Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Dan Brown

Hey guys...here I am again. I had a rough day watching all the Michael Jackson memorials. I cried a lot. I can't help it. He was my childhood idol, and he died a very sudden death. So because of it, I wasn't able to finish the book I am reading, and decided to write about books I have already read in the past in hopes of getting someone else to read them too. I want to talk about Dan Brown, the author of The Da Vinci Code and Angels and Demons.

In the past few years Dan Brown exploded into success. The Da Vinci Code became a bestseller very suddenly and the world started to criticize him as if he had confessed a double murder in writing. People got so caught up in trying to figure out if the whole Jesus conspiracy was real that they forgot that the guy writes fiction. That's it people, Dan Brown is a fiction writer who bases his plots on conspiracy theories that have existed for a very long time.

Anyways, as I always tell people, you need to judge the book by what's written in its pages, not by what is or isn't right outside of it. Of course, if he had labeled his books as non-fiction the picture would be very different, but as they are works of fiction anything can go. If he wanted Jesus to still be alive, he could have done that. They're works of fiction and anything goes.

Let's get to most important matters: his writing style. Brown uses a third person omnipresent narrator, which is fantastic for his work since his novels don't follow just one character. There always is a main character in his books (think Robert Langdon) but we do see other characters' points of view throughout the books, though not as often.

He writes very short paragraphs, which end up making the books very fast paced, and keeps the readers' attention with more ease, especially since most people nowadays suffer some degree of ADD and will hold their attention spans over something too long and drawn out like, let's say, Jane Austen. The short paragraphs also make the books have a sense of urgency, as the characters jump from page to page. Brown also hardly ever writes two consecutive paragraphs about the same character. He jumps from action to action which keeps the readers' curiosity at bay. One must always read two or more chapters to find out what is happening to a specific character, and therefore wants to continue to read.

His characters are well developed, and they almost seem to jump out of the pages. Yes sometimes the coincidences seem to be a bit much, but they happen even in real life. I mean, I met my aunt's neighor from Brazil at Disney. I have been living in the US for 10 years and had no idea this woman I stroke a conversation while working was from my town, let alone my aunt's neighbor. So his characters are well developed, and well portrayed. I can always picture them very well in my mind when reading the books because he is so good at showing his characters' traits.

I have read all four of his books: Deception Point, Digital Fortress, Angels and Demons and The Da Vinci Code, and enjoyed all of them very much. Though they all follow the same basic formula (a man gets in a lot of trouble and there's a woman to help him solve the mystery that will save their lives) they each have their own value and are very different from the other. I must say that I prefer the first two books. They are not Robert Langdon books, and the plots are a little more plausible and realistics and their Robert Landgon "cousins". Out of the two, Deception Point is my favorite.

I do not wish to write too much about them here because I don't want to ruin anyone's reading by ending up revealing something important to the plot, but I will say that they use more technology and less art to reveal the mysteries. I found myself awake until three or four in the morning many nights because I just couldn't bring myself to stop reading them. Angels and Demons holds a special place in my heart because of its location: Rome, my favorite place in the world. I had such a great time following Robert through the streets I know and love so much and reading about all the art I have seen once before.

In conclusion, Dan Brown is a good fiction writer, who writes books with entertaining and captivating stories. They are not good bedside books, as you may not be able to go to sleep while reading them. I'd recommend them to people who cannot sleep in airplanes, since they will not bore and will want you to keep reading for a while. I just wish would get over the conspiracy stuff and just let the man rip the rewards of a job well done. I can't wait to read his new book that comes out in September and am anxiously waiting for a non-Robert Langdon book soon!

Saturday, July 4, 2009

First Blog-- an Introduction

Hello to all of you who might read this... I will write mostly about literature, movies and the occasional Disney review ( I can't help it, I'm a big fan) and maybe post a poem of mine from time to time, but this week, I just have to post something I wrote about Michael Jackson. I know, it is kind of cliche but he was my idol, and I had to write something about him and would like to share it with the world. Here it goes:

My Heroes Are All Dead

The day before my 25th birthday I thought the world is going to end. My childhood idol, the person who made me want to dance, the ambassador of all of the world's problems died. Fifty years old and left the world too soon.

As soon as the reporter from CNN confirmed the death I saw my entire childhood flash in front of my eyes. I wasn't even old enough to know of whom I was talking about, whose choreographies I was trying to copy, whose music I was listening to, but he was my mentor.

In 1990 my parents brought me to Walt Disney World for the first time. My favorite ride? Captain EO. Well, it wasn't really a ride, it was a 3D movie. But it was still my favorite. We watched it numerous times. Every time we left the theater I was singing "We Are Here To Save The World"--or try my best to mouth words that resembled what the original lyrics were--I didn't speak English back then--and doing all the dance moves. I was 6 years old. My dad even tried to tape it for me so I could watch it back home.

Why was that my favorite ride? Because he was in it. The only person in the world who could dance like that. My idol, Michael Jackson.

For the next six years I would spend countless hours in front of a television set, trying so hard to learn those magic moves.

It's funny how sometimes life hits you with a wake-up call. On the verge of coming into adulthood, my childhood hero dies. He, who didn't want to grow up, a real world Peter Pan.

It's been a week, but I still can't believe it. It is all around me, permeating every second of newscast I hear, and I continue refusing to believe. I saw a video of him rehearsing for his new tour merely two days before passing. It makes me believe it even less. It also makes me cry that I'll never see him perform.

And there it is: the last of my heroes is dead. The others are Freddy Mercury, Cazuza and Renato Russo (the last two are among the best Brazilian lyricists and poets of the 20th century). The four men who inspired me to dance and sing as a little girl, and later to write are all gone.

Time to grow up.

PS: next week I'll start talking about a book I'm reading right now: Brian Meltzer's Book of Lies.