Thursday, January 11, 2007

Absolutely Giddy About Bad Writing!

Ladies and Gents, I'm sitting on my kitchen island, eating a cream cheese and black cherry jam sandwich, listening to loud music, and getting all giddy about bad writing!

After a week and a half of respite from work, it only took six days back for my mind to implode. I don't know if it was the billion emails about "processes" implemented on a "going-forward basis" or the water cooler talk about fellatio that finally did me in, but all I know is that I've been singing (and drinking!) "Red Red Wine" a lot. (Just so's I know, is the topic of fellatio now considered appropriate water cooler chit-chat? Is this part of the BritneySpearsParisHilton-a-Fication of America?).

But you know what? I've been reading The DaVinci Code (TDVC) again, so I'll blame it for my implosion because it's definitely the worst offender (yes, even worse than the fellatio water cooler talk).

Over the holidays, someone brought over TDVC:The Movie (TDVC:TM). It was a really, really wretched movie and made me angry in several different ways. The movie's most egregious crime was that despite the fact Dan Brown wrote TDVC as if it were a screenplay, TDVC:TM still managed to butcher it (well, at least the first five-six chapters).

I'm not naive: I understand that you have to take certain liberties in movies because narratives don't generally translate well to pictures. I understand that often books have to be condensed to fit a movie and thus characters get fused and events get muddied. That's fine. I'm all good with that. I don't expect everyone to be Peter Jackson making The Lord of The Rings (and, frankly, I wish Peter Jackson hadn't been so friggin' faithful to those boring books!). But TDVC was written for the movies. Heck, even Fache, the crusty/evil detective, is written as if he were Jean Reno in any American movie he's been in.

Frankly, given the characters' wooden internal narratives, the over-emphasis on location and scenery, and the choppy dialogue, it's hard to see how anything in the book would have needed to be cut for a movie adaptation. TDVC did all the work for the screenwriter and the director and yet, yet, Ron Howard still messed with the first few chapters and somehow managed to make them worse!

Thus my curiosity got the better of me: what else did Ron Howard screw up?

So, despite the fact that I was really getting into Foucault's Pendulum, I put it down and started once again on TDVC. And that's when my mind started its quick descent into madness.

I'm not even halfway through TDVC, but already I am very, very, tired of the cliffhanger chapters and the excessive exposition (Yes, it's a fibonacci sequence. I got that the first time. Don't insult me by repeating it again. Damn you.) And, seriously, the book moves at a snail's pace. In the twenty very short chapters I've read, the book has gone nowehere. Our protagonists are still in the bathroom in the museum. And they aren't doing anything exciting there, either, except acting as Exposition Fairies.


Sorry. That was my brain imploding again. It needs more wine.

The book is full of stupid. No, seriously. It's like a mathematical idiot wrote the book. The codes aren't interesting or challenging. They barely qualify as riddles in those books they sell before you get on the plane. Jeebus!

After reading Foucault's Pendulum, that was dense with information, ideas, backstory, passions, motivations, conundrums, going back to TDVC is like eating Campbell's Tomato Soup after having a really ripping homemade Gazpacho.

Anyways, the loud music has stopped and my buzz has died. I'm going to feed my brain some wine, watch some reality TV and hope that it gets sedated enough to function again tomorrow without splattering all over the white board in my cube.


  1. You got that right! Makes you wonder why anybody would think otherwise.

  2. The worst part about the Davinci code is that Dan Brown's other book (I forget the name - let's call it 'Davinci Redux') is EXACTLY THE SAME! Argh! (I don't know why I read them both - my brain will never be the same again..)