Wednesday, May 10, 2006

Who's Afraid of Dan Brown?

I cannot get over the reports now that some Christians are concerned about The Da Vinci Code. First of all the books have been around for quite some time. (I say "books" because there is also the cash-grabbing illustrated version, and some other variations too I think.) Conservative commentator Mark Steyn has weighed in with one of his usual poorly organised rambling pieces (apparently the attack on orthodox Christianity is nearly as bad as a lack of the definite article in Mr. Brown's prose). Apparently Mr. Steyn is concerned that some folks might believe that Brown's book is actually a factual account. Apparently this is due to Brown's writing style.

Let's put aside the fact that buyers might find the book in the "Fiction & Literature" section of their local bookstore, apparently Mr. Steyn has never read a novel, because setting up the events as a factual, somewhat journalistic, account is nothing new. Timothy Findley did the same with The Wars and Dostoevsky's underground man seems to be writing a memoir. I suppose that some percentage of the population might be fooled by that, but then some people think that Iraq was involved in 9/11.

While Mr. Steyn correctly implies that Mr. Brown is a mediocre stylist, he overstates the threat that The Da Vinci Code poses to Christianity.