Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Brown Out?

It's funny. I don't think I know anyone who is actually reading the new Dan Brown book. I've been holed up with the sickness so I'm out (though I'll read it eventually) was anyone in line Tuesday morning, clambering to get their hands on it? The largest print run in publishing history, touted to be the book that can save or doom the publishing industry single-handedly... Is it good? bad? indifferent? Whether you're reading it or not, let me know what you think in comments. (If not, why not? &c.) In the meantime - if you've a hankering for some alt-historical thriller fun - you can create your own custom Dan Brown sequel using's Handy Dan Brown Sequel Generator just pick a city and an ancient (or not-so-ancient) secret society and off you go!


  1. I haven't read any of the Dan Brown books and probably won't unless I end up stranded in a remote region where someone has left only these books behind.
    I don't mind that this is a book that gets irregular readers to pick up a book again. What I find strange is how it is supposed to perk up the industry when almost everyone who sold it today did so at a loss. I suppose the publisher still received their money but on the whole, this was sort of a ridiculous thing. Shouldn't there be some raised value for a highly desired book? What is the value of books? Just the cost of the materials used to make it?

  2. That's always struck me as odd too. When demand soared for the Prius, Toyota didn't immediately flood the market. Demand was good, it kept the prices up. The book industry is an odd duck altogether inasmuch as we have accepted somewhere along the way the notion that it's neither fish nor fowl, that it exists in it's own bubble of reality and that guaranteed returns and gambling on future sales with huge advances were good ideas. Frankly, I'm dumbfounded that the publishing industry isn't run more like the movie industry, at least with regard to the shared risk.

    I'm always skeptical when we get so focused on a single title that will 'save our bacon'. I've been hearing for over a year (since even before the final laydown date was announced) that publishers were moving their release dates for other titles to accommodate Dan Brown. I don't know if it's a good thing or a bad thing. Maybe the add-on sales really will pull this out, but so many booksellers are on the ropes from Borders to the little guy on the corner... so many hopes hang on a single title. I hope they're right.

    All of the predictions that any one title can "save the industry" ring hollow to me, no matter how good it might be or how big. The whole blockbuster model seems fraught with contradictions, and my grandmother's admonition against keeping all my eggs in a single basket echoes in my ears.

    Or maybe it's just the Nyquil.

  3. Interesting thoughts. I just don't get the popularity of Dan Brown? Read Da Vinci Code, entertaining thriller but not as great as everyone makes out. So not reading the latest one.


Pages to Type is a blog about books, writing and literary culture (with the occasional digression into coffee and the care and feeding of giant robots).