It Isn’t Easy Being Dan Brown

For one thing, there’s the $50 million you’re earned over the last two years to be counted, invested, tax-sheltered, and spent. Then there’s Lewis Perdue nipping at your heels.

As if that wasn’t enough, according to today’s New York Times, Dan can no longer travel on airplanes, because the aisles get
clogged with people lining up for autographs.  (And my favorite anecdote, he was in line at
airport security and realized he left his ID at home — so he borrowed a copy of
DaVinci Code from the guy in line behind him and used the author photo to get
on.  Of course, that does raise the question, what kind of moron goes to the airport, intending to leave town, and leaves their ID at home?) .  All of this is having a big impact on his work… a sequel to the DAVINCI CODE.

There are hints that the pressure to repeat his success might be wearing on
Mr. Brown. Long an author who worked in private, Mr. Brown now talks with his
editor, Jason Kaufman, often once a day, sometimes twice – far more often, Mr.
Kaufman said, than when the pair worked together on Mr. Brown’s three most
recent novels, including "Deception Point" and "Angels & Demons."

"We go over every plot point and twist," Mr. Kaufman said. "I function as a
sounding board for him."

97 thoughts on “It Isn’t Easy Being Dan Brown”

  1. If he’s feeling the pressure, he’s only got his agent to blame:
    “Heide Lange, Mr. Brown’s agent, said in an interview that she had renegotiated the contract to include at least two more books and compensation that is commensurate with the success of “The Da Vinci Code.” Neither she nor Doubleday would comment on the details, but the price is undoubtedly in the millions of dollars.”
    I can’t imagine, when you’re rolling in so much money, why you’d want to do that. It’s not like Doubleday’s going to tank his next book.

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  2. Well I can. The success warranted the renegotiation for a significant monetary upgrade. It also came with more work but isn’t that what any writer wants? Paid work?Seems like a no brainer to me given the ground covered. I’m also confident the reading fans are doing the recognizing claimed. That’s why they’re fans. They’re good at it.

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  3. If nothing else, that such poor writing (and editing) can generate millions of dollars in sales gives me hope that someday I’ll produce something (other than my blog, that is) that can make at least $1.75, even if $1 of it is my own money.
    For some inexplicable reason (mass hysteria, I suppose), my wife’s reading club has been reading The Da Vinci Code. She says she’s enjoying the story itself but that the writing is crap and quite the long, hard slog to get through.
    Oh well, better her than me.

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  4. I’m sorry, but if anyone tried to use the author photo from the back of a book they borrowed from a guy standing in line at airport security, he’d be sitting in a stuffy little room with two people dressed in black suits and sunglasses playing good agent/bad agent.
    Sounds like manufactured PR BS to me.

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  5. The article, in fact, is a code. If you read it while looking at Michaelangelo’s David, you will unlock a mystery that would topple everything we know and believe about the processed food industry.

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  6. I haven’t read it but Angels & Demons is quite good. I notice there are no comments on the actual work, so the sour grapes factor is registering quite high on the BS scale.

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  7. No sour grapes here. I applaud Dan Brown for his success and am very happy for him. Like J.K. Rowling, he has done a wonderful job of getting people reading and excited about books, which ultimately helps every writer. He deserves every cent of those millions.
    That doesn’t mean that the PR fluff isn’t bullshit, though. The guy’s a writer, not a rock star. Like I said before, I’m highly skeptical that people are mobbing him. And the story about using his author photo for ID at an airport is laughable. (Does anyone really think that would work?)
    I thought the book was average at best, but I’m pleased that people like it. I love it when people read and enjoy books. That’s why I became a book reviewer.

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  8. Haven’t read DA VINCI. Probably will when it becomes passe. (Likewise, I’ll probably start watching FRIENDS after the DVD sets go to the bargain bin. I’m just anti-trendy like that.)
    But the PR bit is BS. Really. I can understand making up stuff to pimp your wares, esp. if you can really move some units, but please. Don’t put all this effort into writing a really intricate story like TDVC, then insult my intelligence in an interview.
    As for the book itself, I won’t comment until I read it. (I have a gripe there, too, but it has more to do with getting around to reading the book. My TBR stack is HUGE!)
    Now, about those guys who wrote LEFT BEHIND getting $42 million, I AM pretty pissed off about that. ‘Cuz I read three of them. It’s a miracle I’m not catatonic.
    Then there’s this Goldberg guy… Er, um, I mean this James Patterson guy…

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  9. I notice there are no comments on the actual work, so the sour grapes factor is registering quite high on the BS scale.
    Full disclosure: I’m not a published author. I’m a moderately successful business consultant. I like to write as a hobby and on a blog, and if that ever generates more than a couple hundred bucks, well, fantastic for me. It’ll be a nice dinner out with the wife.
    That said, I’ve flipped through various points in the book and found the writing to be rather clumsy. My wife and her friends all agree, but – like I said – they like the story.
    I’m happy for Dan Brown, but – at the same time – even in my consulting work, I don’t get much fulfillment from providing a half-assed solution to a problem.
    I don’t claim to be the world’s best author (for good reason); I also don’t claim to be the world’s best college football player (again, for good reason), but that doesn’t stop me yelling at the Crimson Tide when I think they’ve played poorly.
    And, yes, I’ve been yelling at them a lot for the last 13 years.
    P.S. Jim – don’t worry about the Left Behind guys. On the off chance that the Bible is true and right and good, they’ll probably get a one-way ticket to Hell for tinkering with the Big Guy’s story idea. Or, if not for that, for being pleased that Kirk Cameron wanted to star in the movie version.

