Originally posted on: http://geekswithblogs.net/meshel/archive/2004/09/20/11410.aspx
I'm back from the Jewish new year holiday, also known as Rosh-Hashana. During this long weekend (from wednesday until sunday) I did a lot of praying and eating, that what we do :-)
I also managed to read a few books in the meantime, more to the point, I read all four books by Dan Brown:
Angels And Demons
The Da-Vinci Code
Why? well my mother wanted me to buy the Da Vinci code, and I admittedly drawn by the hype, decided to buy them all, and now I regret it.
What can I say, Dan brown can write a fast paced novel, I think all four happen in the span of 24 hours (each) give or take a few hours. The books hold you, I had a lot of fun reading. However, Brown uses a lot of “facts“ in his books, and claims them to be non-fiction - this caused some issues for me.
Also the plot, after reading one book, is not surprising anymore - with the exception of Da Vinci, it is always quite clear who the villain is (I won't put spoilers here), and you know exactly when that fact will be revealed to the reader (about one chapter before the end, if not less)
Clearly Mr. Brown does not know his technology, he is wrong about many small and larger details, actually the book I enjoyed the most - Deception Point, seems to me like mostly pure fantasy, although Brown claims the technologies are real - I hope they are!
Digital Fortress is by far the worst book - just show me a single intelligence agency in the world that does not work 24/7 - it is just plain dumb.
In each novel a single man with great ambitions, manages to pull together an elaborate scam planned for months, and it is thwarted at the last minute by some hero/heroine by solving a puzzle - go figure.
Even while reading I caught some very problematic claims by Brown, He claims that he invested a lot in research, but it seems not be so (not to mention the ton of websites and books that attack almost every word he wrote as a lie). For example he uses Jehova (the name of GOD) to claim that it symbolises Yen-Yang (Jah for male, Hava for female), however, this is not the hebrew name at all, it is a translation into english, of a totally different name, which represents in hebrew the true name of GOD, and has nothing to do at all, with the meaning Brown is trying to give it. and by that trying to distort what the true belief of Judaism is, claiming it to be some paganic religion, that engages in sex rituals (where do I sign up :-).
I am not very fond of the Catholic Church, throughout history, it wasn't very nice to my people, and indeed was not nice to many others, also it is quite clear as with any organized religion - that the organization (i.e. the church) does many things on political grounds. But still Brown can't seem to decide if he wants to demonize or praise the church.
All in all, I guess these are fun books to read, if you make sure you don't take anything written there seriously, the problem is Brown does everything in his power to attempt to convince you that it is indeed real.
A pleasure for all you conspiracy lovers - I'm waiting to see what secret cult really planned and executed 9/11