I Googled Dan Brown and Da Vinci code. Over seven and a half million sites are listed. And I bet some of the websites are by people who have actually read the book. There are book sales, the famous movie sale and big movie stars, and then an entire cottage industry of anti-Da Vince code books. That\’s what fascinates me the most, how all these books debunking a novel are selling like the devil.
But the idea of writing a book, a novel, and having it be such a huge cultural thing, something that gets so many up in arms. Is it the subject or the story? I don\’t think it\’s just the subject, although it\’s important. But lots of books are written about really controversial subjects. They don\’t tend to sell millions and millions of copies. That\’s the rub. How do you write a book that does that? Thing is, if what Mr. Brown says on his website is true, it\’s not like he sat down to write a cultural battle ground. It was a story, one that kept gnawing at him and he got to the point where he had to write it. Since he already had a couple of b-list thrillers out there, he could get someone to publish it.
But I\’m reading the book with my pen and highlighter. There\’s a lesson in there somewhere for commercial fiction writers. No one has accused Brown of being a literary high brow. But there hasn\’t been much Grisham-like critism either. (I think Grisham is a good storyteller, but he head hops so much, I get the concussions. Needless to say, I don\’t read his stuff unless necessary.) There has to be something in the book. Or an email address for an application to sell your soul.