It was inevitable. At some point, I had to read it. I'm surprised that I didn't read it at the height of the Da Vinci Code fuss, but it took messed up ligaments to get me sitting in bed and reading.
It's interesting the amount of negative criticism on Dan Brown's writing. Before I read the book, I remember thinking that someone doesn't take off like he did without good writing. Now, I'm not going to criticize him. Much.
Flashbacks are difficult, I admit. 'Had' seems to be a dirty word, from what I hear. But still, if you're going to flashback, I think it's acceptable to use at least ONE 'had' so that we have some clue that we're actually moving back ten years in the middle of a paragraph.
And if one does flashback in the middle of a paragraph, there seems to me a promise that one should come back to the future by the end of that paragraph, not a page later.
While reading The DaVinci Code, I kept reeling in confusion for a few sentences, and then having to skim both forward and backward to confirm that yes, we are flashing back right now. And then I'd have to go back and mentally adjust before re-reading the flashback.
That was a criticism, wasn't it?
But all in all, it was much better than the movie. *grins* The movie is just like coloring in the lines: you need to read the book and then watch the movie.
As far as his writing ... well, his story crafting is obviously fantastic, because I couldn't put the book down. There's a lot of information/idea dump in it, but let me tell you, it's fascinating. So break those rules all you want. The flashback-ing?? Well, I felt like I was devouring my dad's perfectly-seasoned ribs and drinking my mom's warmish sun tea on a sunny July picnic, and flies kept swarming around me.
The flashbacks are annoying pests in The DaVinci Code! They don't undermine the fascinating story, though!