Thursday, June 14, 2007

Loin swaddle blues

Regular readers, if there are any left, will have noticed that I've been more than a little slack when it comes to updating this blog. The truth is, I feel as if I'm repeating myself. I worked out many chapters ago that the original mystery that compelled me to start it (why such a bad writer is so successful) was just a red herring. In a post-literate society, people simply don't care. The paper-thin characterisation is neither here nor there. As long as the punters can identify with the putative hero, Langdon, everything's groovy. The fact that he has to be presented as the dimmest person ever to achieve tenure at an Ivy League institution is unfortunate, but if that's what you need to sell in the millions, so be it.

What I do admire, albeit grudgingly, is Brown's ability to give the illusion of speed and action, by slicing the plot into tiny fragments, and cramming in so many details that the reader's head spins. Were he a better writer, comparisons with Nicholson Baker might be in order. The fact that he's not, but sells far more than Baker ever will, is a sad reflection of the cultural marketplace, but hardly Brown's fault.

Anyway. I feel a bit sheepish that I haven't even made it to the halfway mark, but I think my job is pretty much done. Like Jade Goody at the London marathon, I didn't quite realise what an effort it would be.

Oh, and if you'll just allow me the luxury of a BIG PLOT SPOILER

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It's the Pyramid.

8 Comments:

Blogger Joel said...

Maybe you should have built up your endurance beforehand, read a really bad short story every day. Good effort though. I'll leave you with the mental equivalent of chest pains and see you here for your attempt to read Angels and Demons next year.

10:42 am  
Blogger Corey Redekop said...

I'll miss you, buddy. You were a fearless voice in the wilderness, and a truer Shelf Monkey there will never be.

3:20 am  
Blogger Tim Footman said...

Thank you both. Maybe I can blame Opus Dei for shutting me down.

But don't forget, there's all manner of literary goings-on at Cultural Snow. Just no monks in their underwear. And fewer anagrams.

3:58 am  
Blogger Gaye said...

And the ship sinks... Truly spoilt it all for us now didn't you?
Hi Tim Footman, I have read a comment that belongs to you on another blog, one click and here I am. I am one of those who actually read all of the Dan Brown books, mainly out of curiosity - that's my excuse and I am sticking to it. I realized one and all are the same, I will be reading your notes on the chapters in the next few days. I have to sadly admit, I am one of those who used to read anything and everything, to my demise I fell out of the habit the last few years/ Now I am looking to pick it up again with something that will grab me, keep me passionately intrigued all the way to the end. Suggestions?

7:09 pm  
Blogger Tim Footman said...

Hello Gaye. Five books that are infinitely better and considerably shorter than The Da Vinci Code

South of the Border, West of the Sun, by Haruki Murakami

Windows on the World by Frédéric Beigbeder

A Burnt-Out Case, by Graham Greene

The Great Gatsby, by F Scott Fitzgerald

Fear and Trembling by Amélie Nothomb

10:27 am  
Blogger Gaye said...

Thank you very much for the list, Tim. Jotted down and will dive headfirst back into the world of books. I think first one will be Windows on the World.

2:02 pm  
Blogger Murph said...

Tim Footman sent me to push the envelope ond enlarge the blogosphere ....

9:29 am  
Anonymous Tin Foodman said...

Five websites that are infinitely maore interesting and better written than anything to do with the footpad:

1 http://galleries.dirtyschoolgirl.com/hg/angelica1/index.htm

2 http://galleries1.myasianmassage.com/galleries/picgals/111264/hosted.html

well, you get the idea. Ever wonder why Footman 'lives in Bangkok'?

12:00 pm  

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