Saturday, May 11, 2013

One thing about reading a Dan Brown novel is that it makes you feel smart!

From recent article on Dan Brown's most recent literary offense: 

The critics said his writing was clumsy, ungrammatical, repetitive and repetitive. They said it was full of unnecessary tautology. They said his prose was swamped in a sea of mixed metaphors. For some reason they found something funny in sentences such as “His eyes went white, like a shark about to attack.” They even say my books are packed with banal and superfluous description, thought the 5ft 9in man. He particularly hated it when they said his imagery was nonsensical. It made his insect eyes flash like a rocket.

And, of course, my much lauded 2004 reflection on Dan Brown's literary works - "The DaVinci Code - I've read the book so you don't have to"  -

I am on record as assuming - based on its sale’s performance - that while the DVC would be a scholastically ignorant work purveying a knee-jerk ideology, it would also be well written. After reading the book, I have to issue a mea culpa. The DVC really is poorly written.  
Brown employs several literary artifices which are simply amateurish. For example, Brown has perfected the “expository lecture” device. Under this device, some comment or question induces the hero, Robert Langdon, to flash back to some lecture he gave which gives Brown the opportunity to inject some purportedly relevant academic information into the book. Hence, a casual comment about “PHI” leads to a three page disquisition on the Fibonacci Numbers (p. 93 - 97). See this article on Fibonacci Numbers. Now, the point of this disquisition is unclear. Apparently, it’s designed to “Wow” the reader with Brown’s encyclopedic knowledge since Brown rattles off innumerable purported examples of the “Golden Mean.” The Golden Mean really exists, but the problem is that Brown is too lazy to do any serious research to get it right. And he boots what he does write. One thing about Brown's style is that his constant injection of tendentious "scientific" or "literary" or "historical" points, suchs as the throw-away comment about the ratio of male to female bees in every hive in the world being 1.618, raised “red flag” that suggested that Brown was “making shit up”(hereinafter “MSU”), about which more later.

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