PDA

View Full Version : Dan Brown



P.C Greene
04-10-2007, 06:24 PM
Are you a big fan of Dan Brown?

Ive only read two of his novels:

The DaVinci code
Angels & Demons

I am going to read Deception Point and digital Fortress very soon.

I just wanted your views on Dan Brown.

Good or bad?

im asking this cause i realise that he got some stick from catholics ect.... on his release of Davinci code, so i wondered if this book or any of his others affected you in a way, and if you were drawn away from him by this?

scarletpeaches
04-10-2007, 06:24 PM
*Clamps hand over mouth and feels her eczema flare up*

Jongfan
04-10-2007, 06:32 PM
Although I did enjoy reading The DaVinci Code, he is not at the top of my list of "must read" authors. I liked some of the ideas he used, however I found it easy to predict the ending.

Just MHO

Anonymisty
04-10-2007, 06:39 PM
Are you a big fan of Dan Brown?

No. Not even a small fan.


I just wanted your views on Dan Brown.

My view is that life is awfully short, and you should read Tim Powers or F Paul Wilson instead.

:)

giftedrhonda
04-10-2007, 06:42 PM
Honest opinion here, having read those two books you mentioned:

Dan Brown is quite good at ending chapters on suspenseful parts. He's got a way of weaving plot that's interesting and compelling.

However, his characterization is not good at all, IMHO. The characters are flat and wooden, and I don't really care about what happens to them.

His books are highly plot-driven, so it does make for an interesting study of his techniques (I tend to write more character-driven stuff, so it's good to read how others handle plot stuff).

Rhonda, trying to be kind

Rob B
04-10-2007, 07:50 PM
Christopher, I want to answer your question purely from a technical perspective, as I see it. I would find it hard to think that any other work he might have written, or will write, could even remotely approach the impetus of THE DI VINCI CODE in the mind of the reader. And, in my opinion, herein lies the problem. It makes objectivity improbable or impossible for most people.

You read ANGELS AND DEMONS. Whether you read it before or after, do you remember how you approached The DI VINCI CODE (now be honest, it's not easy on this one)? I'm just kidding around with this, but I hope my point makes sense.

I think one of the most difficult things for people to do is to ask themselves why the book was so successful. Overwhelmingly, we hear, as you pointed out, of the religious ramifications, but might this have been a cleverly designed publicity technique?

Is it realistic to think that someone might disavow his/her faith because of a novel--especially when naysayers have proffered the identical argument in hundreds (sic, thousands) of books and articles since the death of Jesus? Maybe, but I don't think so. If a person's faith was that weak to begin with, I submit that this book didn't send him/her over the edge.

So what made the book work? For me, it is the best paced book I have ever read, and I wasn't at all fond of the redundancy and I thought the ending was a complete zero. Yet, I read the book from the moment I got up in the morning, at lunch, standing in line at the post office--well, you get the picture. My wife was the same, and she's never gotten that involved with a story in the 32 years we've been married.

Every single person I talked with about the book, whether they said they liked it or not, could not put it down. For my purposes, this is the lesson.

KCathy
04-10-2007, 10:55 PM
im asking this cause i realise that he got some stick from catholics ect.... on his release of Davinci code, so i wondered if this book or any of his others affected you in a way, and if you were drawn away from him by this?


If a person's faith was that weak to begin with, I submit that this book didn't send him/her over the edge.

I find it more than a little weird how hard the media tried to make a huge controversy out of the book and movie. They kept going on and on about how Christians were going to freak out and protest, and even tried to make a big deal out of a crowd who showed up for the taping of one part but turned out to be mostly autograph seekers.

In the real world, Christians just didn't get worked up about it because, as Rob pointed out, this isn't exactly a new idea and there's simply zero evidence to back it up. If anything, a lot of Christians were galvanized to go back and look at how the current Biblical text came to be accepted by early church leaders. It's a study that reassures the vast majority of us, and was even used by a lot of groups as a way to spark community discussion. Many churches led book-club-type meetings with people who had read the book and were curious, drawing outsiders who would never have popped into a church service.

Unfortunately for the media, we just didn't think it was that big a shocker or anything to worry about. I found their attempts to drum up outrage ludicrous and mildly annoying.

Meerkat
04-10-2007, 11:06 PM
Hi Christopher,

I read all four, and enjoyed three of them. Despite my high "nerd senses tingling" hopes for it, Digital Fortress was tedious and trite. Spare yourself this one!

Claudia Gray
04-10-2007, 11:08 PM
My basic take on Dan Brown is this: He did so many things wrong, and please, God, please, let me screw up half that badly someday.

Elodie-Caroline
04-10-2007, 11:16 PM
The best parts of the DaVinci code were taken from the holy blood and the holy grail anyway http://www.amazon.co.uk/Holy-Blood-Grail/dp/0099682419/ref=pd_bbs_sr_2/202-8365515-2422210?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1176232396&sr=8-2 . Each part of DVC was predictable and had the ends were tied up too easily at the end. I didn't actually waste my time reading the DVC, I listened to it on audio CD instead.
I do actually like the film though, but that's only because Jean Reno is in it and the (plagiarised) historical parts were good.


