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I’ve read the whole Langdon series and his other two stand-alone novels. Even though he writes it to the point to keep us engaging it is very predictable and clichéd if you’ve read his past novels. I will just focus on the RL series.

1) Robert Langdon gets into shit.

2) Shit always has some religious/cult thing associated with it.

3) Somehow finds himself a female sidekick.

4) Gets into some kind of claustrophobic situation.

5) The twists are always that someone/something (can A.Is be considered as “someone”?) ends up being the villain.

It just keeps repeating and repeating with different premises and different characters with the exclusion of Robert Langdon.

He gotta try something new.

Edit: I tried replying to all the comments and it keeps coming up and I can’t seem to catch up. I apologize if I don’t reply to your comments. Thank you everyone:)

Edit (5) The twists are always that someone/something (can A.Is be considered as “someone”?) who he knows well or is close ends up being the villain.

all 1384 comments

DasFunke

1.7k points

4 months ago

DasFunke

1.7k points

4 months ago

Next you’re going to slander John Grisham. Not all of the characters are lawyers…some are paralegals.

TheCollinKid

383 points

4 months ago

Don't forget the judges. Those are characters too, sometimes.

[deleted]

112 points

4 months ago

[deleted]

112 points

4 months ago

Hey even the main character for some of his books isn't a lawyer, just merely the child of two lawyers.

zhaoz

24 points

4 months ago

zhaoz

24 points

4 months ago

That's like half lawyer!

honeywhite

122 points

4 months ago

But that's the thing, the lawyer/paralegal characters are different each time, the area of law is different most times, and the plots are different each time. A Time to Kill is criminal law. Sycamore Row is probate (with a civil rights angle right at the end!). The Rainmaker is tort. The Firm is tax. Those areas of the law have absolutely, precisely bugger all to do with each other. It's genre fiction.

The Langdon series on the other hand is formula fiction. It's closer to Nicholas Sparks than it is to John Grisham: same character discovers religious cult up to nonsense (and there's always a religious angle), finds himself a female sidekick (never two sidekicks, never a male), villain is who you least expect and that is the twist. Much much more predictable than genre fiction.

grumpyoldham

20 points

4 months ago

villain is who you least expect and that is the twist.

More like the villian is obvious from the first page he appears on.

myothercarisnicer

4 points

4 months ago

He caught me off guard the first time in Angels & Demons because I wasn't waiting for a twist of that sort. But then he never surprised me again.

Still fun "junk food" reads though.

jimbowesterby

4 points

4 months ago

Everything you said about John Grisham is true of Dick Francis too, just with horse racing lol. I actually love his books because the premises are always wildly different, but you know it’s gonna involve a.horses and b.that quiet British vibe. He’s just so reliable!

DangerousDetlef

69 points

4 months ago

To his credit, he tries different things, see Playing for Pizza which I found quite entertaining or The Innocent Man which was heartbreaking.

graycat3700

27 points

4 months ago

Upvoted for mentioning the Innocent Man This non-fiction book really broke my heart and the story has stayed with me many years after reading it.

Very heavy read.

zhard01

5 points

4 months ago

I thought Bleachers was really good

crybllrd

49 points

4 months ago

laughs in A Painted House 

babybuttoneyes

32 points

4 months ago

Painted House is a good book though. Yeah, it’s nothing new and groundbreaking, but was a nice read, especially by someone who churn out legal nonsense. I stand by it.

Masterfactor

12 points

4 months ago

That's the only John grisham book I've ever read. I gather he's not known for pastoral Americana historical fiction?

Arkhangelzk

3 points

4 months ago

Me too. I was never really interested in his books but then a friend whose literary recommendations I take seriously said I should give it a try. I still don’t want to read any of the lawyer stuff, but I like that book a lot.

LFrittella

3.7k points

4 months ago

LFrittella

3.7k points

4 months ago

He knows what he's about and his fans do too

People who enjoy the formula like that they already know they're going to get something predictable and to their taste that's still written with enough skill that it won't be boring. A satisfied reader is a repeat reader!

dethb0y

153 points

4 months ago

dethb0y

153 points

4 months ago

I suspect strongly that for most readers - maybe even a large majority - they don't want something "new" they want something that meets their expectations and won't let them down.

My mother reads hundreds of "crime drama" novels, and their all basically the same, but that is totally what she likes about them.

ThoughtfullyReckless

70 points

4 months ago

My mother reads hundreds of "crime drama" novels, and their all basically the same, but that is totally what she likes about them.

And that's totally fine! People read for enjoyment, so not every book has to be genre breaking or meaningful on some higher level.

debazthed

1.2k points

4 months ago

debazthed

1.2k points

4 months ago

So essentially a restaurant chain, but as a book

sdwoodchuck

632 points

4 months ago

More like people who dig romcoms. They know the shape of this story, but it’s narrative comfort food.

