flaw. He’s married and has a daughter with Down’s syndrome. His marriage has been falling apart since the little girl was diagnosed. His motivation for taking the job is that he and his wife struggle to pay their daughter’s medical bills. The American foundation that has hired him will pay him $5,000 a week and $500,000 when the investigation is complete. Noronha taking on this job is definitely a slippery slope. And he does pretty far down- adultery, family neglect, deception. On one hand I liked the character, but on the other hand I was a little bit frustrated with how naive the man was. I mean first off, the man whose research he was completing dies mysteriously. (I’d wonder what I was getting myself into). Then he has at least two people ask him did he had dealings with the American Foundation. I mean was he ever going to ask or check up on those folks? I mean seriously you’ve always got to be careful of people throwing big bucks at you. And seriously anytime a woman you are seeing on the side, up an vanishes after you dump her. Hello!!!! But before you get to that part, seriously have men never hear the expression “dangerous beauty?” I mean I’m sure the professor was a decent looking sort of chap but really, outstandingly gorgeous women don’t generally go for academics. That should have been his first clue something was up. I love it when you feel like you could just shake a character to death because they are being kind of dumb. I think what I liked about it most was that the character truly saw how futile all he did was. I mean he did it all for money, and in the end his money did him no good. He spent his time “being” so hurt about his daughter’s condition that he just let it destroy the relationships that matter. Unfortunately by the time he realized the value and importance of his daughter’s life, it really was too late. 

The plot advanced through historical research. What I liked is how the author took the reader through what historians typically do the verify ancient writing. You had to identify the writer, audience, motivations, bias, and prejudice. In many ways it was like the investigation I do when I work a case. I think I would have enjoyed excerpts of the actual books in the text; but I suppose that would have been impossible for the author to pull off. I mean it seems that the author did a lot of research, it would have been impractical for him to add all of that. I suppose I’ll just have to visit Portugal some day. I liked the history of the Kabbalah. I was nice to have something substantive to think about it rather than merely knowing Madonna and Britney Spears are into it. It was a lot easier to follow the unfolding of the mystery than it was in the Da Vinci Code. I mean the angrams, riddles, and such were annoying. I mean heck there was no way to figure stuff out with the characters as the story progress. But in this book as Thomas was taking me through the history the clouds were breaking for me. 

I’m thinking of giving out a man of the year award. Jose you’re going to be the first to receive it!! The language of flowers!!!!!! Excellent. I don’t think I’ve ever met a man (figuratively as I have never actually met the man) who knew that back in the day men and women used to communicate using flowers. When Thomas finds those flowers—- that’s got to be the best break up scene in all of history!! It was classy and dignified and so intellectual! I’m stealing this idea for when I have to break up with someone. Why yell an scream when you can just leave foxglove and yellow roses. In general I was impressed by the level of scholarship that went into this book. You readers know I can be somewhat anal when it comes to historical facts. I checked some stuff online. A great deal about Columbus really isn’t known. In an interview, the author said he wanted to get information that was not widely known out in the public. And this story certainly did that. So maybe we’ll see a history channel special about who Christopher Columbus really was.


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