Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Dare I mention the Da Vinci code?

What makes a mystery popular? Suspense? Puzzle-type clues? Relatibility? Puzzle-type clues? Good writing? Puzzles? Character development? Clues?

I know what I like - I like clues; the old Agatha Christie razzle dazzle of information that makes no sense at all until - AH HA - suddenly it all makes perfect sense!

And, of course, I like any evidence that suggests that what I like is best! That would be cxlxuxexs!

Now we come to the much over discussed Da Vinci code. What single factor, if there is such a thing, contributed to its overwhelming success? I bet it was the 'just clever enough, hard enough, easy enough,' clues that supported the plot - such as it was. Live mystery entertainment has shown me how much people of all ages enjoy the challenge and satisfaction of 'figuring something out'. Look at the enduring popularity of the great Dame Agatha. Both her books, and the Da Vinci Code are free of the burden of character development, suspense. Christie does maintain her share of good writing and relatibility though.

The DVC book's shadowy, mythical, mystical backdrop was the second thing that made it so popular. We are all looking for magic and possibility, even if we don't know it by those words.

Of course, some people think that the book is anti-christian and that is the reason for it's success but I think that is reading way too deeply between some very shallow lines. Dan Brown is to be admired, though, for his excellant use of clues ... which, no doubt took him over and over again to the bank.

Well, that's my blogger opinion. What's yours?


L. R. Wadsworth said...

I agree with you totally. I enjoyed the da Vinci Code for the reasons that you describe. I enjoyed the movie and felt that I got more out of it because I had read the book. I personally enjoy a good story - with a begining, middle and an end. I like to know who is saying what and I like enough descriptive information that I can fill in the details with my own imagination. I also admire the way that Brown organized the book - longer chapters and then shorter ones to some extremely short ones - kept me going - very clever.

Juanita Rose Violini said...

Thanks for the comment LR. - so happy that your opinion also supports the entertainment value reason for popularity. I would be very sad to live in a world where prejudice and persecution is what sells books. Thank goodness the age of insult humour is pretty much gone, as well.