Just Finished Reading- The Da Vinci Code

Message Bookmarked
Bookmark Removed
I got this book for Christmas and read it all yesterday. Seriously good, I thought. Very exciting. All about the Holy Grail, Knights Templar, Priory of Scion, etc. It was also fun to read along with an art book, so that you can look at some of the paintings mentioned. Also, the story coincides with a comic I'm currently reading: Rex Mundi. It's rather chilling how close the comic's theme is with the novel's. I think a good book makes you want to do more research on the subject matter and that's the way I felt about The Da Vinci Code.

Vermont Girl (Vermont Girl), Monday, 1 March 2004 13:50 (sixteen years ago) link

Vermont Girl -- maybe you can answer a question for me.

I've read several wonderful non-fiction books on the subjects you mention above (best being The Templar Revelation, a MUST read.)

I read these based off things that were discussed (in detail) in Foucault's Pendulum. (A novel I loved.)

It's my belief that The Da Vinci Code is simply a dumbed-down, simplified version of the Eco novel. Is this a fair assessment?

BabyBuddha (BabyBuddha), Monday, 1 March 2004 15:55 (sixteen years ago) link

I haven't read Foucault's Pendulum, so I can't compare the two. I will say, though, that The Da Vinci Code is a mass-appeal/mass-friendly book and I don't think there's anything wrong with that. It's been on the BookSense Hardcover Bestseller list for 48 weeks and The New York Times Hardcover Bestseller list for 49 weeks. Obviously people like the book and are spreading the word, which is fantastic; more people are reading!

I wouldn't call it 'a dumbed-down' version of Eco's work (in general). Maybe you could say it's 'not as scholastic' or 'more plot-centric' (as opposed to a novel basically being 500 pages of regurgitated research). Dan Brown put a lot of research into The Da Vinci Code but equally blends it with suspense and murder.

The only negative thing I have to say about the book is that there are a couple references to current media (e.g. Tom Cruise and Eyes Wide Shut) and I thought this dated the book. But, who knows, maybe this book is just meant to be hott for a few years and then disappear into obscurity.

Vermont Girl (Vermont Girl), Monday, 1 March 2004 17:06 (sixteen years ago) link

The Eco book does indeed have a plot -- really, it's not just regurgitated research.

Can you speak a bit about the mentioning of Eyes Wide Shut? I'm very familiar with the novella it was based off of, and I'd be hard pressed to find something related to Jesus, Templars, etc. (I do hope it's not the orgy scene he's speaking about -- as if it was some sort of Masonic rite.)

I am sort of tempted to read it, even if just for fun.

BabyBuddha (BabyBuddha), Monday, 1 March 2004 18:11 (sixteen years ago) link

x-post

The Da Vinci Code made the family rounds this Christmas, so I have a soft spot for it. It is, though, a bit lightweight compared to Foucault's Pendulum, in that the megaconspiracy theory's never subjected to any true skeptical inquiry--although maybe that comparison's not entirely fair, since FP's devoted to debunking conspiracies en masse, while DVC's providing a pulpy, Indian Jones-style romp framed by the Magdalene heresy. Anyways, DVC's a hell of a lot more fun of a read than FP. But it's no Illuminatus! Trilogy.

otto, Monday, 1 March 2004 18:12 (sixteen years ago) link

>(I do hope it's not the orgy scene he's speaking about -- as if it was some sort of Masonic rite.)

Ha ha ha, you're exactly right. Brown wrote that the specifics of Eyes Wide Shut wasn't correct, but that the... I guess, deeper fundamental reason for it was right. There wasn't a whole lot of Godess worship that I saw in the scene, but that should have been the reason for it.

Vermont Girl (Vermont Girl), Monday, 1 March 2004 20:41 (sixteen years ago) link

I had a love/hate relationship with this book. I found it dumbed down not in the subject matter, but rather in the writing style. Once the action starts, the chapters go back and forth between various characters. I found that the author did way too much recap in the fist few paragraphs to ctach the reader up on what had transpired in the previous chapter, which was often only three or four pages prior. I kept wanting to yell - "I can keep up!". I am also leery of conspiracy theories involving religion - too "Elders of Zion" for me. So those were my gripes. Meanwhile, I read the book in two days, and I spent at least another two days on the internet researching the subject matter to see where the author's theories and those of theologians diverged. It was very interesting. I'm curious now to check out Eco's book.

