Thursday, September 24, 2009

Dan Brown and his Precursors

I love "The Lost Symbol" despite its manifest flaws.

In a pleasing way, I am reminded of both Crowley's Aegypt and Stephenson's Baroque Trilogy/Cryptonomicon cycle, creating a link between those two that had not occurred to me.

(Take a look a Borges's short essay "Kafka and his Precursors", in this regard.)

More important is Brown's infectious enthusiasm for his own work. He's the furthest thing imaginable from an ironist or a pseud. When a writer interrupts the description of an attack by an insane, tattooed, syringe-wielding giant to tell you that "sincere" means "without wax", you know you're in the hands of someone who just can't help himself...

As often happens, I liked Sarah Weinman on this aspect of Brown and Steig Larsson:

What really links these two authors together, however, is the sheer, unadulterated joy that comes through in their thrillers.... Such fervor can't be faked; readers not only smell the false article a mile away, they put up with a lot -- including frequent turns of cliché -- to get to a taste of the real thing.

No comments: