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« Anthologize me | Main | Making nice »

June 23, 2005

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Yatima

I guess you're right, but seriously, Dan Brown is really, REALLY bad. And say what you like about Foucault's Pendulum, but Holy Blood, Holy Grail is a cracking read.

Richard

Because the implication of honestly saying "I just don't get the appeal of [Dan Brown, THE SOUND OF MUSIC, Stephen King, TITANIC, Tom Clancy, Nora Roberts, Danielle Steel, take your pick]; they go right past my head" is that the Speaker is a clueless boob who can't decode a simple text. The implication of dishonestly sniffing that "No one with a trace of discernment pays a scrap of attention to [Dan Brown, THE SOUND OF MUSIC, Stephen King, TITANIC, Tom Clancy, Nora Roberts, Danielle Steel, take your pick]; they're simply woeful" is that the Speaker is a tasteful, classy elitist and not a NASCAR-watching hick. So the latter formulation is more popular, as it includes an exercise in one-upsmanship and establishes a cultural pecking order.

Richard

Because the implication of honestly saying "I just don't get the appeal of [Dan Brown, THE SOUND OF MUSIC, Stephen King, TITANIC, Tom Clancy, Nora Roberts, Danielle Steel, take your pick]; they go right past my head" is that the Speaker is a clueless boob who can't decode a simple text. The implication of dishonestly sniffing that "No one with a trace of discernment pays a scrap of attention to [Dan Brown, THE SOUND OF MUSIC, Stephen King, TITANIC, Tom Clancy, Nora Roberts, Danielle Steel, take your pick]; they're simply woeful" is that the Speaker is a tasteful, classy elitist and not a NASCAR-watching hick. So the latter formulation is more popular, as it includes an exercise in one-upsmanship and establishes a cultural pecking order.

DavidE

It isn't always snobbery. I've known two young writers who thought they'd make some quick cash writing an Harlequin Romance novel only to be surprised by rejection and the crushing comments that their stories were derivative and old-fashioned! Their snobbery was exposed.

It takes all kinds to make a world. I don't like Dan Brown, but I know readers who do. I prefer Eco's Foucault's Pendulum, but it teases the very beliefs of the Brown fan. Sometimes a book is good of its kind and sometimes it captures the zeitgeist. Does anyone remember The Celestine Prophecy? It was The Davinci Code of its day.

Finally, who will the NYTimes get to say "I don't understand why anyone reads this Harry Potter" next month. Byatt did it last time and Bloom the time before. I love the Potter books. I can understand why someone might not, but I found Byatt's and Bloom's arguments just so much "sour grapes."

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