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Angels and Demons

#1


I really enjoyed watching 'The Da Vinci Code' and the book 'Angels and Demons' is simply brilliant. (Though lacking a bit of reality every now and then, but then again, it's a movie, so meant to be entertaining not educating. ;) )

Has anyone seen Tom Hanks reprising his role as Professor Robert Langdon so far?
Is the movie as good as the book?

I'm quite curious about some of the other actors, too.
Can't actually imagine Ewan McGregor to play the Camerlengo Carlo Ventresca. Though I'm looking forward to Armin Mueller-Stahl as Cardinal Strauss. He definitely fits for the role. :mrgreen:

On the other hand I haven't seen any movie with Ayelet Zurer I think. She's the actor who plays Vittoria Vetra, the CERN scientist and inventor (together with her father) of the antimatter bomb.

Have there been any sneak previews in the UK?
The teasers here sure look fine so far. :D
 
#2
YesItsMe said:
the book 'Angels and Demons' is simply brilliant.
Surely you jest?
While the stories in Brown's novels have potential - mostly because he's plagiarised them - his prose is worse than that expected of Primary school children. Run on sentences, woeful grammar, vocabulary limited to Janet And John levels, random uses of italics, weak dialogue, shallow and inept characterisation... and, most annoying of all, the 'here-is-some-information-I-found-during-my-research-and-I-am-going-to-have-to-insert-it-in-the-most-clunking-way-possible' moments that occur in every chapter.

To save me giving examples, Geoffrey Pullam has many critiques of Brown's writing at Language Log.
The Da Vinci Cod: A Fishy Parody by Don Brine is much the same as Brown's work, only it's amusing for the right reasons:

The opening paragraph:
Jacques Sauna-Lurker lay dead in the main hallway of the National Art Gallery of Fine Paintings, in the heart of London, a British city, the capital of Britain, with a population density of approximately 10,500 people per square mile and a total population of approximately seven million people, unless by ‘London’ you include the Greater London Area, which has a population of about twenty million people and a slightly lower population per square mile.
 
#3
ottar said:
YesItsMe said:
the book 'Angels and Demons' is simply brilliant.
Surely you jest?
While the stories in Brown's novels have potential - mostly because he's plagiarised them - his prose is worse than that expected of Primary school children. Run on sentences, woeful grammar, vocabulary limited to Janet And John levels, random uses of italics, weak dialogue, shallow and inept characterisation... and, most annoying of all, the 'here-is-some-information-I-found-during-my-research-and-I-am-going-to-have-to-insert-it-in-the-most-clunking-way-possible' moments that occur in every chapter.

To save me giving examples, Geoffrey Pullam has many critiques of Brown's writing at Language Log.
The Da Vinci Cod: A Fishy Parody by Don Brine is much the same as Brown's work, only it's amusing for the right reasons:

The opening paragraph:
Jacques Sauna-Lurker lay dead in the main hallway of the National Art Gallery of Fine Paintings, in the heart of London, a British city, the capital of Britain, with a population density of approximately 10,500 people per square mile and a total population of approximately seven million people, unless by ‘London’ you include the Greater London Area, which has a population of about twenty million people and a slightly lower population per square mile.
So you don't like Browns novels then I take it? ;)
 
#5
Umm...Browns book are works of fiction, written at a level accessible to masses, and judging by the sales figures, he did a bloody good job. The Brown novels are just another light holiday read.

Methinks Ottar had too high expectations. Dickens it ain't and it ain't trying to be either.

....took me ages to write this....keep staring at THE BOOBS....curse you Ord!
 
#6
Sorry, Ottar, but I really like the books.
As mentioned before, they're only supposed to be entertaining as far as I'm concerned.
Never said they'd be educating or even prosa.

If I want to read something sophisticated, I'll choose Shakespeare and not Brown. ;)
 
#7
It is said that everyone has at least one good novel in them.

Except Dan Brown.

His books are like scripts for films destined to go straight to DVD and from there directly to the bargain bin without ever gracing a shelf.
 
