The Da Vinci Code: Do you believe any of it is true?
Do you think Dan Brown has a very active imagination or is what he's saying true?
I think it's no more or less true than any other story involving the Bible.
You understand it's a novel, right?
Ask people in southern France. Many will tell you that Jesus escaped from the cross and ended his life in France.
They pour wine over the penis of ithyphallic saints there, too... and drink it.
He doesn't have a vivid imagination. It's pretty obvious he based his novel on Holy Blood, Holy Grail. There was even a lawsuit actually.
R4, Brown won the lawsuit. Authors borrow ideas and have overlapping concepts all the time. The litigants in that case failed to meet their burden of proof.
R2, while it may be a novel and many of the concepts are fictional, there are aspects of truth to it and many of the historical incidents it discusses are real (eg. the Church wiping out the Knights Templar, the selective choice of which Biblical writings to include in the official Bible, etc.)
R5 I know that he won. But it's still doesn't prove that he has vivid imagination. The main plot (the most interesting and the most controversial one) was borrowed from Holy Blood, Holy Grail. He didn't imagine it himself. I'm not saying it was plagiarism, since he created different story around it, but still, it wasn't his original idea, that nobody thought about before him.
Dan Brown practically lifted Holy Blood Holy Grail wholesale for his book. Anyone who read Holy Blood Holy Grail knew the answers to the mysteries posed in Brown's book. If that isn't plagiarism I don't know what is, despite the court's ruling. If it wasn't illegal, what he did was unethical.
But in answer to your question, who knows if any of it is true. I do know that the Father Sauniere got rich by selling masses. So his sudden wealth did not come from discovering any explosive secrets hidden away in his church or in any tomb.
The basic thesis of the book is simple, and is stated by the grandfather/curator to his granddaughter when she is young: people should have the right to choose in what to believe, not to be told what to believe by the Church.
IMO it wasn't plagiarism because authors of Holy Blood Holy Grail never presented their book as a work of fiction, but as a result of historical research. Whether they were right doesn't matter here. So anybody who creates a fictional work, e.g. a novel based on so called historical events can't be considered plagiarist IMO. It's like some historician has written a book about Lincoln and now was suing Spielberg for making a movie about Lincoln.
And even if authors of Holy Blood Holy Grail promoted their book as a complete fiction, it still wouldn't make The DaVinci Code a plagiat, because Brown didn't re-write the book, he used it as a basis for another story. And that happens a lot of time.
I remember early press for the book. Dan Brown said he was writing about an ancient mystery from art historian circles passed through the ages through hidden messages in paintings etc. I was an art history major and I had never heard the story he was talking about. He even said that he was an art historian which he was not. He was a musician/songwriter. His wife had a heavy hand in the book too.
I was talking to a guy wh was a former physicist who swore up and down that the Da Vinci Code was commissioned by the government. In a way it would explain why it was heavily promoted and astonishingly popular. Everywhere you went someone was clutching a copy.
There is no such thing as a Professor of "Symbology" at Harvard.
Why on earth would the government commission a novel that would piss off the Vatican?
Dan Brown didn't come up with that, OP.
The government is run by satanists, try to keep up.
And yet, R12, the novel made The Vatican very, very angry. They even appointed their own spokesperson to go after him in the press.
It would be interesting to get ex-Senatory Santorum's take on this book. As a member of Opus Dei, he's sure to have a unique viewpoint.