New York Magazine is in typically irreverent form this week with its focus on Dan Brown.
There’s a breezy Dan Brown bio, a tongue-in-cheek examination of what makes Brown’s book so appealing, a fun graphic charting the Catholic Church’s long, slow rapprochement with the author, and a table listing some of the many charges leveled against the Da Vinci Code during the past five years.
Oh, and there’s also an interview with Secrets of the Lost Symbol editor Dan Burstein talking about why the most anticipated book of the year took so long to come to fruition and our predictions for The Lost Symbol:
Do you have any other clues about research Brown’s doing?
We’ve heard from people at the Smithsonian that Brown has been bugging them for details about the museum to the point that people were getting frustrated. Which started me thinking about James Smithson. Here’s this eighteenth-century British mineralogist, friend to many important Masons, who leaves his fortune to endow an institution of science and learning in the U.S., a country he’s never been to. And then in the dawn of the twentieth century, Alexander Graham Bell, a Freemason, is on the board of regents of the Smithsonian and decides it’s important enough to go to Genoa, where Smithson is buried, and personally exhume the body and bring it back to the United States. I’m imagining what Dan Brown could do if he decided to use this stuff.
[…]Why did it take him so long to write this one?
I’ve met Dan Brown once, and it’s presumptuous to say I understand him, but I think there’s a set of personal issues. He always wanted to be a writer. If you go back to his days at Amherst—he was in a creative-writing class with David Foster Wallace. Imagine you’re sitting there with this incredible intellect and trying to figure out how you can become a writer. And what he discovers is that he has a real gift for potboilers. And then suddenly you have four books on the best-seller list, and people are suing you for plagiarism when you haven’t plagiarized anything. It only took six years. It’s not like he’s Thomas Pynchon..
You can read the full interview here.
— Paul Berger, Contributing Editor, Secrets of the Lost Symbol