Phastbuck, Monday, 1 March 2004 21:41 (sixteen years ago) link

I bought this book because my boyfriend's parents wouldn't stop raving about it. I don't normally care too much for current mainstream fiction myself, but I finished this book in two nights because I couldn't put it down =) The writing and dialogue were a bit shaky at points, but on the whole I enjoyed it immensely and immediately passed it on to others. I'm a legendary math phobe, but it made me want to further research the concept of PHI and the Fibonacci sequence (admittedly, I have not done so yet). There's a nonfiction book that bookstores around here are pushing now, obviously to capitalize on "Da Vinci Code" popularity, called "Holy Blood, Holy Grail" or something like that...has anyone checked that out?

Natalie (Penny Dreadful), Wednesday, 3 March 2004 13:30 (sixteen years ago) link

Natalie: Laura Miller wrote about the connection between the Da Vinci Code and Holy Blood, Holy Grail in her Feb 22 column in the NY Times Book Review. not flatteringly.

slow learner (slow learner), Wednesday, 3 March 2004 22:20 (sixteen years ago) link

I enjoyed "The Da Vinci Code" and recommended it to a number of people. So many folks have no ideas outside the mainstream; I'm always pleased when a piece of light fiction brings a little known set of ideas to a broader public. I know it made a few people of my acquaintance question their assumptions and my fundamentalist Catholic boss refuses to read it for FEAR it will make her question her assumptions. Actually, "Angels and Demons", an earlier book by Brown, had much in common with the Eco book you mention. I think Eco is a better writer than Brown, but the research about the Catholic church seemed to be solid in all three books.

Rabin the Cat (Rabin the Cat), Friday, 5 March 2004 16:10 (sixteen years ago) link

Brown takes several liberties with history and even wanders into territory he is not familiar with. His research on most topics is superficial while his descriptions are lazy and lifeless, as if he's just done a copy and paste job from an encyclopaedia or tourist information website. This style results in a lot of facts that are, ultimately, irrelevant and jar what narrative there is.

He's not the best writer. In fact, he obviously hasn't been taught the basic rule 'show, don't tell' as most of the text is expository.

Other things that annoyed me are simple facts which he get wrong. An example being that England is the only country in Europe where cars are driven on the left side of the road. This is completely wrong as he obviously hasn't researched the side of the road they drive on in Scotland, Ireland, Northern Ireland, Wales, Malta, and Cyprus.

He also has an English character who talks about 'soccer' - no Englishmen anyone knows would call it that.

The anagrams and word associations that make up the characters' names is nice though. The main antagonist's being constructed from the surnames of two authors involved with 'Holy Blood, Holy Grail.'

All in all, the book is a film script written as prose. It's incomplete; it needs a musical score to give it any sort of emotion.

Honesty, Tuesday, 9 March 2004 23:15 (sixteen years ago) link

>The anagrams and word associations that make up the characters' names is nice though. The main antagonist's being constructed from the surnames of two authors involved with 'Holy Blood, Holy Grail.'

Really? That's so interesting. I'm going to have to check that out at home tonight.

Vermont Girl (Vermont Girl), Wednesday, 10 March 2004 13:06 (sixteen years ago) link

I haven't yet read "Da Vinci Code," but I read "Angels & Demons" and enjoyed it, despite the clumsy writing. I was misled by the writing style into thinking it was going to be predictable, but it wasn't. (In fact, it skewed so wildly at the end that I wondered if Brown's editor had told him "This is too predictable--change it entirely!") Now you folks have made me want to read Eco's book, though it took me a long time to trudge through "The Name of the Rose" (which I enjoyed, however).

Carol Robinson (carrobin), Friday, 19 March 2004 23:04 (sixteen years ago) link

I am spooked by the fact that so many of us seem to have had the same experience with this book. I also read it in one day because I couldn't put it down. I too do not normally read Corgi paperbacks. But I really, really enjoyed it. I am almost looking forward to being trapped in an airport for an extended period of time now, so that I can pick up some of his other books.

My boyfriend assures me that Foucault's Pendulum is extremely dull, so I won't be bothering with it, but might start checking out a few conspiracy websites. I'm a total sucker for the spooky elements of catholicism.

accentmonkey (accentmonkey), Saturday, 20 March 2004 22:38 (sixteen years ago) link

I loved reading the DaVinci Code, but I hated the "babe" factor. (Angels and Demons is worse - anonymous sex between protagonists) And the ending, with the babe, is ludicrous. But the book is a great impetus for people to explore other authors. You might not love "Foucalt's Pendulum", but you might love some of Umberto Eco's other works. My defense of Eco is that it doesn't wander into highly implausible (and sexist)territory via a convenient woman character. Anyway, Dan Brown wrote a book that I couldn't put down and that, it seems, is leading readers to other authors. That's good for everyone, right?

aimurchie, Sunday, 21 March 2004 20:01 (sixteen years ago) link

I just read the "Da Vinci Code"... my reaction: it's just full of crap! I wish I read a review first before wasting my time with this book! The only good thing that came out from my reading this book is that this is my first of Dan Brown's books -- and definitely my last! Talk about learning something the hard way!

