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An Homage And A Parody
by E.R. Escober

In his parody version of The Da Vinci Code aptly titled, The Givenchy Code, author ER Escober has virtually superimposed the content and outline of Dan Brown's best selling book. As critic Allen Gaborro wrote when he reviewed Escober's parody novel:

"It is a mark of literary success when the net of humor and satire is cast over an original work by a creative interloper, thereby altering that work into what promises to be a palimpsest of memorable parody. As Escober writes, "Parody is most effective when the source being mocked is of highest quality and broadest appeal." By that description then, "The Givenchy Code" (Escober clarifies that "Givenchy" is pronounced "Gah-ven-chee" and not "Zhjee-vahn-shee") is the author's equally invigorating and cryptological paean to Dan Brown's "Da Vinci Code." As an innovative Filipino American writer, Escober takes on the role of the humorist of Brown's intricate text. In that spirit, he does not try very hard to hide the almost literal similiarities of his narrative to those of the "Da Vinci Code." On the contrary, Escober closely simulates the structure and atmosphere of Brown's book, while steering clear of the sensitive borders of plagiarism. All the comparable points of facsimile linking both novels lead to a single objective: the unveiling of the Holy Grail's true meaning. Like Brown, Escober does a good job in building up tension, leaving his audience suitably impatient for the climax of finding out what the Grail is really about. By the end of "Givenchy Code," Escober finally divulges a bombshell of a secret concerning the Grail."

Here is an excerpt that gives you a hint of what that SECRET is:

Storms blew away and seas became calm. Madame Au Swait was relaxed again and was now showing her audience a large art book, which the Protégé dug out from under his seat. His seat had a removable lid, a convenient feature for stashing papers, mail, general clutter, and certain illegal substances.

She flipped open the heavy cover as she spoke.

"Europe's old masters recorded flying saucers and UFOs in their paintings as far back as the 15th century. Strange objects in the sky can be found in numerous paintings but they are often overlooked because they are considered extraneous to the subject of the painting when in fact, I think, these artists were trying desperately to include evidence of these strange objects in the sky for later generations to see."

She pointed to a glossy photograph of a painting. All eyes were focused on it.

"This is a painting entitled The Baptism of Christ by an Italian artist named Aert de Gelder." The 1710 painting shows John the Baptist with Jesus beneath what appears to be a flying saucer in the sky shining rays of light on Jesus.

She flipped to another page. "Ah, this one's by a favorite of mine, Sandro Botticelli. It's called The Mystical Nativity." The painting shows a huge, saucer-shaped object in the sky above the manger with a circle of winged beings floating beneath it.

Puca felt a chill looking at the painting. Her brother had a framed copy of this in his bedroom. She never really saw anything beyond the masterful strokes and brilliant colors.

Madame cooed with delight as she turned to another glossy page. "Ah, magnifique!" she exclaimed pointing to the new photo. "The Madonna with Saint Giovannino! I have a copy of this hanging in my study."

Puca nodded. She had seen the print with the expensive frame earlier.

Order your copy of The Givenchy Code: An Homage and A Parody

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