Wednesday, July 14, 2004
Mona Lisa Riled
Even though I was warned by many not to do so, I have started reading The Da Vinci Code. My friend Médecin-sans-frontières lent it to me, telling me that I would be completely appalled by the writing, but that I would thoroughly enjoy the story. "Oooooo," I thought to myself. "A thriller set in Paris about the Knights Templar, other secret medieval societies, and the Mona Lisa! How bad could it possibly be?"
Well, the writing is often so bad that at times I want to gouge out my eyes with the book's pointy corners before casting it and then myself out the window. Here is an example (and it is paraphrase and parody, not an actual extract):
They rounded a corner to find that a hulking guard, his large arms crossed in front of his massive chest with a steely look of determination on his broad features, was standing in front of the door.
The entrance is blocked and none shall pass
Langdon looked at the guard and then back at Sophie. "We won’t be able to get through the door. The guard is blocking our path through it," he exhaled.
Sophie looked at the guard standing in front of the door, impeding their way, and then fixed Langdon with a gaze of complete desolation. "Yes," she sighed mesmerizingly through her slightly pouted French lips. "He will stop us from getting through that door."
I acknowledge that it’s in bad form to attempt to make oneself look better by making another look bad, but the author of that book is making millions whereas I have holes in every single one of my socks (which is my fault for not having a real job, I know! But I just want to see where this takes me). So I suspect my criticism would mean very little to him.
But my question is this: if books such as that are published and become bestsellers, does that strengthen or weaken my chances of every being published (aside from the odd letter to the editor in the Globe and Mail – four in the past six months!), once my style is mature enough?
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