Thursday, 15 September 2011

Dan Brown and his writing skills

Just because it's always fun (and easy) to poke fun at Mr Brown and his use (some might say abuse) of language, here's an oldish link to Tom Chivers' favourite 20 sentences from Brown's five books. Some choice examples (the sarky comments are Chivers'):

The Da Vinci Code, chapter 4: As a boy, Langdon had fallen down an abandoned well shaft and almost died treading water in the narrow space for hours before being rescued. Since then, he'd suffered a haunting phobia of enclosed spaces - elevators, subways, squash courts.Other enclosed spaces include toilet cubicles, phone boxes and dog kennels.

The Da Vinci Code, chapter 5: Only those with a keen eye would notice his 14-karat gold bishop's ring with purple amethyst, large diamonds, and hand-tooled mitre-crozier appliqué.A keen eye indeed.

The Lost Symbol, chapter 1: He was sitting all alone in the enormous cabin of a Falcon 2000EX corporate jet as it bounced its way through turbulence. In the background, the dual Pratt & Whitney engines hummed evenly.The Da Vinci Code, chapter 17: Yanking his Manurhin MR-93 revolver from his shoulder holster, the captain dashed out of the office.Oh – the Falcon 2000EX with the Pratt & Whitneys? And the Manurhin MR-93? Not the MR-92? You’re sure? Thanks.
That last one is my particular bugbear. I once had to read a book for review that EVERY time a car, helicopter, gun, or any weapon or vehicle was mentioned, gave its precise make and model number. It was not only annoying and unnecessary, but also prevented me from following the story as I wasn't sure if the baddies were arriving in a helicopter or a car, or even if they had a gun or a helicopter some of the time.

(Disclaimer: I have read most of Dan Brown's books. They are as awful as people say, but they are also as compelling as people say. Seriously, you have to find out what ridiculous twist is going to happen next and what nonsensical plot device he's going to employ to get his character out of whatever pickle he's in. My favourite was when he had his hero survive a jump from a helicopter with no parachute. I won't spoil it, but suffice it to say he was lucky he was carrying his pocket handkerchief.)

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