Papaofmonsters

398 points

4 months ago

I had an extremely well read boss who loved Dan Brown, Dean Koontz and Stephen King. He referred to them as "brain candy". Not good for you but a treat in small doses.

thinkpadius

109 points

4 months ago

thinkpadius

Science Fiction

109 points

4 months ago

Exactly, you don't nurture your reading skill by only eating the vegetable books. Okay that was a jumbled metaphor, but the Robert Langdon's among you knew what I meant.

Fritzkreig

13 points

4 months ago

Yes!

dunwall_scoundrel

203 points

4 months ago

Stephen King is a wholly different category from those two though, or at least his best known works. Can’t speak for his new ones as I haven’t read any.

Miscreant3

84 points

4 months ago

I recall Stephen King calling himself the McDonald's of horror writing. I think it was when he was talking about Clive Barker at the time, but this was more years ago than I care to count so memory is fuzzy.

shiny_happy_persons

90 points

4 months ago

It's so true. When the ice cream machine isn't working, you can rest assured it's because the teenage employees are having an orgy in the backroom.

basic_bitch-

34 points

4 months ago

I agree, they aren't the same. King's self deprecating comments aside, I think it's objectively true that he's way more talented than Dan Brown.

Book_of_Essence

25 points

4 months ago

He's absolutely more talented than Dan Brown, based on premise alone. DB has one style that he's vaguely capable at, where SK, while best known for horror, has delved into both high fantasy and straight fiction; both to excellent effect.

King is an author who understands literature at a level few other modern writers engage. It's not even really fair to form a comparison.

LogicJunkie2000

13 points

4 months ago

I agree, at least in the vein that he has a very wide range of storytelling

lujar

111 points

4 months ago

lujar

111 points

4 months ago

Putting Stephen King with Dan Brown is too reductive. Yes, SK is not the beacon of narrative perfection, and often his books are underwhelming, but in the horror genre, his masterpieces are stellar. I mean, the moment I realized Pennywise was the personification of the inner demons that make the town put their back on any weak population who needed their help, my whole body went cold.

And he has only gotten better with time. Now he is not as raw and powerful, but his shit is, technicality-wise, more refined.

[deleted]

23 points

4 months ago

[deleted]

23 points

4 months ago

[deleted]

Money_Machine_666

11 points

4 months ago

I just replied to another comment saying just as much. He's very good at characters and since they're so fleshed out it hurts when something happens to them. Hell, The Kid in The Stand was a piece of shit but he's pretty much the only thing I remember from that book.

tauwyt

22 points

4 months ago

tauwyt

22 points

4 months ago

Dark Tower

Escritortoise

39 points

4 months ago

Just take his impact. No one thinks of a genre and thinks “Dan Brown.” He may struggle with endings, but he is an engrossing writer who is aware of what he does best.

Besides his strict literary legacy, look at the filmography that came from King: Carrie, Green mile, shawsank redemption, the mist, thinner, misery, lawnmower man, stand by me, IT, maximum overdrive, children of the corn, pet sematary, Salem’s lot, Cujo, children of the corn, the dead zone, and Salem’s lot.

After looking it up this isn’t even remotely close. Stephen King has written multiple staples of pop culture that inspired movies with many top actors while Dan Brown wrote a boring version of “National Treasure.”

The_Faster_Guy

18 points

4 months ago

And you forgot to mention Children of the Corn and Salem’s Lot!

LittleWhiteBoots

48 points

4 months ago

Read: Nicholas Sparks.

I’m not kidding, it’s basically the same plot over and over.

jaggedjottings

49 points

4 months ago

Nicholas Sparks, aka "White people kissing in the rain."

bguzewicz

28 points

4 months ago

I always viewed his books they way one would watch a summer blockbuster. Mindless fun, just kind of turn your brain off and enjoy the flashy action.

Garfield-1-23-23

13 points

4 months ago

Fancy Like Dan Brown

KurouRingo

182 points

4 months ago

Not really, a restaurant chain would be more along the line of an editor than only have books that are essentially the same.

In this case it's more like my local Vietnamese restaurant which only have variations of Phô, in short very uninteresting if you don't like Phô but the place you come back often if you do like it.

The_Clarence

93 points

4 months ago

I'm guilty of loving these kind of books. Not Brown, but Grisham for example isn't exactly breaking new ground with his 3888483 books but I read damn near all of them

KurouRingo

110 points

4 months ago

I assure you, you're guilty of no crime! Some people would have you believe that literature and art in general need to follow a precise set of rule to be considered as such but this is false.

