#15: Digital Fortress by Dan Brown

Digital Fortress by Dan BrownMy book group chose this book and I will never forgive them.

I’ve never read anything by Dan Brown.  He doesn’t write my type of fiction, so while I was aware that he’s a huge success, I never bothered to pick any of his books up because I knew I wouldn’t be interested.

What I didn’t know is how much of a shit writer he is.

I’m sure he cries into a giant pile of money every single time someone tells him that.

Digital Fortress is about the government and secrecy.  Susan Fletcher works for a super top secret government agency called NSA that cracks codes to read emails and save the world.  How do I remember that her name is Susan Fletcher?  Susan Fletcher is referred to as Susan Fletcher on every page that Susan Fletcher appears on.  Apparently Brown is worried that people won’t remember that Susan Fletcher is one of the main character is his book Digital Fortress by Dan Brown.

Susan Fletcher is the best code breaker NSA has.  Susan Fletcher is also beautiful and perfect and everyone loves her and wants to do her.  Susan Fletcher has a brilliant mind.  Susan Fletcher is also very attractive.  Susan Fletcher is also smart.  People look at Susan Fletcher and think to themselves “How does an IQ of 170 fit into a body that attractive?  I am going to think more of these thoughts so that the reader of Dan Brown’s Digital Fortress will know what Susan Fletcher looks like in the book Digital Fortress by Dan Brown.”

Your first drinking game is to take a shot every time someone chuckles.

Your next drinking game is to empty a Red Solo Cup every time someone’s eyes are described as strong hazel, deep green, inky black, sable, gray, or any other color that barely exists in real life.  Yes, people do have these eyes, and apparently they all live in Dan Brown’s world.  Dan Brown wrote the book Digital Fortress.

If you do not drink and are into health, do push ups or squats or something instead of pounding booze.  Either way, we’re all going to crumple to the floor and throw up.

When Susan Fletcher is called in to work on a Saturday by Commander Strathmore, head of NSA, Susan Fletcher knows that something must be very wrong.  Susan Fletcher was supposed to be on a vacation with her finance David Becker.  David Becker is beautiful and smart.  David Becker plays squash and no one minds when David Becker puts his entire head into the water fountain to wash away the sweat.  David Becker is that amazing.

Turns out that the Commander has sent David Becker, Susan Fletcher’s finance, to Spain, even though David Becker does not work for NSA.  Susan Fletcher thinks thoughts to tell the reader how important NSA is.

Seriously, how is this guy a big name writer?  I just don't get it.

Seriously, how is this guy a big name writer? I just don’t get it.

Dan Brown, the author of Digital Fortress, does not have time for important things like “Show, don’t tell” when it comes to writing his books.  Dan Brown wants to get to the important things like telling the reader how intelligent and beautiful Susan Fletcher and David Becker are.  Susan Fletcher and David Becker are engaged.  Susan Fletcher and David Becker have been engaged for six months.  Susan Fletcher tells David Becker this when she says “You do remember we’re engaged, don’t you?” which is exactly what people in real life would say if they wanted to let you know that they were engaged.

Susan Fetcher stays underground in the NSA bunker trying to figure out what is wrong with their giant, enormous, massive, expensive, costly, top secret, classified translator project.  The computer is used to cull through email and crack codes and save the entire planet.  It has done so successfully.  But now it has found a code that it cannot crack and Susan Fletcher has to use her beautiful body and intelligent mind to solve the problem.

Meanwhile, in Spain, David Becker is on a crazy journey of his own.  He has to find a ring because it somehow has something to do with this code.  He is able to follow thin clues to track the ring from person to person.  Apparently David Becker, with no training (because if he had training, someone in the book Digital Fortress by Dan Brown, would have told us about it) becomes the world’s most brilliant detective.  Oh, and also David Becker is given stupid coincidences that tell him where to go next.  David Becker is smart and is able to use these giant arrows to find the next person to talk to.

