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#64930 - 04/22/09 11:54 AM Re: Dan Brown is back Sept 15 [Re: Craig_Wolf]
John_Sunseri Offline
CEO of the Hegemony


Registered: 03/13/06
Posts: 13620
Loc: Portland, OR
You want to be careful throwing books across the tire store. Sometimes they bounce back.
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"I have always imagined that Paradise will be a kind of library" Jorge Luis Borges

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#64931 - 04/22/09 11:55 AM Re: Dan Brown is back Sept 15 [Re: readerofgravity]
ScottSA Offline
CEO of the Hegemony


Registered: 05/19/06
Posts: 14308
Loc: Canada
 Originally Posted By: readerofgravity
In fact if the moderator so desires (I know I do) they can feel free to just delete this whole post and everyone can go back to what they were doing before I stuck my whole stupid leg in my mouth
Forget it! Someone grab the tar and feathers while I hold him! C'mere, you!
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If a cluttered desk is a sign of a cluttered mind, of what is an empty desk a sign?~Albert Einstein

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#64933 - 04/22/09 12:02 PM Re: Dan Brown is back Sept 15 [Re: John_Sunseri]
Craig_Wolf Offline
Pooh-Bah


Registered: 09/28/05
Posts: 1844
 Originally Posted By: john_sunseri
You want to be careful throwing books across the tire store. Sometimes they bounce back.


Wasn't that the sequel to the sequel to the sequel to the sequel of film of a minor Stephen King story?

Craig
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"To give anything less than your best is to sacrifice the gift."
--Steve Prefontaine

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#64934 - 04/22/09 12:04 PM Re: Dan Brown is back Sept 15 [Re: Craig_Wolf]
John_Sunseri Offline
CEO of the Hegemony


Registered: 03/13/06
Posts: 13620
Loc: Portland, OR
Yep. It came right after "Strawberry Spring Forever".
_________________________
"I have always imagined that Paradise will be a kind of library" Jorge Luis Borges

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#64937 - 04/22/09 12:13 PM Re: Dan Brown is back Sept 15 [Re: Diomidis]
readerofgravity Offline
enthusiast


Registered: 08/04/07
Posts: 140
Loc: Ohio
Readerofgravity cautiously pokes his head into the room and slowly steps in and the room gets really quiet.

Hi all....
I'll try to behave from now on.

Uh....at the risk of turning this into a religious topic, my usual point (to my friends) about Mr Brown's works is that despite his level of writing ability (or lack of) VS. the millions of copies he has sold....is that there must be something within those pages (of his books) that (millions of) people are seeking that they probably don't think their getting from their local pastor/priest/religious organization.

Me? I just enjoy a good story. Brown's style may not be one's cup of tea, but he did sell millions of copies. Many of those copies no doubt fell within the "gee, my three closest friends bought the book, I should buy a copy myself" catagory but again, I think there were even more readers who were simply hungry for answers they may not have been getting from other sources. And in my opinion, maybe those sources weren't doing a good enough job of answering all the questions the people were asking and so.....the book flew off the shelves.
But thats just a theory I have.

And for the record, Phases of Gravity was one of the first Simmon's books I read, which should explain my handle.

I am also glad he has completed Black Hills and I've already marked Feb 2010 on the calendar. Thanks for the invite back Dan.

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#64938 - 04/22/09 12:18 PM Re: Dan Brown is back Sept 15 [Re: readerofgravity]
John_Sunseri Offline
CEO of the Hegemony


Registered: 03/13/06
Posts: 13620
Loc: Portland, OR
You may be partially right about the 'religious' themes of THE DA VINCI CODE striking a chord with readers, but I'd counter with the fact that there are dozens, if not hundreds of fictional books out there with pretty much the same themes--i.e., the Catholic Church is behind some global conspiracy to prevent us from knowing the truth. If I had a dollar for every book I've read in which Opus Dei is the bad guy, I'd be quite a few dollars richer. And even the plot thread about Jesus getting hitched and having kids is fairly shopworn with repetition.

It's just one of those phenomena, I'd guess, that takes the world by storm for no real reason. Remember Rubik's cube, pet rocks and the Spice Girls?
_________________________
"I have always imagined that Paradise will be a kind of library" Jorge Luis Borges

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#64942 - 04/22/09 12:52 PM Re: Dan Brown is back Sept 15 [Re: John_Sunseri]
readerofgravity Offline
enthusiast


Registered: 08/04/07
Posts: 140
Loc: Ohio
Susan Boyle, Star Trek reboots etc...
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#64943 - 04/22/09 12:57 PM Re: Dan Brown is back Sept 15 [Re: Dan Simmons]
ray_g Offline
Pooh-Bah


Registered: 09/17/07
Posts: 1733
Loc: Bradenton, FL
I would suggest that it's not so much the quality of Dan Brown's writing that made THE DA VINCI CODE so extraordinarily popular with people as it was the so-called "controversial" subject matter -- Jesus Christ's lineage, if I remember correctly -- it contained.

