Dante Dan Brown downtown/uptown in the NYRBI will read most anything to hand, in a priority/accessibility matrix of proximity and effort-to-get-to sort of way. So there's a science-fictiony thriller title calling out from the paperback rack at the adjunct suburban library some months back so okay, Dan Brown, okay, but not the DaVinchy Code one. Cuz I won't willingly read that. Will, but not willingly. For reasons of past experience with pop-cult idiocy and crap-mind sludge-candy.
So okay. I read it, the one calling out from the library.
Ghastly non-literary accumulation of words, clunk rhythms and poetryless gurge...but. It's got this NSA premise and seeming insider info context that was timely as shit, as I read it this summer(2013)...published in 1998, so written before that.
It's like he has this grasp of some unspoken facts and unseen complexities of thread and no art to deliver it with, just the slog of a barely literate mind using the format of "book" to present the info. The halting testimony of an ESL witness to some off-camera disaster. A not-so-bright adolescent who just happened to be at the scene. A drooling stuttering oracle, gems of prophecy puked up in a stream of meaningless spew . In a social context where glib emptiness and confidently delivered nada sells, and the market's driven by retarded enlightenment baby-stepping toward predicated and secured truths.
His moral stance in DF is right out of the pseudo-manly pulps of 50's sf, window dressing.
He's trying, his heart's somewhere near it, but again, it's like so much of the literary spew these last decades. Idiots who think art is purely a commercial artifact, useful for conveying some "thing", like truth or ethical instruction, as opposed to art being unavailable to consumer eval without reduction to commodity. Didactic use of the form without any recognition there's a higher business of art that won't be visible bent to the service of anything other than itself.
A horrible book, prescient and homely, not quite WTF, not quite yeah.