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  10. I’m more concerned with stealing the details of the book than the PR myth. He sold the book bigtime a priori so the people spoke without any conjured up stories about him. Did he get the screentime in that movie? Check it out.

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  11. Lewis Perdue is a friend of mine, so I’m concerned about the possible theft of his intellectual property as well. (I believe he’s a friend of Lee’s as well.)
    I have no idea what the rest of your comment means, though. Translation, please?

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  12. I’m not a friend of Lew’s personally but I’m interested in his case and work. Which I’ve read. Since he’s a journalist and trained in biology, well, I notice those sorts of things.
    In the NY TImes article it said that Stephen Tyler wrote to Brown about the book and Brown wound up in the Aerosmith movie. Brown got a lot of screentime. More than some of the principals according to the report.

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  13. I’ve been lurking the past couple of days, wondering whether to make a post on this. I won’t comment on the quality of Brown’s writing (not appropriate) nor the merits of my lawsuit (lawyers say not to … besides, the facts are online for all to read and more to come in next two weeks) …
    So that leaves me little room to say anything here that won’t get me in trouble one way or another.
    HOWEVER …
    This blog’s consensus that the Dan Brown airport thing is bogus fits in with a number of similar things, some of which will be contained in the next round of legal briefs, but one of which can be aired here:
    How many of you who attended Left Coast Crime in El Paso heard a major, major mystery book store owner say that Dan Brown told her he was in virtual hiding because his life had been threatened by religious nuts? And heard this sale-same book store owner voice the opinion that this, too, was bogus?
    Fact is that much of what Brown has said about his work and his life (and which can be confirmed on the Web and elsewhere) simply does not hold up to the hard light of reality.
    If you all want some more examples, I can check with the lawyers to see if I can leak more.

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  14. It’s a bit of an exaggeration to say that “the church is sure mad at him.” There have been reactions both pro and con to the book from the Catholic Church. Although a Cardinal recently condemned the book, another Cardinal (and leading candidate to succeed John Paul II as Pope) downplayed it saying “It isn’t a big problem.”
    As a religious or theological tome, it’s a curiosity at best. Where the book is most interesting is as a publishing phenomenon.
    All that being said, the more I hear about Dan Brown, the most it seems that he’s…shall we say, a little eccentric.

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  15. Look, anytime someone writes a book that unzips dogma even as fiction it can’t set well with the promoters of a belief system. I could argue easily that it’s all fiction but there’s no need for that. Just beause a bureaucrat waves it off doesn’t erase the level of distaste in the ranks. Which one was loudest?
    It is a publishing phenomenon. Why? How in hell did he do it is the appropriate question?

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  16. Lee, you ask how’s the suit? Geez, I HATE suits … and neckties too … been months since I had to wear either …
    But seriously, the case is grinding its way through the courts, much like chunks of pork through a sausage grinder…pork, pork and more pork for the lawyers (glad mine are working on contingency)… and in the case of RH, producing volumes of legal prose that resemble the truth in the same way that andouille resembles pork loin.
    Actually the Random House legal filings are some of the most creative fiction I’ve read in months…thin plot, but showing a lot of imagination that is only loosely coupled to reality.
    Anyway, RH’s torture of the facts along with some outright bungling in their filings have offered us even more material to work with than we had at the start so from that standpoint I am grateful.
    I’m reminded of Mark Twain’s adage that, “If you tell the truth, you don’t have to remember what you said.” Random House can’t quite remember what it’s said from one filing to the next…and some of their statements about Da Vinci Code are actually contradicted by the book itself. And of course, from their descriptions, I don’t even recognize my own books in many cases.
    Currently, my attorneys are preparing our latest set of papers … to be filed two weeks from tomorrow.
    Then it’ll be in the judge’s court. No real timeline yet. I’m re-reading Kafka’s “The Trial” right now and finding that my process has more than a few parallels. It is apparent that this is much about “THE LAW” and little about justice.
    Being a native Mississippian, I am more than a little familiar with the many ways in which “The Law” can be used to deprive people of justice. It took the federal government to change that in Mississippi. I could use my own National Guard batallion, but I think they’re all in Iraq.
    It also doesn’t help that copyright attorneys (mine and others I’ve corresponded with) say that copyright infringement law in the U.S. is so fuzzy that a case is decided about 30% on the merits and 70% according to “lawyering” and the luck (or lack) of the judge who gets the case.
    Random House has filed the standard motion for Summary Judgement … to dismiss for lack of evidence. There is plenty of evidence, and the rules for the federal courts say judges should allow matters to trial if there is ANY question that a jury should hear. I’d be in good shape there, but some people have speculated that the judge — who was criticized in a New York Times article for being the national champ for delayed decisions — might be feeling pressure and want to take the easy way out — dismiss it to help him dig out of his backlog.
    If that happens, we’ll appeal. We’ve already discussed that.
    So … how’s it going? I’ll bet you’re sorry you asked now!

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  17. I’m studying law and that sounds about right. Infringement is tough. I have one myself only the book hasn’t been completed yet, only sold on proposal. The key: did they have opportunity to see my unpublished work. Yes they did, but have denied it anyway.
    The evidence would be found in discovery, but that’s for later if neccessary. Thumbs up on contingency.