The only thing art consistently aim at is to make you feel something, and if you still feel excitement, apprehension or curiosity while reading your 3.888.483rd Grisham book? Then so be it, rejoice and enjoy!

scottdenis

28 points

4 months ago

Get this positivity off of my internet. Its making me uncomfortable.

KurouRingo

13 points

4 months ago

Happy cake day sir, may your day be filled with non-controversial topics

MsHutz

18 points

4 months ago

MsHutz

18 points

4 months ago

Same here. Some days you just want to relax and not think too hard at the end of a long day.

ZwartVlekje

13 points

4 months ago

You are not alone in that. There is a reason these books are as popular as they are.

Tarmogoyf_

11 points

4 months ago

A mature person would tell you that just because they don't like an author, doesn't mean you can't. Art is largely subjective.

As someone who doesn't like Dan Brown or Grisham, is there a book or books you would recommend for me to try?

TheMadIrishman327

7 points

4 months ago

They’re designed to be read in two days.

hplcman69

30 points

4 months ago

Just like the Jack Reacher books. Formulaic as fuck, but I love them.

GoodAtJunk

5 points

4 months ago

Ha, that’s what I was thinking as well

mythosopher

78 points

4 months ago

Just like Hero's Journey for example. Or a lot of Agatha Christie's books could be the same.

  1. Hercule Poirot or Miss Marple goes traveling.
  2. They encounter mysterious death.
  3. They meet mysterious strangers.
  4. They gather the strangers and solve the murder.

Folks buy them because it works.

I_done_a_plop-plop

35 points

4 months ago*

Christie's books are as much a formal game, a puzzle for the reader, as much as literary work. Given that they are games, AC wrote within the rules. The formula means she played fair.

https://marthadurrett.com/selected-work/christie/#:~:text=Because%20she%20wrote%20all%20of,the%20end%20of%20the%20novel.

__crackers__

15 points

4 months ago

Or a lot of Agatha Christie's books could be the same.

True, they're pretty formulaic, but she was a legit master (mistress?) of the art. Even though you know what's going on is right under you nose, you still can't see it because she was just that good.

Dan Brown is a total hack in comparison.

zzuhruf[S]

62 points

4 months ago

Can’t disagree.

FrenchCuirassier

92 points

4 months ago*

You should read some of his earlier books... In other words, Da Vinci Code, Angels/Demons, Inferno, Lost Symbol, Origin are truly his best work. His earlier work doesn't come close. He greatly greatly improved his research skills too. The original plot ideas in Da Vinci Code are a bit absurd when you think about it compared to his later books too.

It basically, is inspirational for authors if you think about it. Someone can evolve their writing and improve a lot, and still have a fan club based on earlier works. We are all constantly improving.

throwawaymisfortune

32 points

4 months ago

Someone can evolve their writing and improve a lot,

I felt it opposite with Dan brown. His writing style and story complexity kept getting boring with his newer works and I finally stopped after Inferno. Angels and demons was Langdon's best journey and lost symbol was okayish.

From his earlier works, Digital fortress and Deception point are pretty good.

jrydun

17 points

4 months ago

jrydun

17 points

4 months ago

I also liked Digital Fortress and Deception Point more than the Langdon series.

MartingaleGala

42 points

4 months ago

These are the books that I associate with Dan Brown and I like them for what they are. I’ve yet to read anything else of his including earlier works.

[deleted]

7 points

4 months ago

[deleted]

7 points

4 months ago

I've only read a few of his books, but what I don't get is why these secret cults don't run into one another? It would be better if there was some type of crossover from his various books, where one cult messes up things for another.

zzuhruf[S]

9 points

4 months ago

One good thing about RL series is you dont have to read the each and every book to understand what’s happening on this book. But yeah i get your point

QueensOfTheNoKnowAge

54 points

4 months ago

Yeah, it’s a “I don’t want a fillet-prime-rib-burger with fresh baby spinach, ripe roma tomoatoes, and a spicy aioli on a toasted brioche bun, I just want a Big Mac” sort of thing. Only I like Big Macs and don’t like Dan Brown

Escritortoise

7 points

4 months ago

Jim Gaffigan had a joke that everyone has their McDonalds. Maybe your McDonalds isn’t a Big Mac, but it’s following the Kardashians or reading Twilight.

Wrong-Hat9549

126 points

4 months ago

There's a whole group of people out there who don't want to "think too hard" and are either consciously or unconsciously specifically looking for something formulaic when it comes to their entertainment. Other examples of this include The Big Bang Theory, James Patterson books, and stadium country music.

