Dan Brown’s “Da Vinci Code” Hangover, and Boring Jerk Critics

Dude. The Holy Grail is, like, a chick.

Ha! “The Da Vinci Code” was awesome, but did we get a little carried away? It’s the most popular book I can remember whose title doesn’t start “Harry Potter and the-.” I worked at an airport bar when it came out in 2003, and it seemed like everyone who was alone was reading it. The fast-paced story and short chapters made it an easy pill, and it had some fascinating conspiratorial notions. The Vatican, for instance, invented the story that Mary Magdalene was a hooker to cover up the fact that she was Jesus’s wife who was pregnant when he died.

That’s no apostle sitting next to Jesus in The Last Supper, dude, that’s a chick! The Mona Lisa is male and female because Da Vinci understood, unlike organized religion, that women are great!


Dan Brown’s book made a lot of headlines for its muddled conspiratorial history, and that stuff certainly helped make it interesting. But I like the bad guys. Silas was a traumatized albino Catholic monk who self-flagellated regularly as he hunted Langdon and the Grail. “The Lost Symbol” had crazy stories about George Washington’s Apotheosis (and Google “George Washington Zeus”), but it also had an obsessed psychotic steroid freak who covered every part of his body in tattoos.

I got Brown’s new book “Inferno” this morning and I’m really looking forward to it. Critics, though, are already letting rip. Just looking at the Google search results for “Inferno review” (because I don’t wanna actually read anything and find out what happens in the plot) reveals this: “Dan Brown’s take on Dante’s Inferno is the thriller-writer’s most ambitious novel yet – and his worst.” And this: “a page-turner that will not win any literary prizes.” And this: “A. N. Wilson can’t put down Dan Brown’s new novel – but still thinks it’s ‘twaddle’ with a plot written for the big screen.”

As someone who fancies himself a bit of a critic, I find this both interesting and obnoxious.

When I walked out of “Iron Man 3,” I didn’t really like it. I was thinking about what a dumb plot the bad guy had hatched the kill the president, and how much the story dragged in Tennessee, and… blah blah blah. It doesn’t matter. I thought about it for an hour and told my wife, who really dug the flick and was a little confused at my initial response, “Wait a minute. I’m an idiot. That movie was awesome! Fire-breathing Mandarin!” The Tennessee stuff didn’t drag at all. Why was my initial reaction negative?

I keep listening to these Slate podcasts where these writers are all highly critical. They bashed “Iron Man 3,” but they bash everything. There’s a whole culture. The internet is drowning in critics, and internet critics are prone to bash, perhaps because the internet is a vast black ocean of deluded narcissism. Do you know how many websites are reviewing every single episode of “Game of Thrones”? Guys, it’s a f*cking sexy fantasy TV show with dragons. Weekly criticism is unnecessary, and kind of insane.

I’m two chapters into “Inferno.” Some unnamed mysterious guy with an important historical secret kills himself. There’s a sexy doctor helping Langdon, who doesn’t know he’s being hunted by a buff woman on a motorcycle with her hair done out in spikes. If that doesn’t sound awesome to you, then you are not a fan of Dan Brown, and your opinion of his books is most likely boring or worthless or both.

But that’s just my opinion.


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