And in this respect, there are far worthier books -- fiction and nonfiction -- one could have turned to for a more thorough -- and fantastical -- exploration of the subject. (ECCE HOMO, by Michael Moorecock jumps readily to my mind.)

Ray G.

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#64944 - 04/22/09 01:01 PM Re: Dan Brown is back Sept 15 [Re: John_Sunseri]
Dan Simmons Administrator Offline
CEO of the Hegemony


Registered: 09/02/05
Posts: 11206
Loc: Colorado
Dan Simmons comments:

Before we close this topic, I have to disagree with my friend John Sunseri.

I don't find Dan Brown's prose in THE DA VINCI CODE "serviceable." (Please note 'e').

If it is, for basic genre-level thrillers, as Herr Sunseri suggests, then the "elitist critics" are absolutely correct in saying that such levels of genre are beneath contempt. "Serviceable" is defined as capable of being of service; useful, wearing well, durable . . . etc.

I will suggest again that THE DA VINCI CODE is an amalgam of totally borrowed plot (the copyright infringement lawsuit, for a change, had real merit) and cliched, lazy to the point of absolute incompetence writing. If that's "serviceable" then we're in deep trouble as readers and would-be writers. "Durable" means capable of holding up over a long period of time, but which idiots among us have an urge to go back and reread THE DA VINCI CODE the way we would reread any quality novel? DA VINCI CODE was a one-trick pony but with no pony, only a room full of pony leavings.

Besides, John, when has "serviceable" become an acceptable standard for writing or publishing? Have we come to that?

My long friendship with Harlan Ellison has survived and thrived, at least in part, because we both vehemently reject the hey-it's-as-good-as-that-other-published-shit approach to writing and reading and evaluating writing and getting published. We help and support beginning writers in more ways than anyone knows, but we disdain writers or would-be writers who are so lazy and contemptuous of their craft that they would aspire to such a "serviceable" level of work and publication. "Serviceable" might be an acceptable standard for the modern U.S. Postal Service, but it's not appropriate to the writing of fiction.

As tired as people are of hearing me quote this comment by Don Marquis -- a quote given to me by Harlan (and fie on any of you who don't know who Don Marquis was) -- here it is again --

"If you make people think they're thinking, they'll love you; but if you really make them think, they'll hate you."

The DA VINCI CODE is one of the greatest examples of an execrable piece of writing making stupid people think they're thinking (when they're only experiencing a special-ed-level video game unskillfully cobbled together by clumsy words) in any of our lifetimes.

I say again, I disagree with you, John Sunseri (and all others in the Hey, it's serviceable! camp) and always will.

I confess to being a teacher when it comes to writing and teachers, like parents with their own children, want nothing more than to have the best among their students do better than they themselves (the teacher or parent) are capable of doing.

That sort of goal will never be met if we stoop to acknowledge the false-prophet prose of sub-hacks such as Dan Brown as "serviceable." The book is not of use save for the lowest possible level of mindless entertainment. It will not endure. It does not deserve to.*

Dan Simmons

* -- Aw, shit. Their goes my Dan Brown blurb for sure.

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#64946 - 04/22/09 01:09 PM Re: Dan Brown is back Sept 15 [Re: Dan Simmons]
John_Sunseri Offline
CEO of the Hegemony


Registered: 03/13/06
Posts: 13620
Loc: Portland, OR
Brown's prose is serviceable (thanks for the correction!) for what it does; it allows bad readers to finish a book, it allows filmmakers to churn out bad, popular films and it makes Brown a lot of money. It's cliched, lazy and incompetent, true--I agree with you completely--but it's actually BETTER than many thrillers I've waded through.

Is this acceptable? Hell no. Is it the state of the modern thriller? Absolutely. I, too, mourn the passing of good prose in genre fiction. We used to have Eric Ambler and Frederick Forsyth (whose prose was 'serviceable' in a completely different, much better way than Brown's), and now we have the Templar-of-the-Month. Thank God Martin Cruz Smith is still writing, and that some thriller writers still care about the written word.

And please note that I told Scott not to read the books.
_________________________
"I have always imagined that Paradise will be a kind of library" Jorge Luis Borges

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