Elodie

citymouse
04-11-2007, 03:32 AM
Both stories feature the same hero Robert Langdon. Here is my take on these books. I wonít spoil them by giving away the ending.

Angels & Demons is a better book than The Da Vinci Code. Why?
ē The writing is betterómore inventive and lyrical.
ē The venues are well research. Iíve been to all the sites and they are accurate and well described.
ē Once begun, the action sequences fly at a breakneck pace. Brown is very good at keeping the momentum without wearing the reader out.

Here is what I found problematic with Angels & Demons.
ē As in the DV Langdon doesnít seem to know any ugly peopleóespecially heroines who, while vulnerable in a stereotypical female way, are resilient, smart, well read, strong as a brace of oxen, and hotter than a French nymphomaniac vacationing at Club Med.
ē Langdon takes great pains to mask the true identity of the villain by suggesting a pantheon of prospective evildoers. In my opinion he achieves the opposite of his intention. I spotted the rat in the corncrib after the first introduction.
Worst of all, in my opinion, the plotís raison d'Ítre, is totally bogus. No one commits the types of crimes Brown offers in excruciating detail for the reason given at the end of the story. Because of this the whole story falls into the realm of the laughable. I say laughable because thatís exactly what I did; laugh in disbelief and disappointment.

The Da Vinci Code begins as a real whodunit. The appeal of a murder in the Louvre and how the hero Robert Langdon solves it would captivate anyone. Mystery lovers (Iím one) have flocked to this book.
So have others, those looking for any legitimate avenue that attacks the Catholic Church. This assumes that novels are legitimate avenues to anything but entertainment.
By Catholic Church I mean specifically the institutional part of the church; its hierarchy, priests, nuns, monks, and cultists.
In The Da Vinci Code, it is one particular cult that Dan Brown specifically targets. That cult, or sect if you prefer, is Opus Dei (literally Godís Work). When one has occasion to observe the handiwork of Opus Dei one must wonder just what God is up to.
If one is looking for excellent research Dan Brown is a past master at this. If one is reads the Da Vinci Code for any reason other than the desire to read a good yarn then he or she will be or should be disappointed. Thatís because the assertions made in DVC simply donít bear out Brownís claims about Opus Dei and the Vatican. Thatís not to say these allegations arenít true, but the institutional church has had two millennia to master the art of obfuscation. It will take more than a clever researcher and a so-so wordsmith to make this sowís ear into a silk purse.
ē Whatís wrong with The Da Vinci Code?
If Dan Brown had simply devoted his story to catching a murderer he would have been on easy street. As it is, he tackled a plot that has no resolution. Because of this, he tied his hands in such a way that the ending peters out into a murky mist that left this reader unsatisfied.
C

Claudia Gray
04-11-2007, 04:40 AM
The best parts of the DaVinci code were taken from the holy blood and the holy grail anyway http://www.amazon.co.uk/Holy-Blood-Grail/dp/0099682419/ref=pd_bbs_sr_2/202-8365515-2422210?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1176232396&sr=8-2 . Each part of DVC was predictable and had the ends were tied up too easily at the end. I didn't actually waste my time reading the DVC, I listened to it on audio CD instead.
I do actually like the film though, but that's only because Jean Reno is in it and the (plagiarised) historical parts were good.


Elodie


Other famous "plagiarized" works:

Les Miserables -- Victor Hugo did NOT INVENT the country of France. It is located in Europe and existed even before his book was written.

Gone With The Wind -- Margaret Mitchell not only lifts the concept of the American Civil War wholesale from history books, she also does not bother to invent her own names or characterizations for people in positions such as generals (Robert E. Lee was not her creation) and politicians (Jefferson Davis, either).

Jurassic Park -- both dinosaurs AND cloning appear in books written before Michael Crichton's.

Shocking yet true!

scarletpeaches
04-11-2007, 04:49 AM
The problem I have with Dan Brown is that:

a) He didn't do his own research
b) His research is wrong
c) He says at the start of his book it's fact, and it is not
d) He lifted the story complete from HBHG - if he'd bothered to do his own research he would have found out it was a load of speculative nonsense
e) Cardboard characters
f) Info-dumping
g) Adverbs
h) Head jumping
i) Stealing the names of the authors of HBHG and cobbling together Leigh Teabing as an 'homage' despite knowing they objected to it
j) Being generally shit at writing

Silver King
04-11-2007, 04:49 AM
You should've asked, "How many writers here would mind enjoying the success Dan Brown has experienced?"

scarletpeaches
04-11-2007, 04:52 AM
I would. I don't want success if it means writing that badly.

Believe me or not, I don't care. His career is not my vision of success.

Silver King
04-11-2007, 05:10 AM
Believe me or not, I don't care. His career is not my vision of success.
I believe you. I feel the same way. A small measure of success for greater quality work than what he's produced is also highly desirable.

But man, he's sold untold numbers of books, which, in itself, is vindication of what he has to say.

Sage
04-11-2007, 05:48 AM
I enjoyed DVC, even though I thought the antagonist was easy to predict. I liked the conspiracy, whether it was fact or fiction, 'cuz of course, I was reading a fictional work & in that world, it was fact.