Of course everything turns out to be suspicious and there’s lots of traitors and threats from every side.  One thing I did like about the book Digital Fortress, written by Dan Brown, is that there were parts where I honestly didn’t know who the bad guy was.  Luckily Dan Brown quickly tells information to make me pay attention to a specific character in his book Digital Fortress and I, the reader, can get back to the important part which is remembering that Susan Fletcher and David Becker are engaged and they are both very intelligent and very beautiful.

The crazy ending was kind of fun because everyone was in the same place sort of screaming and trying to solve the problem before the entire government was shut down, but other than that…  What the fuck, America?  This is one of our top selling authors?

In conclusion, I did not like the book Digital Fortress by Dan Brown.  Not only do I not care for this type of story, I could not get past the writing.  How does this happen?

I don’t care if this makes me sound like a book snob, but seriously, this is who we’ve chosen as one of our Must Read Authors?  For fuck’s sake.

My book group meets tomorrow and I’m bringing a giant list of discussion questions.  Apparently they all hated the book too, including the two people who suggested it for this month.  Way to make the rest of us pay for your mistakes.

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10 responses to “#15: Digital Fortress by Dan Brown

  1. I had heard this book was terrible. I have read two of his novels, The DaVinci Code and Devils and Demons (or is it Demons and Devils?), the latter of which is the better book. Even so, I consider him a mediocre writer; it’s the themes that make him popular, I think. He has another out now but I have no desire to read it, and your review reassures me I’m not missing out on anything here, either!

  2. Pingback: pyrajane’s review #15: Digital Fortress by Dan Brown | Cannonball Read V

  3. Awesome review. I never got the Dan Brown love. He’s just so… meh.

  4. Stephanie daugherty

    Loved your review. I’ll save my money for something else. Just heard NPR reviewing a re-release of the little known but considered perfect novel “stoner” by john williams. Would love to read your review on that or some of his other novels.

  5. I’m sorry you had to read such a boring book, but thank you so much for the hilarious way in which you blogged about it. I couldn’t stop laughing, and kept reading select parts out loud to my husband. I’ve only read The DaVinci Code and can honestly say that the only good thing about it was that at least it was more exciting than the super boring movie adaptation.

    I don’t understand why he’s so popular either. I could speculate, but it would make me feel depressed about the majority of the human race, and I don’t really have the energy for that right now.

  6. I think he’s sort of like reality TV – you know what you’re going to get. Sometimes it’s really nice to pick up a beach read book and relax, just like it’s sometimes really nice to collapse in front of the TV and watch an 8 hour marathon of America’s Next Top Model. You know you’re going to get crazy Tyra Banks eyes and you’re probably going to be disgusted with yourself later, but there’s just something so fascinating about watching models break down in the middle of a shoot.

    Maybe Dan Brown is the same way. You know it’s going to have a stupid amount of detail about things that don’t matter while glossing over things that need to make sense but don’t.

    Also… that America’s Next Top Model example? It… it was a friend who did that. And she only did it that one time. Honest.

  7. Dear Pyrajane,
    I am honored to say that Mr. Dan Brown is a great mystery writer, who peaks the readers attention with each page. His books are real page turners. Yes, that is a real person on the cover of his book Digital Fortress. The jobs that he describes in his book really do exist. You are really lacking in a tremendous amount of knowledge. You really need to learn how to research topics and critique issues, not just base them on your best guess.

    • I never said he didn’t do his research or base it on real things. What I am saying is that I do not like his writing style. I was not critiquing this work of fiction to verify or deny any of his plot. I am simply pointing out that the way he writes isn’t very good.

      He is incredibly popular, so my opinion isn’t affecting his book sales in any way.

      And yes, that is a real person on the book cover, unless the eyes were created by a super secret government computer…

  8. Pingback: A Fancy Title About the Books of 2013 | pyrajane

  9. Pingback: CBR9 #4: The Bookseller by Cynthia Swanson | JCoppercorn

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