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That's great, but...

Friday, April 07, 2006
So in the news today was an English judge's decision that Dan Brown, author of The Da Vinci Code didn't actually plagiarize the themes from another book for his "hugely successful" novel.

This is great, on one hand, because the book he was accused of stealing from ("Holy Blood, Holy Grail) is a work of historical fiction that explores different possibilities in history. Dan Brown borrowed some of these ideas for his book; this is not in question. However, did he "steal" the themes? According to the judge, no. This means that many authors worldwide can breath a sigh of relief because they won't get sued if they include the work of another author as a theme in their own.

This is not great, however, because Dan Brown can't write a novel to say his life. The Da Vinci code isn't the WORST novel I've ever read, but it's in the list. It's his best work, but it's still one of the first books I'd grab to wipe my ass with if I ran out of toilet paper. His characters are largely one-dimensional, his writing style is fantastic (see definitions 2b and 2c), and I feel like a lesser human being for even having owned the book. (Yes, I gave it away.)

So that's my take. Good legal decision, but did we have to give the publicity to such a terrible writer?

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