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  18. Hmmmmmm …. it MUST come as a GREAT surprise to Mr. Brown that the Catholic Church is mad at him. How could he _possibly_ have known?
    After all, he told his local newspaper here:
    http://www.yorkcountycoaststar.com/2003news/03162003/news/18067.htm
    “Brown says about 10,000 people have read “The Da Vinci Code” before its release, including Catholic priests, religious scholars and art historians.
    “There has not been one negative comment about the book. And I think that when people read the book they understand it’s presented in a historical light – it’s not taking sides. I worked hard to paint everyone – including Opus Dei – in a very fair and balanced light and the book is meticulously researched and very accurate and I think people know that.”
    Not ONE negative comment! Not one!
    Remarkable!

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  19. “About five years ago, as he was developing ideas for “Angels and Demons,” Brown spent time in the Vatican library, researching the Dead Sea Scrolls with sources in the Vatican.
    From that sprang his ideas for “The Da Vinci Code.”
    Did he?

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  20. “Brown says about 10,000 people have read ‘The Da Vinci Code’ before its release, including Catholic priests, religious scholars and art historians.”
    Let’s be honest here with what this actually means. The publisher sent out 10,000 or more galleys of the book before publication, with the vast majority of them going to reviewers, producers, publications and booksellers. Presumably, for good measure, they also sent a few copies to the priests, scholars and historians mentioned (emphasis on few).
    Does that mean that 10,000 people read it before it was published? Absolutely not. Prior to DVC becoming a huge sensation, nobody knew who Dan Brown was. Many (most?) of the people who received the book probably didn’t even read it.
    I should know. I got a galley of DVC before it was published, looked it over, didn’t feel any need to read it, and discarded it. Surely I was not the only one.
    “There has not been one negative comment about the book.”
    Not one? Out of 10,000 readers? They universally adored and respected the book? Damn…
    Say you were one of those mythical 10,000 people who read the book before it was published it and you hated it, took exception to what Brown had written. What would you do about it? How would you make your negative comments known to the author?
    You could tell the publisher…but that doesn’t mean Brown would learn of it. (Publishers aren’t in the practice of passing along the nasty comments they receive about a book.)
    You could write Brown a letter, c/o his publisher…and eventually he might actually receive it. But that would easily take 6 months to a year or more. Hardly in time to let him know in the month or two before the book hit the streets.
    You could email him, if you knew his email address. But that’s not public knowledge. (And I was told he abandoned his old email address after the book came out and stopped talking even to former friends and colleagues.)
    I suppose you could somehow track down Brown in person and tell him to his face – but now we’re talking fantasyland.
    How can anyone believe what this man says?

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  21. Well your agenda is clear, then that’s peerfcetly allowable since reviewing and media criticism is opinion, but I’m attempting to be a bit more objective about the matter. What about his first two books? Complete duds? DOA? Oh contraire. These like Angels & Demons are very technically savvy works. Who did he copy these from?
    And make no mistake about I’m very much on Lew’s side, but by training I have to flesh out the whole argument regradless of personal feelings. You don’t and it shows.
    “(And I was told he abandoned his old email address after the book came out and stopped talking even to former friends and colleagues.)”
    This is heresay at best and heresay by whom? He certainly has a webpage now so perhaps a test is in order? At any rate if you turned down a chance to review DVC after getting the chance I think this says more about your judgment than Brown’s.

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  22. Dan Brown Unfortunately this aloof status while explained here is true of most authors even midlist.
    I could make the same claim for fellow RH author David Masiel (2182 khz) and it would mean about as much. I never had any trouble contacting David McCullough through S&S but I wasn’t telling him negative feedback on his books either. It was about a separate issue and I got a response in writing from Martha’a Vineyard.

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  23. I don’t have a personal agenda. The whole phenomenon that is The Da Vinci Code is an interesting media topic, and I’m a commentator on media. So I comment on it.
    I have nothing against Dan Brown — as I’ve said before, I’m pleased with his success. It certainly hasn’t harmed me any. I think it’s a helluva boon for the publishing industry, something it can always use.
    I wouldn’t say I have any “personal feeling” on the matter either. Opinions sure, but I’m not particularly emotional about it.
    True, the guy seems loopy. But that’s all part of the fun! I must confess that I find the hype machine surrounding Brown and DVC to be humorous. (Is humor an emotion? I suppose it is.) The idea of author as rock star is rife with chuckles.
    As for my turning down a chance to review DVC… you’ve got to understand, Mark, I have a chance to review every mystery and thriller that gets published. I receive submissions by the truckload; at least 1000 books a year. In 2004 I wrote newspaper review of perhaps 60 books. (In 2003, when DVC came out, it was even less.) Obviously the overwhelming majority of books go unread and unreviewed, by me or any other reviewer.
    If anything, this represented prescient judgment, not that I gave it all that much thought at the time. What would have been the point of reviewing DVC anyway? With a product like that, reviews are basically irrelevant. Although it’s interesting as a cultural and media item, it’s not particularly intriguing as a book. Any space devoted to it would be squandered and better spent on some other title.
    What I find most telling about the DVC experience is that it shows that many of the old publishing maxims (ads don’t sell books, books can’t be sold to the masses, etc.) are wrong. DVC proves that there is a huge potential market for fiction out there – and that the publishers are doing a poor job of tapping it.

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  24. “it’s not particularly intriguing as a book.” I don’t see how this is possible to believe but that’s an opinion for sure. It seems to me you knew the book would fare well so ignored it in favor of those in need of some exposure that would be unlikely to get from the publisher and media in general. Nothing wrong with that. They need all the help they can get by comparison.

