October 13, 2009

Dan Brown's Got Nothing on Me

What if someone sampled everything you’ve written and found your worst 20 sentences? I shudder at the thought.

A writer over at the Telegraph chose some of Dan Brown’s most unfortunate sentences; what follows are a few of them. And after them are some random samplings from my upcoming work.

So who's the worse writer? You be the judge!
The Da Vinci Code, chapter 4: He could taste the familiar tang of museum air - an arid, deionized essence that carried a faint hint of carbon - the product of industrial, coal-filter dehumidifiers that ran around the clock to counteract the corrosive carbon dioxide exhaled by visitors.
Editorial comment: Ah, that familiar tang of deionised essence.

The Da Vinci Code, chapter 4: As a boy, Langdon had fallen down an abandoned well shaft and almost died treading water in the narrow space for hours before being rescued. Since then, he'd suffered a haunting phobia of enclosed spaces - elevators, subways, squash courts.
Editorial comment: Other enclosed spaces include toilet cubicles, phone boxes and dog kennels.

The Da Vinci Code, chapter 5: Only those with a keen eye would notice his 14-karat gold bishop's ring with purple amethyst, large diamonds, and hand-tooled mitre-crozier appliqué.
Editorial comment: A keen eye indeed.

The Lost Symbol, chapter 1: He was sitting all alone in the enormous cabin of a Falcon 2000EX corporate jet as it bounced its way through turbulence. In the background, the dual Pratt & Whitney engines hummed evenly.
—The Da Vinci Code, chapter 17: Yanking his Manurhin MR-93 revolver from his shoulder holster, the captain dashed out of the office.
Editorial comment: Oh – the Falcon 2000EX with the Pratt & Whitneys? And the Manurhin MR-93? Not the MR-92? You’re sure? Thanks.

The Da Vinci Code, chapter 4: Five months ago, the kaleidoscope of power had been shaken, and Aringarosa was still reeling from the blow.
Editorial comment: Did they hit him with the kaleidoscope?

My Submissions:
5. You go to someone’s house for dinner and find that they have made baby rabbit stew and lamprey surprise. (“Surprise! We made lampreys!”)
Editorial comment: This is going to be published?

4. Did you see that? Nose-picking requires more “nosologic scrutiny.” I’ve been saying this for years!
Editorial comment: No, seriously. Like, it'll be in bookstores?

3. When Roman poet Gaius Catullus (84 BCE – 54 CE) read something he didn’t like, he called it cacata charta— “poop paper.”
Editorial comment: They should print this book on cacata charta so that it will stink in two different ways.

2. That means that humans barf WAY more than almost any other species of animal.
Editorial comment: This is too easy.

1. You deflate your bladder pretty often. (What a great sentence!)
Editorial comment: Actually, that's not half-bad!
Well, there you have it. Judges, your scorecards? Hey, I lose! (By which I mean, "I win!")

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