"The greatest novel of ideas of our times, in case you didn't know, is Dan Brown's The Da Vinci Code. No novel in recent years has had anything like its impact in terms of challenging, refining and enlarging people's thoughts and emotions. It may be an absurd rigmarole - and indeed still hardly a week goes by without some Grumpy Old Man or knee-jerking journalist complaining about how badly writen it is - compared to what, an opinion piece in a daily paper? - but when it comes to raising interesting questions for the average man in the street about the role of the church, about art history and, most importantly, about whether Jesus fathered a child with Mary Magdalen and whether their only living descendent might look a bit like Audrey Tatou, Brown is absolutly without equal. Ministers of religion and professors of science can call all they like for national debates on important issues of faith; some cheapjack novelist has already done it for them."
[From article in London Review of Books vol 28 no 13]