Saturday, January 15, 2005

Digital Fortress

I just completed reading Dan Brown's Digital Fortress. Boy that’s one bad book! If Da Vinci Code was 10, this one is a 3. I have tremendous respect for Dan Brown and his works. I think he is a genius in writing. But I think he didn't quite get it in his this first novel.

The story is too dramatic. The whole Crypto section of NSA blowing up, a language professor running around in Spain trying to find a ring, the cat-and-mouse chase between him and his assassin ... everything is too dramatic. Which is why the plot becomes predictable.

Plus he doesn't talk about cryptography as much as he should have. Maybe because its a difficult concept. Explaining it to a general public is hard. If you try to go deep into the subject, you might loose the audience. On the other hand, explaining symbology in ancient paintings and buildings is easy. As you go deep into the subject, the readers become more fascinated. Mystery-in-the-History is a crowd puller, especially if its also controversial.

Digital Fortress has no mystery, no history, and no controversy (well a little controversy over NSA's job, but nothing that excites the readers). It has just drama!

2 comments:

Karan Vahi said...

Well you should have asked me before venturing out to read the book.
I was equally disappointed in reading it. There is another book Angels and Demons, that is equally lousy. It pales in comparison to the Da Vinci Code.
I guess Dan Brown might be a one book wonder!!!!

Arpita said...

I am glad I read this post as I have read 'Da Vinci Code' and 'Angels and Demons' and was about to start 'Digital Fortress'.

With so much interesting literature available in the world, I don't think I have time to spare for 'not so engaging' books.