Sorry, can’t help you there

Amer requests a review:

Instead of hotdogs ,how about a comment on the “Da Vinci Code” Movie?

We are all just waiting to hear what you have to say about it.

I’m afraid I have absolutely nothing to say about it, since I have neither read the book nor do I intend to see the move. My own THE WORLD IN SHADOW came out simultaneously with Mr. Brown’s ANGELS & DEMONS from the same publisher; the similarity in titles made me curious enough to have a look and scanning a few pages caused me to laugh and put it down.

My only opinion is that from a marketing view, Mr. Brown is to be congratulated on presenting a more accessible and conventional version of Eco’s excellent FOUCAULT’S PENDULUM, which was based on the same historical book about the Knights Templar used by Mr. Brown. Obviously Mr. Brown and Messrs. LaHaye and Jenkins, like Mrs. Rowlings, have figured out what so many other writers have not, namely, what lots of people like to read.

As for the lack of critical acclaim, that doesn’t mean the movie won’t be a blockbuster. Unless Mr. Brown’s writing improved dramatically from ANGELS AND DEMONS I doubt you’ll find many positive literary reviews of the book either. I personally tend to find some level of amusement in the horror of the would-be members of the writing elite at the success of such books, even if I share their disdain for the substance of such shallow and crudely shaped beststellers.

Anyhow, rather than discuss books that everyone else is discussing, I’d rather recommend some better writers. Tanith Lee writes the most beautiful prose out there today, although her stuff is creepy, occultish and darkly disturbing. Paradise, Paradis or Paradys, by any name it is excellent. Chiara Zocchi’s work is deeply emotional, she is able to evoke childhood emotions like no one since Ray Bradbury in Dandelion Wine, and it’s bordering on criminal that she hasn’t been translated into English yet. Lois McMaster Bujold’s new fantasy series isn’t conceptually groundbreaking, but it’s solid, entertaining and better than anything else that’s out there these days with the exception of the brilliant China Mieville.

If you haven’t read it yet, go out and buy IRON COUNCIL. Of all the writers of my generation, he’s the only one I envy.

I know I’m pumped up!

ESPN reports a resurgent America:

Watch out, Takeru Kobayashi. Here comes Joey Chestnut.

Chestnut, a 22-year-old civil engineering student at San Jose State, ate 50 hot dogs and buns in 12 minutes Thursday at the Las Vegas qualifier for a spot at the table at the Nathan’s Famous Hot Dog Eating Contest….

Kobayashi, who flies to Coney Island each year from Japan for the hot dog eating championship held July 4, holds the world record of 53½ hot dogs and buns. He has won the last five contests, but in two of those victories he ate less than 50 hot dogs and buns.

“This could be so critical to our sport,” said George Shea, chair of the International Federation of Competitive Eating, which sanctions more than 100 eating contests, including the Nathan’s event. “It’s never good for the same athlete to win so many years in a row. The Fourth of July has been stolen from Americans because of Kobayashi’s dominance and now America has someone who they can get excited about.”

Clearly a defeat of the intimidating Kobayashi by Chestnut will merely be the first great step in restoring America’s rightful place of primacy on the world stage.

I’m sorry, what’s that you said about bread and, what, circuses? I couldn’t quite hear, I was snarfing down a chili dog and watching ESPN.