Monday, September 14, 2009

I'm not the only person who thinks Dan Brown's a horse's petoot

I read three of Dan Brown's other books and was thoroughly disgusted. Any book where I can predict the heavy-handed deus ex machina the author's going to use in the antepenultimate chapter to get himself out of the corner he's written himself into is pretty poor. ("Hey, Dan, I really like this new book. Especially the part where everyone gets killed by a bus!")

Having read three books that were basically the same book and a bad book to boot, I had no burning desire to read The Da Vinci Code, nor could I even care: "Jesus was married??!?" gasp! "The Vatican has been responsible for sleazy behavior and hidden the truth at times?!?!?" Quelle horror!! I couldn't be impressed nor interested nor shocked. To quote Elisabeth Knottingham, my apathy was palpable.

BTW, there are many things that Dan Brown is no good at that contribute to his overall suckiness. One of them is cryptography, which is kind of a pity for him because it's the foundation of a lot of his plot. (He's really got just the one.) He's also a duffer when it comes to non-English languages. Actually, both links address both topics to an extent; you'll enjoy them unless you think Dan Brown actually can write, in which case, get yourself to a library and read something good so you understand why he's so bad.

So, with this really crappy attitude about Dan Brown, I was pleased to discover that I'm not the only person who finds Dan Brown tedious and hackneyed: Slate magazine just published the Dan Brown Plot Generator, with which you can generate the Dan Brown book plot of your choice. And it'll be at least as good as anything he's ever written.

Here, for example, is a plot for a new Robert Langdon book involving Philadelphia and Major League Baseball:

A long-forgotten cipher whose key is somewhere in Philadelphia.
A murderous cult determined to protect it.
A frantic race to uncover Major League Baseball's darkest secret.

The Hallowed Enigma
by Dan Brown

When renowned Harvard symbologist Robert Langdon is summoned to the Liberty Bell to analyze a mysterious ancient script—drawn on a calling card next to the disemboweled corpse of the head docent—he discovers evidence of the unthinkable: the resurgence of the ancient cult of the Auxofori, a secret branch of Major League Baseball that has surfaced from the shadows to carry out its legendary vendetta against its mortal enemy, the Vatican.

Langdon's worst fears are confirmed when a messenger from the Auxofori appears at Citizen's Bank Park to deliver a grim ultimatum: Deposit $1 billion in Major League Baseball's off-shore bank accounts or the exclusive clothier of the Swiss Guards will be bankrupted. Racing against the clock, Langdon joins forces with the statuesque and quick-witted daughter of the murdered docent in a desperate bid to crack the code that will reveal the cult's secret plan.

Embarking on a frantic hunt, Langdon and his companion follow a 1100-year-old trail through Philadelphia's most venerable buildings and sacred libraries, pursued by a peg-legged assassin the cult has sent to thwart them. What they discover threatens to expose a conspiracy that goes all the way back to Babe Ruth and the very founding of Major League Baseball.


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