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  25. Mark: Yours is another good comment: “About five years ago, as he was developing ideas for “Angels and Demons,” Brown spent time in the Vatican library, researching the Dead Sea Scrolls with sources in the Vatican.
    From that sprang his ideas for “The Da Vinci Code.”
    Did he? ”
    Interestingly, the Vatican Library has very few documents pertaining to the Qumran documents (popularly known as the Dead Sea Scrolls … something that DB should have known).
    Go here and search for Qumran or “Dead Sea”:
    http://www.vaticanlibrary.vatlib.it/BAVT/home.asp?LANGUAGE=eng&DPT=gen
    and you find a handful of books, most of which are works available in other libraries … in other words, the Vatican Library doesn’t have much on that subject and certainly not worth the trip … but it has a cachet about it that sounds good in a news release.
    In addition, given Brown’s minor stature as a writer before DVC (publisher said all three of his previous books sold a total of 20,000 copies prior to DVC), how likely is it that he would have been able to pass muster to have access to the Vatican Library.
    The requirements for that are at: http://bav.vatican.va/en/v_home_bav/v_informazioni/ammissione.shtml
    “Admission Criteria
    The Vatican Library is for specialized research in the fields of philology and history, and, retrospectively, in theology, law and science. It is designed for scientific research, with special emphasis on the study of manuscripts.
    The Admissions Office is open from Monday through Friday from 9:00 to 12:00; and on Monday and Thursday from 15:00 to 16:00.
    It is open to qualified researchers and scholars who can provide documentation of their qualifications and their need to access the materials conserved in the Library. By accepting the Reader’s Pass and signing the form in the Secretariat, the Reader undertakes to obey the Rules for Readers of the Library.”

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  26. “I don’t see how this is possible to believe but that’s an opinion for sure.”
    The phenomenon of DVC is interesting; the book not particularly so. It’s a fairly average potboiler, scores of which are published every year. Really, the novel itself is rather ho-hum. Not sure why that’s so hard to believe.
    I wish I could have predicted the book’s great success – if for no other reason than I would have kept the ARC and 1st edition hardback – but, alas, I can take no credit for that. I skipped it because it didn’t look like my kind of thing.

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  27. I would have thought your knowledge of Lew’s work would have peaked your interest as I’m coming to the debate late.
    Interesting evidence Lew. I’ll peruse it and report back. Press release journalism is the worst kind: pure PR. They’re only good as a template to rip open. Looks like you have with good reason.

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  28. I got ten sources the oldest being 1953 the years I was born. I read the rules but my Italian is bad. Nonexistent really. It does seem as though there’d be church history that would be pertinent insofar as the Illuminati and the like, but I’ve not researched these books as you have Lew. I read Angels and DOG simultaneously and yours was finished first.
    I assumed wrong on your past reading David. Easy mistake and mine to bear. By the way I highly recommend you make up for lost time.

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  29. They gave out ARC’s at the Left Coast Crime in Passadena before the book came out. I have one sitting in my garage. Unread. Wasn’t interested in reading it before, and even less so the more I hear about it.
    My complaint with the book is not the bad theology. It’s the people are taking the bad theology as fact. My roommate read it. He read a passage from it. It sounded great until he stopped and I started thinking. It was so far wrong it wasn’t even funny.

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  30. Ah Mark, it’s fiction and there is no bad or good theology. There’s only the kind you like. Other than the infringement data, which is quite damning, you would have to say the same things of Lew’s works. In fact if he stole it, you just did. And this is bad assessment of the story, writing, and subject. Neither are bad writing.

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  31. I was referring to DVC, but perhaps I’m putting words in Dan Brown’s mouth by stating that he presents much of his “research” as truth. The publishers have certainly been pushing that angle, though, in their marketing.
    For those who believe, there’s plenty true about spiritual matters. You’ve made your thoughts on that score obvious, though, so please don’t take this as another opportunity to start belittling people of faith. You’ve beaten that horse to death.

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  32. Quite untrue. Nobody is entitled to their own set of facts. If the books are this similar in detail how can one be false and the other, not? I think you’re definitely putting words into Brown’s mouth since you haven’t read either his or Lew’s work by your own admission. But you sure have a concrete opinion about the matter nonetheless. That’s no research in my view.

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  33. Ah, I haven’t read DVC, but I’m familiar with it and listened to it on CD. I’m also quite familiar with the marketing of the book.
    In Dan Brown’s own words: “While the book’s characters and their actions are obviously not real, the artwork, architecture, documents, and secret rituals depicted in this novel all exist (for example, Leonardo Da Vinci’s paintings, the Gnostic Gospels, Hieros Gamos, etc.). These real elements are interpreted and debated by fictional characters.”
    So he is certainly portraying much of what he depicts in the novel as true. Therefore this is a legitimate area of inquiry on that basis, aside from the literary merits of the book.

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  34. I’m intrigued with your interpretation of logic. Are you actually saying these elements aren’t true or real? They open to inquiry, but it’s been said here that he’s falsely portrayed them. That’s an accusation. Based on what facts?

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  35. I don’t buy it. Truth and facts aren’t relative. And I don’t give a fig if you don’t care. I thought the discussion was about the books and the authors and the merits of the work. I guess to others it just a hit and run bash session.
    My opinion logically defended.