I enjoyed A&D (which I read after DVC) as well. I figured out the antagonist there too, though I thought one red herring was better than any in DVC & almost changed my mind to that character. Though I think A&D was better written, I enjoyed solving the puzzles in DVC so much that I liked it better.

Then I read Deception Point & was pretty disappointed. I figured out whodunnit before I even knew what "it" was, & came up with this complicated motive, only to find that it was so incredibly simple that I couldn't understand why other readers would ever be surprised.

scarletpeaches
04-11-2007, 05:52 AM
I believe you. I feel the same way. A small measure of success for greater quality work than what he's produced is also highly desirable.

But man, he's sold untold numbers of books, which, in itself, is vindication of what he has to say.

I bet Mein Kampf sold millions too, doesn't make it any good. ;)

Silver King
04-11-2007, 06:16 AM
I bet Mein Kampf sold millions too, doesn't make it any good. ;)
Very true. I've read the work, and its shortfalls include shoddy research, info-dumping, too many adverbs, head jumping and generally crappy writing.

Do you suppose Dan Brown is the reincarnation of Mein Furher?

scarletpeaches
04-11-2007, 06:18 AM
Dude, I'm not touching THAT one with a ten foot pole. :D

Chumplet
04-11-2007, 06:30 AM
I thought the DVC was okay, and Angels and Demons, too. They were a fun, light read. I figured out half the puzzles before stupid Langdon did, and laughed at all the writing rules he was breaking.

My kids bought me a copy of Holy Blood, Holy Grail and I find it interesting. It's non-fiction, right? Don't people use non-fiction for research? Did Brown copy sections word for word, or just use the information to move his plot along?

Elodie-Caroline
04-11-2007, 12:29 PM
I'm glad you didn't say a five foot pole, I might have felt insulted :D
(btw... I'm only five feet exactly tall, and my dad was from Poland lol)


Dude, I'm not touching THAT one with a ten foot pole. :D

Elodie-Caroline
04-11-2007, 12:34 PM
Yes, it is non-fiction, and my most favourite book of all time. Maybe not copied word for word, but the whole concept was copied; even right down from the beginning of HBHG, where a man was found murdered in a library after searching for a certain book. Plagiarist Brown used Le Louvre instead. Still I guess he used his imagination for that bit then LOL :D


I thought the DVC was okay, and Angels and Demons, too. They were a fun, light read. I figured out half the puzzles before stupid Langdon did, and laughed at all the writing rules he was breaking.

My kids bought me a copy of Holy Blood, Holy Grail and I find it interesting. It's non-fiction, right? Don't people use non-fiction for research? Did Brown copy sections word for word, or just use the information to move his plot along?

seun
04-12-2007, 04:55 PM
I love Brown...the colour, that is. The writer (and I use the term loosely), I'm not so keen on.



(Wow. That polite for me).

robeiae
04-12-2007, 05:53 PM
I read both. DVC was okay, but weak for many of the reasons already given, imo.

Angels and Demons was awful, imo. Clive Cussler has more believable plotlines. And the time thing in Angels and Demons was just so incredibly silly, I kept rolling my eyes while reading.

Tirjasdyn
04-12-2007, 07:12 PM
146 pages to get out of the first scene of the book.

The characters begin asking what's the point.

They go back in!

Your not allowed to call people prudes if you can't handle it when your grandpa has kinky sex.

It was very very bad...the review is on my website if want to know how really painful I thought it was.

Toothpaste
04-13-2007, 07:18 PM
I enjoyed all four books. But my taste is questionable. That was not a joke.

When I analyse the books I totally agree with everything that has been said about them here. But I still enjoyed them, a bit like candy. Easy read and fun. Not something to really read more than once, though.

McDuff
04-17-2007, 01:36 AM
"Renowned curator".

That's as far as I got in the Da Vinci Code before I put it back on the shelf and decided that my quest to see just how bad someone could be and still be monumentally successful had answered all my questions before it had begun. If you can get away with "renowned curator" you can get away with anything.

Will Lavender
04-18-2007, 06:19 AM
"Renowned curator".

That's as far as I got in the Da Vinci Code before I put it back on the shelf and decided that my quest to see just how bad someone could be and still be monumentally successful had answered all my questions before it had begun. If you can get away with "renowned curator" you can get away with anything.

Not sure I get it. Curators can't be renowned?

Anyway, I thought The Da Vinci Code was merely okay. It was sort of like the song you hear on the radio that you catch the middle of and immediately think, Oh, wow. What is THIS? But then you buy the CD and listen to the whole song and think, Eh, I just wasted 17 bucks.

I thought Angels & Demons was outstanding for 300 pages, throw-against-the-wall terrible for the last 250.

Not sure why that book had to be so...bloated. It's a doorstop when it should have been much more modest.

maestrowork
04-18-2007, 06:35 AM
Angels and Demons is better written as a thriller than DVC, but still ridiculous. Other than that, he's not the worst writer nor is he even halfway decent. He's highly manipulative, his prose pedestrian, his plotting predictable (please, I knew who the villains were and where the plot was heading and how it was going to end halfway through the book), his characters flat, and his "cleverness" not so clever. Fibonacci numbers as a clue? Even high school students could have figured that one out -- and Langdon couldn't?

