Saturday, September 25, 2010

You promised that you will die for me, now please do

When I started this blog, I wrote a couple of posts about Dan Brown and the Lost Symbol. Go ahead and read them if you have nothing better to do (here and here). I promised to write about the latest book once I read it. Since I have read all Dan Brown books, even the ones before Robert Langdon stories, this should have been easy and natural. But the problem is that between then and now, I have read some awesome literature. I have been amazed at how some of them have such intricately woven plots, or how some of them would pull even the most neutral reader into the scene just by sheer power of words. Or even books of essays that starts with an idea and builds on it with such irrefutable arguments that you either agree or are forced to think about it and then agree.

But since I keep my promises, I read the book.

And boy it was a different kind of experience. I am so brain dead that I don’t know what to write. May be it’s the fear of going over the stuff I read in my mind over again. I don't even find it as much fun making fun of it as I did in those old posts.

A book review is going to be too late now. But what I can and will tell you is the most important thing that I take out of this experience. There are two actually.

First thing first. This is an old wine in a new bottle. Just that this time someone forgot to cork the bottle properly.

You can take this idea of symbology only so far. Sooner or later you will exhaust all the words from ancient languages that can have an open interpretation. And once you do, you are going to be repetitive and painful. That is what this book is. A severely watered down version of Da Vinci Code.

The most frightening thing about the book is that at places even the author seems to be not enjoying it. That is the worst feeling that you can give to the reader.

When you refer back to your own old works over and over again, it’s bad. When it’s “the lost word” you are looking for and still title the book lost symbol, it’s bad. When in the end you take the reader down a thousand steps, just to inform that the lost word is a bible which is there somewhere around, its awesomely rotten after about 500 pages. If your story has two set of people, who believe and who don’t, don’t give me a main character (Katherine Solomon) which changes sides over and over again without so much of a warning.

And please, please, please don’t tell me in detail every little thought in the brain of a dying person. It might be fun and thoughtful, it just happens to insult my intelligence. I would rather you give me the taste of cyanide and make it firsthand this time.

So that was it people, about the book.

Here are my take-away from the experience. Sometimes staring blankly in the void can be the most awesome idea.

And I need to learn to make promises carefully.


Smita said...

I liked this review (though I haven't read the book, and now don't plan to cos I too am averse to 'pop' ism of any kind. I also like the fact that you kept your promise!

Pratyush said...

Best way to learn is to learn from other's mistakes. Please don't read it!!
Thanks for your comments :-). I am so relieved now that i know that someone is reading my blog.


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