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  36. My point, as I said in my last post, is that the accuracy of DVC is a legitimate area of inquiry, given the author’s claims to the factual nature of the book. (This is in addition to any analysis of the literary merits of the novel.)
    I’m not interested in debunking DVC. A quick search on Amazon, though, reveals at least a dozen books that take up the topic. If the matter piques your interest, I would refer you to one of those titles.
    Given Lewis Perdue’s analysis of Brown’s “research” (which is based on Brown’s own statements), I think we can all guess how accurate DVC is.
    What I find more intriguing than that is the man himself. Hopefully some intrepid investigative journalist is poking into the Dan Brown Literary Machine as we speak. Now that would be a story worth reading!

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  37. Although I agree, Tod… I can’t help myself! There is just something about the way he comments on his own posts, as if he were an omniscient observer, that sucks me in every time. I’m hoping he’ll start referring to himself in the 3rd person if this goes on long enough.

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  38. With all due respect you’re the most arrogant flipant poster I’ve encountered to date and that includes some real doosy’s.
    I’ve not commented on my “own posts” as you put it. I’m commenting on yours which is more than enough material to work with.
    If Brown’s research only includes stealing Lew’s, well, neither are accurate according to your logic. The contention is it’s the same book. Whether Jesus and Mary Magdalene married can’t be proven by anyone. It’s moot. That a code in Leonardo’s artwork leads to such a conclusion is the same. How is that bad research in a novel. He got the code wrong? It’s really a different key and you know the right one? Give me a break.

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  39. Okay. Im just a kid but I actually read the book and understood it. It’s fiction. Dan brown said he did research yes but he never said absolutely everything was fact. So stop argueing about trivial details and take The Da Vinci Code for what it is. A fun,fast moving, and easy read. Griping over small details isn’t going to change the fact that no one on earth cares what you think and that at it’s core DVC is a really cool book. Eat your hearts out.

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  40. Shilo, man, don’t deprecate yourself by saying “I’m just a kid.” You’re as entitled to speak your mind as anybody else. Glad to hear you enjoyed the book. There are a lot of great thrillers out there awaiting you.

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  41. TEN QUESTIONS THE MEDIA WON’T ASK DAN BROWN
    Other posts on this blog have pretty well dismissed Dan Brown’s claims that he was allowed through airport security with no identification, just the author photo on one of his books. We could pretty well imagine the TSA inspector doing that being sentenced to biothreat inspections at a bird-flu-infested chicken farm.
    But that example shows how the media have given Brown’s statements a pampered free ride, a cushy, non-critical acceptance of anything that rolls out of his (or his publicist’s) mouth.
    Edward Wyatt, the NY Times person who wrote the book-jacket story is just one of many in the mainstream media who are blinded by Brown’s celebrity and the awesome publicity machine that Random House has mustered for the occasion.
    Fortunately, we have seen any number of occasions where blogs have picked up on the truth and broken stories that the mainstream media were too blind, too clueless, had too many conflicts of interest or spent too much in bed with those it should be covering.
    With that in mind, I have TEN QUESTIONS THE MEDIA WON’T ASK DAN BROWN.
    Given the fact that I have a well-known and well-disclosed conflict of interest in this, I’ll pose the question in as neutral a way as I can, then offer you some web links and other documents that you can look up yourself and make your own decision.
    Sure, I have a vested interest and am hardly a disinterested party. However, I’d submit that the questions as I pose them (one or two per day) are not significant _by themselves_ for example, the airport book jacket thing were it an isolated, singular occurrence. You be the judge to decide whether there is or is not a pattern when they are all taken together.
    Some of the source documents may raise questions of your own.
    So, with that in mind, here is QUESTION ONE:
    Question 1A. Dan, what’s behind your repeated statement that you wrote a song called “Peace in Our Time” that was played in the 1996 Olympics?
    His repeated statement can be found here:
    http://www.boston.com/news/globe/living/articles/2004/05/08/thriller_instinct?mode=PF
    http://www.danbrown.com/novels/davinci_code/articles/thriller_instinct.html
    http//988.com/authors/brown_dan.php
    http//www.theage.com.au/articles/2004/05/21/1085120118097.html
    Question 1B. Dan, how do you explain the following record obtained from The U.S. Copyright Office?
    18. Registration Number PA-454-455
    Title Peace in our time / A. Hill, P. Sinfield.
    Note Performed by aJennifer Holiday.
    In 1988 Summer Olympics album/One moment in time. 1 compact disc
    Claimant Virgin Music (Pubs), Ltd.
    Created 1988
    Published 26Sep88
    Registered 1May89
    Author on © Application words & music aPete Sinfield & aAndy Hill.
    Miscellaneous C.O. corres.
    Special Codes 3/M/L
    To verify the information, go here: http://www.copyright.gov/records/cohm.html
    Then search for Peace in our time (use the music option. No need to use “”)
    Next check the box for Peace in our time, click the radio button for “full record display” then hit submit.
    Scroll down to #18 to see the listing above.
    THEN, use your browser’s “search in this page” function to look for “brown” as you load each of the three pages of listings.
    Question 1C. Dan, how is it that there’s not a song by you listed here?
    Question 1D: Dan, suppose you were at a cocktail party and bumped into songwriters Pete Sinfield & Andy Hill; what would you say to them?
    Yes, I KNOW the above incorporates four questions … but I guess I’m just an old-fashioned journalist who believes in asking follow-up questions when they logically present themselves.

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  42. Lew is it possible that the reporter got that wrong? I couldn’t get the other references to come up, but the statement wasn’t attributed to Brown directly. Still if it wasn’t true he’d have the respnsibility to correct it. E-mail the reporter at the Globe.

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  43. It would seem odd that, if the reporter got the story wrong, Dan Brown would include the article on his own website without mentioning the error.
    http://www.danbrown.com/novels/davinci_code/articles/thriller_instinct.html
    It would seem more likely that the reporter was handed a press release and chose to pass it along without verifying the information.
    Same thing about another statement: “He produced four CDs, none apparently still available.”
    That seems a little fishy, doesn’t it? It almost sounds like the writer doesn’t really believe Brown produced 4 CDs, but is unwilling to challenge him on it. Wouldn’t it be easy enough to find out if these 4 CDs are still available?

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  44. I put in four links but there are others as well which make the same claim.
    The Globe reporter is one of many who have reported the same thing.
    Mark: The Aussie line is from the biggest newspaper in Melbourne:
    “Blockbuster mixes heresy and intrigue
    This story was found at http//www.theage.com.au/articles/2004/05/21/1085120118097.html
    May 22, 2004
    What makes a paperback a publishing phenomenon? A ripping yarn doesn’t hurt, writes Jason Steger.
    When Dan Brown’s song Peace in Our Time was performed at the 1996 Atlanta Olympics, it provided him with a brief moment in the spotlight. Thanks to another of his creations, he is back in the limelight – only this time he is likely to remain there much longer.”
    Mark: I’ll email you the story FROM the online site’s system … can’t post here because of … COPYRIGHT infringement!
    I think David is right … and would LOVE to see the press release …
    And the four CDs? Subject of another QUESTION I’d like to ask Mr. Brown.

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  45. QUESTION 2
    Well, since David and others jumped into my QUESTION TWO — the “four CDs” issue — I thought I might as well go ahead and ask it today rather than tomorrow.
    Question 2A. Dan, just who is it that published your CDs?
    Well, first I’d take a trip to this page: http://988.com/authors/brown_dan.php
    Which has the following listing:
    CMC: Dan Brown
    Dan Brown. Dan Brown is one of the most impressive writers I’ve heard in the last five hears . John Braheny, Author, The Craft and Business of Songwriting .
    http://www.aimcmc.com/browndan.html
    Extractions: A graduate of Phillips Exeter Academy and Amherst College, Dan Brown is a member of MENSA, an internationally published novelist, and the composer/producer of four CD’s of original music. His single “Peace in our Time” was recently performed at the Atlanta Olympics. Dan’s live performance experience includes a world tour with the renown ACGC and appearances in such venues as Notre Dame Cathedral (Paris), St. Marco’s Cathedral (Venice), St. Stephen’s (Vienna), the Acropolis (Athens), and the American Embassies in Delhi, Tokyo, Taipei, Hong Kong, and Seoul. He’s also performed as a solo piano/vocalist at The Rojo y Negro in Spain and in Hollywood at the National Academy of Songwriters Acoustic Underground. DGB Music, ASCAP Close on the heels of his LA production deal with British Record Producer of the Year and one of the most respected producers of pop music today, Barry Fasman, Dan Brown has come out with an album industry heavy-hitters are definitely talking about. Gregorian chant, mandolins, synthesizers, and lofty lyrics…
    It’s apparent that Braheny gives Dan a good blurb here, so why can’t we listen to them? And where does this text come from? It sounds like something from a news release.
    Well, we can wonder or we can click on. Unfortunately, http://www.aimcmc.com/browndan.html returns the infamous “404 Not Found” error message.
    The results are better when we go to the home URL , http://www.aimcmc.com/ which gives us the home page of the Creative Musicians Coalition (CMC). It looks like a well-done indie music site.
    So if we click on over to the Artists Index link at: http://www.musicdiscoveries.com/music/artists/artistindex.html and click on “B” we don’t find Dan Brown.
    BUT, this page tells us to “Visit our store for more “B” Artists” and when we surf over to that page (which CMC describes as a ” sister organization”), http://www.musicdiscoveries.com/music/artists/artistindex.html, we DO find Dan Brown’s name, but that link:
    http://creativecenters.com/Merchant2/merchant.mvc?Screen=CTGY&Store_Code=M&Category_Code=BROWND
    alas, gets us a blank page. DANG!
    Okay, Dan: your footprints are all over here. But where are your CDs?
    Well, if you surf back over to the CMC site and make a logical but UNfounded (and as yet UNverified) assumption that Dan’s four CDs were published by CMC and sold at its sister site, the next question would be, how do you get these guys to sell the music? Clicking around the links, we find a “Join With Us” page at http://www.aimcmc.com/artist.html that offers a sign-up page that promises to get back to you.
    I filled out that page and … sacre bleu! They got back to me with the following forms: http://www.davincicodex.com/CMC-Music.exe (This is a self-extracting file with a built-in viewer. Just double click on it from Windows Explorer … I use this format because it is a LOT smaller than .jpgs and downloads a lot faster.
    As you can see, CMC is strictly pay for play. You pay; CMC sells, then sends you a piece of your action.
    All speculation aside, that _still_ does not answer the question of why the CDs are no longer available, which would be question 2A I’d have for Mr. Brown.
    And while the web page where this all started (http://988.com/authors/brown_dan.php) poses many questions for many people, tomorrow’s post, QUESTION THREE for Dan Brown will return to this sentence:
    “Dan’s live performance experience includes a world tour with the renown ACGC and appearances in such venues as Notre Dame Cathedral (Paris), St. Marco’s Cathedral (Venice), St. Stephen’s (Vienna), the Acropolis (Athens), and the American Embassies in Delhi, Tokyo, Taipei, Hong Kong, and Seoul.”
    and ask: “Dan, what is ACGC?”

