Saturday, December 16, 2006

This is not a review

Okay, I'm reading "The Da Vinci Code." I'm a little more than halfway through it. Yes, I've seen the movie. So why read the book?

Simple, to see how and why Dan Brown's novel has become so popular.

The plot is fairly generic, though has a fast pace to keep interest up. The main character is different, thus interesting, but most of the other characters aren't anything special. The writing is okay, not great but not awful, reminding me a little of Michael Crichton's work in the last 20 or so years. It almost reads like a screenplay, with a little exposition thrown in from time to time to explain the more complicated elements of the story.

True, I'm not finished with the book, but since I've seen the movie I know how the story works out. As far as I can tell, the novel is so popular because of its background material, most of which is quite explosive from a religio-political point of view.

However, none of that background information is anything new, nothing I hadn't read years ago. Apparantly, though, it was new to the public at large.

In the 1980s and early 1990s, I spent years and years reading occult material, fiction and non-fiction that touched upon or was fully engulfed by "secret history," "lost books" and unique individuals and the like. I wanted to be a horror writer then, so it made sense to study all that stuff. I spent lots of time reading about the history of vampirism, cults, witchcraft, Le Comte de St. Germain, the Rosicrucians and thousands of other subjects that are truly useless to know about ... unless one is writing about occult matters.

So, "The Da Vinci Code" held no surprises for me.

It's just a halfway decent book that likely would never have been a best seller if its opponents had kept their mouths shut.

Wow. Eureka. Sorry, I've got to go. I think my next novel is going to be about a conspiracy by a U.S. president to start a war for no other reason than to make his buddies rich. THAT should be controversial enough to get me published.

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