I am sure, like many other folk, I am tearing through Dan Brown’s latest, The Lost Symbol, as fast as many of Brown’s characters must do, because their very lives depend upon it. I bought it when it came out last Tuesday, but did not start reading it until my schedule allowed me to devote serious time to the experience.
Upon reflection, I think my proneness to addiction to “commercial trash fiction” comes from my mother’s side of the family. It is just one of those challenges one has to accept about one’s self.
I’m not going to give anything away here, but Brown has created a villian that is as close to a real monster as anything I have ever seen. This monster will resort to some pretty seriously strange things in his pursuit of being “god-like”.
The book cover indicates that Brown’s The Da Vinci Code was “one of the widely read novels of all time.” I thought, ‘surely not’, but this source indicates the Brown blockbuster was the fifth most read book. The Bible was number one and Quotations from the Works of Mao-Tse-tung was number two.
Have any of you bloggers indulged with the lastest Brown work? Maybe some of our more knowledgeable writer friends will comment on this genre’. Would like to hear from anyone who has an opinion or thoughts about Brown’s (or similar popular writers’) work.
21 responses to “Dan Brown’s Latest…”
I have not seen any of the movie adaptations of Brown’s books. It is difficult to see how a movie could capture the books’ detail and essence.
Just a thought…
I haven’t seen Angels and Demons, but I did see Da Vinci Code more than once. I enjoyed it, although Tom Hanks wouldn’t have been my choice to play the role of Robert Langdon. The problem with the movie I found was that there was less information. It moved quickly and hit the highlights of the premise of the movie: Christ’s relationship (marriage?) to Mary Magdelen. Still, it was highly entertaining.
But let’s face it. I read the book twice before seeing the movie. Keep in mind that I’d also read much of Holy Blood, Holy Grail, along with several articles on the Internet about the subject.
I took my daughter to see DVC at the movies. We were about 10 minutes late, and because she was totally unfamiliar with the story, she had problems tracking the story. She asked a lot of questions that I tried to answer afterward. When the movie came out on DVD, we sat down and watched it together. I gave her the remote control and told her to pause when she had a question or needed something explained. Once she had a better grasp on the story, she enjoyed it a lot more. Let’s face it. She reads Harry Potter long before seeing each movie.
“Commercial trash fiction?”
I got that term from a long ago client, who had serious literary ambitions, but also recognized the necessity of living in the “real world”. I empathized with that dilemma – such things really suck in my view.
There is nothing wrong with selling stuff. I greatly admire people like Wicked who can live by their wits. It is a gift.
It’s okay, iggy. I understand. 🙂
I’d say ‘live by their wits’ definitely hits the mark. For most of us in the commercial trash industry, it sure ain’t the money. 😉
I thought this was funny —
Considering the grammar goofs I see every day on TV, I can’t diss Brown too much on his use of the English language. It’s commercial fiction, folks, not a literary masterpiece.
Thanks for sharing that MH – Good to see you, too!
What I’ve noticed about Brown’s writing is that he seems to have never seen an oxymoron he doesn’t like. “Deafening silence” makes an appearance in The Lost Symbol.
Pacing, judicious tossing out of suspense, and short chapters (some are as short as one half a page) are where Brown excels. Just an untrained opinion…
I like Dan Brown’s work. Why? He keeps me reading. As you said, pacing and suspense used to perfection hold my interest enough to keep me reading long into the night. I, too, have read his books and enjoyed them. I haven’t read The Lost Symbol and won’t until it comes out in paperback. Hey, I’m cheap!
Besides the above, what I find interesting is how he takes a premise (the bloodline of Christ, espionage in the NSA, etc.) and creates fascinating tales. He does his research. Or his wife does. 😉
If it goes to a trade paperback, which it may not, your savings would only be about 1 or 2 dollars. At 40% off at Dillons and several other locations the hardback book can be had for $17 and some change.
Oh, it’ll go to trade. 😉 I give it a year. I have the hardcover of DVC, but paperback of the rest. Wally World will have it for $8.99, I’m sure, and I’m in no hurry. I haven’t read the new books I’ve bought lately, as it is. They keep calling to me, but work comes first, darn it.
I’m seriously short on shelf space. I have the first 30 some Stephen King books, all in hardcover, except The Dark Tower that originally came out in paperback. That includes hardcover copies of both the original release of The Stand and the longer, uncut version. Insomnia was the last I bought in hardcover, but I picked up Bag of Bones in paperback. It depressed me, so I quit reading it before making it to the middle.
We won’t talk how many paperbacks I have. I don’t even have them all here and many will be given to the Art Museum for the Art & Book Fair, as soon as I go through the boxes. Then there are those that had to be left in the basement at the farm and are now ruined. 😦
My dream is to have wall-to-wall-floor-to-ceiling bookcases in one room. (Note the word dream.
I will give you a better offer, when I finish my hardback, you can have it for free. I am so short on bookshelf space in my livingroom, and in my basement, it is nearly frightening. Please help me re-cycle my book. It is a win/win… I will bet, after you’re done with it, you could sell the book to a used book store for a good (their version of that) price.
Let me know. I will send my email address. I am sure I still have yours.
One thing I’ve never done was read Brown for his knowledge of the queens English. I started reading him from his first book, and enjoyed his successions. But I’m quite content to bypass his “clumsy” phrases, as the stories generally are enough to carry the day. I can’t think of many writers who don’t write “clumsy’ phrases. It just seems part of the “commercial trash” genre.
As for his current book: starts out very similar to the Da Vinci Code, and that’s about all I’ll say about that.
It’s all a matter of taste. Reading, that is. I have the DVDs of all of John Grisham’s books-to-movies. I love them! But for the life of me, I can’t get past more than two chapters of his books. I’ve tried. Three different books. His “voice” (style) just doesn’t grab me enough to keep me interested.
Time to Kill was his best one!!
Bought Brown’s new book but haven’t had time yet to read.
One of my favorites of the movies, for sure! But then Sandra Bullock is in it. LOL
Not sure if I have the book. I have several I’ve picked up here and there. I’m sure my oldest has them all. I’ll give it a try when I get through the rest of my TBR (To Be Read) pile. 🙂
Not to give anything away, I am nearly done with The Lost Symbol and suffice to say there are plenty of jaw dropping plot twists in that thing. None that were expected by me.
The sign of a good suspense writer is not only keeping the reader guessing, but not guessing correctly.
Brown passed that test, I am here to tell ya…