They are entertaining books but entirely forgettable. What he did right was to pick a premise that was highly controversial -- and what is more controversial than conspiracy and murders in the Church? Once he tapped into that market, the rest sort of just carried itself. His plot really is cliched and unimaginative. Plenty of better writers have written better suspense thrillers. If not for the HBHG stuff -- which truly is fascinating -- the DVC wouldn't have got so far up the food chain. If that's really the way to write a best-seller, I am not sure if I want to follow his footsteps.

seun
04-18-2007, 11:49 AM
Not sure I get it. Curators can't be renowned?

It's a case of overdoing it. We don't need the word renowned especially as an introduction to the character. We can work out for ourselves that a man in his position is going to be important and - if it has to be used - renowned.

Not a good sign for a writer when he drops a smelly one with the first line of his book.

Will Lavender
04-19-2007, 02:35 AM
I read where Brown got the idea that he was going to be a writer on vacation after reading a Sidney Sheldon novel. The next day he took the Sheldon book, went out to the pool, and wrote an outline of all the things that happened in the book.

That would become his outline for all his novels.

There's something very...transparent about that. Amazing that he could use that simplistic method and become a billionaire.

But, as maestrowork says above, he's definitely not the worst in the business. At least in my opinion.

andracill
04-19-2007, 06:28 AM
I enjoyed THE DAVINCI CODE, though I don't know if I'll read it again (my true test).

ANGELS & DEMONS *seemed* good -- until he changed a character practically mid-sentence. Someone who'd been fine became not fine with no reasonable explanation (in his character's background) about why that should be. Ick! I seldom want to throw a book against a wall, but this one *was* thrown!!

maestrowork
04-19-2007, 07:18 AM
Mr. Brown is a plotter and he will twist his characters any way he wants just to move the plot the direction he wants.

Inkdaub
04-19-2007, 10:26 AM
I read Code in one day and enjoyed it while I read it. I read many books like that...books that aren't any good but they fill a space that needs filling. It's like eating McDonalds.

maestrowork
04-19-2007, 05:19 PM
Mmmmm..... chicken mcnuggets. but eating them every day would probably kill you fast.

Anonymisty
04-19-2007, 07:25 PM
Mmmmm..... chicken mcnuggets. but eating them every day would probably kill you fast.

Have you read Fast Food Nation? I haven't eaten a bite of fast food since.

maestrowork
04-19-2007, 08:32 PM
No, but I've seen Supersize Me. But a bit of fast food once in a while is not going to kill me. I don't understand why someone would eat that every day, though -- beside health issue, that's just boring.

McDuff
04-20-2007, 07:59 AM
No, museum curators can not be renowned. Nor can teachers, librarians, network administrators or accountants. The best one can be in fields like that is to be well known and respected within it. To say that someone in a field from which most members of the general public cannot name a single individual (C'mon, right now, who can name a curator is at the Smithsonian or the Tate?) is renowned is to give in to that crass Boys Own Action Comics style of storytelling where every single character is The Best Person In The World Ever. The world's best superspy battles the world's most accomplished quantum physicist on the world's highest mountain, and that's how we know it's exciting, because OMG they are totally, liek, teh besterest!

I know whenever I read something like that that I won't enjoy the book, because unless this "renowned" curator can curate the fucking shit out of every other motherfucking curator he meets I'm going to be sayng "hang about, how did he get to be so renowned if he's not all that good?" Unless it's going to be demonstrated to me that this guy really knows how to catalogue his Monets in ways that make other curators get slightly aroused, he's going to fail the task the author gave him to do in the first damn two words of the novel, which is going to make it suck.

Whenever an author points out how fucking awesome their characters are, he's set himself up to fail unless the author knows as much if not more as the greatest soldier/curator/superspy/philatelist would know. When your supporting cast is supposedly Teh Awesomest you can work out that pretty much everybody will be Teh Awesomest and that they'll be that simply so the writer doesn't have to make them any good at their job -- they can just have characters walk in and say "oh hey, aren't you Troy McLure, the world's most magnificent actor?" Lazy lazy lazy and, more importantly, dumb. Which means you'll end up with something like Left Behind's "World's Greatest Investigative Journalist" who doesn't do any investigation or journalism in the entire book, or with, from what others have told me about a book I have no intention of reading, Langdon the super wonderful world's greatest code-cracking historian whateverthefuckheis who can't solve clues that have the reader -- who is obviously not the world's greatest whateverthehell in the vast majority of cases -- guessing the answer before he does.

So, no, you cannot have a renowned goddamn curator in your story, no matter if you kill him and have him leave cryptic clues with his entrails on the floor of the Louvre in the first two pages or what. I won't let you. *stomp*

Toothpaste
04-20-2007, 09:26 AM
Dude.

WarrenP
04-20-2007, 10:32 AM
No, museum curators can not be renowned. Nor can teachers, librarians, network administrators...

What if the IT geek/network administrator creates Linux? Can he be renowned? ;)


I read DaVinci just because it seemed like I had to, and didn't really enjoy it. I tried Digital Fortress and really disliked it, but I work in IT security, so that kind of skewed my opinion.

I doubt that I'll read another of his.

giftedrhonda
04-20-2007, 05:53 PM
ROFL @ McDuff--now THAT'S a friggin rant. Nicely played.

