Monday, 13 May 2013

Dan Brown? Love him or hate him, you have to be jealous of him!

One of my Facebook friends linked me to a post on Dan Brown, which can be found here, titled "Don't make fun of renowned Dan Brown."

The article is hilarious, and worth reading, if you can deal with far too many literary puns (or punes.)


My favorite would be either:...
Dan Brown, whose blonde locks and receding
hair line made him look rather Putin-esque.
"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."
Or:...
Renowned author Dan Brown gazed admiringly at the pulchritudinous brunette’s blonde tresses, flowing from her head like a stream but made from hair instead of water and without any fish in. 
When Dan Brown's books first hit the world stage, I admit that I was a solid band-wagoneer. I didn't read any of them until the 4th book was out, and I can't make that hipster comment 'I read it before it was cool.' If it ever was cool...

What I hated was how much people panned his books. I admit that they are formulaic and repetitive. I acknowledge that the 'facts' are 'fishy' and the writing... well, there are lots of issues. 

But, I read all four books with delight, finding myself, horridly, terribly, enjoying them. I took great delight in following the inimitable, athletic, overly-described Robert Langdon on his amazingly alliterative adventures, and actually spent a few days in Rome, walking around to all the obelisks mentioned in Angels and Demons. 

They are not works of literary genius, but they are enjoyable. More importantly, they were enjoyable to a massive audience. How many people will have started reading books because of the hype around them? Even better than Harry Potter, you didn't have to be 10 to start reading them. Even better than '50 Shades of Grey', you didn't have to be female or gay... (oops.)

At the end of the day, there are a few things that I take into account when deciding whether a book is 'good' or 'not good.' They are: 
  • Did it say something interesting?
  • Did it say something new?
  • Was there a good story?
  • Did I empathise with the characters?
  • Was it well written?
and most importantly...
  • Did I enjoy it?
Did it say something interesting? Asides from peppering us with facts, not really. Anything new? Great take on an old mystery. Good story? I think so. Empathy? Not with that rich aristocratic snob! Well written? That seems to be the biggest criticism. Did I enjoy it? Absofuckinglutely!

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