Who else is sick of hearing about Dan Brown?

With the launch of Dan Brown's latest and very much anticipated novel, The Lost Symbol, on Tuesday, it seems that it is impossible to turn anywhere in the book world without being accosted with stories, links, trivia regarding the reviled and admired Dan Brown.

Did you know The Lost Symbol broke Barnes & Noble's record for highest number of sales in one day? It is also the number one ebook selling on BN's digital book sales. (Read the full story here.) It is also one of the bestselling titles on Amazon, with digital sales surpassing hard copy sales (with the exception of pre-orders).

But despite this wild success, Dan Brown is quite literally a reviled figure in the literary world. Sure, we're all snobs in our own right, loving to hate the James Pattersons and Nicholas Sparks of the world. And Nora Roberts - don't get me started. But these authors are so formulaic, publishing so many titles in one year, that it seems reasonable to despise them; they undermine everything we believe about writing and the writing process.

Dan Brown is a different story: he writes one book every few years. Sure, some of this is probably for the publicity hype that builds up around his work, but he is also a writer in a way that Patterson has long ago abandoned. It seems harsh to dismiss this effort with so little thought, and paints an image of the literary world as a bitter, jealous lover who has been spurned in favor of fame and money.

Literary world - let's get one thing straight: there is nothing wrong with being successful as an author. We are not starving artists, competing for whose loft has the least heating and who eats more vegan chicken soup out of the can. I hated the Dan Brown books as much as the next literary snob, but maybe we should lighten up on Dan Brown the author. After all, he has managed to create a living-and a solid one, at that-doing what he loves. Sure, we're all a little jealous, but let's cut the man a break and be happy for the money and sales he is pumping into the industry, despite what we may think of his ever-so-poorly crafted sentences.

1 comment

  1. I'll agree there is a lot of banter right now because of the release of The Lost Symbol, but it is nothing compared to how "too much" it was at the height of DaVinci's popularity. I didn't read the book for months because I just couldn't stand hearing about it anymore.
    That being said, when I met Brown at the BOMC offices where I worked he was a nice enough guy, who seemed more than happy to come in and sign books for a group of book club editors, so I'll be the first to admit he seems a nice enough guy.


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