Jane Dellomes, Saturday, 27 March 2004 00:47 (sixteen years ago) link

>it's just full of crap!

What makes you say that?

And can I just comment on what a phenom this book is? I was at a surprise birthday party this weekend and it turns out that half the people there had read it... It kind of scared me a little.

Vermont Girl (Vermont Girl), Monday, 29 March 2004 12:18 (sixteen years ago) link

My son gave me this book (Da Vinci Code) and I loved it because it sparked an interest in many subjects, such as math, Da Vinci, Priory of Scion, etc. It is the most interesting book I've read in a long time just becuase of these interests. The story line was melodramatic and reminded me of Ludlum's novels (which I haven't read because the first one was sooo melodramatic) Brown's chacerters were interesting so maybe I will investigate some of his other works.

Nancy Bailey, Monday, 5 April 2004 15:48 (sixteen years ago) link

The book is very very good but the end is poor.

alex rj, Thursday, 15 April 2004 11:49 (sixteen years ago) link

well...not been through the end yet but right now, as my clever dad says, the DaVinci code echoes with Eco's (:) "Name of the rose":

Catholic exalted high-ranking murderous priest(s) willing to kill rather than let "dangerous" truth from ancient time/mithology ("nature of holy grail" and "Aristotele's pledge for laughter",respectively, and excuse my didascalic snobbish attitude WINK) come out.
Truth uncovered by cultivated detectives...

isn'tdad smart??


Regarding analogy with Foucault's pendulum, I could not get over page 100 (was I the only one to feel very annoyed by the book pretentious gimmicks ex. untraslated greek quotations??? geez...)

Erykah Jasmine (erykah), Thursday, 15 April 2004 15:25 (sixteen years ago) link

one year passes...
I was always curious as to why Dan Brown's books are so popular,having seen them on the top 10 of most booksellers lists for so long. I read the book and found it to be poorly written, cliche and utterly predictable with an annoyingly nancy-drew-like male protagonist. A forty-year old supersleuth solving intricate ancient puzzles and almost single-handedly unravelling the innermost secrets of the catholic church? It's quite surprising (and disappointing) how so many people are taken in by this blatantly mainstream novel full of poor dialogue and descriptions, with many irrelevant and barely interesting historical facts wound loosely around a weak and unimaginative plot. Definitely one of the most over-exaggerated books I've ever come across.

Michelle B, Monday, 25 July 2005 07:55 (fifteen years ago) link

I couldn't get past the third chapter, the dialogue was utterly ridiculous. Ever since I've been wondering how people can physically get through this thing. Oh well, any bestseller that rattles the cage of the catholic church serves a purpose in my book.

m coleman (lovebug starski), Monday, 25 July 2005 09:57 (fifteen years ago) link

I couldn't finish this book either, not even in Paris, when it being partly set there should have helped. I'm not overly proud of not understanding why it's so popular, though, if I was smarter I would (which isn't to say I'd necessarily like the book).

David Baddiel (I think it was him) was likening it to Dickens in one of the newspapers at the weekend and deploring the snobbish attitude of the literati to this book. Not that I give a toss what DB thinks, but it did have me ruminating on the (admittedly remote-seeming) possibility that this might be regarded as a good book at some point in the future, even though every cell in my brain was telling me it was rubbish when I was trying to read it.

frankiemachine, Monday, 25 July 2005 14:44 (fifteen years ago) link

why this and not other mass-audience books that are at least equally accessible and probably better written, is my question.

Josh (Josh), Monday, 25 July 2005 17:09 (fifteen years ago) link

you people need to get a grip. 50,000,000 elvis fans can't be wrong. there is a place for samuel beckett and there is a place for indiana jones

portishead, Monday, 25 July 2005 21:47 (fifteen years ago) link

actually, I think Josh is just right -- there's a lot of pretty good detective pulp right now; why's da vinci code 'it'? is it marketing?

Remy (x Jeremy), Wednesday, 27 July 2005 04:41 (fifteen years ago) link

I doubt it's marketing - I don't normally buy that Adorno bullshit anyway, but even if I did why would they choose to market that book so heavily? Answer: because word-of-mouth sales indicated they had something very hot to market.

(And in any case I'm regularly in bookshops/read the book pages etc and I only became aware of this book once it had already topped the bestseller lists for months - I couldn't have gone long without hearing about new book by, say, Salman Rushdie who won't be selling in TDVC numbers).

