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The Secret Supper: A Novel by Javier Sierra

The Secret Supper: A Novel (2004)

by Javier Sierra

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
1,142407,160 (3.31)18
  1. 00
    Labyrinth by Kate Mosse (thebookpile)
  2. 11
    The Gnostic Gospels by Elaine Pagels (uitdepolder)
  3. 00
    Leonardo's Shadow: Or, My Astonishing Life as Leonardo da Vinci's Servant by Christopher Grey (Caramellunacy)
    Caramellunacy: Leonardo's Shadow is a young adult novel surrounding the artist's Last Supper - including a puzzle hidden in its depths. It's less puzzle-thriller than Secret Supper, but a good read.
  4. 01
    The Poet Prince by Kathleen McGowan (uitdepolder)

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English (32)  Spanish (4)  Dutch (1)  Italian (1)  Hungarian (1)  German (1)  All languages (40)
Showing 1-5 of 32 (next | show all)
Another historical thriller based around da Vinci's The Last Supper. Nowhere near as taut and intriguing as The DaVinci Code, but interesting nonetheless.

Bookcrossing: http://www.bookcrossing.com/journal/6925184/ ( )
  wareagle78 | Jan 22, 2014 |
I liked this historical thriller about Da Vinci, The Last Supper, religious and political intrigue in the 15th century. Sometimes there are mysteries and sometimes there are nothing to find, except rumors. ( )
  krin5292 | Nov 16, 2013 |
The Secret Supper - well named as it kept its secret from me ... I still have to discover why Javier Sierra felt compelled to put pen to paper.

I ploughed through the 323 pages, flicking backwards and forwards from the text to the cover to the review and back to the text to get some sense of what I was reading and where the - so called - plot was going. In the end it proved simple and I was left wondering why the mystery and where the ‘enigma’.

Difficult to read, boring and - above all - a total waste of time for Sierra and me! ( )
  eas | May 28, 2012 |
Excellent ( )
  brone | Feb 21, 2012 |
I have tried several times to get into this. The subject matter is interesting. I'll try again someday.
  brian_irons | Nov 12, 2011 |
Showing 1-5 of 32 (next | show all)
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To Eva,
who has illuminated the path of this traveller
First words
No one took any notice.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Original title: La Cena Secreta
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Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0743287649, Hardcover)

The Da Vinci juggernaut rolls on, this time in the capable hands of a bestselling author in the Spanish-speaking world. The Secret Supper has been ably translated by Alberto Manguel, author of A History of Reading, that delightful revelation that squiggles on a page are words, and words make stories. Set in 1497 Milan, at the time of the painting of the Cenacolo, or The Last Supper, in the refectory of Santa Maria delle Grazie, Sierra has created a tale of religious fanaticism, betrayal, murder, Church politics, artistic chicanery and mystery to confound the reader.

Fra Agostino Leyre, a Papal Inquisitor, is sent to Milan to confirm--or not--the messages of the "Soothsayer," who alleges that Leonardo Da Vinci is a heretic and has hidden heretical messages in his painting of The Last Supper. Leonardo is a figure larger than life, literally. A blue-eyed, tall, handsome man, always dressed in white, he is surrounded by faithful students and friends who are his acolytes. His brilliant mind, ranging over a multitude of ideas, has gained him a reputation for "hiding heterodox ideas in paintings apparently pious."

What Father Agostino follows is a labyrinthine path through alliances and rivalries, differences of opinion about Leonardo and a discussion of the heresy of the Cathars. They are a fascinating sect, more extra-Christianity than Christian heretics. Their practices are based on a belief that certain deprivations--primarily food and sex--will purify and make them worthy. Sierra is a very fine guide, taking the reader through palaces and monasteries rife with intrigue and typical of the flowering of intellect that came after the Dark Ages. It is a time when "Suddenly, from one day to the next, Plato's Greece, Cleopatra's Egypt and even the extravagant curiosities of the Chinese Empire that Marco Polo discovered seemed to deserve greater praise than our own Scriptural stories." Dangerous for the incumbency.

A compelling case is made that Leonardo's heretical beliefs are there for all to see in The Last Supper, if only we know how to find them. Sierra gives us the key--and keeps the suspense going right up to the end of the book. It isn't necessary to believe any of it, or even care if it's true, to enjoy this pilgrimage through another time and place. --Valerie Ryan

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:26:16 -0400)

(see all 3 descriptions)

Sent to oversee the completion of Da Vinci's "The Last Supper," Dominican inquisitor Fray Agustin Leyre investigates the artist's omission of key elements and use of symbolic imagery, which suggests that there is a coded message in the painting.

» see all 5 descriptions

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