Scathing Book Reviews of Angels and Demons, by Dan Brown

Angels and Demons by Dan Brown is the prequel to the book The Davinci Code.  However, the new Angels and Demons movie starring Tom Hanks is the sequel to the  The Da Vinci Code Movie. Sound confusing?  Just wait ’til you read the book.

Anyone whose read any of my little review summaries can tell that as much as I like a well written Scathing Review, I don’t really wish the author ill.  However, Dan Brown is just making too much @*%! up and passing it off as research to give him a pass.  Anyone that uses the book Holy Blood, Holy Grail as a supposedly factual foundation for their fictional story is just ~asking~ for criticism, and if that SPOILERy review at the bottom of this post is the real ending, he deserves as much grief as he can get.  The writers of these Scathing Book Reviews of Angels and Demons think the book is devilishly bad: 

There is no way you could use the words “good” and “Dan Brown’s writing” in the same sentence unless you were saying something like “Dan Brown’s writing most definitely is not good. It makes people want to gouge their eyes out.”

…and:

60 pages into the book I’ve decided the best course of action is to burn it.

…and:

The theatrical exclamations had me laughing incredulously. Example: When a woman happens upon the lone eyeball of her mutilated father, Mr. Brown (with all the grace of a third grader telling a flashlight ghost story), breathes, “She would have known that shade of hazel anywhere!” Stumbling onto a lone eyeball is commonplace, it seems. But… this eyeball looks familiar somehow… (Have we met before?) I’m waiting for this to dissolve into a Saturday Night Live sketch.

…and:

I have a bad habit. Once I start a book, I finish it, Hell or high water. Only thus can I explain how I got through this one.

…and:

This book is absolutely incompetent. People call it “fast-paced”. Well, yes but only by being corny and simple-minded. I’d have to quote extended passages to prove my point but suffice it to say that an assassin, after kinky sex, has “contented loins”.

…and:

…It came as a surprising revelation to me that a man in these United States could become a multi-millionaire writing so very poorly. My first thought was “Geez, even I can do that”. Dan Brown would be a competent copywriter for dish detergent, but he is wanting the basic descriptive powers of a fiction writer.

…and:

I realize that a great many people like Dan Brown’s books and think he is a talented author, but then again there are significant numbers of people who enjoy being peed on or watching Carrot Top, so the fact that Dan Brown is a best selling author perhaps shouldn’t surprise me as much as it does.

…and:

Dan Brown writes so terribly that he is beyond criticism. No adjective – no, string of adjectives – is too trite or cliché for him to throw in. All I can hope is that Mr. Brown made so much money off this mess of a book that he need not ever write another.

…and:

There are several murders in this book and after reading it I wished I had been one of them.

…and ending on a happy note:
This is quite possibly the worst-written book I’ve ever read. I struggled, waded, crawled and staggered my way through it. Then when I finished it – what a relief – I opened the window and threw the book out into the street. I’m very glad to say it was raining at the time. I will never read another word written by this author again. Yet, strangely, the book left me mildly optimistic: if a bestselling author can dredge up this dross, and write so appallingly badly, and get away with it, then surely there is hope for all of us.

and SPOILER ALERT, the most Scathing Book Review of all, a summary of the ending of Angels and Demons:

After the hero jumps out of a helicopter at 15,000′ using only a tarp as a parachute, surviving an anti-matter explosion on the way down, only to land safely in the river where coincidently a doctor sees him land and revives him. His third or fourth time he has escaped death today). All the while, the “pope”, who had a parachute, is pretending a miracle has happened as he has landed atop St. Peter’s to the roar of the crowd. JEEEEEEZ Get me outa here!!! Even as a movie, this would get boos.

Scathing Book Reviews of Tell No One by Harlen Coben

Reviews have been almost universally glowing for the recent French Movie Adaptation of Tell No One by Harlen Coben, the famed American thriller writer.  After watching all those Truffaut films back in College, I find it interesting that anyone in France would deign to make a film by any American writer, much less Harlan Coben.  Go USA!  

I’ve read Promise Meby Harlan Coben, and I have to say that I found it a little too twisty. My suspension of disbelief hangs by too thin a wire, I guess.  Also working against me was that Promise Me is one of the later books starring “Myron Bolitar”, and I was coming in cold to Myron’s story and his large cast os supporting characters.  Coben’s writeup in The Atlantic certainly makes him seem like a great guy, and I can only wish him continued success, but the writers of these Scathing Book Reviews of Tell No One would tell no one to read the book:

I’m sure I’ve read worse books than Harlan Coben’s “Tell No One”, but at the moment, I’m hard-pressed to think of one.