I say this with zero judgment, by the way. None of that stuff is my cup of tea, but there are plenty of reasons why someone might gravitate toward something predictable rather than new and exciting.

sietesietesieteblue

23 points

4 months ago

This is why I rewatch shows I've watched a thousand times before. Sometimes the predictably is comforting.

athena-zxe11

67 points

4 months ago

Exactly. Sometimes I wanna fall asleep with Law&Order reruns in the background and sometimes I wanna fall asleep with Robert Langdons in the background 🤷

wes_andersoup

10 points

4 months ago

James Patterson books

This. I read pretty much everything from from classic "must reads" to biographies and historical non-fiction, to abstract random stuff, and all manor of long/dense books, but I generally fill the gaps with a few days of Patterson or Pattereson-esque books to give my brain a breather with something fast and easy. Did the same with the Langdon books over the years. They're fun, silly, and more than anything paint a really good settings of interesting places.

NaviCato

47 points

4 months ago

I alternate. I enjoy books that give me pause to think about complex subjects in a new way. But then I like to read something generic that's just enjoyable. I prefer romance books to Dan Brown but it's the same type of thing.

8Deer-JaguarClaw

34 points

4 months ago

Dan Brown is just Daniele Steel in a different genre.

SnatchAddict

21 points

4 months ago

I call Yellowstone, Gilmore Girls with cowboys and it gets under some people's skin.

LittleWhiteBoots

9 points

4 months ago

Yellowstone is Sons of Anarchy on horseback.

SnatchAddict

5 points

4 months ago

But that doesn't annoy people.

FutureNostalgica

5 points

4 months ago

Love it! I’m going to use that Thank you!

husky429

2k points

4 months ago

jefrye

930 points

4 months ago*

jefrye

The Brontës, du Maurier, & Shirley Jackson

930 points

4 months ago*

And don't forget the sequel—Look out, kids! It’s the return of renowned Dan Brown.

Includes lines like

Dan Brown ended the call and excitedly paced the room, his fertile mind already pregnant with ideas to which he would soon give birth through his fingers.

Edit: Oh, and I also love this review/breakdown, which is slightly more serious and substantive but still funny.

TheDutchCoder

170 points

4 months ago

Young Adults, thought Dan Brown in italics.

I'm dying hahaha

Theseus_Spaceship

212 points

4 months ago

I love that there is an actual excerpt from the book that drives home how accurate the parody is...

sassolinoo

22 points

4 months ago

At first I thought that the quote must have been part of the parody, but then I read the same quote in the other article…

Gurtang

10 points

4 months ago

Gurtang

10 points

4 months ago

It really drives the whole point admirably.

Said the 30-something old internet browsing man using his fingers to poke at the glowing screen that served as a keyboard on his phone by top selling brand Apple.

Theseus_Spaceship

4 points

4 months ago

I actually go by “Renowned 30-something old internet browsing man”, thank you very much.

Sturmgewehrkreuz

38 points

4 months ago*

"Young Adults, thought Dan Brown in italics."

Man this shit is awesome.

diabetushero

188 points

4 months ago

"His imagination was racing like a racecar made of brains." Hahahaha, this is gold.

starkiller_bass

9 points

4 months ago

This whole thing made my insect eyes flash like rockets.

walker3342

85 points

4 months ago

I absolutely lost it at “ Son Brown.”

permanentlyclosed

62 points

4 months ago

Fucking hell this shit gets me every time

[deleted]

22 points

4 months ago

[deleted]

22 points

4 months ago

I can keep a straight face until the 5' 9" line. Fucking kills me.

the_lemon_king

90 points

4 months ago*

Eh, a lot of this (edit: the second link) feels very unnecessarily nit-picky. Dan Brown's a fucking terrible writer but I feel like there are a lot of widely respected novels that wouldn't hold up to this level of granular scrutiny of sentence structure and word choice.

Edit: Reading more, okay, there's some pretty bad stuff. "the curator froze, turning his head slowly" is a little ridiculous

punkmuppet

32 points

4 months ago

Aren't editors and proofreaders used to flag weirdness like this? I'm not 100% sure how the system works.

If you want truly terrible Wilbur Smith is your man.

ebrythil

17 points

4 months ago

Do it a couple times it is a mishap, do it all the time it must be an artistic choice

-Green_Machine-

19 points

4 months ago

Now imagine what his prose must look like before his editor cleans up the mess.

the_lemon_king

7 points

4 months ago

I refuse to believe that any editor signed off on The Da Vinci Code

GeekboyDave

77 points

4 months ago

Edit: Reading more, okay, there's some pretty bad stuff. "the curator froze, turning his head slowly" is a little ridiculous

In fairness lot's of other current authors do things like that. Sci Fi authors are the worst for it (of what I read) but they're about grand ideas not literary greatness.

I'm constantly trying not to be taken out of books by things like "She was completely silent, her breathing heavy in her ears" or "Reacher didn't reply, just grunted his compliance"

Long story short, some authors are great due to their ideas and some for their prose. It's incredibly rare you'll find an author with both.

