I’m working on a proper post, I promise, but it’s taking forever to get it finished. I don’t really know why, although it is requiring me to do a little reading of scientific papers, which is always a struggle, given my very limited scientific literacy. I don’t really know why I’m persisting with it, either, as it’s become about as little fun as homework in a subject you hate. I suppose I don’t want it to become one of the 100+ posts I have on my hard drive that are half-finished, and I think it might have the potential to be at least slightly interesting to a few people. I’m still working away on it, anyway, and will post it eventually – possibly later today, maybe tomorrow, but don’t hold your breath. (I also notice that every sentence in this paragraph has started with the word ‘I’. I never knew I was this egotistical, but it would appear I am…)
Anyway, as a temporary stopgap, this seems quite fun. Yes, I realise it’s an article in The Telegraph, but it doesn’t get political, so your blood pressure should be safe. The article is a compendium of some of the factual errors made by Dan Brown in some of his novels. I presume most people don’t actually think Mr Brown’s books are anything more than entertaining page-turners, and so finding errors in them is a fairly pedantic thing to do. But then again, this is being typed by a man who has read more nit-picking books about TV Sci-Fi shows than he can remember, so being described as anal about the small stuff isn’t really going to bother me.
Some of the ‘mistakes’ I’m not convinced by – when Brown has a character say that the Swiss Guard killed a lot of people in crusades centuries after the last crusade took place, I think I’d be prepared to see that as artistic licence. If you’re writing a book which is based in fact but ultimately launches off into wild fantasy, there are always going to be things that seem a little odd at the moments that the plot is taking off. Others, though, are just the result of lazy research, like this one:
Brown describes walking north from Sacré-Coeur across the Seine. Sacré-Coeur is north of the river: you would need to walk south.
30 seconds with a map would have fixed that error, as it would this one:
Langdon and Neveu take a Tube train from Temple Station to King’s College, London. The nearest Tube stop to King’s College is in fact Temple Station – any Tube journey would take them further away.
Anyway, yes, give the article a read, if you’d like to, while I keep trying to dig myself out from under an avalanche of my own dull-as-ditchwater prose…