#8
I read most of Browns stuff a few years ago when "The Da Vinci Code" book came out.
Mediocre reads, all of them.
Entertaining, but not taxing.
Fell asleep due to boredom watching the film of "The Da Vinci Code", so I won't be rushing to see this film.
Also felt Tom Hanks was mis-cast.
My two-penneth, for what it's worth.
 
#9
Croque_Monsieur said:
...Dickens it ain't and it ain't trying to be either...
Dickens was writing for the masses in weekly published magazines too.

Saying that I think Dickens is dreadful anyway. Chuckle at the "comedy" names, wonder at the patronising way of writing "lower class" speech, pass the sick bucket on the death of Little Nell!
 
#10
I read the Da Vinci code on holiday, because everyone else was. I enjoyed it, as a holiday book. I then read Angels and Demons. If I had read Angels and Demons, I would not have read the Da Vinci code. Not least the jumping-from-a-helicopter-using-your-tweed-jacket-as-a-drogue-thing...

pap
 
#11
dogmeat said:
It is said that everyone has at least one good novel in them.

Except Dan Brown.

His books are like scripts for films destined to go straight to DVD and from there directly to the bargain bin without ever gracing a shelf.
It's also said that there is no more money in publishing for new authors; Dan Brown's got 50% and JK Rowling's got the other half! :D
 
#12
ottar said:
YesItsMe said:
the book 'Angels and Demons' is simply brilliant.
Surely you jest?
While the stories in Brown's novels have potential - mostly because he's plagiarised them - his prose is worse than that expected of Primary school children. Run on sentences, woeful grammar, vocabulary limited to Janet And John levels, random uses of italics, weak dialogue, shallow and inept characterisation... and, most annoying of all, the 'here-is-some-information-I-found-during-my-research-and-I-am-going-to-have-to-insert-it-in-the-most-clunking-way-possible' moments that occur in every chapter.
But it's worse than that. His research is woefully inadequate. He can't get his history correct. Some of the mistakes are so bizarrely stupid you can't believe an editor would have let it through--the major character, an expert, claims that Catholic communion--it's genesis is in the 1st century AD--is derived from the Aztecs. I'm thinking the fact that the Aztecs weren't known to the West until the 16th century might have come up in his 'research'. He can't get Italian translations correct, he apparently does'nt realize that the Swiss Guards are in a different country--Vatican City--and aren't allowed to roam all over the city of Rome which is basically part of the adjoining country of Italy. And it just goes on and on. Very disappointed.

Certainly an interesting idea for a story, but very poorly executed.
 

rampant

LE
Kit Reviewer
Book Reviewer
#13
The only time Dan Brown is absorbing is when you're wiping the sh*t from your a*se.

His work is of the most ludicrous, puerile drivel I have ever encountered. The conspiracy nuts he plagerised have a better sense of prose and narrative than he does.

Read "Foucault's Pendulum" by Umberto Eco instead. Not only is it a riveting thriller you will actually learn something from them. Try, also, "The Dumas Club" & "The Flanders Panel" - Arturo Perez-Reverte. Books with real story telling.

I cannot advocate the burning of books, because that is wrong, but I would happily build the pyre for Dan Brown, douse him in meths, light the fire then dance naked, merrily cackling to the music of his dying screams. Knowing that I had struck a worthy blow for literature and trees throughout the world.

Editedx2 for spelling: 'cos I was seething with anger at this man's very existence.
 
#14
YesItsMe said:
Sorry, Ottar, but I really like the books.
As mentioned before, they're only supposed to be entertaining as far as I'm concerned.
Never said they'd be educating or even prosa.

If I want to read something sophisticated, I'll choose Shakespeare and not Brown. ;)
I like them too. For what they are, their not a bad read. Stories somewhat unbelievable, so what? They are page turners and take me through them at a cracking pace.

I think the criticism of his books is a tad harsh. Fine, if he was attempting fine writing, just too harsh for what is a light thriller.

Shakespeare is good. But it is hard work to get the language if you was not taught it at school. That makes repeat reading necessary for me to get the jokes and story. Not something I would take on holliday.

Then again, I also like 2000AD and Spiderman. So what do I know?
 
