September 20th, 2009

breaking bad

On why I hate Dan Brown against my own principles

Because of his new book coming out I have been talking to a few people, and reading online, about Dan Brown. In general I sympathise with the point of view that we should be tolerant, that popular books promote reading to a wider group, that we shouldn't be ashamed of what we enjoy (eg Harry Potter), that a naive untutored style can be oddly powerful, that breaking the rules of writing extends the power of language etc. If a friend loves a book, what could be more snobby and unfriendly than sneering at it?

But all of this goes out the window with Dan Brown. I just can't get over how bad he is. I lose all the principles I just wrote there. It sets me off. One of my best friends said she liked Da Vinci Code and I just was silenced. I know the sort of things I should say, but I couldn't.

Here's just the sort of thing that normally gets my goat. The Daily Telegraph, only one step up from the Mail, presents 'The 20 worst sentences in Dan Brown'. It's a pretty bad article (they aren't all sentences, the #1 choice is idiotic, the telegraph aren't All That).

But, blow me down, this is some hellish bad writing.Collapse )