Any wandering fool or traveling innosaint may join our order, of course. But to breach and gain entry to the inner sanctum within, there are initially many prior trials to be first endured. Many texts, both light and dark, texts, that you must consume lest you yourself are not to be consumed by them, or. Er, and then, and only then, shall you will be one of us.

Well, I’m trying. But I think I may fail. I’ve known for a while that there are certain expectations to be met at Palimpsest * if you want to be part of the gang, and one of the big guns is to face down The Da Vinci Code and live to never tell the tale again.

I don’t think I can do it. I’ve just finished Chapter Four, or as it would be known in literature circles, “Most Of Chapter One” and it’s so bad. Twenty-seven pages – out of four hundred and fifty-four? Tell me it’s not like this all the way through, please! …please?

Thus far Dan Brown has managed a remarkable feat – to make what appears to be the most heavily researched book ever written seem transparently free of any depth. Everything is right there on the page, nothing has been held back. Langdon’s journey through Paris reads like a holiday brochure; each landmark gets a mini-paragraph name-check, followed by it’s Rough Guide entry, then the next name check. Skip the blurbs and they start to read like Garth Marenghi.

“She could smell Blood. Blood. Blood. Blood. And also piss and shit.”

He seems so determined to convince me he really has seen the Louvre At Night that the story be damned. Too much needless detail, too little needful content. And this, this, this… this made me nearly throw the book across the room:

The illuminated profile of the Eiffel Tower appeared, shooting skyward in the distance to the right. Seeing it, Langdon thought of Vittoria, recalling their playful promise a year ago that every six months they would meet again at a different romantic spot on the globe. The Eiffel Tower, Langdon suspected, would have made their list. Sadly, he last kissed Vittoria in a noisy airport in Rome more than a year ago.”

Did you mount her?” the agent asked, looking over.

Putting aside the nature of profiles which for me, personally, generally refer to more than an upward pointing spike; also generously ignoring the Eiffel Tower’s apparent take-off, not to mention the eighth or ninth example of paper-thin back story filling pages that could still be enjoying the taste of treedom; entirely overlooking the casual arrogance of a protagonist yet to make his mind up about the relative romantic credentials of one of mankind’s finest monuments – all this forgiven, but what the fuck kind of sub carry-on, confessions-of-a-wank-dow-cleaner innuendo is that? As if ANYONE would utter those words who wasn’t being forced to against their will by a cretin. Who has apparently taught English and creative writing.

I think I read through some, possibly all of this thread soon after I arrived on these shores and the temptation to do so again now is strong, but I don’t want to sp- …I’m sorry, I just can’t say it. I apologise if I’m just retreading old ground here. I’ll let you know if I ever open this toilet roll holder again.

– – –

* Editor’s Note: The “Palimpsest” referred to here is a literary forum in which these passages can still, despite several legal assaults by my estate, be found here. This opening passage is, of course, just a small part of a total lie, as it represents the sole contribution of the filthy bastard who stole these notes from my supposedly dead body and passed them off as his own – and the jarringly poor match of styles between this and the rest, as penned by me, speaks for itself.

I have never been and have no plans to become a member of this forum, despite their admirable perspective on Brown’s “output”. Sadly, the emotional wounds I have suffered at the hands of one of their number preclude any future participation by me with them on my part. It is their loss.


Part Two