TdVC was Re: [DWJ] Titles (was London Meet)

Otter Perry ottertee at
Sat Jun 10 12:30:10 EDT 2006

On Friday, June 9, 2006, at 05:37 PM, Minnow wrote:

> Starting from the other end: who on this list *has* read TdVC all the 
> way
> through?

<blush>  I have.

I had to delete a bunch of old messages in a campaign to make my
secondary computer useful [the primary one has got dire problems].
I found an elderly message to this list in which I swore I would never
read it.

> And would they have done it if the title had been "The of Vinci Code"? 
>  "da
> Vinci" isn't a name, it's a description, after all.  I gather that's 
> about
> on a par with the general standard of the writing, from what has been 
> said
> here by those of us who have embarked on this tome and then abandoned 
> it,
> though, so probably it wouldn't put anyone off if they were going to 
> read
> the thing.

I think 'da Vinci' is widely recognized as the last name of a famous
painter, whether correctly or not.

The writing is awful.  Pedestrian.  Boring.  The ideas are not new,
despite all the fuss.

> G'wan, tell us, why should we read a copy if we have it thrust our way?
> What's the attraction of the thing-itself, as opposed to the hype and 
> the
> finding out what the fuss is about?

Well, is I said in my first confession, I read it because I suspected
Mr. Pratchett had read it, and that there were bits I would understand
better in _Thud!_.  I am not accusing Mr. Pratchett of having read it,
but there is a painting in _Thud!_ and it contains the key to an
important truth.  I don't really think that it matters to one's 
of Mr. Pratchett's work.  [You understand, I would read anything I
had to to enhance my appreciation of Mr. Pratchett.  Up to and
including reading TdVC.]

So this is my conclusion:  there is no reason why you should read
a copy [unless someone is going to give you a _lot_ of money
for doing so -- like a million pounds or something].

Anthony Lane's movie review from The New Yorker is
on-line, I discovered, and can be read here:

If you do not have access to the web, I would be perfectly willing
to send the whole text, so just ask me.  I don't feel it would be
proper to post it to the whole list because of copyrights but a
copy or two ....

In any case, here's a paragraph:

There has been much debate over Dan Brown’s novel ever since
it was published, in 2003, but no question has been more
contentious than this: if a person of sound mind begins reading
the book at ten o’clock in the morning, at what time will he or
she come to the realization that it is unmitigated junk? The
answer, in my case, was 10:00.03, shortly after I read the
opening sentence: “Renowned curator Jacques Saunière
staggered through the vaulted archway of the museum’s
Grand Gallery.” With that one word, “renowned,” Brown proves
that he hails from the school of elbow-joggers—nervy, worrisome
authors who can’t stop shoving us along with jabs of information
and opinion that we don’t yet require. (Buried far below this tic
is an author’s fear that his command of basic, unadorned English
will not do the job; in the case of Brown, he’s right.) You could
dismiss that first stumble as a blip, but consider this, discovered
on a random skim through the book: “Prominent New York editor
Jonas Faukman tugged nervously at his goatee.” What is more,
he does so over “a half-eaten power lunch,” one of the saddest
phrases I have ever heard.


There is no point in being Irish if you don't understand
that the world is going to break your heart someday.

                             - Daniel Patrick Moynihan
                                on the assassination of John F Kennedy

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