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  46. Thanks to a blurker (that’s a blog lurker) who read my last post and emailed me directly, many of the answers to the above can be found without Mr. Brown’s response.
    Take that aimcmc.com/browndan.html page that gave us the 404 error … Well, thanks to the Internet Archive (also known as the Wayback Machine) the page still lives at:
    http://web.archive.org/web/20030216121324/aimcmc.com/browndan.html
    My blurker source writes: “Dan Brown’s CD that was listed by CMC was called “Angels & Demons” and the company that released it was DGB Music. (Presumably, that’s Dan G. Brown Music.)…. This appears to be the music equivalent of a vanity press. I wonder why CDC removed the listing for Brown. I would assume that he made them do it — if it were up to them, presumably they’d be trying to cash in on his name, now that he’s semi-famous.
    “Interesting side note,” the blurker continued, “the cover art “ambigram” for the album was created by John Langdon, whom you can read about here:
    http://www.johnlangdon.net/New_Pages/Angels_Demons.htm
    “Sounds like Dan gave John a tip o’ the hat with the
    name of his protagonist.”
    I went to the page and am still going over things …interesting that one of his top blurbs is from Blythe Newlon — his wife.
    You can also download some of the clips. Have a listen. Express your finely tuned music critic’s opinion.
    More later.

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  47. Blurker has also pointed out in a second email that looking at the Wayback machine’s data shows that,”CMC’s listing for Dan Brown went up in May 1997 and
    was removed in June 2003. That’s right about the time that DVC started to hit big, wasn’t it?”
    Blurker did a bunch of work on that piece of info because first, ya gotta go here:
    http://web.archive.org/web/*/http://www.aimcmc.com
    and do a bunch of clicking for Dan Brown’s page.

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  48. Okay, here’s another Dan Brown CD … that’s two down and two to go.
    http://web.archive.org/web/19980118121009/aimcmc.com/spec/spec2.html
    Dan Brown’s Debut Album – “Dan Brown”
    “When the National Academy of Songwriters first heard Dan Brown’s music, we paired him immediately with on of the most respected producers in pop music today, British Record Producer of the Year, Barry Fasman. No expense was spared in the recording of this album. The tracks were cut in some of the nation’s finest studios with some of the most accomplished musicians living today. When the lights came up on tracking day, the all-star cast standing ready to play was awesome. The band included Michael Jackson’s sax player, Madonna’s bass player, and the Doobie Brothers’ drummer, just to name a few. When the dust settled, they had recorded an album we believe will be remembered as one of the strongest independently released projects in quite some time. All of the synthesizer programming and arranging was done by Barry Fasman, whose arranging credits include Billy Joel, Diana Ross, Fame, and Air Supply. We believe Dan Brown is an artist destined to become a major talent and that this original pressing of his debut album could very well become a collector’s items. Treat yourself.” – Director of Artist Development, The National Academy of Songwriters.”
    WOW! With that sort of send-up, you’d think this would be a top Kazaa pick.

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  49. Yes, certainly. I realized later I’d left him/her out of it. I’m intrigued by this whole thing, especially since I have a similar deal happening to me as I languish unpublished. There’s a lot to learn in this and accuracy of claims and facts are crucial. Best of luck.

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  50. QUESTION THREE for Dan Brown
    Concerns this sentence found at http//988.com/authors/brown_dan.php:
    “Dan’s live performance experience includes a world tour with the renown ACGC and appearances in such venues as Notre Dame Cathedral (Paris), St. Marco’s Cathedral (Venice), St. Stephen’s (Vienna), the Acropolis (Athens), and the American Embassies in Delhi, Tokyo, Taipei, Hong Kong, and Seoul.”
    Question 3A. “Dan, what is the ‘renown ACGC’?”
    I surfed around and found this article:
    http://www.amherst.edu/~astudent/1997-1998/issue018/f-wherenow.html
    which contains the collowing: “Activities while at Amherst: Squash and Glee Club”
    thus leading to the follow-up question:
    Question 3B. “Dan, is the ‘renown ACGC’ actually the Amherst College Glee Club?
    Question 3C. “Dan, were those appearances in famous venues actually stops you made with the Glee Club?”
    The link above contains the following: “Fondest Memories of Amherst: “The world tour with the Glee Club in 1983. It was amazing. We went to 13 or 14 countries for a few months.”
    and from http://halogen.note.amherst.edu/~astudent/2001-2002/issue07/news/03.html
    we have: “During his exploration of writing at the College Brown specifically loved playing the piano and feels that he was able to focus in on creating an original sound while he was here. His experiences singing and touring with the Glee Club opened his eyes to new things on their World Tour trip in 1983.
    “I never would have seen [them] otherwise,” he said of the was a life altering experiences for him, exposing him to new cultures and peoples.
    “He continues to be grateful to have attended an institution like Amherst where he had the opportunity to travel and observe all the different nuances of cultures outside of the U.S. The impression left on him by the 1983 trip has heavily influenced his books, in which the plot frequently jets from country to country.”

