Puritan Board Graduate
I found this a few weeks ago mocking Dan Brown's writing style. I hope you enjoy!
Renowned author Dan Brown picked up the cellphone and pressed the button on the cellphone to stop the ringing of the cellphone and held the cellphone to his ear so that down the cellphone he could hear the voice of the person calling on the cellphone.
“Hello?” he greeted.
It was his publisher, John Publisher.
“Hello, Dan Brown,” spoke John Publisher. “I’m calling you because I’ve had an idea and I want to tell you what the idea that I’ve had is.”
The wealthy scribe listened, his ears sharpening like pencils.
“What’s the idea you’re calling me to tell me that you’ve had?” he questioned.
“I’ll tell you,” informed John Publisher. “I want to republish bestselling book The Da Vinci Code – but this time, for Young Adults.”
Young Adults, thought Dan Brown in italics.
“Young Adults,” confirmed John Publisher. “They’re a lot like adults – but younger. Obviously they can’t be expected to read the original novel, because its famously sophisticated prose is too complex for their puny teenage minds. So I want you to write a new version that is shorter and simpler, just for them.”
Dan Brown contemplated the idea using the brain encased by the skull beneath the skin of his head.
“I like your suggestion, John Publisher,” he told. “The only problem is, I’m aged 51 years old. How can I write a book for young people? I don’t know any young people.”
“How about your son?” recommended John Publisher.
Of course! The celebrated penman’s teenage son! Son Brown!
Dan Brown ended the call and excitedly paced the room, his fertile mind already pregnant with ideas to which he would soon give birth through his fingers.
After he had finished cogitating he walked upstairs to his son’s bedroom and entered it by means of the door. Son Brown wasn’t home, but his bookcase was. This will give me an indication of the simple-minded fare young people enjoy, mused the leading wordsmith. Tilting his head at an angle appropriate to the browsing of the books’ spines, he browsed the books’ spines.
David Copperfield. Made sense – kids always did love magic tricks. Animal Farm. They loved cute animals, too. À la recherche du temps perdu. Say, he didn’t know his son could speak Spanish. Vanity Fair. Hey, Dan Brown loved Vanity Fair, too. Just last month it had run a great article about Scarlett Johansson’s favourite swimsuits.
Inspired, the illustrious scribbler returned to his study. His imagination was racing like a racecar made of brains. Picking up his personal copy of acclaimed tome The Da Vinci Code, he reread its exquisite opening paragraph.
“Renowned curator Jacques Saunière staggered through the vaulted archway of the museum’s Grand Gallery. He lunged for the nearest painting he could see, a Caravaggio. Grabbing the gilded frame, the seventy-six-year-old man heaved the masterpiece towards himself until it tore from the wall and Saunière collapsed backward in a heap beneath the canvas.”
Hmm, meditated the 5’9” caucasian male. There is no doubting the magnificence of the prose, from the effortless elegance of its syntax to the way it brings characters vividly to life through evocative details like “the seventy-six-year-old man”. But the young people of today wouldn’t know about museums or Caravaggio. I must start again from scratch – and bring the story right up to date.
The eminent author opened his laptop and used the fingers of his hands to press the buttons marked with letters to form words on the screen.
“Famous rock star Jack Cool donned his baseball cap and rollerbladed through Tower Records while checking MySpace on his Game Boy,” he created. “The 22-year-old youth was excited to purchase the new compact disc by hip band Limp Bizkit. This rad chart-topper will sound fly on my Walkman, he reasoned, scrutinizing the $15.99 plastic oblong. Suddenly, there was a loud rumbling behind him. It sounded like thunder – but an unusual kind of thunder, made from a 70/30 polyester-cotton blend instead of clouds or whatever thunder was made of. He swung round – and then gasped in horror as he was crushed to death by an avalanche of Hootie & The Blowfish T-shirts.”
The moneyed doyen gazed with pride upon the vegetables of his labours. This was going to be his finest work since The Socrates Anagram.
From downstairs he heard a noise like the front door of a house being opened.
“Son!” communicated Dan Brown. “Come see this!”
Son Brown climbed the stairs linking the ground floor to the floor above it and then walked forward until he had reached the room from which the order to come to it had been issued. Expectantly he looked at his progenitor, his youthful face shining like a torch but pink and with a nose in the middle.
His biological begetter pointed at the screen of the laptop. “Read this,” he invited.
Son Brown finished reading the paragraph, and then shook his head.
“Dang it, Dad,” he imparted. “I’m sick of all these smug parodies of your work. These guys think they’re so dang smart. You’ve got to stop reading them. This one isn’t even plausible. There’s no way you’d write something as lame as that.”
Renowned Dan Brown looked at his offspring, and then back at the screen.
“Son,” he talked, “go do your homework.”
After his descendant had left the room, the notable fictioneer picked up his cellphone and pressed the buttons with numbers on one at a time in a given sequence.
“Look, John Publisher,” rebuked Dan Brown. “There’s no point reworking The Da Vinci Code for the youth of today. Great writing just goes straight over their heads.”