Thursday, February 22, 2007

Chapter 23

About a decade ago, I worked with a couple of Glaswegian graphic designers who were obsessed with conspiracy theories. Roswell, the grassy knoll, the Illuminati, Elvis: everything had a dark underbelly. But above all, what exercised them was the enigma of the number 23.

I suspect they would be rather sniffy about the tired themes with which Brown tries to pep up his prose. But they would have noticed immediately that the 23rd chapter is something special. Everything that characterises TDVC, for better or worse, comes together:

1. Flashback. Sophie as a girl, getting the first inkling of her renowned grandfather's secrets.

2. Word games. Bloody "P.S." again.

3. Comedy policemen, chucking soap in the Seine. Zut alors!

4. Clunky explanations for the dimmer reader. Oh, that's what a cul-de-sac is.

5. Annoying use of italics.

6. Langdon in didactic mode, just in case we forget that he's a bit renowned as well.

7. Veiled references to the past. We still don't know what alienated Sophie from her grandfather. Crikey, it must have been something jolly serious.

8. Utter bollocks. The Priory of Sion is a hoax. Did you get that? It didn't happen, and no "cultured individuals" were involved. No Newton, no Botticelli, no "Da Vinci". All made up. Got it?

9. Bad writing. "Despite the total conviction in Langdon's eyes, Sophie's gut reaction was one of stark disbelief." Ewww...

Of course, if you can find another 14 characteristic elements within this one chapter, we've got a real conspiracy theory on the boil. Cue Twilight Zone music...


Blogger Joel said...

Instances of D, A , V, I, N, and C in your post::
49 85 14 97 74 47

4+9+8+5+1+4+9+7+7+4+4+7= 69

Divide it by the number of times you say 'Sophie' (3) and you get OH MY GOD IT CANNOT BE TRUE

5:06 pm  
Blogger Murph said...

Turn the 23rd letter of the alphabet on its head and W becomes M. Add the classic "ALL" (1-12-12)to the "DAVINC" and what do you get?

Davina Mcall!!!

Murph's eyes turned to stone as his heart pounded incessantly in his ears like steam hammers in a library. It was Day 23 in the Big Brother Household!

9:16 pm  
Blogger K.W.Wan said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

10:37 pm  
Blogger K.W.Wan said...

If you take the number of letters in the title of the book (14) and add it to the number of letters in the author's name (8) you get 22.

Now the spooky bit, if you take a cross and turn it 90 degrees to the left or to the right, it looks like a number 1.

22+1=23!!!!!!!!!!!!! WHAT COULD IT ALL MEAN!!!!!!!!

10:38 pm  
Blogger Tim Footman said...

You're all mad, and I'm sending Bezu Fache to arrest you in a gruff and amusingly inept manner.

12:56 am  
Blogger clodhopper said...

NO NO......I WANT Sophie's shoulder to cry on. My God! It's Friday the twenty third....and (you'll never believe this) my library copy of TDVC is due back TODAY.

8:34 am  

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