I think the key phrase is "well written". Josh is right: to most people with a taste for literature this is a badly written book. That leaves the mystery of its popularity. If Baddiel is right and it survives to be regarded as literature (that's a very big if, of course, but Baddiel is a reasonably bright guy and his suggestion doesn't have to be right to be interesting, it just has to be not obviously wrong) then what people like me think of as "well-written" is either wrong, or just irrelevant to whether a book is any good. Of course it's difficult for me to see that from where I'm standing. But there are plenty of examples in critical history of work that was regarded as vulgar rubbish by the cognoscenti being accepted as good or even great by later generations.

I just think this has touched on a suspicion that I increasingly have that being conventionally "well-written" is less important than we think, that there are many "well-written" books that are published and deservedly sink without trace every year as well as apparently ill-written books that turn out to be culturally important. I've been reading Don Quixote in translation, one of the great masterpieces of prose fiction, but I'm not convinced it could be described as "well written" as we understand the phrase nowadays. Some of the writing is extraordinarily clumsy but it doesn't detract from the greatness of the book.

frankiemachine, Wednesday, 27 July 2005 11:58 (fifteen years ago) link

its obv coz of the big conspiracy-theory connection the popularity, no? i mean cultcrits could go to town (& not at base wrongly) about the scent of spirituality in the air, the hunger for meaning & order behind a destabilizing world, the idea of gnosticism as the post-soviet-boogeyman instead of terrorists as some sort of displacement (just like the soviet meanace was a displacement at times too), etc.

Sterling Clover (s_clover), Wednesday, 27 July 2005 16:05 (fifteen years ago) link

conspiracy and religion, duh (xpost)

John (jdahlem), Wednesday, 27 July 2005 16:05 (fifteen years ago) link

I half take the point. But the obvious hokiness of the conpiracy/religious bit made that element of the book even more conspicuously "bad" than the wooden prose and two dimensional characterisation. You knew it was rubbish by page 3. You will get a minority of wilfully credulous types who believe or semi-believe it, and I suppose you will see them doing the tour of relevant locations and looking for "evidence"; but I know a number of people who have read & enjoyed this book and I've yet to meet anyone who believes a word of the conspiracy/religious stuff. And there are reams of this kind of conspiracy nonsense both on the fiction and (allegedly) non-fiction shelves of book shops and libraries and most of them don't sell in large quantities. The vast majority of its readers must read it purely as a fantasy/thriller, no more credible than an episode of Buffy.

frankiemachine, Wednesday, 27 July 2005 16:39 (fifteen years ago) link

i'm not at all sure that's true, actually.

John (jdahlem), Wednesday, 27 July 2005 17:41 (fifteen years ago) link

episodes of buffy are quite credible!

(just not abt what you THINK they're credible abt!)

Josh (Josh), Wednesday, 27 July 2005 18:14 (fifteen years ago) link

yeah you don't have to believe it believe it -- you just have to wanna suspend disbelief and play what if, but you still get that sense of wonder and awe and resolution.

also i think way more ppl. are sympathetic to conspiracy theories at the moment than in the recent past -- esp. global and ancient ones.

Sterling Clover (s_clover), Wednesday, 27 July 2005 18:37 (fifteen years ago) link

but ppl aren't suspending disbelief, which is why there's been a "unlocking the da vinci code" or "unraveling the mysteries of the da vinci code" special on tv every other week for the past year and a half. YR FRIENDS ARE TOO SMART AND ITS SKEWING YR PERCEPTION OF SOCIETY AT LARGE.

i dunno what you mean by 'recent past', but i'd be interested to hear why you think that, sterling.

John (jdahlem), Wednesday, 27 July 2005 19:34 (fifteen years ago) link

Read Holy Blood, Holy Grail - much much better

Gina Ruiz (Gina Ruiz), Wednesday, 27 July 2005 20:26 (fifteen years ago) link

jd those documentaries are what i mean "of course the da vinci code is fiction.. but some of it is true. of course it's not about a real conspiracy, but it does make you wonder... what really was going on with the templar. men have puzzled over the mysteries of these ancient secret societies for years..." etc. etc.

