One-Minute Book Reviews

October 6, 2009

Late Night With Jan Harayda – ‘Chuckling’ Through ‘The Lost Symbol,’ or the Dan Brown Chuckle Meter, Part 1

Filed under: Late Night With Jan Harayda,News,Novels — 1minutebookreviewswordpresscom @ 10:49 pm
Tags: , , ,

Why do people do so much “chuckling” in novels about conspiracies, disasters and other events that don’t normally inspire that response in real life? I’ve been reading The Lost Symbol, and it may have more “chuckles” than any book I’ve read since Newt Gingrich’s Pearl Harbor: A Novel of December 8th (St. Martin’s, 2007). So I’ve started a Dan Brown Chuckle Meter similar to my Newt Gingrich Chuckle Meter.

A few early ticks:

How does Brown’s hero, Robert Langdon, respond when a fan offers him a tip on how he can stop being such a bad dresser?
“Thanks for the advice,” Langdon said with a chuckle. Page 8.

What does a villain who’s trying to sneak a weapon into the Capitol do when a security guard asks if getting his tattoos hurt?
The man glanced down at his fingertips and chuckled. Page 19.

How does Langdon react when one of his Harvard students asks why the cornerstones of several Washington landmarks were all laid – or so he says – in accordance with a seemingly wacko astrological principle?
Langdon chuckled. Page 29.

Will Dan Brown deliver as many chuckles as Newt Gingrich? I don’t know the answer, because my meter is still running. What’s your guess?

“Late Night With Jan Harayda” is a series of occasional posts that appear after 10 p.m. Eastern Time and do not include reviews.

It Ain’t Me, Babe! Bob Dylan and Maya Angelou Lead Among American Poets in the Race for the 2009 Nobel Prize in Literature, London Bookies Say

[Clarification: Adonis leads among writers known primarily for poetry. Herta Müller, also a favorite of bettors, writes poetry in addition to novels and essays.]

Weep for Richard Wilbur and Donald Hall. The London odds-maker Ladbrokes says that in the race for the Nobel Prize in literature that will be announced Thursday, the highest-ranked American poets are Bob Dylan (25-1) and Maya Angelou (100-1). Adonis (8-1), a Lebanese resident of Paris, leads overall among poets.

Blog at

%d bloggers like this: