About the world-renowned author Dan Brown…

As I have mentioned before, I have never tortured my eyeballs by subjecting them to a Dan Brown novel. This was a personal choice and Geoffrey K. Pullum’s The Dan Brown Code simply further entrenched my desire never to do so.

However it is because of Pullum’s piece that I am able to appreciate Michael Deacon’s excellent skewering of Brown in the Telegraph on Friday:

The critics said his writing was clumsy, ungrammatical, repetitive and repetitive. They said it was full of unnecessary tautology. They said his prose was swamped in a sea of mixed metaphors. For some reason they found something funny in sentences such as “His eyes went white, like a shark about to attack.” They even say my books are packed with banal and superfluous description, thought the 5ft 9in man. He particularly hated it when they said his imagery was nonsensical. It made his insect eyes flash like a rocket.

If you haven’t already, do please go and read the whole thing. If, like me, you have chosen to avoid Brown’s oeuvre then read Pullum first.


  1. macheath says:

    Thank you! Michael Deacon’s piece is an absolute gem: “He had all the sequels mapped out. The Mozart Acrostic. The Michelangelo Wordsearch. The Newton Sudoku” had me choking on my coffee.

    I heartily applaud your determination to avoid the Brown canon and fervently wish I had done the same; my neighbours on a late-night flight were woken by my growls of suppressed fury as the protagonists – including a professional cryptographer – took a whole six pages to work out that a text was written back-to-front.

    Part of the problem is that, leaving aside the dreadful prose style (if that were possible), the man appears to suffer from the common American affliction of regarding Europe as a kind of historical theme park and its natives as something akin to Hobbits or Martians; when confronted with a sort of glorified Easter egg hunt, these poor, benighted souls are naturally unable to solve the toe-curlingly twee clues until led to the sunlit uplands by a citizen of God’s own country. Grrrrrrrgh!

  2. jameshigham says:

    But far more than that – he’s one of Them.

  3. Who says:

    It does skewer him rather well, doesn’t it?