Friday, March 30, 2007

Chapter 31

Short one again.

And poor old Sister Sandrine buys it, not because her death serves Silas's purpose, but because she disses Opus Dei. And laughing at his loin swaddle. Probably.

Incidentally, what do you think of this? "A sudden explosion of rage erupted behind the monk's eyes?" Explosions explode, surely; eruptions erupt. And aren't lungeing and lashing out different movements?

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Even Leonardo had to take a holiday...

In answer to the flurry of concerned messages (well, the one from Joel), Chasms of the Earth is not dead. I've just got rather a lot of stuff on: moving house; that book I wrote; a new online project that will (let us pray) be unveiled shortly.

So I'm just leaving Langford and Sophie and Silas and co hanging in mid-air for a while. Not sure how long "a while" is, but this blog will return.

Of course, it could extend into a Dan Brown-style extended writer's block. But let's hope, in this case at least) the wait will be worthwhile.

Sunday, March 11, 2007

Chapter 30

As Silas seeks the keystone, Sophie scrabbles for the key. They're after the same thing, although Sophie probably doesn't wear a loin swaddle. But while Silas is motivated by obsessive faith, Sophie gets what she wants through a geeky obsession with anagrams. If only St Paul had transferred his zeal to the Times crossword.

Meanwhile, poor old Langdon's flat out with a grieving security guard just itching to put a hole in his back, until the pistol-packing custodian is presented with the curatorial equivalent of the Judgement of Solomon.

Bet the Prof wishes he'd stayed in the toilet.

Thursday, March 08, 2007

Chapter 29

"Loin swaddle".

C'mon, how many pulp thrillers do you get that offer you a phrase as delectable as "loin swaddle"? It sounds like a village in Gloucestershire, or maybe a minor character in a PG Wodehouse novel. Sir Geoffrey Loin-Swaddle, Bt. That kind of thing.

The extent of Silas's delusion becomes clear. Not only does he walk around the church in his pants, smashing up the floor, he also identifies himself with Moses and Job, while all Sister Sandrine can do is to make a few phone calls.

What would Jesus do?

Monday, March 05, 2007

Chapter 28

Brown now starts to shake up the formula a bit. Chapter 28 is mostly didactic, with a bit of a thrill chucked in at the end.

He seems to have tired of conjuring up Langdon's old tutor groups, and this lecture (about the Malleus Maleficarum and the growth of misogyny in the world's major religions) is shoehorned in as a summary of the prof's thoughts as he attempted to decode the latest little jape from the Renowned Curator. There's even a bit of new age guff thrown in, as we ponder the third greatest gift to civilisation of the Hopi people (after ear candles and dream catchers) - koyanisquatsi.

Then there's a neat touch. As Langdon is contemplating how peachy life would be if the ladies had their turn in the saddle, a security comes in with a bloody great penis substitute, which he points at our hero, and threatens to fire.

From the seamy side of Catholic history to Freudian knob gags in just over a page. Don't let them tell you this isn't good value.

Friday, March 02, 2007

Chapter 27

I'd better rein in the snotty comments about Brown's style, since yesterday saw a succession of e-mails from my father, gleefully pointing out infelicities in my own magnum opus.

We're back in Brown's terse mode, and the short sentences communicate the sense that Bezu Fache is bottling up one hell of an eruption (or, of course, a major stroke). We seem to have a pattern here: short bit; teachy bit; mad monk bit. But it works this time, as Bezu's confidence returns, and he thinks he's ahead of Langdon this time.

It's all terrifically exciting.