Monday, March 27, 2006

Book Review: Angels & Demons, by Dan Brown

A quick review here, just so I have a record of the books I've read and it motivates me to keep reading instead of playing video games (which is what I've been doing for the last 3 days).

Angels and Demons takes place in the same world as The Da Vinci Code, with the same main character, Robert Langdon. I think that Dan Brown is secretly in love with his fictional character, and loves the name "Robert Langdon." He always writes about Langdon's deep manly voice and awesome tweed jacket. And instead of using pronouns, it's "Robert Langdon touched the pope's hat, because it was shiny and Robert Langdon liked shiny things. Robert Langdon communicated Robert Langdon's intense appreciation for the church in that single touch."

This also demonstrates how badly written Angels and Demons is. If you've read The Da Vinci Code and cringed, Angels and Demons is even more simply written. With all this said, it doesn't really get in the way of keeping you reading and interested. The book takes place in real-time, never jumping forward or backward in time (except for flashbacks), so it's as intense as an episode of 24.

The historical "facts" are obviously not facts. While you may feel like you're learning something while reading this book, it's actually making you dumber. For example, a critical plot point is that nobody could figure out how to make words read the same whether they are upside down or right side up (ambigrams). Yet...Dan Brown and Friends were able to come up with a whole bunch for this book (and the awesome cover for it pictured here). It's really cool to see these ambigrams in the book, but I doubt that a fiction author is the first person in history to create them.

Still, if you go in expecting an intense novel that's more science fiction than art history textbook, it's a very entertaining read.

On a side note, I hear that Brown is being sued over The Da Vinci Code. A non-fiction book was written a while before Da Vinci which dealt with the same topic, and the author of that book is angry that Brown stole the idea. Brown admits to using it as a source. Now, last time I checked, fiction authors were allowed to use non-fiction sources to check their facts, and that's not plagarism. If I write an erotic story about squirrel sex, The Discovery Channel isn't going to sue me because I saw squirrels boinking on TV. And this is (supposedly) fact...if Brown hadn't even read this book and had done his own research, he (supposedly) would have come to the same conclusion. Since facts are, arguably, objective.

Whatever. I'm just looking forward to the Smart Car chase in the movie version of The Da Vinci Code. Yay Smart Cars!


7 comments:

Jason said...

I read Angels and Demons, and just started the Da Vinci Code last night. Someone lent me the version with all the pictures. I feel like I'm back in grade 2. Maybe I can find a pop-up book version.

Phronk said...

Awesome. I like pictures because they limit the need for using your imagination.

But really, I wish I read Da Vinci Code with the pictures. There's a lot of stuff that makes you wish the paintings being described were in front of you. I had to Google them. You should enjoy it.

The Holywriter said...

I imagine it's as popular as it is because it's written with high school drop-outs in mind. I enjoyed both, but I'm a bigger fan of Angels and Demons. Now he needs to quit resting on his laurels and write another one.

sarah said...

please please write that story about squirrel sex! don't tease us with the mention. You already know you are safe from a lawsuit.

toobusyliving said...

Hey - thanks for stopping by the blog, you reminded me that I wanna see murderball.

Phronk said...

Okay!

Fluffer knocked on the door to Fuzzybush's tree. He was the forest's delivery squirrel, and he hoped that Fuzzybush would be home. She opened the door.

"Oh, you've brought them!" she said.

"Yes," replied Fluffer, "I've got some large nuts for you." He opened the box he was holding. "Would you like to inspect my nuts before I give it to you?"

Fuzzybush looked at the nuts. "Oh my," she said, "what beautiful nuts you have." She absent-mindedly stroked one of her 8 nipples.

The two squirrels' eyes met, and a surge of warmth flowed through Fuzzybush's body. She instincively turned around and lifted her tail.

Fluffer thrust his tree trunk into Fuzzybush's squirrel nest. Both of them let out squeaks of delight.

Three seconds later, the lovers parted. Fluffer scurried away and was promptly squished by a car. Stupid squirrel.


This work is fictional. Any resemblance to any person, living or dead, is entirely coincidental. This work is copyright 2006, Phronk.

P.S. Yeah Murderball is worth seeing!

Jason said...

I love it.