Silver King
04-20-2007, 07:16 PM
I wish McDuff would come straight out and tell us how he feels instead of dancing around the subject. ;)

maestrowork
04-20-2007, 07:29 PM
He loves Dan Brown, obviously. Any renowned curator would have seen that.

swvaughn
04-20-2007, 08:45 PM
unless this "renowned" curator can curate the fucking shit out of every other motherfucking curator he meets

*dies laughing*

I think I love you, McDuff. :D

Will Lavender
04-21-2007, 04:04 AM
.So, no, you cannot have a renowned goddamn curator in your story, no matter if you kill him and have him leave cryptic clues with his entrails on the floor of the Louvre in the first two pages or what. I won't let you. *stomp*

*furiously scratches the words "renowned dean of students" out of the first page of draft*

Linda Adams
04-21-2007, 03:43 PM
Fan, no? But I did read The Da Vinci Code and Angels and Demons. DVC made me get the second one, but the second one will probably keep me from buying any more.

DVC: It's an exciting thriller with a good paranoia story. One of the things that it really does is take advantage of the scandals in the church that were going on at the time. It was a way to use elements of the current events and weave them into the story without actually bringing up the current events themselves. Those wouldn't have made good story material--both because of the subject and because the media was oversaturating it. But the stories came across as scandals in the press, and DVC took church and scandals and ran with it (I know a lot of writers don't like this book because writing-related issues. At the time I read this book, I had literally stopped reading books as a writer and addressed this one as a reader).

It did spawn a second market of non-fiction books on the book itself, as well as some TV programs, plus a whole bunch of theological thrillers. Steve Berry comes to mind, though there are a bunch of others. Not all of them have been successful story-wise.

Worth noting: A variation of the story was indeed done before. It was a horror novel I read back in the early 1980's. That one was about the cross, and a conspiracy by the church to cover up its origins. Sorry, I don't recall the title, but it might have been something like The Crib.

Angels & Demons: I did not like this story that much. I know thriller storylines are over the top for some readers, but that's also what makes them fun. You know they can't really happen, but they're pure escapism. That being said, the writer has to make the reader believe this universe of this particular thriller. The events that occur in the story don't quite tie together properly--it was more like it was it was a puzzle piece that didn't fit, so the writer made it fit. The story, frankly, never really justified credibly why Robert ended up going to the Holy See to deal with an antimatter bomb. It felt like the character needed to be at the Holy See for the events to happen, so the bomb became a way to do it.

Thrillers also always tend to have over the top action that's just plain fun, but does pushes credibility for those who want reality. I don't mind a typical thriller's action, but I had problems with this story because it was too far over the top. I really had to draw the line when the hero jumped out of a plane with a small square of cloth as a parachute and survived. Worse was that, the way it was written, the scene could have easily been done without. It seemed like action for the sake of action.

And we won't even discuss the motives of the villain for all of this. It does play up on a controversial element of the church's decisions that crops up periodically and it might have worked elsewhere, but here, it just felt like it came in from left field.

I did buy DVC in hardback, and I didn't feel like I wasted my money (I've stopped buying hardbacks recently because I've had too many books with stories that just weren't good). I did buy A&D in paperback and felt like I did waste my money.

OHCowgirl
04-25-2007, 03:00 AM
My basic take on Dan Brown is this: He did so many things wrong, and please, God, please, let me screw up half that badly someday.

Oh my...what a wonderful response!:)

Being the new kid I felt guilty because I came into this thread wanting to say that I've read all of his books and await more quite impatiently. Then I read the other responses and thought...well maybe these people are more knowledgeable than me...(my low self esteem showing through) Then I decided that we all have our own likes and dislikes. I am a voracious reader and I don't care for Stephen King (every one loves Stephen King right?) but I loved all of Dan Brown's books. They drew me in on the first couple pages and didn't let me go until the end.

maestrowork
04-25-2007, 05:08 AM
If someone says they love Plan 9 from Outer Space, I'm not going to argue with them. ;)

entropic island
12-07-2009, 03:06 AM
The DaVinci Code, which I read, was amazing. I thought he stook up for his beliefs. I thought he could formulate theories and point out facts without fear of the raging religous. Then I saw the movie Angels & Demons. There's no guarantee the book is like that. But he was a producer. It seems to me like a pitiful attempt to apologize to the church. There goes another hero.

seun
12-08-2009, 05:58 PM
Jesus, this is an old thread.

And I still hate Dan Brown.

entropic island
02-06-2011, 10:10 AM
Um. Okay.

So there was this Dan Brown thread that, because of my inept arguing, was locked. Recently, I've reread the Dan Brown literature that I was defending.

I apologize if this starts another war, but - for the record - I was wrong in my defense of Dan Brown. Very wrong. Deception Point - eurgh.

Medievalist
02-06-2011, 11:17 AM
You know what? A lot of people have thoroughly enjoyed Brown.

I see nothing wrong with that.

You know what one of the best-selling work in the middle ages was?

Bevis of Hampton. It's really awful. It exists in Old French, Old Irish, Norse, Anglo-Norman, odd Yiddish and Slavic translations, and, of course, in Middle English.

