Dan Brown (2003). The Da Vinci Code. New York: Anchor.
My rating: **
What irritated me about this book was not so much the much fêted hilariously bad writing style, nor the erratic pacing which meant nothing much happened until the middle of this lengthy tome, but the presentation of fiction, myth and conspiracy theory as incontrovertibly true.
A friend recently sent me a link to a short series of most entertaining reviews in the New York Magazine of Dan Brown’s latest The Lost Symbol. One of the reviewers, Sam Anderson, makes the acute observation that perhaps one of the main attractions of Dan Brown’s novels is that readers feel as though they are learning interesting facts from his books. It is just somewhat unfortunate that a number of these facts aren’t – well – exactly true.
This same friend had also earlier sent me the links to linguist Geoffrey K. Pullum’s amusing blog posts here and here on Dan Brown’s writing style. As a result, I felt inspired to produce my own attempt at a Dan Brown opening sentence. As a bit of background here, over the last few years I have done rather a lot of housesitting.
Renowned housesitter, Clare, removed the bloodied claws of the ravening cats from her throat and kicked the snarling dog which had crushed her ankle between its hideous jaws across the room to join the writhing lizards she had plucked from her hair. Too late! With an awful groan the esteemed minder of houses, through the mists of galloping death, gazed longingly at the original Charles Blackman prints adorning the walls of the luxury mansion that was her latest and her last assignment. A last breath croaked from her torn throat as she helpless, turned to watch the silhouette of a brightly patterned and red eyed boa constrictor creep dangerously close from the distant end of the immense tree-lined drive.