Sterling Clover (s_clover), Wednesday, 27 July 2005 21:15 (fifteen years ago) link

also, remember that certain well-funded groups will buy copies of a buy en masse to get it to the top of the bestseller lists, which they can use to help in the marketing of the book.

this happens with political screeds and slambooks alla time.

kingfish (Kingfish), Thursday, 28 July 2005 06:47 (fifteen years ago) link

also, remember that certain well-funded groups will buy copies of a book en masse to get it to the top of the bestseller lists, which they can use to help in the marketing of the book.

this happens with political screeds and slambooks alla time.

kingfish (Kingfish), Thursday, 28 July 2005 06:47 (fifteen years ago) link

(corrected)

(kinda)

kingfish (Kingfish), Thursday, 28 July 2005 06:47 (fifteen years ago) link

The point about Buffy is that the question of whether it is literally true never arises. Also, of course, unlike TDVC it has a good critical reputation, ie it does meet current approved criteria for being "well written" (among other things).

I'm in the UK and have only noticed one TV documentary about TDVC, which was predictably showing what an absurd piece of nonsense it is. TV execs would have made this programme because they knew audiences would take pleasure in having their suspicions confirmed and in laughing at and feeling superior to the credulous minority. I don't think the existence of documentaries like this is evidence that many readers take TDVC seriously any more seriously than James Bond.

YR FRIENDS ARE TOO SMART AND ITS SKEWING YR PERCEPTION OF SOCIETY AT LARGE.

I think it's the opposite - researchers for tv documentaries and the like are able to locate a credulous minority and make them seem more representative than they are. Which plays into the desire of people who are not taken in like to believe that they are in a relatively clever minority rather than just typical readers.

frankiemachine, Thursday, 28 July 2005 08:51 (fifteen years ago) link

haha josh have you read it?

tom west (thomp), Thursday, 28 July 2005 12:11 (fifteen years ago) link

good lord no

Josh (Josh), Thursday, 28 July 2005 16:12 (fifteen years ago) link

My God! I haven't heard of such a long time on the crapper since Joyce died. At least the paper came in handy.

Neil G. Barclay, Thursday, 28 July 2005 18:33 (fifteen years ago) link

If Baddiel is right and it survives to be regarded as literature (that's a very big if, of course, but Baddiel is a reasonably bright guy and his suggestion doesn't have to be right to be interesting, it just has to be not obviously wrong) then what people like me think of as "well-written" is either wrong, or just irrelevant to whether a book is any good

If the sub-Parsons/Hornby nonsense that was Time For Bed is anything to go by, David Baddiel knows less than most people about what makes a good book. He is, however, something of an authority on porn.

Onimo (GerryNemo), Thursday, 28 July 2005 20:32 (fifteen years ago) link

Baddiel has also made some awfully stupid remarks about the Booker Prize. There's an argument to be had over whether Booker winners or bestsellers are the things that will still be read in one hundred years, but if you do manage to whip up a time viewer that shows the college students of the future poring over The Da Vinci Code, my reaction will be to weep for humanity, not rush out and buy crap.

Ray (Ray), Friday, 29 July 2005 07:34 (fifteen years ago) link

what are the sales of it? and how much more is that than a normal book?

tom west (thomp), Friday, 29 July 2005 09:07 (fifteen years ago) link

I haven't read Baddiel's book (nor would I be tempted to) but having written a bad novel doesn't prevent you from having a legitimate opinion. Nor does knowing about porn. I'm in no way citing Baddiel as an authority: I know practically nothing about the guy except as a not-to-my-taste comic.

but if you do manage to whip up a time viewer that shows the college students of the future [studying blank] my reaction will be to weep for humanity, not rush out and buy crap.

You could replace that blank with lot of names of artists viewed as populist crap in their day but now taken pretty seriously, though. And perfectly encapsulate the confidence with which the arbiters of conventional good taste dismissed vulgarians like Verdi, Puccini, Mahler, Dickens, any and every novel (not real literature like drama and poetry, dear boy), all cinema, all pop music, all jazz, yadda yadda.

frankiemachine, Friday, 29 July 2005 09:59 (fifteen years ago) link

Appeals to an imagined critical judgement of an imagined future are always bad thinking.

Tim (Tim), Friday, 29 July 2005 11:13 (fifteen years ago) link

ha, even adorno liked mahler!

even if the college students of the future were reading the da vinci code, that would just show that somehow 'we' had decided to start forcing that small group of people to try to take it to be culturally important. but how else are many things preserved for a hundred years, anyway? very few things with mass appeal - books, especially! - a hundred years ago retain that mass appeal now. there are new things for masses to find appealing now.

Josh (Josh), Friday, 29 July 2005 18:22 (fifteen years ago) link

if you do manage to whip up a time viewer that shows the college students of the future poring over The Da Vinci Code, my reaction will be to weep for humanity, not rush out and buy crap.

I wouldn't be surprised if college students of the future *do* end up studying it; but that doesn't mean it's crap, though.