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  51. Nothing like extracurricular activities in college to jump start a career eh? It’s clear the level of these accomplishments is disguised through masking and omission. Self-promotion frequently does this.

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  52. “I had a record deal and everything. The CDís[sic]got great reviews, but bombed in the stores.”
    Well that’s honest. Of course a record deal implies that a company paid you not the other way around.

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  53. No doubt this is a conflation of online stores (of any level and quality) with physical brick and mortar versions. Yeah, that’s misleading.

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  54. Having had several bestsellers even before Dan Brown got out of Amherst with its renowned Glee Club, I find it hard to imagine that bestselling authors sit around, scrutinizing the bestseller lists and seeing who can be first to spot a NEW bestselling author and scrambline to
    be the first to call and warn about all the slimy gold diggers like me slithering out from under every rock…
    Which calls to mind a June 9, 2003 lovefest where Today Show personality Matt Lauer, dressed in his usual kid gloves, tossed cream puff questions to Dan Brown …
    The whole thing was a HUGE conflict of interest given that the Today Book Club has selected Da Vinci Code as its current selection, but Lauer is not whom question four is for …
    EXCERPT from transcript at: http://www.danbrown.com/media/todayshow.htm
    LAUER: Le–let me bring up something in Newsweek magazine.
    Mr. BROWN: Oh, yeah.
    LAUER: Oh, yeah. An author named Lewis Perdue claims that your book,and I think the words he used, “just phenomenally similar” to a book that he had written several years ago called, “Daughter of God.” What’s your response–I mean, basically, he’s–he’s accusing you of plagiarism.
    Mr. BROWN: Yes. Well, I obviously was not amused. Apparently, this happens all the time to best-selling authors. And when the–when “Da Vinci Code” debuted at number one, I actually got a lot of calls from best-selling authors, calls with congratulations, and also of warnings saying, ‘Well, get ready, because there are going to be people that you’ve never heard of coming out of the woodwork sort of wanting to ride on the coattails. And all I can really tell you about Mr. Pu–I’ve never heard of him, I’ve never heard of his work, and you know.
    So, QUESTION FOUR for Dan Brown:
    Name one.
    WE are also NOT amused.

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  55. Doesn’t seem like that’s a standard practice although his agent and editors could have said such a thing. This “I’ve never heard of him” claim is also unlikely. That’s exactly what my guy said.

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  56. Questions will resume after tomorrow’s big legal filing tomorrow … experts have roughly _doubled_ the number of significant similarities … every time someone takes a look at the books, they find more and more things.

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  57. I picked up a copy of Code at the thrift store yesterday. So far it’s a continuation of Angels & Demons which I still can’t quite wade through completely, but at least I made it to St. Peter’s tomb.

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  58. Rather than continue to poach on Lee’s blog space for all this, I decided to begin my own blog for it. You’ll find it at:
    http://davincicrock.blogspot.com/
    I’ve also registered davincicrock.com and will be building out that site with information as well.
    Yeah, I FINALLY got pissed off enough to pull out the stops. You’ve seen a little here on Lee’s site, but you AIN’T SEEN NUTHIN’ YET.
    The surprises for Mr. Brown will far exceed the plot twists and turns of anything he’s written.

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  59. Your such a critic.Dan Brown does his work,writes the truth and reads it again and again.While has millions of fans including me.You should not judge no one on what they say and do,but who they really are.Dan Brown unviels the real truth about Jesus.He was really married to Mary Magdalene,had a daughter named “Sarah”.Bottom line he wrote what he learned about people and this is stuff the church has hid from billions of people.As matter of fact the church is to blame for keeping usfrom the whole truth that the cross of Jesus was really an X not a cross,but a X shaped cross he really died on.His birthday is not on Dec.25,but April 17 and did he reallylive.We can’t say he really did because there’s no proof of it because he never wrote what he really said down.What we see in the new testament is just what we are told what he said by his disciples and are they really his disciples.Bottom read before you speak and then judge.Anyway you shouldn’t judge at all.Dont’tell anyone i toldyou this.Let’s keep it between us and sign my guestbook.

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  60. Lewis,
    I hope you win this one.
    I feel that “Da Vinci Code” exploits its readers’ feelings and cops out at the end by abruptly putting all the blame on the antagonist who is suddenly a madman. I know this is common practice in the genre, but somewhere, a line had been crossed by that book – if the author wanted to enlighten, it should not have cowardly relegated its bold pronouncements behind the foaming mouth of a crazy old man. As it stands DVC is nothing but an ejaculation of the mind. Too bad, too many Christians had to be offended for Mr. Brown’s moment of pleasure.

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  61. Lewis, sorry you didn’t win the first round against this plagiarist. I read his book, its ok finished it pretty quick, but all the way through had a thought that I’d read it before. Didn’t know anything about your court case, so when I got home from holiday looked up on Internet to see if this guy was being done for plagiarism. Found you site then realised I read your book years ago and remembered it and was struck be the similarities 15 years later. How the hell he can say its a different book when I could tell years down the track that I had read this before. Take him down dude hes a thief!

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  62. We’re readying the appeal. I have faith that justice will be done … but withouga trial it will not be.
    Why is RH so afraid of a trial?
    Why are my sworn statements and those of my experts the ONLY documents in court that are submitted under oath and under penalty of perjury?
    The last answer is easy: the Random House briefs are so full of lies and distortions that someone would go to jail if they had been submitted under oath.

    Reply

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