Monday, April 30, 2007

Chapter 34

Bishop Aringarosa. Ooh, I'd forgotten about him. He seems to think that "advertising your love of Jesus Christ was like painting a bull's-eye on the roof of your car". Which suggests that violent anti-Catholics tend to hover several feet above the road, firing vertically downwards. And you thought wearing a loin swaddle was a badge of madness.

Interestingly, it's only now that Brown reveals that he's operating in the realm of an alternate history, or possibly an imagined future. The new, unnamed Pope is an "unprecedented liberal" There are hints of skulduggery about the conclave that appointed him, although the details are left vague - maybe we're meant to assume that these are just the paranoid suppositions of a theological dinosaur. And the full impact of the liberal jiggery-popery that the new pontiff gets up to is equally sketchy, although Aringarosa's major beef seems to be that the Vatican spends too much time and money on new-fangled crazes like astronomy.

And then we suddenly remember that 90% of the chapter has been flashback. Once again Brown plays his favourite trick - appearing to keep the pace going, but moving the action not a jot. And with a self-satisfied sigh, he regales us with one of his glorious stylistic fingernails-on-blackboard moments:

"...he reminded himself that this ring was a symbol of power far less than that which he would soon attain."


Blogger Billy said...

A liberal pope? Whatever next...

10:03 am  
Blogger Joel said...

I suspect the liberal pope thing is a hang-over from the devestating events of the previous book, Angels and Demons. No doubt you'll be rushing to read it when you've finished DVC in about 5 years or so.

3:48 pm  
Blogger Tim Footman said...

No, I've learned my lesson, Joel. It's John Grisham for me now. Oh, and Sophie Kinsella.

4:38 pm  
Blogger Valerie said...

"jiggery-popery"!! I will be laughing about that one all day.

1:13 am  

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