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January 27, 2007

Just about finished listening to _Angels and Demons_ by Dan Brown. While he still shows himself “a good writer”:, I now understand that the man is a one trick pony. What do I mean? The plot for A&D and DVC ARE THE SAME FREAKIN’ THING!

# Professor man gets called to crime scene to ‘help out’ with putting the pieces of the murder together.
# Professor man meets woman who will end up being his love interest throughout the rest of the book. She is very closely related to the old man who was murdered.
# The old man who was murdered has a closely guarded secret, that, if it got out, could change the course of human history.
# The clues lead towards a secret organization bent on screwing the world and the Catholic church.
# The Catholic church wants the whole thing to go away.
# There ends up being quite a puzzles that must be solved by this tag team of professor man and closely related love interest.
# The murderer is hired by an unknown man with a code name. The murderer is a willing and faithful servant to the unknown man and his secret organization and will do just about anything to make a name for himself (with God or man).
# Throughout the book, professional crime stopping organizations suck at trying to catch said murderer (or unknown man) or attempting to solve puzzles left behind. But no so for professor man and closely related love interest. They’re good. Professor man is perfectly adept at solving these sorts of things. _’Cause, ya know, it happens all the time at Harvard._
# The murderer ends up being disposable.
# The unknown man running the whole show ends up being ‘one of the good guys’ whom we’ve known all along and _never would have suspected_ (though they gave clues towards that end).
# (Presumably) Professor man and closely related love interest live happily ever after… until the next book and love interest.

7 Comments leave one →
  1. Jeana permalink
    January 27, 2007 11:44 am

    Have you read Daughter of God? It’s by Lewis Perdue, who claimed that Dan Brown plagarized him by writing The Davinci Code. I actually read Daughter of God first (because I could get it at the library first) and while Perdue’s writing is not as smooth as Brown’s, there are a lot of plot and character similarities. I don’t know whatever happened with Perdue’s case against Brown, but it’s still an interesting comparison read.

  2. January 27, 2007 1:14 pm

    Have we had this conversation? I know I’ve mentioned it to Joel. Ridiculous, isn’t it?

    Let’s add:

    * opening murder abnormally gruesome and “communicative” so to speak.

    * American professor, European setting

    I know there are more but the books blend together so much in my head I can’t sort out what was from which story. Then throw in “Digital Fortress” and “Deception Point” (why have I read all this crap?) and it really starts to muddle. Not quite the same plot for those two, but definitely the same themes of conspiracy / codes / people who are not what they seem / inexperienced guy recruited to save the world / big big big secret that must not get out / etc. The book that will come out this year is titled “The Solomon Key”—gee, I bet that one’s going to be different…

    Random fact (found while googling his name because I couldn’t remember the other book titles): according to Wikipedia, ol’ DB has released 5 CD’s—4 of them pop albums and one of them for kids. Weird.

  3. Crazy Eli permalink
    January 28, 2007 12:11 pm

    Maybe it’s just a problem with the genre in general. I mean, look at this:
    -Rural boy finds a secret about his past/magical item
    -Boy and mentor run from evil chasing said boy
    -Mentor dies, but that’s OK as new friends come to help the boy out
    -Boy turns out to be the only one capable of stopping gigantic evil threatening the world
    -Boy must take some type of item across the world on a massive quest
    -Secret about past/magic item plays a role in destruction of evil
    -Bonus: Boy might be related to Big Bad Evil Dude.
    There. It’s the plot to LOTR, Star Wars, Wheel of Time, Sword of Truth, half of the Shannara series, Krondor, a couple of Greek myths, and every RPG video game ever made. And maybe a couple of Conan stories.

  4. Slothboy permalink
    January 31, 2007 10:51 am

    Also, it is the tale of SLOTHBOY!

  5. February 1, 2007 10:51 am

    Remind me again how you got that nickname…

  6. Slothboy permalink
    February 1, 2007 11:35 am

    I grew up in a Rural area, population of 1000. One day when I was playing at a friend’s house we decided to explore the lava beds near his home. In one cave I found a mystical arrow head that gave the powers of specific animal spirits to the holder.

    Uncertain how to control this ability I searched the area until I found a decendent of one of the Siskiyou Indian tribes that once lived in the area… Chief Lava Butt. He told me of the powers of the arrowhead and of the dangers it would create if it fell into the wrong hands. He also told me that a young person will be able to use all the different animal powers, but once the youth turned 18 the arrowhead would choose one power for him based on his proximity to a living animal of that kind.

    The Park Rangers got wind of the fact that I had found the arrowhead and came to claim it from me. With the help of Chief Lava Butt, I escaped… but not before he was forced to face the head Park Ranger alone. He failed in the battle and died, but I was able to escape thanks to his diversion. It was in the observation of that battle that I learned the Park Ranger was in fact my father’s brother’s nephew’s cousin’s former roommate. I also learned that only the power of the arrowhead could stop him.

    On my 18th birthday I went to the zoo in Portland to get near the tiger, but I forgot my specific time of birth and the moment came when I was taking a picture of the three-toed sloth.

    So now I have the power of the sloth, and I must one day face my enemy and defeat the ultimate evil. But first I must travel to the native lands of the Sloth to learn more of their ways.

    I’ll get to it eventually.

  7. Crazy E permalink
    February 1, 2007 3:10 pm

    Remember, Slothboy: At this part of the journey, it is imperative to go on meaningless side quests, to create enough filler to pad out more books. This is Robert Jordan’s Law of Wordiness In Sequels, Pertaining Especially To Stories Of Heroism In Youth.

    Also, you need a comic side kick. And a crone. I’m not sure why, but that is The Law of The Plot.


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