Dan Brown's Style 'Kind of Terrible,' M.V. Author Tweets

The author of The Da Vinci Code fails to impress author Maggie Shipstead, who grew up in Mission Viejo.

For some it's a cause for celebration. Dan Brown, best-selling author of the runaway hit "The Da Vinci Code" announced Thursday the release of a new book about Dante called "Inferno" this May.

But not everyone is impressed.

Mission Viejo's Maggie Shipstead, who spoke to readers at city hall last year about her new Oprah-approved novel "Seating Arrangements," retweeted the following:

"One of the very worst writers of any generation, Dan Brown, is going to start killing millions more trees in May."

  • Read Patch's interview with Shipstead here.

When asked her thoughts on Brown, Shipstead gave the popular author some credit.

She described him as a "good storyteller who hits cultural nerves." But on the question of his writing style, she wrote, "I think his style is . . . kind of . . . terrible."

Shripathi Kamath January 16, 2013 at 11:50 PM
Catwitter fight! I think that she's at least partly right when it comes to hitting cultural nerves, especially as it relates to the Council of Nicea for example. Then again there is Bill Donohue's culture which find offense in a rose.
Lazlo January 17, 2013 at 04:35 AM
A supposed writer calls another writer " kind of terrible?" Is the refernced writer terrible or not?
Peter Schelden (Editor) January 17, 2013 at 04:45 AM
Well Lazlo, Shipstead did win a £30,000 prize for her book: http://www.guardian.co.uk/books/2012/nov/13/maggie-shipstead-dylan-thomas-prize
Shripathi Kamath January 17, 2013 at 06:07 PM
Lazlo is BACK! To answer your query, I lean towards Shipstead's assessment ever so slightly. Not just because she is a Mission Viejo-ite. Not because she's necessarily right. But because I kinda root for a baseball-style bench-clearing brawl to break out at chess tournaments that I do not attend.
Panglonymous January 17, 2013 at 06:27 PM
BACK!! :-) Because I am extra sensitive to omission, I notice Ms. Shipstead made no mention of her parental units when Peter interviewed her in Aug 2012. http://missionviejo.patch.com/articles/maggie-shipstead Are/were they Community Pillars, or meek (if respectable) little mouse people?
Dan Avery January 17, 2013 at 07:43 PM
so would "kind of terrible" be like "Dan Avery's School of Pretty Good Writing?" These questions must be asked you know, mine and Lazlo's.
Shripathi Kamath January 17, 2013 at 07:48 PM
We don't need no stinkin' Avery when we have Michael O'Donoghue's authoritative guide on the matter! I'd explain myself more, but suddenly I too am run over by a truck. So I'll give you one of those link thingies: http://workableweb.com/_pages/tips_how_to_write_good.htm (Where there's Avery, there's Lazlo)
Dan Avery January 17, 2013 at 07:56 PM
I do find her tweet quite harsh. Dan Brown isn't everyone's cup of re-spun Masonic conspiracy theories, but he does tell a good story and readers love a good story. In fact, readers crave a good story. I'm sure Ms. Shipstead is skilled in the art of literary fiction which doesn't rely on story so much. At least, not the way Nicholson Baker practices the art. Charles Baxter's story in his first novel was told backward. Although I doubt very much that Ms. Shipstead can be compared to Mr. Baxter. Oprah does endorse her, which means she writes a sort of literary fiction that would appeal to the masses; a sort of garlic and cheddar cheese hybrid of mashed potatoes if you will. Perhaps if we mixed Dan Brown and Ms. Shipstead we would end up with something like "Money" by Martin Amis. Or perhaps not. And for God's Sake, Pete, tell those clods in the coding room at AOL to allow some html or markdown or something in these comment boxes so one can italicize titles properly. And also so I can make some words bold for emphasis.
Shripathi Kamath January 17, 2013 at 08:34 PM
...and my Amicus brief to be added to Avery's beef (rhymes, right?): Please consider increasing the character limit per comment to 1500 words instead of characters. I do not have the time to make my Most Frivolous Comments short.
Panglonymous January 17, 2013 at 09:03 PM
Here's some of these instead... ¡ ¢ £ ¤ ¥ ¦ § ¨ © ª « ¬ ­® ° ± ² ³ ´ µ ¶ · ¸ ¹ º » ¼ ½ ¾ ¿ À Á Â Ã Ä Å Æ Ç È É Ê Ë Ì Í Î Ï Ð Ñ Ò Ó Ô Õ Ö × Ø Ù Ú Û Ü Ý Þ ß à á â ã ä å æ ç è é ê ë ì í î ï ð ñ ò ó ô õ ö ÷ ø ù ú û ü ý þ ÿ Œ œ Š š Ÿ ƒ - - ' ' ‚ " " „ † ‡ • … ‰ € ™
Panglonymous January 17, 2013 at 09:44 PM
So, anyone actually read her book (or plan to?) Are there many published authors of fiction living in (or from) MV?
Shripathi Kamath January 17, 2013 at 10:03 PM
Nah, reading books may brainwash you. As to other fiction authors, well, we had another one, till she moved to Rancho Santa Margarita, Aliso Viejo and Laguna Niguel. Here's her latest thriller: http://bit.ly/XeGmLx
Panglonymous January 17, 2013 at 10:28 PM
Peter Schelden (Editor) January 18, 2013 at 01:48 AM
Our library has four copies of "Seating Arrangements." Two are checked out, two are available. There are two audio recordings, both checked out: http://catalog.cmvl.org/client/default/search/results?qu=seating%20arrangements
Panglonymous January 18, 2013 at 03:36 AM
Well, I hope someone who's read the darn thing comes along and speaks up. It'd be interesting to get some readers' takes.
Panglonymous January 19, 2013 at 01:55 AM
None: Scheiss, I heard harpO is gonna comment. Does she even type?? Slim: No. But everything she says is instantly transcribed and distributed. None: O.
Peter Schelden (Editor) January 19, 2013 at 02:01 AM
Patience, Pan. Patience! Rome wasn't built in a day. And its history wasn't written for another 2,000 years or so.
Panglonymous January 19, 2013 at 05:29 AM
Pete, you are not meeting my needs. Does this bother you at all? I mean, this is about breaking down the wall between Journalists and Local News Consumers, isn't it? You'd think I lived forty miles away.


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