#15
Werewolf said:
dogmeat said:
It is said that everyone has at least one good novel in them.
Except Dan Brown.
His books are like scripts for films destined to go straight to DVD and from there directly to the bargain bin without ever gracing a shelf.
It's also said that there is no more money in publishing for new authors; Dan Brown's got 50% and JK Rowling's got the other half! :D
Well, those H. Potter books have finally been done, so there might be a chance for someone else after all.
Hey, who knows, could even be Adam Roberts. :D
 
#16
Ord_Sgt said:
So you don't like Browns novels then I take it? ;)
It's not that I don't like them as such, it's that the man simply cannot write. There are stories in them, but he is incapable of presenting those stories.

Croque_Monsieur said:
Umm...Browns book are works of fiction, written at a level accessible to masses, and judging by the sales figures, he did a bloody good job. The Brown novels are just another light holiday read.

Methinks Ottar had too high expectations. Dickens it ain't and it ain't trying to be either.
The Harry Potter novels are works of fiction, not only written at a level acceptable to the masses, but acceptable to children. They're not my cup of tea, but they are written by someone with an ability to use the English language. They have plots, characterisation, dialogue, a better use of vocabulary and mostly correct grammar and syntax. Bernard Cornwell writes formulaic trash, but his work too is well written, accessible and entertaining. Dan Brown writes like a 10 year old, and treats his audience the same. Being a 'light holiday read' isn't an excuse for it being unmitigated shit.

Figures would suggest that The Sun does a bloody good job, along with Coronation Street. It's not usually accurate to judge something by its popularity.

As Dickens was writing for the masses, that is precisely what it is trying to be. It only succeeds in that Dickens is also over-rated tosh.

YesItsMe said:
Sorry, Ottar, but I really like the books.
As mentioned before, they're only supposed to be entertaining as far as I'm concerned.
Never said they'd be educating or even prosa.

If I want to read something sophisticated, I'll choose Shakespeare and not Brown.
But you are German, yes? In which case if you are reading them in English, his overly simplified use of English wouldn't make a huge difference to you, or if you are reading them in German it may just be that the translator could and did use language better than Brown.

Incidentally, Shakespeare was a playwright, not a novelist, his work was meant to be performed, not read. Also, his work wasn't sophisticated, it too was meant for the consumption of the masses. Shakespeare wasn't writing for the 21st century audience: Brown would seem high-brow and complicated for Shakespeare's intended audience.

Virgil said:
he apparently does'nt realize that the Swiss Guards are in a different country--Vatican City--and aren't allowed to roam all over the city of Rome which is basically part of the adjoining country of Italy. And it just goes on and on. Very disappointed.
He took that one stage further when he had an armed French police Inspector chasing his suspect across Blighty, with authority over the British police.
He strikes me as someone that doesn't understand Europe being a continent of many countries, and the difference between the Federal States the US has and independent nation states.

Stickyend said:
I like them too. For what they are, their not a bad read. Stories somewhat unbelievable, so what? They are page turners and take me through them at a cracking pace.

I think the criticism of his books is a tad harsh. Fine, if he was attempting fine writing, just too harsh for what is a light thriller.
They are a terrible read, I may have to post a critique of his writing to show just how bad it is. I don't care that the stories are unbelievable, so is much of Shakespeare's work, all of Pratchett's work, in fact, most fiction writing.

Criticism of his books is much deserved. Light reading doesn't have to be and shouldn't be so poorly written. Just because I can't afford to put a Constable or Turner on my walls doesn't mean I should make do with monkey scribble or something that looks like it was done by a child.
 
#17
I have neither read the Davinci Code, nor seen the film until last night. Oh dear, I found the whole thing entertaining in the wrong way. Quite frankly it's lame and boring. Did manage to see it until the end, just. Not my 'bag' and won't be rushing to see the next instalment.
 
#18
StickyEnd said:
YesItsMe said:
Sorry, Ottar, but I really like the books.
As mentioned before, they're only supposed to be entertaining as far as I'm concerned.
Never said they'd be educating or even prosa.

