Tuesday, May 09, 2006

Why Dan Brown's Writing is Really Bad

Really, really bad.

(via mumpsimus)

6 comments so far. What are your thoughts?

La Gringa said...

Yes, he is a dreadful writer. But he IS a good storyteller, which makes all the difference. There are bestselling authors who can't even claim that much. I read the Da Vinci Code, thought the writing was painful, but nor more painful than some of the most rocking good fun sci-fi or fantasy I've read. I allowed myself to just get into the story had some fun reading it. It's a book designed to be read on a plane, then tucked into the seat pocket for the next passenger. (Which is what I did.) Or to be made into a movie. :-)

When I was reading it, my friend was sitting in front of me on the plane also reading it, and every time we came to a chapter ending that ended with something akin to "and his eyes bulged in astonishment" we would thrown M&Ms over the seat at each other.

Patrick said...

A good analysis I read noted that Dan Brown's line-by-line writing is atrocious, but he has a good grasp of basic potboiler plot structure. So even though the actual thing that happens at the end of Chapter xy is stupid and inane and poorly written, it comes at the right time to build tension and keep things moving.

And as somebody else who read it trying to figure out what had kept it on the bestseller list for so long... yeah. It's bad. It's really really bad. And uncritical readers don't care, which is ten kinds of lame but eleven kinds of true. They get sucked into the decently structured (if poorly written) plot and are interested in the (poorly written) infodumps, and voila! A research-infodumping potboiler.

Ech. But a really high-selling ech... 

Posted by Patrick

Via said...

I couldn't make it past the first few pages. His writing was painfully adolescent. He made a very obvious error about Egyptian mythology, and if he can't be bothered to do even the most rudimentary research I can't be bothered to read his novel.

Rhyannnon Smith said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Rhyannnon Smith said...

I must be the only one who didn't 'read-read' the book. I thought it was a good story apart from the naffness of which character was behind all the madness.

But i have to say, I didn't even notice Brown's writing style until I read that link.

I must have switched off, similiar to La Gringa 

Posted by Anonymous

Ledasmom said...

I could forgive him either the poor writing or the devil-may-care attitude towards facts, but not both. I did (I confess it) get that other book of his - Angels and Whatevers - out from the library just from grim curiousity, and it was every bit as bad as I suspected it was. For instance, unless my (admittedly small) medical knowledge is completely wrong, a man is not as good as dead just because he's got icepick wounds in his lungs; he may die of bloodloss or the inability to breath, but not because the lungs will then deflate like balloons. Lungs do not work that way. If he dies of suffocation it's because the chest-seal has been broken, thereby preventing the expansion of the lungs when the diaphragm moves down, but that is not the same thing. And yet the "hero" does not do what any sane person would do and call an ambulance, 'cause the cardinal is As Good As Dead. Well, he is now, jerk.
Awful book, blindingly awful, horribly awful, awful, awful awful, but good for training the voice: I believe I achieved an increase in maximum volume of one decible as a result of shouting at it.