At my university library, we had class sets of Jurassic Park and various Anne Rice novels, plus a fairly wide range of 1960s sci-fi, because that was what the English department had asked for. Just because those books were being taught at university doesn't mean that they are high quality.

Forest Pines (ForestPines), Saturday, 30 July 2005 10:07 (fifteen years ago) link

haha josh have you read it?
-- tom west (u3i0...), July 28th, 2005.

good lord no

http://www.lime-light.org/xmb/images/smilies/roll.gif

You know, I loved the book but I'd never EVER recommend it. It's just throwaway. I'd prefer to recommend something more substantial to my friends. That said, I did recommend it to a friend of mine who, after reading 3/4th of the book, frothed at the mouth when I suggested it was a fun read, to be taken very lightly. (Maybe that's why I now say I'd never recommend it.)

You could say these books are necessary to regard books like... oh say... La Peste as classics. ;-)

So I tried (3 times), but it was just too terrible for me

Dude, by the time I would have wanted to quit, I would have finished it anyway. You can read this in a couple of hours easily. Coming from me, that's quite a feat as I usually take weeks to finish a book. You have to read it quickly as not to vomit all over the place. ;-)

Nathalie (stevie nixed), Saturday, 27 May 2006 18:13 (fourteen years ago) link

three years pass...

Dan Brown gives the world...National Treasure fanfic!

Ned Raggett, Monday, 14 September 2009 00:20 (ten years ago) link

It's a fact, at first I thought it was somehow the delayed novelization of the movie.

alimosina, Monday, 14 September 2009 01:44 (ten years ago) link

This thread's really good, I love that it took so long for people to get all cynical about the book. I also enjoyed this: "He's stuck similes in like a GCSE student who's been told to shove in as many similes as possible".

Ismael Klata, Monday, 14 September 2009 07:09 (ten years ago) link

"Actually, Katherine, it's not gibberish." His eyes brightened again with the thrill of discovery. "It's ... Latin."

James Mitchell, Monday, 14 September 2009 14:08 (ten years ago) link

Dan Brown cribbed most of his material for Da Vinci Code from a non-fic book called The Holy Blood and the Holy Grail, by a committee of three authors named Michael Baigent, Richard Leigh and Henry Lincoln.

I have a collection of essays by Anthony Burgess, published in 1986, wherein he reviews this book soon after its publication. In his essay he wrote:

If their material had presented in a blockbuster novel like Irving Wallace's The Word...it would have been easier to take. (...) I can only see this as marvelous material for a novel. Perhaps Irving Wallace or Morris West is already writing it.

So there's an even chance Brown didn't even come up on his own with the idea of novelizing this stuff.

But you must give the devil his due; he clearly hit the sweet spot in terms of his potential audience. Kind of like Jean Auel and her caveman books. She is utter crap as a writer and I can't read more than a paragraph before I'm filled with horror and disgust. At least I could finish Da Vinci Code and even derived some wtf enjoyment from it.

Aimless, Monday, 14 September 2009 17:41 (ten years ago) link

Top Ten Adjectives In The Writing of Dan Brown:

dark
light
religious
grand
famous
secret
enormous
female
French
red

thomp, Monday, 14 September 2009 20:10 (ten years ago) link

i should point out the above was in the paper and to the best of my knowledge isn't actually a joke

thomp, Monday, 14 September 2009 20:10 (ten years ago) link

I just searched through a pdf of The Da Vinci Code, and there were 53 instances of 'enormous'. That's about once every seven pages. Not sure that 'grand' should count, since most of them are in the squillion mentions of the Grand Gallery.

Maybe since I have this pdf I should give it a read, give my high and mighty scoffing some justification.

Akon/Family (Merdeyeux), Monday, 14 September 2009 20:29 (ten years ago) link

It's a decent story! Angels and Demons is better, though.

so says i tranny ben franklin (HI DERE), Monday, 14 September 2009 20:34 (ten years ago) link

I just searched through a pdf of The Da Vinci Code, and there were 53 instances of 'enormous'. That's about once every seven pages.
Still probably less frequent than the phrase "Every so often" appeared in "2666".

Øystein, Monday, 14 September 2009 20:46 (ten years ago) link

It's a brilliant story, whatever its flaws. Teachers should use it as the clearest demonstration that good plotting, good style and good writing are not the same thing, but I bet they don't.

Ismael Klata, Monday, 14 September 2009 20:53 (ten years ago) link

it's really not a "good story" in any way

merdeyeux can you check if any of the uses of 'female' are as a noun?

thomp, Monday, 14 September 2009 21:17 (ten years ago) link

quite a few, yeah, although there are a couple more 'female's than there are 'enormous'es, so maybe that's been taken into account.

