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Not One But Two Parodies of The Da Vinci Code...And They Both Have The Same Book Title!


WHEN Dan Brown’s best-selling and controversial novel, “The Da Vinci Code”, exploded onto the literary scene in 2003, it was expected that someone with a great deal of imagination, humor, wit and most of all, literary audacity, would do a parody of it in some shape or form.

Well, not one but two books have audaciously sprung from Dan Brown’s best selling novel. And although one cannot be really sure what to call them – spoof? parody? satire? send-up? homage? – one can certainly refer to both of them by just one book title. Yes, the two books are both cleverly titled The Givenchy Code.

The first on the bookshelves, published January 2005, is author ER Escober’s version. Its complete book title is The Givenchy Code: An Homage and a Parody. Two of this book’s features are worth mentioning upfront. First is the book’s cover. Like The Da Vinci Code, Escober’s cover also features the Mona Lisa, only now it is altered to not only smile mysteriously but also to wink at us, hinting at the novel’s bombshell of a secret concerning the Grail. No shortcuts are permitted here though this much can be revealed: the ‘secret’ has nothing to do with Mary Magdalene. Second, the author clarifies that in his book, ‘Givenchy’ should not be pronounced ‘Zhjee-vahn-shee’ but ‘Gah-ven-chee”, for the joke to work in the title.

Due out in June 2005 is the second Givenchy Code by author Julie Kenner. Its complete book title is The Givenchy Code: Cryptography Is The New Black. The cover also takes inspirations from the Da Vinci Code cover of Mona Lisa looking through a tear in the book’s cover, only this time, it’s a modern-looking, blue-eyed woman doing the peeking.

What’s in store for these two parodies of the same title? Well, first there’s the question of whether Escober and Kenner could sue each other for using the same title. Since book titles cannot be copyrighted that, obviously, is out of the question. Can The Da Vinci Code author Dan Brown sue them the way the Mitchell estate sued the publishers of The Wind Done Gone, a parody of Gone With the Wind? Given the absurdity of that lawsuit and considering how busy he is writing the sequel to his mega-bestseller, it is doubtful Mr. Brown will even bother. If anything, he should be absolutely flattered. As for these two parodies of the same book title, they’ll probably join the numerous books that have hit the bookshelves in hopes of cashing in on the novel’s popularity such as: Cracking Da Vinci Code: You’ve Read the Fiction Now Read The Facts; Decoding Da Vinci; and Da Vinci Code Decoded. All are currently selling quite well.


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