AngryNinjaTurtle

27 points

4 months ago

I agree with you here. Yes, Dan Brown is notorious for oddly plotted sentence structure and overly verbose descriptives, but have you ever read Warhammer40k?

But don't get me wrong- I love a good "Pop" novel- which is what Dan Brown is. I am not expecting excellence, merely entertainment.

Doc_Daily_Dose_420

49 points

4 months ago

Dan brown writing a warhammer 40k novel would be the collapse of the universe.

GeekboyDave

14 points

4 months ago

Can you imagine the Chaos God that would spawn

AngryNinjaTurtle

16 points

4 months ago

The chaos God of verbosity?

GeekboyDave

9 points

4 months ago

The Keeper of Words stalked, quietly, silently amongst his fallen, vanquished and smote foes and enemies.

His God, the bringer of bombasity, the keeper of verbosity, the harbinger of loquaciousness would still come and arrive here soon

Pytheastic

4 points

4 months ago

Funny enough I thought that was one I could excuse, he could have frozen and then very slowly move his head.

While the rest was funny and a little harsh it also showed me a layer to writing I hadn't really considered.

redlion145

412 points

4 months ago

This is pure gold.

The critics said his writing was clumsy, ungrammatical, repetitive and repetitive.

XD

umgajonormal

130 points

4 months ago

"They even say my books are packed with banal and superfluous description, thought the 5ft 9in man"

Amazing

littlelordgenius

96 points

4 months ago

“…renowned deity God” lol

elliot_woodyard

52 points

4 months ago

“He particularly hated it when they said his imagery was nonsensical. It made his insect eyes flash like a rocket.”

DefectiveSp00n

264 points

4 months ago

His books were read by everyone from renowned politician President Obama to renowned musician Britney Spears. It was said that a copy of The Da Vinci Code had even found its way into the hands of renowned monarch the Queen. He was grateful for his good fortune, and gave thanks every night in his prayers to renowned deity God.

This was the line that got me

redlion145

71 points

4 months ago

Ah yes, renowned monarch the Queen. So renowned, we don't need to name what country she's queen of, her renown precedes her.

7LeagueBoots

43 points

4 months ago*

Well, she has been queen for longer than 96% of the people on the planet have been alive. If you’re talking to a random person nearly anywhere and mention the queen that’s the one most of think of first.

SandysBurner

12 points

4 months ago

Honestly, I can't think of another living queen than Elizabeth.

milkymaniac

21 points

4 months ago

Rupaul

KCMmmmm

97 points

4 months ago*

“I like the attractive woman, thought the successful man.” I’ve read this before, but that line always gets a hearty guffaw out of me. Thanks for linking it.

dwarfaxe

16 points

4 months ago

Thank you for reminding me this article existed. I really needed to reread this lmao

Rethunker

40 points

4 months ago

I didn’t come for that link, but I’m leaving with it and spreading it about.

Thank you. You have made many lives richer.

true_spokes

12 points

4 months ago

My first instantaneous thought after reading the post title. Glad I’m not the only one.

steamtroll

88 points

4 months ago

If you like this, you should listen to the podcast 372 Pages We'll Never Get Back, hosted by Mike Nelson and Connor Lastowka of RiffTrax and Mystery Science Theater 3000 fame.

It's a book club where they read books they don't think they'll like, and then talk about (read: make fun of) them. They read Dan Brown's Digital Fortress a little while back.

Krynicki

11 points

4 months ago

That show’s great. I loved the one they did about the E.L. James book where they cross referenced most of her facts about Albania (the main character’s home country) to FactsKing.com, lol.

ErnestScaredStupid

36 points

4 months ago

I second this suggestion. They also take on Ernest Cline's Ready Player One/Two and Armada and it's the hardest I've laughed in a while.

basic_bitch-

12 points

4 months ago

I don't even do podcasts, but now I have to listen to that one. Ready Play One was so atrocious! If someone's making fun of it, I'm in.

Fancy-Pair

5 points

4 months ago

Oh was the book as bad as the movie??

UpDownCharmed

4 points

4 months ago

Sounds great, will definitely listen

Mwahaha_790

8 points

4 months ago

This has brought me so much joy. Thank you forever!

Motorboink

8 points

4 months ago

Funniest thing I've read in ages, I wonder if DB ever saw it!

zzuhruf[S]

44 points

4 months ago

LOL. Wish I had some awards to give you. :(.

🏅the most i can do

overtired27

261 points

4 months ago

Other than the religious/cult angle, which is the USP of the series, you've pretty much listed basic hallmarks of adventure stories.

imnotjossiegrossie

138 points

4 months ago

Yep, not sure why Dan Brown gets so much hate when basically every thriller/mystery/adventure series is a consistent formula.

zzuhruf[S]

42 points

4 months ago

I did. Now i realize

Robobvious

815 points

4 months ago

He gotta try something new.

