Saturday, September 10, 2005

Read Dan Brown's Angels and Demons

An interesting book.

For those of you who've read The Da Vinci Code (not to be confused with the Da Vinci Cod, which hasn't come out yet), you've read the book before. There's all the same plots and devices:
  • A search for the truth that's hidden from the eyes of the common people and must be deciphered to be learned
  • Multiple enemies, all set up to oppose the truth-seeker and all under the control of a single person
  • The most sympathetic character (outside of the main character and his love interest) becomes the one person controlling everything behind the scenes (the Angel Of Light proves to be the King of Darkness -- a familiar motif for your average Fundamentalist Christian.)
  • The outsider who does the important killing seems to have a wildly mistaken view of his place, believing himself to be doing God's Work (tm) (and you albinos better calm down -- I found the albino character sympathetic, something the hashassin in Angels and Demons was never meant to be).
  • In the end, what's found turns out to be much less than what's sought. Angels and Demons ends up with a group that no longer exists (except in the mind of a scheming pope-wannabe who turns out to be a nutcase), whereas in The Da Vinci Code it turns out the secret is not so much already out as it is being uncovered, discovered and reinvented before our eyes (the documents/cup/whatever may still be out there, but who REALLY needs the relics nowadays?

Indeed, once you separate all the too-many similarities, there's two main difference between the two books:
  • Angels and Demons only preports to be a book of fiction with the Catholic Church and the story of the Illuminati as its basic building blocks; whereas The Da Vinci Code preports to be fact written up as a book of fiction.
  • There's nothing to be gained from reading Angles and Demons, other than a few hours of reading fun frustrated by the vertigo caused by too many plot twists at the end and bits of information seemingly thrown in to show off knowledge. The Da Vinci Code, however, seems to be built for people who want to believe what the book preports as true.

Supposedly Mister Brown's writing another book in this Robert Langdon series, which involves the Masons and Washington D.C. Although this should be very illuminating (as the Masons have a more important role in creating America than most people know or want to know) I hope Mr. Brown is coming up with a different plot, as you can only write the same thing so often before people start noticing.

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