Vulcan’s Peak

Stupid things bothering me

September 10, 2006 3:34 pm

Item 1: TOS is getting a facelift. [article; q & a] This makes me very tempted to get my hands on a DVD set before the digitally-redone version comes out. It’s a very “Han shot first!” sort of impulse — though to be fair, it looks like they’re trying very hard to be faithful to the intentions of the original directors and designers. File this one under “being a purist.”

Item 2: …and file this one under “being a snob.” I finished Dan Brown’s Angels & Demons yesterday morning. Funny thing about Dan Brown. I read The DaVinci Code when it first came out and heard from my mother that it was making a splash among our Unitarian friends, who were intrigued by some of the wacky ideas it presents and appreciative of the way it presents the sacred feminine. I enjoyed those aspects — and hey, it’s a fun chase story if you’re in the mood for that sort of thing. I was also impressed that one villain committed a murder by abusing his knowledge of another character’s peanut allergy. (Awareness is spreading! Yay!)

However, over time I met more and more people — often English majors, but not always, so I will characterize them as people who enjoy good books — whose were disgusted with Dan Brown. Not because The DaVinci Code presents ideas they were uncomfortable with, but because, they would say, the writing is just no good. And since I read the book so quickly and since I don’t remember noticing it one way or the other, I don’t argue the point.

Anyway, my mother picked up a copy of Angels & Demons not long ago (at an airport, I think it was, for something to read on the plane), and left it on my to-read pile. So I brought it with me.

Well, it was good enough that I couldn’t put it down. But Dan Brown is definately on the formulaic side. And after hearing all the complaints about what poor literature he writes, I noticed it too. And the book definately had more than its share of “oh, please” moments. It needs all the suspension of disbelief of Indiana Jones — and provides some of the same thrills (outrageously executed murders, hero not dying when he should have been killed three times already, dangling from high places, and (like DaVinci Code) has a huge twist right at the end). Character development is only cursory, and motivation is provided at the rate of one big secret per main character — generally not enough to move them out of the “static character” category.

All in all? Beach reading. More fit for a library trip than a bookstore purchase.

Item 3 (later): When asked the time this afternoon, I actually said, “Almost five ’til half past two.” My poor roommate was so confused. Damn German! My brain has been permanently Deutsch-ified!

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