Wednesday, May 30

dan brown week

Four bestsellers (aren't they all?) in one single week: two second-hand paperbacks and two ebooks. One author everybody knows.

Dan Brown.

You know who he is. The Da Vinci Code guy. The heretic, the anti-Christ, the malicious mind behind the faith-mocking tales.

I'm quite impressed by his work. It is a conspiracy buff's fantasy of weaving plots about real organizations like Opus Dei, USA'S National Reconaissance Office and NASA, even the United Nations, CERN, and the Swiss Guard of the Vatican.

I started with a 150-peso copy of Deception Point from BookSale at SM West Bridgeway.

I was surprised at first; Brown's writing style isn't that good. His plot structure seems suspicious--as if generic, and unoriginal. Yet Brown found courage and a helluva info regarding NASA, NRO, Space Frontier Foundation and the White House. And I mean a hell lot of information!

Written in as-a-matter-of-fact approach, I know there are loopholes in the scientific basis of Deception Point. But who cares? Everyone loves to read a good conspiracy. Nevertheless, Deception Point can be absurd that at some point it talked about extra-terrestrial life and inserting meteorites under ice shelves. That's how big time a hoax can be for Dan Brown. And I was shocked with the twist in the end of the novel. Not shocked like, "Gosh,it was him all along!" But shocked like, "Come on!"

And then I moved on to a downloaded ebook of Digital Fortress.

I was not prepared to discover that Dan Brown was a formulaic writer! He basically had the same structure with Deception Point! And the same shock that comes with the twist in the end! How can he get away with this? But Digital Fortress is a boo. I'm not even sure why I kept on reading. Maybe I'm just letting it rain because I already got wet.

Maybe because the background issue of the book is an issue that interests me. Information privacy. Email tracing, information security, password encyrption. That kind of stuff. I'm a geek and I am definitely pro-EFF (Electronic Frontier Foundation); I believe in keeping some privacy on the internet.

However, I hated Digital Fortress. How stupid can the National Security Agency's Cryptology Department be? And duh, if you'll read it, you'll know what I mean. Stories like this make me despise the word -- Love. Eew. Hope that wil l discourage you enough and not make the same mistake I did by reading through Digital Fortress.

Now, Angels and Demons.

It's the talked-about prequel of The Da Vinci Code, the next Tom Hanks as Robert Langdon movie. And yes, my dear fellow bookworms, this guy Dan is surely a formulaic writer. You can almost predict the twists and exactly when they happen. Angels and Demons, though, is a good read. (Thanks GreyLib for the ebook).

It is surprisingly well-researched, although I know the antimatter concept is not that serious. CERN totally bashes Brown for the wrong science he presented in the novel. It's impossible to create antimatter bombs.

But the Vatican's maze of architecture and art, Church inside secrets and national security issues provide an exciting background for the fiction to take place. Brown's Vatican and Rome suddenly sprang up to life, and interests the reader to find pictures of the places he involves in the adventure, and for the richer readers, to go buy the ticket for the next plane to Italy.

The Papal election or the Conclave, an important event in the book and of course, in the real world, is also well-described that we can easily verify it as factual, witnessing what happened after Pope John Paul II's death. Matters of the Papal office are well-described that you swear what you're reading can be real.

What's not real is of course the big-time cinematic ending. "God!" That's all I can say. Ha! No pun intended. And to think that the novel's valediction includes humanity's renewed faith in the Catholic Church and the power of miracle... Not to mention Illuminati's nonexistence. So anti-orgasmic.

Lastly, The Da Vinci Code. The ever perpetual modern heresy.

Dan Brown should be burned at the stake. He's an Anti-Christ. Like a Priory of Sion Grand Master wearing nothing but an androgynous mask and leading an orgy. He's the draconian devil, the lame saint! Yeah right.

I liked The Da Vinci Code. I read it on paperback and can't stop turning the pages. It's an engrossing story, even though I already saw the movie and that I can recognize what exact lines are in the Hollywood adaptation.

Hey, I obviously will not make the mistake of arguing why the novel deserves praise and not condemnation. It's just one freakin' clever plot!

And as they say, it's just fiction! It's just a test of faith! It's not real!

Hello? Fiction or not, it will make you think. That's the point. It will make you question practices and doctrines passed on by tradition. It will challenge you, to what faith really is. Does that include religious zealotry? Talk about burning at the stake.

By the end of The Da Vinci Code, we already know how Dan Brown writes. Starts with a death, roll up a mystery, assign a sleuth, attempt to find who's responsible for the crime, and uncover the real big-deal conspiracy of all time. Glory for the conspiracy buffs!

Whew. Whatta week! And I'm blaming Dan Brown.

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