Writing Forums

Writing Forums is a privately-owned, community managed writing environment. We provide an unlimited opportunity for writers and poets of all abilities, to share their work and communicate with other writers and creative artists. We offer an experience that is safe, welcoming and friendly, regardless of your level of participation, knowledge or skill. There are several opportunities for writers to exchange tips, engage in discussions about techniques, and grow in your craft. You can also participate in forum competitions that are exciting and helpful in building your skill level. There's so much more for you to explore!

Dan Brown, Matthew Reilly, Unputdownable? (1 Viewer)

Talia_Brie

Senior Member
I'm ashamed to say I'm reading The Davinci Code. I guess I just had to know what all the fuss is about.

So far it's a very well paced story, and it reminds me a lot fo the writing style that Matthew Reilly uses. Reilly is an Australian author who writes frantically paced action thrillers.

I would describe both Brown and Reilly's work as being 'unputdownable' (which is a really terrible word gaining common usage, but that's a whole other argument). But in saying that I'm not necessarily saying the books were excellent, just that they are difficult to put down.

And the reason for this, I think, isn't the story itself (though Reilly's stories are exciting and would make excellent movies), but the structure. Both Reilly and Brown end all their chapters with cliffhangers (in the case of Ice Station quite literally, with one chapter ending with two characters actually hanging over the edge of a cliff on a Maghook).

They're like those movie serials you read about (or perhaps saw if you're old enough) where the superhero/spy/adventureer would end the episode with their car flying out over the edge of a cliff (gasp) only to begin again next week, two seconds previously and jumping from the car. Annie Wilkes has something to say about that (you'll understand that reference if you've read Misery, otherwise ignore).

This is a blatant, but effective, way of manipulating the reader into having a heightened opinion of the book because they find themselves staying up until 12.30 in the morning, as I did last night, waiting for somethign to get resolved so they can go to bed.

And that's today's rant.
 

A_MacLaren

Senior Member
Speaking of unputdownable, have you ever read a Terry Pratchett book? He doesn't use chapters, the clever bastard, meaning I never have a sensible place to stop reading.
 

Malaika

Member
Yes, Terry Pratchet is a genius in a madman's clothing!

But even the venerable Pratty fails to match the, what was is Talia? Unputdownableness? of Matthew Reilly. I haven't read Dan Brown. I think I know what my next few books will be though :p
 

Spudley

Senior Member
The only Dan Brown book I've read was 'Digital Fortress', but I'm afraid to say I hated it. Yes, it was fast paced, but so full of plot-holes. Bleah.
 
P

pfunktion

I read that Matthew Reilly book..dear god! It was like watching a bad action movie. I actually had picked it up as a last minute book to give to an in-law..and then I apologized after he let me read it.

I do like Dan Brown, though. And all of Robert Parker's Spencer books are hard to put down..party because they are short and so damned easy to read (not many big words for me to stumble over!)
 

Talia_Brie

Senior Member
Spudley said:
The only Dan Brown book I've read was 'Digital Fortress', but I'm afraid to say I hated it. Yes, it was fast paced, but so full of plot-holes. Bleah.

That's what I'm saying. "The Da Vinci Code" isn't really that good either. There's a secret society doing secret things, but everyone seems to know what they're doing :roll:

But the style the book is written in gets you to keep reading. Did you read all of 'Digital Fortress'? Yes. Did it deserve to be read? No.

So is The Da Vinci Code successful because it's controversial, or because of the way it's written? Probably a mix of the two I think.
 

Rajie

Senior Member
Talia_Brie said:
So is The Da Vinci Code successful because it's controversial, or because of the way it's written? Probably a mix of the two I think.

I personally never quite understood the whole intrigue that surrounds Dan Brown's books, considering one is basically a carbon copy of the next. Sure, the characters' names may change, and the places may change but it is still the same formula at its worst.

I dunno, perhaps D. Brown's research is what infuriates me the most. If you're gonna write about "historical" facts at least get them right! And, then there's his horrid, horrid prose that could make a 3rd grader feel like an English major. Someone once broke down his prologue used from the Da Vinci Code (again, anyone with the smallest grain of art knowledge would never refer to Leonardo Da Vinci as "Da Vinci" since Vinci was the name of a town...) to illustrate perfectly how horrible a writer he is, and I didn't need the person's commentary to show the badness.

But, as to what would make the novel so popular? Well, a lot of people who use books to kill time while traveling, etc picked it up and either liked it or didn't. The subject matter? Well, secret societies and the questioning of the Christian (moreso the Catholic) faith is not anything new and it is far from inventive. More like, it's a long used plot that has been reheated and reserved. I know I read a while back that he was being suspected of plagarising (Leigh Teabing is a moniker used as a homage to some of the people he "researched" from)... But, seriously all it is, is sensationalism and inane bashing on a horse that has for a long time been dead. For once I would personally like to pick up a book that bashed on say, some little-known religion and religious views for a while. Leave the Catholics, the Christians, the Evolutionists, the Communists, and the Pagans out of it for a while and write something new, dagnabit!

But again that is just my opinion... oh I was so mad when reading A&D and he got the translation of NOVUS ORDO SECLORUM wrong ::runs off and rips hair out::
 

lisajane

Senior Member
Hand, we chatted to Matthew Reilly in a chat room once, didn't we?

I don't intend on picking up Reilly's books. They don't sound very much up my alley to me. They're more like seven cities away from my alley...

I haven't read The Da Vinci Code, but my brother and dad loves it. I don't think I'll read because once again, it doesn't sound all that interesting to me. One of my classes had a discussion on it and said while it's alright, it's badly written.
 

Rajie

Senior Member
stereomuse said:
Rajie said:
I And, then there's his horrid, horrid prose that could make a 3rd grader feel like an English major.