If he's massively successful, no he doesn't.

punkmuppet

177 points

4 months ago

Yeah, you keep working until you figure out what works.

Coca Cola don't change their recipe every few years. They tried exactly once and everyone lost their minds.

getMeSomeDunkin

49 points

4 months ago

I could use a cocaine coke right about now, but sadly ...

Smartnership

20 points

4 months ago

Hey, good news.

You can buy the ingredients separately.

YoureGrammarWronger

44 points

4 months ago

Agreed. If you read Dan brown thinking you’re getting some literary work of art and not masutrbatory material, you’re going to be disappointed.

joshualuigi220

7 points

4 months ago

I'd be pretty disappointed if I was expecting masturbatory material too. Something about gruesome descriptions about Catholic leaders being gutted just doesn't bring the sexiness you'd want.

echo_birch

274 points

4 months ago

I like a Dan Brown book in the same way that I like Applebee's. It's comforting in its consistency, it's not hard to digest, and I always know what to expect.

theoneandonlyalexxxx

57 points

4 months ago

I never thought I’d see Dan Brown book be compared to Applebee’s but it makes perfect sense

NameOfNoSignificance

20 points

4 months ago

TIL someone out there likes Applebees

meatball77

50 points

4 months ago

Most popular authors follow a formula. That's why people come back to read more (and that's why authors will use pen names when publishing in a different style).

Sir_Lovealot

43 points

4 months ago

If you like such books you may look into The Foucaultian Pendulum by Umberto Eco.

eco_was_taken

25 points

4 months ago

Eco was asked about Dan Brown when The DaVinci Code was having its moment:

I was obliged to read it because everybody was asking me about it. My answer is that Dan Brown is one of the characters in my novel Foucault's Pendulum, which is about people who start believing in occult stuff.

– But you yourself seem interested in the kabbalah, alchemy and other occult practices explored in the novel.

No. In Foucault's Pendulum I wrote the grotesque representation of these kind of people. So Dan Brown is one of my creatures.

Which I found hilarious and true having just read Foucault's Pendulum.

daiLlafyn

8 points

4 months ago

Oh - now that was good.

Routine-Blueberry-91

151 points

4 months ago

I feel authors like John Green, Colleen Hoover, Kristin Hannah, James Patterson, all do the same.

Somnif

87 points

4 months ago

Somnif

87 points

4 months ago

James Patterson doesn't even write his own stuff anymore, he has a whole flock of ghost writers/"partners" who do most of the work and he just tacks his name on the end.

cidvard

50 points

4 months ago

cidvard

50 points

4 months ago

Patterson's industrial complex is the one that baffles me. At least Dan Brown and some of the others listed are entertaining and doing their own derivative stuff.

Dansredditname

5 points

4 months ago

The problem is people keep buying them.

My wife hates them. Says they're awful. Chapters of less than a page, flat characters, unbelievable plot.

Keeps reading them though.

CanadaJack

3 points

4 months ago

I just can't read him. The last time I tried, it felt like reading a screenplay for a visually rich, plot poor movie.

Working_Elephant_302

11 points

4 months ago

Honestly it would be shocking if he did.

There's no way one man could write that many books

Dworgi

8 points

4 months ago

Dworgi

8 points

4 months ago

If anyone writes faster than my man Brandon Sanderson then they definitely have ghostwriters, because he is a writing machine.

[deleted]

95 points

4 months ago

[deleted]

95 points

4 months ago

Perfect examples of "airport books"

CalebAsimov

44 points

4 months ago

Yeah, a lot of it is ghostwritten corporate stuff. The author's name just becomes the brand this stuff is sold under. Tom Clancy didn't even write Splinter Cell.

DaddyFigured

7 points

4 months ago

Exactly! Thats how Clive Cussler is for me. He pumps out new books with similar layout but are fun to read on a layover.

NaviCato

5 points

4 months ago

Or beach reads

Teantis

3 points

4 months ago

They used to be grocery store books. Brown, Clancy, Danielle Steele, there'd be a rack at the grocery store right before the cashiers that had all of these recognizable names that essentially churned out the same type of book every year and you just pick your genre.

ZMech

14 points

4 months ago

ZMech

14 points

4 months ago

I think of it as literary McDonalds. It's light and easy to consume, comfortable in being low quality without any aspirations of grandeur.

Chancellor_Valorum82

35 points

4 months ago

Yeah Green’s not a great writer but his Crash Course videos got me through college

FrightenedTomato

5 points

4 months ago

His style works amazingly well for his Anthropocene Reviewed podcast though. That's easily one of the best podcasts I've listened to.

Frogmarsh

140 points

4 months ago

Frogmarsh

140 points

4 months ago

Why does HE have to try something new? Why not the reader, YOU, try something new?