Akon/Family (Merdeyeux), Monday, 14 September 2009 21:47 (ten years ago) link

78 instances of 'dark' or 'darkness, btw, more than once every five pages. Flicking through all of that male and female harmony hokum makes me kinda want to read it now, for some reason.

Akon/Family (Merdeyeux), Monday, 14 September 2009 21:55 (ten years ago) link

i haven't read these and I'm not gonna act like I'm better than them or something but some girl I worked with once was shocked that I hadn't when I told her I had written my thesis for art-school on "kinda religiously themed stuff"

❊❁❄❆❇❃✴❈colinda❈✴❃❇❆❄❁❊ (I know, right?), Monday, 14 September 2009 23:41 (ten years ago) link

she also said "have you read 'Angels and Demons' yet?"

❊❁❄❆❇❃✴❈colinda❈✴❃❇❆❄❁❊ (I know, right?), Monday, 14 September 2009 23:42 (ten years ago) link

Wordle of The Lost Symbol:

http://img24.imageshack.us/img24/4265/lostsymbol.png

James Mitchell, Monday, 21 September 2009 18:42 (ten years ago) link

Only 35 instances of 'enormous' in this one.

James Mitchell, Monday, 21 September 2009 18:44 (ten years ago) link

Is the 'Bellamy' Craig Bellamy?

Ismael Klata, Monday, 21 September 2009 18:51 (ten years ago) link

David.

James Mitchell, Monday, 21 September 2009 22:03 (ten years ago) link

Ugh. I had been pretty comfortable with the verdict that Brown is great with plots and awful with style, but that commentary has turned me into an all-round sympathiser.

Ismael Klata, Tuesday, 22 September 2009 17:03 (ten years ago) link

I am halfway through The Lost Symbol and it is hard to shake the feeling that Dan Brown is a dick.

sturdy, ultra-light, under-the-pants moneybelt (HI DERE), Wednesday, 23 September 2009 13:55 (ten years ago) link

yeah that article has a lot of "who cares" and the occasional bit of "now you're just being a dick" to it. See esp. 'learning the ropes' bit. It's called a figure of speech, gaiz.

"whose skin resembled a sheet of parchment paper punctured by two emotionless eyes" - I kinda like this image! Although I'm imagining the eyes somehow punching through the paper. And it just being a sheet of paper instead of a face. So not that much.

Akon/Family (Merdeyeux), Wednesday, 23 September 2009 14:42 (ten years ago) link

This book was some grade-A bullshit, like beyond even what my low expectations were. Way to brutally murder some interesting ideas, you no-talent tool.

a misunderstanding of Hip-Hop and contracts (HI DERE), Thursday, 1 October 2009 17:39 (ten years ago) link

kinda funny what happens after the BIG POP HIT. dude is plugging along writing books then OH NO I IZ HUUUUUGE BETTER NOT FUCK UP and it takes him longer to follow up da vinci than it took him to crank out the three before it. how long did it take that cold mountain dude? ten years? it must be scary. (stephen king being the exception to the rule)

* Digital Fortress, 1998
* Angels & Demons, 2000
* Deception Point, 2001
* The Da Vinci Code, 2003
* The Lost Symbol, 2009

scott seward, Thursday, 1 October 2009 18:22 (ten years ago) link

Part of me feels like he just took Digital Fortress and replaced every reference to cryptography with references to Masons.

a misunderstanding of Hip-Hop and contracts (HI DERE), Thursday, 1 October 2009 19:04 (ten years ago) link

"whose skin resembled a sheet of parchment paper punctured by two emotionless eyes" -- this is really not defensible; it's not the image, it's the confusion about what the second half is meant to modify

haven't read the article so don't know if it makes that point ah well

thomp, Thursday, 1 October 2009 19:55 (ten years ago) link

What they choose to complain about is 'precarious', which I guess Brown means to mean "precariously positioned":

"Overhanging her precarious body was a jaundiced face whose skin resembled a sheet of parchment paper punctured by two emotionless eyes."

But that's at best the third-worst howler there.

thomp, Thursday, 1 October 2009 20:00 (ten years ago) link

dark
light
religious
grand
famous
secret
enormous
female
French
red

repeating these words over and over again can only be effective in keeping people's attention

to cloves fork comfurt (Curt1s Stephens), Thursday, 1 October 2009 20:01 (ten years ago) link

that reads like a Fiona Apple album title

a misunderstanding of Hip-Hop and contracts (HI DERE), Thursday, 1 October 2009 20:06 (ten years ago) link

The dark-skinned light fitter was religious, but his not-so-famous secret was that he liked enormous females and the odd glass of French red.

