Monday, January 29, 2007

Chapter 13

Brown's most admirable writerly attribute is his sense of pace, although this may be an optical illusion created by his remarkably short chapters.* This is the second consecutive chapter that takes place entirely in the gentlemen's lavatory of the Louvre, and there's no sense that Langdon and Sophie are dawdling. It's all go.

I mentioned in the last post that the bizarre plot developments and unlikely coincidences don't really bother me. But isn't it handy that Saunière had the foresight to bestow upon his granddaughter a nickname that has the same initials as an abbreviation commonly found in written communications? And that, even as he lay dying on the floor of the gallery, he was alert enough to make use of the fact in such an elegantly ambiguous way?

* Possibly rivalled only by Sterne:

"--Thou wilt get a brush and little chalk to my sword-- 'Twill be only in your honour's way, replied Trim."
Tristram Shandy
, vol VIII, ch 29

and Carroll:

"--and it really was a kitten, after all."
Through the Looking Glass
, ch XI.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hello Tim

I am joining your reading group a little late...but I must confess that I read The Da Vinci code and loved it. Sorry. I just didn't notice it was that badly written because of the pace he set. I'm not totally innoculated against bad writing. I recently had to force myself to finish a novel by Matthew Reilly. (The scenes of violence are something else.)

Anyway, I just wanted to interject that I think Saunière always suspected something like this would happen to him so he would have had plenty of time to think about how he could write a secret message to his granddaughter. This sort of comes out more as the book progresses. Hope I haven't ruined it for you (fat chance).

Best wishes
Elizabeth (the one from Exeter)

1:45 pm  
Blogger Tim Footman said...

Hello sweetie.

Yes, but the 'pace' is an optical illusion created by very short chapters, many of them spent in public toilets.

Get in touch:

3:10 pm  

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