: This post contains spoilers for The Da Vinci Code.

I read about fifty pages of The Da Vinci Code before hurling it across the room. I sat through the stupid movie – the whole thing – and hated every miserable moment. It now faces some stiff competition from Twilight, but before this year I would have been hard-pressed to come up with a less interesting pop culture phenomenon. At least for a non-Christian like me, who has no reason to be stunned by the notion of Jesus Christ having procreated, The Da Vinci Code simply had nothing to offer.

I don't consider myself a masochist, but I don't mind being a guinea pig. So I thought doing Angels & Demons in this column would be fun, in a way.

It would have been great to be able to say that Angels & Demons was some sort of revelation (no pun intended); it certainly would have made this post easier to write. Alas, it ranks among the dumbest things I've ever read: an adventure book for fourth-graders, seemingly written by a sixth-grader. In an effort to make itself "accessible" to absolutely everyone, it makes its characters into nitwits – which is problematic since its characters are Harvard professors and world-class particle physicists. Dr. Robert Langdon, played by Tom Hanks in both films, has never heard of a particle accelerator – or maybe he has, and is just astounded to learn that it's an enormous underground structure. Antimatter is a new concept as well. At one point, the novel helpfully explains who Galileo was. You get the idea.