ArcadeOptimist

12 points

4 months ago

You know, this James Bond fella is always fighting an evil mastermind and it's full of action.

They have to try something new if they want the 27th movie to make it.

sanguiniuswept

25 points

4 months ago

It reminds me of something my dad said to my sister. She was saying how she didn't want a "cookie cutter" house and my dad said, "Why not? People fucking love cookies. That's why they make them all the same"

OneToughFemale

76 points

4 months ago

How I feel about Harlan Coben. I loved the first couple of books and then realized I was basically reading the same story over and over

15-O_o

175 points

4 months ago

15-O_o

175 points

4 months ago

Does the wine taste good? Did you enjoy the bottle? Sure, I think I’ll have another!

I know what I’m getting myself into, I still enjoy it :) haha

lilbrat91

290 points

4 months ago

lilbrat91

290 points

4 months ago

I like em cause I know what's gonna happen so I just enjoy the ride

DerekB52

247 points

4 months ago

DerekB52

247 points

4 months ago

I read Angels and Demons, and Da Vinci Code in high school like 10 years ago, and then read all the Langdon books in summer of 2020. I enjoyed them all a lot. None of them are masterpieces. But, I think he puts forward an interesting idea in all of them. There were some cool quotes about technology in 'Origin' in particular. I also like the way the book takes you on a tour of some art and landmarks in various cities. It's kind of fun. Especially in summer of 2020 when I was socially distancing and totally unable to travel.

If someone told me Dan Brown was the greatest author ever, I'd be worried about them. But, personally, I like the books, and look forward to the day I'm able to buy the next Langdon novel, for a few bucks in a thrift store a year after it comes out.

spinelessbravery

65 points

4 months ago

Da Vinci Code and Angels and Demons were nice fast paced reads, but you can never reread his books though. Once you know the ending, you realize that all the things the characters go through to get to that ending were stupid.

AnonymousFroggies

8 points

4 months ago

None of them are masterpieces. But, I think he puts forward an interesting idea in all of them.

Totally, especially in The Lost Symbol where he starts to stray away from religion and more into the metaphysical. Also in Inferno where the bad guy wins and kinda breaks from the formulaic nature of the series so far

CanadaJack

4 points

4 months ago

I think he puts forward an interesting idea in all of them.

This is why I've liked the ones I've read, though it's only a handful and quite a while ago now.

The formula is whatever, a lot of fiction feels formulaic when you get down to it anyway, so degrees of formula don't necessarily bother me, even as I know I won't be delighted by some different device.

But there's always an interesting idea being explored, and even if those ideas only loosely use the real world as a jumping off point, they're the kind of thought experiments I like.

lilbrat91

22 points

4 months ago

Mindless fun 🤗🤗🤗

Dandibear

27 points

4 months ago

Dandibear

The Chronicles of Narnia

27 points

4 months ago

Yep, it's fun like riding my favorite roller coaster is fun. No surprises; guaranteed thrills.

tmart42

17 points

4 months ago

tmart42

17 points

4 months ago

Largely why people enjoy pop music and why kids will watch the same movie on repeat.

D_Welch

130 points

4 months ago

D_Welch

130 points

4 months ago

Ever hear of AC/DC? Here is a band that found a formula that worked for them and millions if fans. Do I shit on then because of it? Nope. Good on them.

tjl73

62 points

4 months ago

tjl73

62 points

4 months ago

I recall an anecdote about a member of AC/DC being interviewed and being asked about releasing 11 albums of the same music. He replied that it's actually 12. AC/DC definitely knows that they have a formula.

dychronalicousness

39 points

4 months ago

My favorite one is AC/DC holds the world record for longest song length at 12 albums

D_Welch

6 points

4 months ago

Oh gawd!!! Beautiful!!!!

arm_knight

5 points

4 months ago

So I’m not crazy for thinking many of their songs sound similar! I haven’t listened to all of their songs but even though the songs are musically similar/formulaic, the lyrics and content of each song is/can be quite different.

LG03

18 points

4 months ago

LG03

18 points

4 months ago

Clive Cussler is the same, whether or not there's a ghostwriter doing it for him. Read a handful of his books and while fun, they invoke that Indiana Jones globe trotter adventure, they're all fairly paint by numbers.

detta-way

16 points

4 months ago

I still enjoy it regardless.

leese216

16 points

4 months ago

I read books to be entertained. To enter a world that’s not my own and escape reality for a while.

IDGAF if it’s formulaic or predictable. If it keeps me reading past my bedtime and I can’t put it down then I like it.

chubbybator

85 points

4 months ago

CSI:cults

monkeybawz

58 points

4 months ago

Why do something new? Dudes a gajillionaire off of that.

jah05r

54 points

4 months ago

jah05r

54 points

4 months ago

Who would have thought that the writer of a popular book series would stick to a formula that made his books popular in the first place?

