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05/15/2013

The pointless hating of author Dan Brown

Inferno-dan-brownHere at Sucker Central Headquarters, I blew $23 on the latest Dan Brown book, "Because I Want to Buy a Continent".

Actually, the author of the Da Vinci Code's new book is called "Inferno" where his favorite character, Dr. Robert Langdon, solves the world's problems using numbers, codes, symbols and items found in a Cracker Jack box. Click here for Dan Brown's website.

With the return of Dan Brown to the book shelves it is also time for the expectant arrival of his many critics who pan his work as pedestrian, simple and stupid.  

This is the basic truth about all critics of pop culture - if there is not great pain, or slow death, it sucks and unworthy of high praise but merits considerable scorn. This is what is called serious writer envy. Please note his critics have seldom authored a successful book of their own.

The passing of Roger Ebert is a good reminder to critics of all culture that there is a place for everything. Ebert believed there is such a thing as "good" for a genre, which does not mean it merits a Pulitzer.

Dan Brown's work should never be confused for Catch 22, The Great Gatsby or The Sun Also Rises, but this does not mean his books are trash. Few are going to consider Brown's dialogue-rich prose to be in the same category as "To Kill A Mockingbird", or any other piece of classic American literature.

The last time I checked Brown was not campaigning to be seated next to Harper Lee, although I am sure he would not mind.

His books are fairly simple, and maybe the writing isn't worthy of an English PhD at Cal. The books move, and the writing lends itself to turning to the next page. At a minimum Brown's work encourages people to read, which helps attention spans, etc.

220px-Dan_Brown_bookjacket_croppedThe Da Vinci code actually prompted serious discussion about how churches and organized religion opressed women for centuries. Ernest Hemingway never did that.

Brown's books serve their purpose - they entertain, which apparently in literature is a sin. 

No one who picks up Brown's latest book should think they are reading historical fiction. It's fiction with a few fun factoids added. 
No one who picks up Brown's latest book should think they are going to read a Da Vinci Code again; that was one of those career-books that are seldom repeated.
No one who picks up Brown's latest book should think they are reading War and Peace.

The Inferno is written with one purpose: To entertain you.

 

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