There are six manuscripts of Bevis of Hamptoun, and lots of early printed editions.

As a comparison, there are about 83 (more or less) of Chaucer's Canterbury Tales, some more complete than others, and one of Beowulf and one of Sir Gawain and the Green Knight.

Bevis was popular. So was Chaucer--but the thing he most wanted to be remembered for, Troilus and Criseyde, isn't what he's most remembered for. We have six mss. of Bevis, and 83 of Canterbury Tales, but most of those are partials, and all but two seem to have been created post 1400, when he died.

So.

What's my point?

SGGK was written for the aristocratic court. Bevis was written for the rising and newly literate middle class, and Canterbury Tales for well, pretty much everybody--and we know that it was read aloud. Beowulf exists only in one ms., one that even before it was burned was in less than super shape.

People loved Bevis.

So who's to say what's "lasting" and "worthwhile"? Who's to decide?

For my part, I think Bevis is funny as hell, and I'm glad it survived. I like it lots.

I'm glad people enjoy Brown's books, and I'm delighted that the popularity of his books means his publishers can afford to gamble on -- one or three or five or really, who knows -- mid-list authors.

N.B. All those medieval works can be read for free online.

Lillie
02-06-2011, 11:32 AM
I've read Dan Brown. I quite enjoyed it.

It keeps moving along, keeps you reading. It's nice stuff to read when I don't feel so great and can't concentrate too well.

I went to Roslyn Chapel last year. it wasn't anything like I expected from the DaVinci code. Brown never said nothing about it being a building site.

But still, I think all books are good. They all have value for someone even if it's not for me.

I haven't read the new one yet, but as soon as I see it really cheap or free I'll get it. I'll probably enjoy that one too.

Kate Thornton
02-06-2011, 12:16 PM
I enjoyed the Dan Brown books I read.

I REALLY enjoy Medievalist's posts! I love learning things like this. I could almost wish Bevis was on Kindle...I would give it a shot.

..

KaiaSonderby
02-06-2011, 12:29 PM
I've never read Dan Brown, but I understand why you'd want to redact your defense of him. The sheer amounts of "facts" in his books alone...

But in the end, I second what Medievalist says. Dan Brown is kinda like the book version of crappy movie tie-in video games. There are people who really love those, too, and even though that baffles some of us, they're a healthy (economically speaking) addition to the industry. That's always good.

shaldna
02-06-2011, 02:04 PM
I didn't like Dan Brown, but each to their own.

Taste is very subjective, and what is amazing to one person is toilet paper to others. The main thing is that someone is reading, and that makes it all good.

RobJ
02-06-2011, 02:06 PM
I apologize if this starts another war, but - for the record - I was wrong in my defense of Dan Brown. Very wrong.
What's to defend? Or even attack? Dan Brown's books have achieved huge commercial success. Warts and all.

gothicangel
02-06-2011, 02:07 PM
I went to Roslyn Chapel last year. it wasn't anything like I expected from the DaVinci code. Brown never said nothing about it being a building site.


I'm not sure if Brown actually visited Rosslyn. Just as Wallace hadn't visited Stirling [only Edinburgh] before writing Braveheart. ;)

The restoration work started after the book came out. The DVC tourists drive the minister mad by all accounts. Worth a visit just to see the sublime Scottish masonry/architectural art in itself.

N.B You can't get into the crypt either.

In Scotland we quite like looking after our historical monuments, so future generations can enjoy them. Stirling castle's Palace has been closed for several years now, due to re-open this summer.:)

Terie
02-06-2011, 02:09 PM
I believe you mean 'retract' not 'redact'.

And really, who cares?

Reading is good. Doesn't matter what other people read, doesn't matter what I personally think of a book or whether I'd read it. It also doesn't matter what I read, doesn't matter what other people think of the book or whether they'd read it.

Reading is good.

And making a point of What I Don't Like by starting a whole new thread (after a first one has been locked, ahem) seems kind of silly to me.

bettielee
02-06-2011, 02:40 PM
I loved Robin Hood and his Merry Men. Just sayin'.

Lillie
02-06-2011, 02:43 PM
I'm not sure if Brown actually visited Rosslyn. Just as Wallace hadn't visited Stirling [only Edinburgh] before writing Braveheart. ;)

The restoration work started after the book came out. The DVC tourists drive the minister mad by all accounts. Worth a visit just to see the sublime Scottish masonry/architectural art in itself.

N.B You can't get into the crypt either.

In Scotland we quite like looking after our historical monuments, so future generations can enjoy them. Stirling castle's Palace has been closed for several years now, due to re-open this summer.:)

That's interesting. I thought the big roof had been put over it in the '90s.

Anyway, I didn't mind because I got to go up on the walkway round the top and saw all the carvings there really close up.
Something that won't be possible once the false roof has gone, if it hasn't already.
They had half the floor up when I was there, so if I ever get the chance to go back I'll be able to see a whole different aspect to the chapel.

I wanted to see it long before I read Dan Brown, I first heard of it in Holy Blood, I think, back in the 80s.

It was lovely and strange, but not at all what I had expected.

