I’ve been holding back on a book review, but I’m afraid I’m not going to be able to help myself any longer. I’ve simply got to pick on Dan Brown’s Angels and Demons. I should probably put this in the Reviews section, but I think Jonathan would like to distance himself from all things Dan Brown in case anyone might accidentally believe that Jonathan would read Mr. Brown’s works.
Let me throw in a huge disclaimer: I am not a reviewer. I do not have the vocabulary and I do not speak in the particular language of reviewers. My views are from the heart or more from the knee and I tell stories.
The main thing that got me about Dan Brown’s book is how stupid he assumes the audience is and maybe they are, but he really seems to take special care to dumb down a book. So, I’m reading along and we’re introduced to one of the main bad guys and we learn about his background. It seems he comes from a long line of Hassasins. On and on Dan goes about the Hassassin culture and finally you hear the drum roll as Dan reveals “…you would know them today as assassins.” Really. I was fooled up until this point. Assassin has its origins in Hassassin? Now that’s just crazy talk. I called up Jay who was very sympathetic and asked, “why are you reading that book?” I ignore him and plow ahead.
The next bump I hit is where the main character is talking about heading off to the Vatican and nattering on about the Swiss. The female lead character, a devout Catholic whose father is a priest and has strong ties to the Vatican exclaims something like, “Robert, what do the Swiss have to do with the Vatican?” I audibly sigh and call up Jay again. “Beth, not everyone knows about the Swiss Guard. You shouldn’t assume that because you know it that it’s common knowledge. Why are you reading this book?” “So, I can complain.” And back to the book I go.
Then Dan introduces the Illuminati and makes references to Steve Jackson Games. This involves more calls and complaints about how Steve Jackson doesn’t have the particular game Dan is referencing and how ludicrous it is that the main character is citing an obscure gaming company’s supposed video game. “Beth, why are you reading the book?” “It’s like a train wreck! I can’t turn my head!”
Finally, Dan did my very favorite thing that he tends to do based on the two books I read. Yes, I’m daring to make a huge generalization based on two works. You’re nuts if you think I’d read more than two. Dan took the least likely character and made him the bad guy. As soon as I identified who the least likely candidate could be, I was able to wrap up the mystery. I went to Jay, of course, and declared my brilliance. Jay’s response “was it the Pope’s butler?” I punched him and walked away defeated.
The one thing I’ll give Dan Brown is he can write a fun book. While his novels tend to make my brain hemorrhage, they’re always enjoyable. I just hope not too many brain cells have committed suicide in protest.