If I want to read something sophisticated, I'll choose Shakespeare and not Brown. ;)
I like them too. For what they are, their not a bad read. Stories somewhat unbelievable, so what? They are page turners and take me through them at a cracking pace.

I think the criticism of his books is a tad harsh. Fine, if he was attempting fine writing, just too harsh for what is a light thriller.

Shakespeare is good. But it is hard work to get the language if you was not taught it at school. That makes repeat reading necessary for me to get the jokes and story. Not something I would take on holliday.

Then again, I also like 2000AD and Spiderman. So what do I know?
My dear chap, your good taste is beyond question! :D
 
#19
ottar said:
Ord_Sgt said:
So you don't like Browns novels then I take it? ;)
It's not that I don't like them as such, it's that the man simply cannot write. There are stories in them, but he is incapable of presenting those stories.

Croque_Monsieur said:
Umm...Browns book are works of fiction, written at a level accessible to masses, and judging by the sales figures, he did a bloody good job. The Brown novels are just another light holiday read.

Methinks Ottar had too high expectations. Dickens it ain't and it ain't trying to be either.
The Harry Potter novels are works of fiction, not only written at a level acceptable to the masses, but acceptable to children. They're not my cup of tea, but they are written by someone with an ability to use the English language. They have plots, characterisation, dialogue, a better use of vocabulary and mostly correct grammar and syntax. Bernard Cornwell writes formulaic trash, but his work too is well written, accessible and entertaining. Dan Brown writes like a 10 year old, and treats his audience the same. Being a 'light holiday read' isn't an excuse for it being unmitigated shit.

Figures would suggest that The Sun does a bloody good job, along with Coronation Street. It's not usually accurate to judge something by its popularity.

As Dickens was writing for the masses, that is precisely what it is trying to be. It only succeeds in that Dickens is also over-rated tosh.

YesItsMe said:
Sorry, Ottar, but I really like the books.
As mentioned before, they're only supposed to be entertaining as far as I'm concerned.
Never said they'd be educating or even prosa.

If I want to read something sophisticated, I'll choose Shakespeare and not Brown.
But you are German, yes? In which case if you are reading them in English, his overly simplified use of English wouldn't make a huge difference to you, or if you are reading them in German it may just be that the translator could and did use language better than Brown.

Incidentally, Shakespeare was a playwright, not a novelist, his work was meant to be performed, not read. Also, his work wasn't sophisticated, it too was meant for the consumption of the masses. Shakespeare wasn't writing for the 21st century audience: Brown would seem high-brow and complicated for Shakespeare's intended audience.

Virgil said:
he apparently does'nt realize that the Swiss Guards are in a different country--Vatican City--and aren't allowed to roam all over the city of Rome which is basically part of the adjoining country of Italy. And it just goes on and on. Very disappointed.
He took that one stage further when he had an armed French police Inspector chasing his suspect across Blighty, with authority over the British police.
He strikes me as someone that doesn't understand Europe being a continent of many countries, and the difference between the Federal States the US has and independent nation states.

Stickyend said:
I like them too. For what they are, their not a bad read. Stories somewhat unbelievable, so what? They are page turners and take me through them at a cracking pace.

I think the criticism of his books is a tad harsh. Fine, if he was attempting fine writing, just too harsh for what is a light thriller.
They are a terrible read, I may have to post a critique of his writing to show just how bad it is. I don't care that the stories are unbelievable, so is much of Shakespeare's work, all of Pratchett's work, in fact, most fiction writing.

Criticism of his books is much deserved. Light reading doesn't have to be and shouldn't be so poorly written. Just because I can't afford to put a Constable or Turner on my walls doesn't mean I should make do with monkey scribble or something that looks like it was done by a child.
Indeed - summed Mr Brown (the writer, not fuckwit politico) up very well.... saved me having to exercise my own grey matter.

If people want to read - and jump on the bandwagon of - the recent glut of conspiracy/historical secrets books then try Umberto Eco, or the original pseudo-historical texts by Baigent, Leigh and Lincoln (upon which Brown based his dumbed down Da Vinci rip-off).
 

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