Tuesday, 7 January 2014

In defence of Dan Brown

Dan Brown has made many himself a fortune by selling books containing fairly implausible plots that revolve around tortuous conspiracy theories. Two of his novels have been made into feature films which have entertained millions and kept his bank manager smiling.

The one thing he lacks is plaudits from the critics. His books, it is said, are poorly written, ridiculously plotted hyperbole that have spawned thousands of worthless copycats in the treasure-hunting-conspiracy genre. His books are repetitive, contain totally unnecessary description and feature poor sentence construction (indeed, even worse than my own).

And the critics are right. Some examples of his writing can be found in the link below:


I first read a Dan Brown book whilst I was on the TGO Challenge in 2005. A nice Swiss lady in Alltbeithe Hostel gave me a copy of "Angels and Demons", which I read over the next few days. It was fairly ridiculous stuff and hardly grand literature, but - and this seems to be the fact the critics miss - it was enjoyable. I found myself stopping at lunch, nestling down in the heather and getting the book out for five minutes just so that I could read a little more.

A couple of years later I stayed at a B&B, and at breakfast the owner's daughter was reading 'The Da Vinci Code'. I asked her if she was enjoying it, and she stated that she was - and that it was the first book she had ever read. What is more, she said she might read other books. Dan Brown's novels might just have opened the door to a world of literature that was unknown to her before.

Yes, the books are nonsense. Yes, the plots are ridiculous. Yes, the writing is poor. And no, they will never be classic literature.

But they're also enjoyable and accessible.

We can't all read Tristram Shandy, Lord of the Flies or Anna Karenina, even if we should.

Thanks, mister Brown. Just try to write some proper literature next time, just to show the critics you can.

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