Everybody’s doin’ it, doin’ it, doin’ it…

…pickin’ their nose and reviewing the Da Vinci Code… or sleeeping through the movie or whatever.

How does Dan Brown even get published? Are editors also becoming an ever more subliterate class?

I haven’t read the book or seen the movie, but not for the reasons the “usual suspects” seem to have. I have read two books by Dan Brown. One because it was recommended to me by a friend. (I’ll never take another recommendation by him at face value.) The second because I thought, “The guy can’t be THAT bad a writer–musta been an ‘off’ book.”

No, Dan Brown can’t write worth a damn. Stick figure sterotypes for characters. Basic “facts” on which his stories turned were square away wrong or just plain stupidly assbackwards. Descriptive narrative was sloppy. Dialogue predictable and still unnatural.

I just don’t get how this guy sells books. He misses out on writing truly “Suckitudinous Fiction” only by being a crappy writer who can’t even write a decent story, IMO.

If his characters were believable; if he got his basic facts right; if his narratives were interesting or even credible, then he’d at least be an average writer. But it’s like he doesn’t need to develop the chops to write well, cos he has an audience of folks who haven’t had much exposure to good storytelling.

I just figured that if he got the facts so screwed up in earlier book (Digital Fortress is a real hoot, for example–his ideas about computers are just plain stupid–and he claimed that they were soundly based in fact–I just figured he either didn’t know better or was trying to fake people out) he’d do no better in Da Vinci code.

Reviewers love him, because a.) they don’t care about his claims (repeated in both books I’ve read) that he bases his stories in fact, cos they’re usually too subliterate to know his “facts” are fakes and b.) reviewers are 90% shills for publishers.

I don’t have to read or see the DC to know it’s crap for two reasons:

1.) I’ve (unfortunately–I’ll never have that lost time back) read two other Dan Brown books and
2.) In the case of the Da Vinci Code, well, I’m not only a history buff, I’m more than semi-literate in the historical era and topics he based the story on. And if it grated on my nerves to have hom so screw up the “factual” basis for his other books, where I had just enough knowledge to know he was fulla shit, I’d probably be throwing things at the screen and making loud, derisive comments every time his characters said something stupid.

Fiction, in order to be good fiction, needs some reason for the reader/viewer to suspend disbelief. A credible story line with believable characters, dialog that makes sense, etc. If Digital Fortress and Deception Point lacked those and got published and pushed, how much better could The Da Vinci Code be? Or worse?

I’ll pass, thanks.

Mel at I’m Just a Girl has an interesting take on the naifs who are picketing the Dan Brown movie. *sigh* That’s right, folks: give the dummie free publicity.

Lil update: While reading a column by Orson Scott Card—a guy who does know how to write fiction, and darned well, too—I reas his review of The Eyre Affair, a light novel by Jasper Fforde about a detective named Thursday Next who lives in an alternate universe where literature is taken very seriously.

A very brief sample as quoted by Card in his review:

…when Thursday visits with her uncle, an inventor of fabulously bizarre machines, she asks him:

“Did the memory erasure device work, Uncle?”

“The what?”

“The memory erasure device. You were testing it when I last saw you.”

“Don’t know what you’re talking about, dear girl.”


Well, that’s another book to go on my reading list. 🙂

Beating the air with this post over at Diane’s Stuff

6 Replies to “Everybody’s doin’ it, doin’ it, doin’ it…”

  1. Heh. I was given The DaVinci Code for Christmas the year it came out (from a relative who figured I like books and I’m a Christian so therefore this is the perfect gift – a relativel, I might add, who doesn’t read much). Between you and me I wasn’t terribly interested in the book but I VERY much appreciated this relative wanting to do something nice for me, so I figured the least I could do was read the book so the next time we got together I could say something nice and informative. I did read it, and I still very much appreciate the thought behind the gift – it remains stellar among “gifts received” for being the most appreciated misguided gift I’ve received. Yes, the book sucked. Bigtime. But not enough to be truly Suckitudinous. Still, even dreck from a loved one is still…dreck. You didnt miss anything, and I read every last page.

  2. Well, RYak, had I attempted pretending ro read another Dan Brown book, all I would like have managed would have been the “last word”… 🙂

  3. Suckitudinous. Heh.

    Between both your inspired reviews and everything I’ve seen re the myth behind the story, I’m so glad I’ve not been lured in to a waste of reading or cinema time.

  4. Yes, I’m late to the discussion. And don’t disagree. But Brown made
    a lot of money polishing a turd, so the question has to be what was it
    that appealed to the masses? Religious disorientation? A conspiracy
    laden clime? My thought was to at least join the discussion so that
    I could witness to relatives or friends like the one Yak has. lgp

  5. The appeal of Dan Brown books? I think to subliterates the appeal would be something they could manage to fumble through and manage to convince themselves of their literacy thereby. Naturally, subliterates wouldn’t be able to recognize characters that are merely shadows of cardboard cut-out representations of a statue of a man (seen bleerily through drunken eyes). Or plots so full of holes that Mack trucks could drive through six abreast and never even notice theedges. Or factual errors (in books claiming factual basis) so laughably crude as to be monumental.

    Poisoned pablum for the subliterate masses.

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