The Codex



  • The codex [sound recording] / Douglas Preston.


Publication Info

  • New York, N.Y. : Audio Renaissance, 2004.



  • 1593973624; $29.95


  • 5 sound discs (5 hr.) :


  • Cassette
  • Paperback
  • Hardcover
  • Large Print


3Q, 4P


Maxwell Broadbent disappears into the jungle to bury himself with the priceless treasures gathered over a lifetime of tomb raiding and challenges his sons to find him if they want their inheritance.


Philip, Tom, and Vernon Broadbent are summoned to their dying father’s home. They arrive to find the home ransacked, with invaluable treasures and their father missing. During the investigation the police find a tape that proves it was not foul play. Instead, Maxwell Broadbent, disappointed in how his sons have turned out, has recorded a challenge: he is burying himself and their inheritance in a tomb somewhere in the world. To get their inheritance, they must find him.The three brothers take separate courses, and must survive murderous competitors, tropical diseases, and suspicious native tribes to find their father’s hidden tomb.


The story starts out very slowly, the author taking time to set up the plot and introduce the characters. The reader must persevere some tracks (or pages) before the adventure really picks up; however, the latter half of the book is more exciting and contains a few fun surprises.

The quality of the audiobook is good. The sound is clear. A little atmospheric jungle music introduces each disc. The narrator’s voice is raspy, which works fine for most characters, but not so great for the lead female. He differentiates the characters with tone and accents and is quite good at this. It is enjoyable to listen to for the listener who can persevere past the slow beginning. In fact, the audiobook was a winner of the AudioFile Earphones Award in 2004.


Douglas Preston shares a website with his frequent co-author, Lincoln Child.




AudioFile Magazine


Action/Adventure; Thriller; Suspense

Appeal Factors

Many reviewers compare The Codex to the Indiana Jones series, so fans of that series may enjoy this book. It offers adventure in the jungle and also a dose of humor.


Amazonia, by James Rollins. Both novels share a jungle setting, an adventurous atmosphere, and suspense. In Amazonia, a medical/military team journeys through the Amazon rainforest.

Havana Storm, by Clive Cussler. These novels share the genre Thriller/Action Adventure and the topic of treasure hunting.

Pirate Latitudes, by Michael Crichton. This book has in common the factors of fast-paced suspense and the genre Thriller/Action Adventure. Both novels also share the topic of treasure hunting.

The Columbus Affair, by Steve Berry. These books share the genres of Thriller and Suspense and the subjects of treasure hunting and quest.


AudioFile Earphones Award, 2004

Booktalk Ideas

A booktalk on this novel would be most exciting if describing a portion of the journey of the protaganists through the jungle–the fear of hostile tribes; bloodthirsty insects, pirrhanas, snakes, and jaguars; deadly unknown diseases; and most frightening of all, a human hunter intent on having the treasure for himself. The talk could highlight the value of the Codex in making the dangers worthwhile.

Discussion Questions

Do you think Maxwell’s sons were spoiled by their life of ease, or were they freed to be what they wanted? What did you think of Maxwell’s “solution” to their shortcomings? Which son did you think had the best chance of success?

This novel brings up the issue of grave robbing and the removal of antiquities from nations. When these treasures are found, to whom should they belong? Should there be financial reward for the finders?

How much medical/pharmacological knowledge do you think remains hidden in ancient practices and medicines? If such a store of knowledge as the Codex exists, to whom should it go? Should any one person or company profit?

Did Preston depict the native Honduran people fairly, or were they stereotyped? Explain your answers.

Why I chose this book

I wanted to read an adventure story, and the plot sounded interesting–sons seeking their father’s hidden tomb somewhere in the world in order to gain their inheritance.

Memory Hooks

Borabay; treasure hunters; tombs; Maxwell Broadbent; Codex




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