Informed people live longer
17 October 2017 13:27 (South Africa)
Media

Finally. Dan Brown gets the hammering he deserves

  • Branko Brkic
    branko3048 a ray
    Branko Brkic

    Brkic is the founder and editor of The Daily Maverick.

    He has edited magazines on business and politics, technology, and wildlife. He has also published fiction and non-fiction books, most of them in Serbian. Though he has never pretended to be a reporter, his wide knowledge of politics (especially in America), combined with his experiences in a disintegrating Yugoslavia, gives him an unusual outlook on events in South Africa.

    Despite the vowel-poor surname, he tells anyone who asks that he hails from Hyde Park, Johannesburg, having spent most of his adult life in South Africa.

    Recent columns:

  • Media
danbrown

The books of Dan Brown are read by people who haven’t read a book since high school – which is why, of course, they’re such big sellers. And because they’re such big sellers, critics remain in awe.

Lately, book critics have been remarkably reticent to give hotshot Da Vinci Code author Dan Brown his due. At worst, Brown’s new book, The Lost Symbol, is written about in tones of respectful surprise, the reviewer dropping one or two references to clichés and flat characterisation before going on to agree with every other reviewer – this book, with its three million sales, is the saviour of the publishing industry! The equivalent of the phenomenon in South Africa is John van der Ruit and his Spud series, which despite (or perhaps because of) its complete lack of literary merit has broken all local sales records and thus neutered the critics.

Along comes New York Times op-ed columnist Maureen Dowd to hand critics their balls back. Dowd, her frequency pitch-perfect on the irony-meter, accuses Brown of being deathly scared of the Masons, even while he brazenly lobs word-bombs over the walls of the harmless Vatican.

“His book is a desperate attempt to ingratiate himself with the Masons,” writes Dowd, “rather than to interpret the bizarre Masonic rites and symbols that illuminate — as in Illuminati! — how the ultimate elite private boys’ club has conspired to shape the nation’s capital and Western civilization ever since George Washington laid the cornerstone for the Capitol building in a Masonic ritual wearing full Masonic regalia, including a darling little fringed satin apron.”

If only someone would do this to Van der Ruit.

By Kevin Bloom

Read more: New York Times

  • Branko Brkic
    branko3048 a ray
    Branko Brkic

    Brkic is the founder and editor of The Daily Maverick.

    He has edited magazines on business and politics, technology, and wildlife. He has also published fiction and non-fiction books, most of them in Serbian. Though he has never pretended to be a reporter, his wide knowledge of politics (especially in America), combined with his experiences in a disintegrating Yugoslavia, gives him an unusual outlook on events in South Africa.

    Despite the vowel-poor surname, he tells anyone who asks that he hails from Hyde Park, Johannesburg, having spent most of his adult life in South Africa.

    Recent columns:

  • Media

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