I visited Edinburgh too. That's such a beautiful city.

gothicangel
02-06-2011, 03:01 PM
Last thing I heard was that they were restoring the stain glass windows. I don't know if the tarpaulin is still up.

I might have to pay a visit before the tourists descend.

seun
02-06-2011, 03:21 PM
Bevis of Hampton.

I have nothing to add other than to say I read this as Beavis of Hampton.

Heh. Heh.

Alitriona
02-06-2011, 05:28 PM
I have read some of Dan Brown's books. I have never been to some of the locations in them and researched all of the facts he includes. Even if I had, I was reading the books as entertainment and not historical text books. I enjoyed the books for the fiction they are. They aren't my favorite but they are okay.

scarletpeaches
02-06-2011, 05:31 PM
I disagree that all reading is good. If someone reads Brown, Meyer, Hamilton, whoever, and that's all they read, it's as mentally healthy as only ever eating a Big Mac and fries is physically healthy.

That is all.

Searching
02-06-2011, 05:32 PM
First and foremost Dan Brown is an amazing human being. Why? Because imagine how hard it must have been for him to do one thing pretty much everyone hates and finds really difficult to do: write. Because when you write you have to actually think. You can't just put random words in sentences and that's that. Did you know this? Try it - here's what happened when I did it: Car hamburger secret bagel hamster run. It doesn't work.

Dan Brown must be really smart to keep putting all those words into sentences. And without making spelling mistakes either! Here's the best bit though. Ready? Those sentences all form into a more or less coherent story that I can understand. How many people can do that? And a story that is fun too! Because it has mystery and romance and all that jazz.

Dan Brown is story teller. Had he been born a couple of thousand years earlier, all his books would be classics. But that doesn't matter. What matters is that I can sit on my couch, put my feet up, and read his novels and it doesn't even feel like reading. Amazing, isn't it? It's just like Fox News. They tell you the news and you just sit there and take it. I guess it's the graphics, I don't know what exactly. It just goes into your brain and you don't even have to think about it or anything. It's painless. Dan Brown is like this. Painless.

All writers should be more like Dan Brown. I don't think you can call Dan Brown a writer. Maybe we should call Dan Brown Writer 2.0. A genius of the modern age. And an amazing human being.

shaldna
02-06-2011, 05:56 PM
I disagree that all reading is good. If someone reads Brown, Meyer, Hamilton, whoever, and that's all they read, it's as mentally healthy as only ever eating a Big Mac and fries is physically healthy.

That is all.

This is true also. I didn't look at it from that point of view.

Okay, how about, these books should only be enjoyed as part of a literally controlled diet. Please enjoy responsibly.

scarletpeaches
02-06-2011, 05:59 PM
How many units in a copy of DVC? How long does it take to work it out of your brainstream?

FOR GOD'S SAKE, DON'T DRINK DAN BROWN AND DRIVE WRITE!

Terie
02-06-2011, 06:01 PM
I disagree that all reading is good. If someone reads Brown, Meyer, Hamilton, whoever, and that's all they read, it's as mentally healthy as only ever eating a Big Mac and fries is physically healthy.

I still don't think we get to judge someone else's reading habits. And quite frankly, while there's lot of wonderful literature that people with limited reading tastes miss, I'd still rather see someone reading and rereading Meyer, Brown, et al, than never reading at all and sticking to just TV. Even the lightest reading still requires exercising one's imagination and putting oneself into someone else's shoes.

YMMV.

entropic island
02-06-2011, 07:11 PM
Let me rephrase:

I made this thread because I would like to show - for the record - that my defense of Dan Brown was undeserved.

I am glad people are reading and I do even think Dan Brown reading is better than no reading, but my behavior in the last thread was something I regret.

Jamesaritchie
02-06-2011, 08:01 PM
It's one thing getting a fact wrong now and then in a book. To me, it's quite another thing when the writer gets nearly every fact wrong, which must be intentional since the research is so easy, and then spends half his time lying about the research. This alone makes me find Brown unreadable.

And he's one of the few writers out there who simply can't write well at all, and hasn't seen a cliche he doesn't love.

But he tells one hell of a good story, and his characters aren't half bad. For many, this is enough.

Alitriona
02-06-2011, 08:04 PM
First and foremost Dan Brown is an amazing human being. Why? Because imagine how hard it must have been for him to do one thing pretty much everyone hates and finds really difficult to do: write. Because when you write you have to actually think. You can't just put random words in sentences and that's that. Did you know this? Try it - here's what happened when I did it: Car hamburger secret bagel hamster run. It doesn't work.

Dan Brown must be really smart to keep putting all those words into sentences. And without making spelling mistakes either! Here's the best bit though. Ready? Those sentences all form into a more or less coherent story that I can understand. How many people can do that? And a story that is fun too! Because it has mystery and romance and all that jazz.

Dan Brown is story teller. Had he been born a couple of thousand years earlier, all his books would be classics. But that doesn't matter. What matters is that I can sit on my couch, put my feet up, and read his novels and it doesn't even feel like reading. Amazing, isn't it? It's just like Fox News. They tell you the news and you just sit there and take it. I guess it's the graphics, I don't know what exactly. It just goes into your brain and you don't even have to think about it or anything. It's painless. Dan Brown is like this. Painless.