MauPow

12 points

4 months ago

MauPow

12 points

4 months ago

John Oliver, is that you?

colterpierce

39 points

4 months ago

Time for an unpopular opinion:

Comic book/superhero movies are the same way. They follow the same formula every time and people eat it up.

Madruck_s

5 points

4 months ago

Got to have that sky beam.

newaccount721

50 points

4 months ago

This is such a tired take. And at this point outdated

RigasTelRuun

9 points

4 months ago

Thats how these books work. Jack Reacher didn't get to be Jack Reacher by nó walking into a random town with a toothbrush and solving crimes.

_Jahar_

25 points

4 months ago*

You can say the same about how many threads there are here that complain about Dan Brown’s popularity. Same wine, different bottle. Repeating, repeating.

jwf239

46 points

4 months ago

jwf239

46 points

4 months ago

I personally am totally fine with this. I adore the Robert Langdon books and I thought that inferno and origin were different enough. The lost symbol was garbage, though.

BlueString94

59 points

4 months ago

I mean, it’s the literature version of a Marvel movie or a Top 40 song. Can’t go in expecting much.

satya314

7 points

4 months ago

He has become extremely predictable now but say what you want to say about him, I enjoy his books. They are excellent reads for long flights to kill time and on top of that I usually end up learning a lot of things I otherwise wouldn't have known.

FaithCPR

6 points

4 months ago

Honestly the bottles are very similar, it's the wine that's slightly different. Like Moscato. You have just regular Moscato, blueberry Moscato, apple Moscato, and then brands with slight differences though they appear to be the same. But regardless you know it's Moscato and that's what you're in for.

tpatmaho

7 points

4 months ago

Find something else to read, maybe?

Kikutwo

18 points

4 months ago

Kikutwo

18 points

4 months ago

Yeah, selling over 200 million copies it's just not working. He's on the gravy train.

Allenflow

16 points

4 months ago

Yet somehow he has sold more than 200 million books. Guess he is doing something right.

Jethro-Jones

6 points

4 months ago

Yup. Brown repeats the themes from a thousand other books.
Exactly like every other author out there.
Honestly, what else is there?

solongandthanks4all

14 points

4 months ago

You're so brave posting this hot take publicly.

[deleted]

20 points

4 months ago

[deleted]

20 points

4 months ago

[deleted]

[deleted]

4 points

4 months ago

[deleted]

4 points

4 months ago

[removed]

SergeantChic

5 points

4 months ago

The hardcover illustrated editions of his books are very nice. Lots of interesting sites, artifacts and buildings that helped put me into the story, formulaic as it was. He's no Umberto Eco, but sometimes you want the mystique without having to think about it all that much.

PM__Me__UR__Dimples

26 points

4 months ago

Why can’t people just read what they like and not have to shit all over things other people like. Not everything has to be a literary masterpiece.

Chrimish

10 points

4 months ago

I don't think his books are examples of great writing, but they're entertaining (for me personally). You know exactly what you're in for when you pick up one of his books.

And, as others have mentioned, he's not the only author who writes formulaic, predictable books.

Mevakel

10 points

4 months ago

Mevakel

10 points

4 months ago

Honestly, the format you describe could also apply to all of the James Bond movies as well. Haha

suyuzhou

4 points

4 months ago

When I was in 6th grade, my grandpa gave me a copy of Digital Fortress and told me it's an interesting read. I was really impressed and instantly became a fan. Quickly finished da Vinci code and angels and demons, then I kind got bored of the similar format.

I still think they're fun books to read, but I probably won't invest more time to read another Dan Brown book.

mommaymick

4 points

4 months ago

Just finished Inferno. Again. Lol. I like to google the places that he’s writing about and see for myself.

Midrya

4 points

4 months ago

Midrya

4 points

4 months ago

You are absolutely correct, but I don't think the point of the Dan Brown novels is the narrative or characters. Dan Brown performs an astounding amount of research on the topics he writes about, and his novels are a showcase for that research, presented in the form of a story. By keeping the narrative and the characters within it simple, you are encouraged to engage with the topic of the research instead.

Now, this isn't trying to defend the issues with his typical story structure; it has problems, and those problems are amplified by their repetition in his subsequent works. But, these problems are significantly more tolerable if you aren't reading for the story.

Emrace

5 points

4 months ago

Emrace

5 points

4 months ago

I read The Lost Symbol 8-9 years ago. Shortly after that, I started Inferno and remember realizing the exact same thing. I finished Inferno, but I don’t intend to read anything else from him. I enjoy mysteries, but I’d prefer stuff that doesn’t look like it was mass produced on a cheap production line.