Thursday, June 14, 2007

Angels and Demons

I vowed, after reading 'The Da Vinci Code', that I would never pick up anything written by Dan Brown again. Unfortunately, as fate would have it,I read 'Angels and Demons' out of sheer boredom. Dan Brown exhibits an uncanny ability for picking new victims. In 'Angels and Demons' he picks on an ancient sect called 'The Illuminati', the Roman Catholic church(I don't know why Brown is so obsessed with the papal election) and this time he has made sure that even the CERN isn't left out. Other minor victims of Brown's 'craft' include artists like Raphael,astronomers like Galileo and of course the Freemasons.

The book exhibits all the typical qualities of a typical Dan Brown novel. A fast paced plot with plenty of hidden innuendos, Robert Langdon (whom we also met in 'The Da Vinci Code'), an enigmatic heroine with skeletons in her closet, lots of other enigmatic folks with skeletons in their respective closets, secret sects, works of art,flashbacks and above all a story with a predictable end. 'Angels and Demons' outdoes 'The Da Vinci Code' with its histrionics and overly dramatized orations.

The story starts with the ghastly murder of a scientist at the CERN. A group called the 'Illuminati' claims responsibility for it by (surprise surprise!) engraving the group logo on the corpse. This is clearly bad news for the Roman Catholic church because the Illuminati are supposed to possess power,clout and unbeatable intellect. All this on the day of the papal election! The lives of four cardinals are in danger. Can Robert Landgdon and the heroine save the day? Sounds all too familiar doesn't it?

It still amazes me how Dan Brown garners so much revenue by writing the most pathetically constructed books.There may be several factual inconsistencies but apparently, sensationalism suffices to quench the human need to interpret the truth.

On a more positive note, I find the logo of the Illuminati quite crafty. It spells 'Illuminati' even when held upside down.So as some consolation here's a picture of the 'Illuminati' logo(courtesy-Wikipedia).


Abhijit Pai said...

"pathetically constructed books" - Could you refer me to any other book where the plot unfolds and even finishes in such short time spans as Brown's ?

Do you mean "factual inconsistencies" in the sense of how historians would perceive it ? That might be (and perhaps is) absolutely correct. But a thriller novel is a thriller novel and its sole purpose is to entertain (here thrill) its readers, not feed them historical facts. Certainly, a lot of people like me do like "histrionics and overly dramatized orations" and that is why Brown's one book would perhaps sell more than all of Marquez's works together.

"Sounds all too familiar doesn't it?" - No. It isn't (just) about the large picture - the narration, the twists - that's what makes a good thriller novel. Do you also have utter disdain for the works of Rowling ?

And yes, it's hard to get a tingling sensation in my brain when I read a particular line if I need a dictionary to understand two words in it.

Our views are ours, of course.

La Diva! said...

Well speaking of Rowling, at least I can read an entire book without putting it down. With Brown, I left the last 100 pages and looked up wikipedia to confirm the ending.Speaking of Marquez and the dictionary the latter isn't needed to understand the former. I understand that Marquez doesn't sell as much as Brown,the way people prefer windows to linux.

Abhijit Pai said...

"I left the last 100 pages" - I see it now; that's where the story started :P.

"the way people prefer windows to linux." - hahah, can't say much after that analogy.