All writers should be more like Dan Brown. I don't think you can call Dan Brown a writer. Maybe we should call Dan Brown Writer 2.0. A genius of the modern age. And an amazing human being.

Okay, so since you are talking to a bunch of writers I would like to presume a lot of us know how hard it is to write and the amount of thinking that goes into it.

I'm glad you feel Dan Brown is painless reading, that is pretty much my definition of his writing too, although after a few books it got a little repetitive.

I don't aspire to be like Dan Brown other than his sales. Maybe he is an amazing human being, I don't know him personally so I wouldn't presume to judge that but it has zero to do with his writing skills or imagination.

scarletpeaches
02-06-2011, 08:06 PM
/irony identificationfail

Alitriona
02-06-2011, 08:27 PM
/irony identificationfail

I really hope so.

There are those that hold that opinion so hard to tell.

Phaeal
02-06-2011, 08:32 PM
I have nothing to add other than to say I read this as Beavis of Hampton.

Heh. Heh.

I would read Beavis of Hampton vs. Butthead of York. With a crossbow.

scarletpeaches
02-06-2011, 08:33 PM
Someone needs to write that book.

Just...please, God, not Dan Brown.

brainstorm77
02-06-2011, 08:37 PM
If you've read one Brown thread, you've read them all. And the same goes for Meyer.


ETA: I think this was another way to bring up Brown.:evil

Phaeal
02-06-2011, 08:38 PM
I'd still rather see someone reading and rereading Meyer, Brown, et al, than never reading at all and sticking to just TV.

I'd rather they had watched Caprica so %&88$##* SYFY hadn't canceled it.

Phaeal
02-06-2011, 08:40 PM
If you've read one Brown thread, you've read them all. And the same goes for Meyer.

Nah. Popcorn is always good.

:popcorn: :popcorn: :popcorn:

brainstorm77
02-06-2011, 08:43 PM
Nah. Popcorn is always good.

:popcorn: :popcorn: :popcorn::tongue:banana:

Libbie
02-06-2011, 08:50 PM
I read The DaVinci Code a few years ago and I had fun reading it. I generally prefer literary fiction because I like to think hard about what I read and to be surprised by stylistic flourishes I've never seen before. But I had fun reading TDC. No, it was not Updike or Fitzgerald. But it was a fast-paced page-turner. Yes, it had serious problems with style and prose. And it was totally predictable, largely because the foreshadowing had about as much subtlety and grace as a cinder block. But it was still a fun little trip to take. I enjoyed the book.

I haven't read his other books, so I can't comment on them. But Dan Brown writes very commercial fiction. He's not trying to do anything other than give his readers a little bit of fun. If your idea of fun isn't his idea of fun, then nobody's to blame for that. You and Dan just disagree.

And as already mentioned in this thread, his enormous success allows his publisher to take risks on smaller-time authors who are probably writing the kind of books you DO enjoy. So be grateful for Dan and his legions of fun-loving fans, because some day they may be paying for the roof over your head, O Aspiring Author.

Medievalist
02-06-2011, 09:05 PM
Lordinges, herkneth to me tale!
Is merier than the nightingale,
That I schel singe;
Of a knight ich wile yow roune,
Beves a highte of Hamtoune,
Withouten lesing.

Ich wile yow tellen al togadre
Of that knight and of is fadre,
Sire Gii.
Of Hamtoun he was sire
And of al that ilche schire,
To wardi.

Lordinges, this, of whan I telle,
Never man of flesch ne felle
Nas so strong.
And so he was in ech strive.
And ever he levede withouten wive,
Al to late and long.

Whan he was fallen in to elde,
That he ne mighte himself welde,
He wolde a wif take;
Sone thar after, ich understonde,
Him hadde be lever than al this londe
Hadde he hire forsake. 1

An elde a wif he tok an honde,
The kinges doughter of Scotlonde,
So faire and bright.
Allas, that he hire ever ches!
For hire love his lif a les
With mechel unright.

This maide ichave of ytold,
Faire maide she was and bold
And fre yboren;
Of Almayne that emperur
Hire hadde loved paramur
Wel thar beforen.

Ofte to hire fader a sente
And he him selve theder wente
For hire sake;
Ofte gernede hire to wive;
The king for no thing alive
Nolde hire him take. 2

Sithe a yaf hire to sire Gii,
A stalword erl and hardi
Of Southhamtoun.
Man, whan he falleth in to elde.
Feble a wexeth and unbelde
Thourgh right resoun.

So longe thai yede togedres to bedde,
A knave child betwene hem thai hedde,
Beves a het.
Faire child he was and bolde,
He nas boute seve winter olde,
Whan his fader was ded.

http://www.lib.rochester.edu/camelot/teams/bevisfrm.htm

TroyJackson
10-06-2012, 06:55 PM
I have always been one who loves secrets, rituals, things like that. So I was delighted to have read Dan Brown's three novels with exactly those qualities!

If you haven't read them yet, I would highly recommend them.

heyjude
10-06-2012, 07:32 PM
:hi: Troy! There's a thread on Dan Brown's novels in general here (http://www.absolutewrite.com/forums/showthread.php?t=61071&highlight=davinci+code) if you're interested in other people's opinons. :)