The Genius that is Dan Brown

There’s an author, Dan Brown, and he’s written some of the most amazing things I’ve ever read. BookBrowse did an interview with the Da Vinci Code and Angels and Demons author, painting a very interesting picture. The first thing I notice is that Brown is a multi-faceted person, his writing stemming not from one perspective, but many. He describes some of his favorite authors, ranging from Steinbeck to Shakespeare to Strunk and White. This, to me, is the best part about him. He doesn’t follow one school of thought, but rather draws his writing from many different influences. The main place he drew his idea for writing thrillers, however, was from Sydney Sheldon. Before a certain point, Brown assumed that adults only read the classics, until he picked up one of Sheldon’s books. After becoming so engrossed in one of Sheldon’s thrillers, Brown wanted to create a thriller of his own.

The biography of Brown included on the website also discusses where he got his ideas for his pieces. Lets start with his upbringing. His father was a math professor and his mother a sacred musician. Herein is the paradox and the illuminating point. Brown was raised in a household in which religion and science  intermingled and worked in conjunction with one another. He then wanted to learn more about symbology, cryptography, and the crossing of science and religion. In every one of his books we see his fascination with the interaction of the two. Interestingly, Brown believes that science will save us and notes that many have said that science will one day prove that God exists.

Lastly, I’ve always wondered how Brown has the ability to write about such intensive topics in such a knowledgeable fashion. When asked what books he read, what we see is that Brown sticks to a variety of non-fiction books. He doesn’t just know the information, but is instead required to do major amounts of research for his books. In fact, he spent six years doing research for his most recent book, The Lost Symbol. That is something that gives me reassurance when it comes to my own writing and research.

And then, there was one thing in this Barnes and Noble interview that I thought was truly amazing. Dan Brown has something called “the library of gratitude” which is a library of about 500 books. All of these books are copies of his books for every country it was printed in. This may, at first, sound like a self-absorbed thing to do…until he explains it. This isn’t a bookshelf treated as if it were a trophy case, but rather a reminder to always be grateful.

One thought to “The Genius that is Dan Brown”

  1. I absolutely love the image your last paragraph paints – “the library of gratitude.” How incredible is that? We often jump to the self-absorbed intention without realizing the personal significance of those 500 books. I’ve been saying it for years, but I really do believe that the hearts of people are genuinely good. Fantastic stuff, Gabriella!

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