Perhaps that's part of his appeal. :wink:

I can only hope. But the sad thing is that many folks out there take his drivel seriously. :roll:
 

swing_it_away

Senior Member
I've got the same feeling. My step-mom and dad read it and were constantly saying how good it was. I read it quickly, and it was a page turner, but it sort of seemed like that was just because it was filled with all these false mysteries. It wasn't bad, it just wasn't the masterpiece of literature everyone's making it out to be.

As far as Dan being unputdownable, if you really want to hold something against him, he mentions Moses reading something from the ten commandments in Hebrew somewhere. They were actually written in Aramaic.
 
I am reading Angels & Demons, and I will read the Da Vinci Code afterwards. The short chapters make it difficult to put the book down. You just don't have an excuse to stop reading; furthermore, almost all the chapters end in a cliffhanger. In terms of substance I wouldn't commend the book, but I am not hating it either.
 

Rajie

Senior Member
swing_it_away said:
As far as Dan being unputdownable, if you really want to hold something against him, he mentions Moses reading something from the ten commandments in Hebrew somewhere. They were actually written in Aramaic.

That's what I mean. His research is horrible!

I'll take for instance in A&D, he made a big deal about the translation of NOVUS ORDO SECLORUM, only to get the entire passage wrong. I wonder if the editor ever actually *checks* his "facts" before shoving it out to print, because Brown certainly doesn't.

"Just wait until Brown writes a book about your occupation, and then you'll be frustrated." Paraphrasing here from a review I remember reading. I guess I can sympathize. I mean, if someone wrote an inaccurate piece of literature on your occupation, and it became a Bestseller, and thousands of people actually believed it... I suppose it would be infuriating.
 

blackswan

Member
I don't know about his research, but I know they sounded pretty believable to me when I read Angels and Demons. That was the first Dan Brown book I read, and it was a while ago so I can't remember what I thought, but I also tried reading digital fortress and the bad writing forced me to stop reading. There's so much repetition he might as well write one paragraph and copy/paste.

And despite all the talk, I never write the Da Vinci Code...mainly because I can't find a copy of it in the library and I have no urge to buy one of his books. Unless I start going over them with a red marker...but that would be a little pointless. ;-)
 

Rajie

Senior Member
blackswan said:
Unless I start going over them with a red marker...but that would be a little pointless. ;-)

You don't need a red marker for a DB book. Hell, you might not even need reading glasses or proper lighting...
 
I stayed up all night last night reading The Da Vinci Code
just so I can watch the TV programme about it on CH4 at 9pm in England

the writing and educational aspects are great, giving the reader a basic understanding of different beliefs to traditional Christianity...

because Teabing is said to be a descendent of the first Duke of Lancaster, I am hoping it will give the Historical Novel I am writing about the Wars of the Roses some interest to Dan Brown readers...
 

thetadpoleangel

Senior Member
my mild-mannered defence

Ashamed? Hm. Essentially an action book..and the writing quality is being criticised. I rarely enjoy such things, but appreciated this on the level it was intended. Im not sure the point of the novel was cutting edge grammar and rapier-like wit. Hes no booker prize-winner dont get me wrong.

Entertainment (sadly) doesn't need either. He puts a question (however dubiously researched) out there to people in an 'accessible' way (bad grammar inclusive)...that perhaps have never questioned something as graaandiose as religion before. If it gets people thinking, in whatever manner, then hes achieved a goal. Good on him. As for people believing his 'drivel' ...maybe the bible should be sitting next to it on the same rack...

Thats my 5 cents :)
 
E

etched Chaos

I liked the book as a form of entertainment, it is only when i disconnected my anlytical brain did i start to read it properly. That seems to be a problem with you guys, you expect a bestseller to be amazingly written and so when one isn't you immediately jump on it.

We all know Dan Brown isn't exactly a great writer but he manages to keep people reading which is what matters, sure if it was some award winning novel that every critic on the planet was harking on about and it was a pile of filth then sure knock it down. But treat Dan Brown's books as they are, entertaining action books.

No-one ever said the best books make the most money, only the most accessible...
 

gohn67

Senior Member
etched Chaos said:
I liked the book as a form of entertainment, it is only when i disconnected my anlytical brain did i start to read it properly. That seems to be a problem with you guys, you expect a bestseller to be amazingly written and so when one isn't you immediately jump on it.

We all know Dan Brown isn't exactly a great writer but he manages to keep people reading which is what matters, sure if it was some award winning novel that every critic on the planet was harking on about and it was a pile of filth then sure knock it down. But treat Dan Brown's books as they are, entertaining action books.

No-one ever said the best books make the most money, only the most accessible...

I agree with you. Its like the movies. The ones that win the awards are not usually the ones that make the most money at the box office.
 

Fishbar

Member
Well, I don't have much of an opinion on Dan Brown's writing. His book sold more than my measly, non existant one.

However, I grew up in the town he lives in and have seen him around town and know people that know him and pretty much everyone says the same thing: He's a total douchebag.

Just a really arrogant jerk, kind of guy that would yell at the counter girl if his sandwhich did'nt have the requisite number of pickles.

Maybe that's a little gossipy, but it's the truth as far as it goes, and it's the big reason I shy away from buying any of his books, though I did read da vinci code when someone loaned it to me.

Now, see, I live in maine now. Not very far at all from where Stephen King lives, and everyone I've talked to that has met Stephen king says he's a helluvah nice guy.

Is there a connection between him being such a nice dude, and people pretty generally giving him credit as a good writer...

And then this dan brown chap who is reportedly a turd, and people tend to say 'well his books are O.K. but I don't really WANT to like them."

Seems like maybe some of that personality comes through....


My chump change,

-fish
 

Users who are viewing this thread

Top