Dan Brown foreshadows…

1. …subtly:

[Kohler said] “One square yard of drag will slow a falling body almost twenty percent.”

Langdon nodded blankly.

He never suspected that later that night, in a country hundreds of miles away, the information would save his life. (Dan Brown, Angels & Demons, p. 29)

I actually laughed out loud after that paragraph.  Also, it reminded me of this:

“‘Little did he know.’ That means there’s something he doesn’t know, which means there’s something you don’t know, did you know that?

POP NAME THAT MOVIE!  I haven’t awarded a Pilcrow in some time.  No cheating.

2.The Da Vinci Code:

“This morning,” Kohler challenged, “when I typed the word ‘Illuminati’ into the computer, it returned thousands of current references.  Apparently a lot of people think this group is still active.”

“Conspiracy buffs,” Langdon replied.  He had always been annoyed by the plethora of conspiracy theories that circulated in modern pop culture.  The media craved apocalyptic headlines… (p. 51)

Cashed in on that one, didn’t ya, Dan?

Also, what kind of brilliant scientist with all sorts of computer technology at his fingertips would refer to a web search as “typing the word into the computer”?  None.  That’s the answer: none brilliant scientists.

Seriously, though, I loved The Da Vinci Code.  One of the few “unputdownable” books I’ve read in my life.  Great fiction.  Dixie tells me Angels & Demons is just as good.

13 thoughts on “Dan Brown foreshadows…

  1. Simon

    And lo! the contrarian shuffled forth, to offer up his entirely unsolicited opinion.

    I’m glad Ian got the answer (presumably) because I have no idea. I’ll have to hold out for the next Pilcrow Award.

    But me? I didn’t much care for The DaVinci Code. I think Brown is a mediocre writer, at best, and if not for the relatively engaging tripe he used as fodder for his book, there would be little to recommend it. You pegged it exactly with, “Cashed in on that one, didn’t ya, Dan?”

    Just a rare case of a slightly embittered diatribe on my account. I have no intention of picking up Angels and Demons. But I’ll probably go see the movie with Tom Hanks when it inevitably comes out. O Irony, why do you prick me so?!

  2. Marc

    A rare case indeed, Simon!

    For the record, I don’t Brown was a good writer (in fact, I’ve said as much elsewhere). That’s why I said it was good fiction— I was just captivated by the story. The tripe was engaging enough, I suppose.

    Ian: well done. Here is your Pilcrow:

  3. Don Hendricks

    Stranger Than Fiction is a deeply theological movie about who God is and what our life consists of, about predestination and the power of love to change our lives. I am completely enamored by the gimmicks, the characters and the humanity of it.

  4. rilla

    Blast! I knew that one. I’ve also read Angels & Demons and didn’t much care for it, although I was engaged by the plot –> Where will the next special church be!?

    Stranger Than Fiction is also one of my most favorite movies of all time.

  5. Marc

    Rilla: “Where will the next special church be? ” Is that a reference to Angels & Demons? Or to the conspiracy theories in general?

    I haven’t quite committed myself to Angels & Demons. I’m about 60 pages in. It’s easy reading, but the story hasn’t caught me yet…

  6. Toni

    We saw the Da Vinci code on Tuesday night in Italian. I suspect that without a bunch of christians getting their panties in a bunch over it, the film would have disappeared at considerable loss to the maker.

  7. Marc

    Toni: You’re probably right. The film wasn’t that great (even though it parallelled the book almost exactly).

    I would think that Tom Hanks has enough star power to draw an audience, but you’re probably right.

  8. Phil L

    I read The Da Vinci Code to see what Christians were “getting their panties in a bunch over”. I thought it was a very gripping story. I also thought it was full of historical untruths that if taken as truth could turn Christians away from the faith. I have since seen a young person lose his faith after reading that book along with other books that Christians were “getting their panties in a bunch over” such as The Golden Compass and the rest of the His Dark Materials trilogy.

    I remain convinced that what we consume affects our health.

  9. Toni

    That’s true, Phil. I also maintain that James Bond had a very negative effect on the manner in which people perceive the acceptability of casual sex and physical violence.

    A question I would ask is, why do people not know the truth so that when stuff that tells lies like this appears, they cannot spot it for what it is? Do some people believe that we are actually living in a giant computer? Maybe it’s easier to protest than have a church that is authentic and convincing.

  10. Phil L

    Toni, I share your view of the effect of James Bond and for that matter most of the stuff coming out of Hollywood. I think that if the church is to be authentic and convincing, Christians within the church need to be willing to openly debate issues such as the negative effect of pop culture on our youth. Unfortunately criticism is discouraged in some Christian settings, with those who want to have the debate labelled as legalists and moralists.

  11. Marc

    I’m reluctant to blame, simply because there are so many directions fingers can be pointed, including back at ourselves. (And to a degree I agree with both of you, Phil and Toni.)

    Hollywood certainly perpetuates a message, but it may well be that it is simply a symptom of an already existent problem—one that even predates Hollywood (Enlightenment individualism, for example).

    But there has also been a tendency towards anti-intellectualism (or anti-critical thinking) in the church as well as a drive towards emotionalism and shallow (theology-less, for example) worship, which probably hasn’t helped anything.

    Look at it this way, too: this work of fiction was presented as fact—the opening pages of the novel say something to the effect of “these organizations really exist, etc.” Most people saw that for what it was (part of the story), but some people evidently missed it. The media certainly ignored it.

    So the line between fact and fiction was blurred in this way and the story which follows is about a conspiracy of lies, a huge cover up by the Church, concealing the “truth” about Jesus in order to consolidate and protect its dominance and power.

    Is it any wonder, then, that some people have responded the way they have when the Church—the very “organization” which within this story is highly suspect—has responded to this book by trying to suppress it and encouraging Christians to boycott it?

    And on a more simple level, some people just needed an excuse to reject Christianity and this kind of stuff is their “out”.

    (Phil: I don’t presume to know why the young person you refer to turned away from their faith. None of what I’ve said was in reference to that person, whoever it may be.)

  12. Phil L

    I guess I wasn’t even aware that The Church had tried to suppress The Da Vinci Code, if indeed it has(?). I’m a big proponent of free speech. I think the proper response to bad speech is to respond with better speech. Unfortunately I’ve seen more enthusiastic praise of the odious book from Christians than I have critical assessment.

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