…and:

Honestly, it reads like it was written by a ninth-grader with a great imagination but little knowledge of the writing craft.

…and:

This third-rate prose style is further sabotaged by the author’s relentless penchant for shopworn cliches and similes and metaphors so egregious that even the likes of Mickey Spillane wouldn’t think twice about blue-penciling them.Thus, we are treated for lines like “His pounding heart was like a bird desperately trying to escape from a cage.”, or “the shocking realization hit him like a falling piano.”

…and:

The story gets too ponderous to believe, by the time you realize the plot is as leaky as an Enron tax return, you’re sucked in and you owe it to yourself to finish. Don’t expect to be enchanted and mystified with the ending, it’s not Tom Cruise and Penelope Cruz in climax but more like Archie and Edith Bunker.

…and:

This is the most stupid, unbelievable, shot full of holes BS I’ve ever read. I can’t even bring myself to write a

…and:

The reason I give it 2 stars instead of 1 is because I actually finished it and there was something that made me want to see how the whole bloody mess would finally end. What an unbelievable plot, flimsey characters and mediocre (at best!!) writing style.

Scathing Book Reviews of The Davinci Code, by Dan Brown

The Davinci Code by Dan Brown is one of those books that jumps the literary fence into “pop culture phenomenon”, with the requisite movie adaptation and Cryptex for sale in Skymall. and was for a time, the only thing that people on airplanes seemed to read.

While it’s hard to take The Davinci Code’s premise seriously (and if you do, open up some history books please) to me it was a blasphemously fun read with enough plot twists to be enjoyable while without so many as to be annoying. However, these Book Reviews of The Davinci Code think it isn’t worth cracking open:

I can’t remember when I last read such awful prose. If you can stomache sentences like the following – “Everyone in the reception area gasped in wonderment at the sight of the half-naked albino offering the bleeding clergyman.” – then be my guest.

…and:

You know a book is bad when you can put it down with only 10 pages left.

…and:

Watch out Michael Crichton, you’ve got competition. With “Da Vinci Code,” Dan Brown rivals you for one-dimensional characters, preposterous plot and misogynistic flourishes. However, he does you one better with his crypto-paranoid conspiracy theories centering around the Catholic church and forays into third-rate art criticism.

…and:

I must say I am – what’s the word? Flabbergasted. Forty million copies sold and counting? This book is simply mediocre. The story is formulaic, the characters are cliches, and the prose is workmanlike at best…

…and:

The Da Vinci Code is really two different books pushed together. One of the books is awful and the other is unbelievable.

…and:

O, Draconian Devil, why on earth did I read this book? I also figured out why it’s a page turner–you can’t wait to turn the page to see whether the writing will improve. Really, the whole thing sounds like the Hardy Boys and the Keystone Copts, or Abbott and Costello Meet a Big Dumb Albino.

…and this review, which somehow makes me hungry for Mall food:

when I sat down to read it, I was ready to devour it. And I did. However, rather than the fine feast, the rarified treat, that I’d been promised, I found instead a food court that offered m.s.g. laden Lo Mein, soggy buns wilting beneath ketchupy barbeque:a grotesque, sloppy affair that left me feeling bloated, tricked and saddened

Scathing Book Reviews of The Firm, by John Grisham

The Firmby John Grishamwas the publishing phenomenon of 1991. It served as the launching pad for Grisham’s long career, and for a great line by Gene Hackman in the movie adaptation: “The Firm frowns upon drinking at lunch. I’ll have a scotch and soda.”

However, these critical reviews of “The Firm” are a bit shaky :

I was the beach for a week with nothing good to read so I picked up a paperback copy of this book at a 7-11. Let this be a warning to us all– don’t buy literature at the same place you buy chili dogs.

…and:

I give this book one star because it provides more purgative power than staring blankly at the wall for two hours.

…and:

Good reviews and personal recommendations prompted me to buy the thing. Thankfully I bought it in paperback (they burn easier).

…and this 2 star review, strangely reminiscent of Doctor Seuss:

I bought this book when it was first published, and I did not lke it. I read also the Italian translation, and I did not like it. I watched the movie, and I did not like it ( I am not a fan of Tom Cruise, do you believe it?).