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Am I missing something here?
on 16 July 2005
I will be totally honest and confess that all the hype about this book put me off reading it for a long time. However, it was given to me as a birthday present and it would have been rude to not give it a try. Well, I've read it and I really can't see what the fuss is all about.
The writing style is stilted and clumsy. There are many errors and don't get me started on the way in which Mr Brown continually manufactures cliff-hangers for almost every chapter.If that is the only way he can make his readers want to read on then so be it, but it annoyed me beyond measure. I mean, how many times can someone open a box, gasp in disbelief at the contents and then not describe them for another three chapters?
My favourite spate of bad writing comes quite early on, during the drive from the Louvre to the American Embassy. Sophie has been thinking back about "the terrible thing" she saw her grandfather doing without ever letting the reader in on the secret. However, the moment she decides to think about it is when she is trying to escape the police in a high speed chase. She is driving and I'm pretty sure she would be better off concentrating on the road.
Best of all though is the drive from the Louvre to the embassy. On page 190, Sophie sets off, knowing that it is less than half a mile to get there. On page 192, after driving directly towards the embassy, she sighs with relief as now there is less than a mile to go. I've never been to Paris but the authorities really should do something about the spatial rift that apparently exists there. Generally, when I drive towards something, I get nearer to it, not further away.
The ending is very weak too but I won't spoil it for you. The author has already done that.
It's not a terrible book but it could have been so much better. Read "The Name Of The Rose" if you want an intelligent thriller. If you must read this then at least see the flaws and appreciate that they stretch into the supposed revelatory theories as well.