Someone give me a million dollar book contract.

James Mitchell, Monday, 5 October 2009 07:31 (ten years ago) link

Slightly overweight medical student Buck Mulligan walked up the historical stairs of the Martello tower

thomp, Monday, 5 October 2009 09:18 (ten years ago) link

ha my very-forgiving-of-bad-prose wife is just as fed up with this book as I was

as strikingly artificial and perfect as a wizard's cap (HI DERE), Monday, 12 October 2009 17:10 (ten years ago) link

one month passes...

http://nymag.com/arts/books/bookclub/lost-symbol/

this was entertaining

being being kiss-ass fake nice (gbx), Friday, 11 December 2009 17:46 (ten years ago) link

"influential family dynasty"

abanana, Tuesday, 15 December 2009 15:03 (ten years ago) link

two years pass...

i like how a leading symbologist and france's leading code cracker can't recognize what language a paragraph is in when it's just english printed backwards

out of all the shitty things in this (going ahead and mentioning how you can see the word "sex" in the lion king...omg), the shitty "codes" were the worst. all of them were way too obvious and suspension of disbelief was impossible. you can't help but think "these 'academics' are dumb, and the person who wrote this is dumb." the answers to all of them were immediately clear. if this were real, everyone and their fuckin mom would be showing up to get the grail.

i read this because i was stuck volunteering in a place and there was nothing to do, but a copy of this book was there.

the most astonishing writer on ilx (roxymuzak), Tuesday, 17 January 2012 00:25 (eight years ago) link

i've only seen the moovie, but i think when yr big shock ending (okay i already knew what it was gonna be cos i'd read the source material but) is kinda "sfw? you were killing dudes over this??" then u have a problem too

little blue souvenir (Noodle Vague), Tuesday, 17 January 2012 00:39 (eight years ago) link

"oh? jesus is my grandad? thanks for the info, i will get back to work now cheers"

little blue souvenir (Noodle Vague), Tuesday, 17 January 2012 00:40 (eight years ago) link

otm. all the shit thats supposed to be shocking regarding religion is classic type 2 challops

the most astonishing writer on ilx (roxymuzak), Tuesday, 17 January 2012 00:57 (eight years ago) link

it made me think about this a lot: what does it say about people that we WANT to believe in stupid conspiracy theories? is it about wanting to feel superior?

the most astonishing writer on ilx (roxymuzak), Tuesday, 17 January 2012 01:07 (eight years ago) link

simplistic explanations for frightening randomness of life? sense that even tho yr life is mundane there is an exciting world hiding within reach? liking to be in on big secrets? not being real bright?

little blue souvenir (Noodle Vague), Tuesday, 17 January 2012 01:09 (eight years ago) link

also maybe it's hard in a "secular age" for people to understand the complexities of how major religions became major and religious conspiracy theories provide a recognisable modern world reason, however ridiculous

little blue souvenir (Noodle Vague), Tuesday, 17 January 2012 01:11 (eight years ago) link

that last point is pretty tangy, imo - i think that's a good explanation.

the most astonishing writer on ilx (roxymuzak), Tuesday, 17 January 2012 01:44 (eight years ago) link

^ always a good read. this might be the most ridiculous set of sentences in any popular work of fiction:

A voice spoke, chillingly close. "Do not move."

On his hands and knees, the curator froze, turning his head slowly.

Only fifteen feet away, outside the sealed gate, the mountainous silhouette of his attacker stared through the iron bars. He was broad and tall, with ghost-pale skin and thinning white hair. His irises were pink with dark red pupils.

ledge, Tuesday, 17 January 2012 10:53 (eight years ago) link

I was surprised to open this thread and see it beginning with someone talking about how great the DVC is.

The New Dirty Vicar, Tuesday, 17 January 2012 15:33 (eight years ago) link

lol comparing it with eco

the most astonishing writer on ilx (roxymuzak), Wednesday, 18 January 2012 00:00 (eight years ago) link

"The Templar Revelation, a MUST read"

also

I wouldn't call it 'a dumbed-down' version of Eco's work (in general). Maybe you could say it's 'not as scholastic' or 'more plot-centric' (as opposed to a novel basically being 500 pages of regurgitated research). Dan Brown put a lot of research into The Da Vinci Code but equally blends it with suspense and murder.

O_OOOOOOOO

the most astonishing writer on ilx (roxymuzak), Wednesday, 18 January 2012 00:19 (eight years ago) link


You must be logged in to post. Please either login here, or if you are not registered, you may register here.