Tuesday, September 19

It is now officially 2003 for me

It might surprise no one and everyone -- I'm not sure which -- that I haven't yet read The Da Vinci Code -- that bastion of hypermarketed literary sensation. But I am in the process of remedying that egregious infraction, thanks in large part to Ashley lending me her hefty illustrated hardcover copy -- a volume that, as I lie in bed leafing through it, gives me occasional college-era flashbacks to a time when I would take a meaty textbook to bed only to abandon it ten minutes in because there was no greater sleep aid in my studently life than a dull and densely worded $300 textbook.

Tonight I will begin chapter fiveof Mr. Brown's magnum opus. My take on the book so far is that it is easier to read than a textbook, of moderate interestingness, and written as poorly as any potential novel I could possibly eke out would be. Dan Brown's love of modifiers rivals even my own (Dan Brown's pervasive love of copiously superfluous modifiers vigorously rivals even my own?)

Brown's prose style has been lambasted before by language enthusiasts whose opinions I value greatly. I have no qualifications that would merit my addition to the pile-on, but I'm gonna dive on top of the heap anyway.

So far, I find his writing style to lack grace and imagination. He uses lowest-common-denominator words that evoke not imagery but mere facts, despite the adjectivals and adverbials galore. His syntax is clumsy and, while I don't think he's necessarily a bad writer, I think he could use a stern and perspicacious editor who will approach his manuscripts with a red pen of Authority, making sure every word in the book belongs there and isn't there just because it was the first word Dan Brown thought of.

Of course, my opinion is moot. Dan Brown is a rich, rich man whose writing ability is inconsequential at this point. All he needs to know how to write is his signature on the back of a check. And I wonder how many modifiers he can fit back there...

5 Comments:

Blogger TVonthefritz said...

I haven't read that either. Maybe if you think it's mildly enjoyable, I'll give it a chance.

Wed Sep 20, 02:22:00 AM  
Blogger TVonthefritz said...

Did you know that Dan Brown was a struggling songwriter? Yeah, yeah. It's all true. I wouldn't make shit like that up.

Wed Sep 20, 02:24:00 AM  
Blogger TVonthefritz said...

I'm reading Running with Scissors. My friend didn't like it, but I find it to be richly warped and painfully bleed-til-you-need-a-blood-transfusion funny. Take that critique to the bank and cash it, bitches.

Wed Sep 20, 02:26:00 AM  
Blogger TVonthefritz said...

I'm also reading Billy Crystal's 700 Sundays, the large-print edition. I have my reasons. But so far, Mr. Crystal's writing makes me want to gouge my eyes out with fork.

Wed Sep 20, 02:29:00 AM  
Blogger theogeo said...

I didn't know that Dan Brown was a struggling songwriter, but I can certainly believe the struggling part. There is no poetry in what he writes — none at all.

You've been reading that damn Augusten Burroughs book for ages, haven't you? Maybe that was someone else. Didn't you tell me he was trying to be like David Sedaris? Or did Amber tell me that? Anyway, I'll have to check it out once I'm done with DaVinci.

Billy Crystal wrote a book? Lord help us.

Wed Sep 20, 02:54:00 AM  

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