The Dick Cheney Code


Henry Beard


Mystery / Thriller


Date Reviewed:

April 18, 2009

picked up this book because I had just finished The Da Vinci Cod by Don Brine, which was another book parodying Dan Brown's original. The library had a display of humor books, and after I finished the Da Vinci Cod, I read this one to see if it would be as funny. However, I thought the Da Vinci Cod was a better book than this one.

The Dick Cheney Code starts off as a parody of the story in the Da Vinci Code, with the setting for this book taking place in the Smithsonian rather than the Louvre. Our hero is William Franklin, a dimwit professor who is working on a blockbuster book called the Monticello Code. Franklin is mostly a non-factor in this story - he gets to stay some dopey things, but mostly he is just along for the ride. The true leading character of the book is the heroine, Sandra Hemmings Dumont, a descendant of Sally Hemmings, the slave of Thomas Jefferson who allegedly was also his mistress. Almost as soon as the story starts, it quickly digresses into a different direction, the characters and scenes don't even resemble what happens in Dan Brown's book.

The first part of the book is funnier, because at least it tries to replay some of the scenes from the Da Vinci Code, but the story is altered with ridiculous dialogue and absurd plot. The second half of the book isn't as good. It doesn't parody the Da Vinci Code at all, it isn't even recognizable as the same story. The story degenerates into complete silliness, which makes it less funny. For example, Dick Cheney arrives at the White House and has an urgent meeting with George W Bush about the upcoming election. Bush tries to rally his team by misspelling V-I-C-T-O-R-Y - but as a joke this is inevitable and thus not funny. Humor is based on suprise. Another chapter has Richard Nixon appear from hell to lecture to the assembled heads of the evil cabal that controls the world - Henry Kissinger, Dick Cheney, Queen Elizabeth, Greenspan, etc. This doesn't make a lick of sense, it is just inserted for cheap laughs. I'm no fan of the Bush adminstration, but this is too easy, and thus it is not as clever or funny. How is any of this material a parody of the Da Vinci code?

The Da Vinci Cod at least came up with a story to tell, with a mocking version of the Da Vinci Code. In the The Dick Cheney Code there are a lot of easy shots at the Bush administration, but the jokes are too obvious (Surprise! Bush is really a nitwit!) and the story is incoherent. If something is going to be a parody, shouldn't it at least resemble the original in some sort of ridiculous, distorted manner?