- Dan Brown's ideas on the grail are not really new or original. 20 years ago when I was in 7th and 8th grade, I was really into knights and the Arthurian legends. I know I read several books around this time about the grail and the possibility that it was possibly a person and the bloodline of Christ. I know it is not Dan Brown's fault that many people think this is his original idea, but it bugs me that so many people thought it was such a new and novel idea. I guess it is good that he is raising people's consciousness about it though and if it gets them thinking all the better.
- Dan Brown writes really short chapters. This style of writing tricks people into thinking a book is more exciting than it really is because there is like a mini-cliffhanger every few pages. People keep wanting to read "just one more chapter." I think it is great that people are reading and want to keep reading, however, I always thought this kind of writing seemed more of a cheat to readers. It makes the pace of the book fast but it doesn't allow the readers to really think about the story. Just look at the movie, it was just the opposite - long, boring, and full of plot holes...and yet it had everything the book had, your brain just wasn't tricked by short chapters. Reading a book written in this style always makes me feel like I am reading a book written for 6th graders (not that that is bad because I love young adult literature). I just don't feel like my brain is being utilized. James Patterson writes in a similar style, and I don't like it there either.
- Dan Brown doesn't seem to like handicapped people. Leigh Teabing, the mastermind of the evil plot in The DaVinci Code, walked with a cane and a limp due to polio. Maximillian Kohler in Angels and Demons, is paralyzed and in a wheel chair. I guess he isn't the "bad guy" per se because he is not trying to blow up millions of people, but he's not really a "good guy" since he is trying to destroy the Christian religion. Now, I don't think people with handicaps should be excluded from being villains, but two books in a row in the series with villains being physically challenged seems a little above average. Especially since they are the only handicapped people in the books (from what I remember).
- The books are way too similar. Example, read the first chapter of each book back to back...Robert Langdon awoken in the middle of the night to look at picture of a body with a symbol on it... I seriously thought to myself "Haven't I already read this?" when I picked up The DaVinci Code.
That all being said, will I read his new Robert Langdon book when it comes out? Yes, but I'll probably bum a used copy from someone. Will I see the new Angels & Demons movie? Possibly but not till it is on cable.
PS - although his ambigrams were good (like Earth, Air, Fire above). It doesn't come close to the Princess Bride DVD cover that was created last year. It is one of my favorite images for a movie in a long time. Nice work design department on the new cover! I am impressed that a studio would spend so much time on a 20+ year old movie. It made me buy the DVD. Here it is both ways.