Friday, May 19, 2006

Renowned Author Dan Brown Staggers Through Book

A few weeks ago, I mentioned that those who think that The Da Vinci Code book is well-written are essentially ferns.

Here, better than I could ever say it, is the best-yet literary deconstruction of Dan Brown's clunky cultural touchstone. It's written by Geoffrey K. Pullum, a professor of linguistics. He writes:
Brown's writing is not just bad; it is staggeringly, clumsily, thoughtlessly, almost ingeniously bad. In some passages scarcely a word or phrase seems to have been carefully selected or compared with alternatives. I slogged through 454 pages of this syntactic swill, and it never gets much better. Why did I keep reading? Because London Heathrow is a long way from San Francisco International, and airline magazines are thin, and two-month-old Hollywood drivel on a small screen hanging two seats in front of my row did not appeal, that's why. And why did I keep the book instead of dropping it into a Heathrow trash bin? Because it seemed to me to be such a fund of lessons in how not to write.

....[Brown] is a huge, blockbuster, worldwide success who can go anywhere he wants and need never work again. And he writes like the kind of freshman student who makes you want to give up the whole idea of teaching. Never mind the ridiculous plot and the stupid anagrams and puzzle clues as the book proceeds, this is a terrible, terrible example of the thriller-writer's craft.
Celebrate the film's release today by reading Pullum's piece on what a steaming load the book is.

(Hat tip: Thinklings)

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