The Da Vinci Load – 20 Worst Sentences

One might chide me, a quite unpublished author, from making any fun of Dan Brown and his multi-ogtillion selling books, and if one choose to so chide, one may chide away in the comments below.  I’m still going to make fun.

I like the Da Vinci Code well enough as a fluffy page turner, but after choking through Angels and Demons I couldn’t take any more.  As a writer I like to play with words and their connections, but that attention made me much more sensitive to abuses. When I started writing screenplays it destroyed my ability to just sit through a movie without analyzing its structure. The same thing happened here.

I’m not above a horrible sentence, as you can see from the opening sentence of this post, but this article about Dan Brown’s Worst Sentences put my halfhearted efforts to shame.  Consider:

The Da Vinci Code, chapter 5: Only those with a keen eye would notice his 14-karat gold bishop’s ring with purple amethyst, large diamonds, and hand-tooled mitre-crozier appliqué.

Sherlock Holmes himself does not have an eye this keen.  Or this gem:

The Da Vinci Code, chapter 6: His last correspondence from Vittoria had been in December – a postcard saying she was headed to the Java Sea to continue her research in entanglement physics… something about using satellites to track manta ray migrations.

Can you spot the unnecessary information in that sentence? It’s pretty much the entire thing.

Check out the full article for more examples and commentary on Dan’s technique.  Hopefully in a few years I’m so popular some other blogging peon makes a post mocking my style!

About Jeff Moriarty

A dabbler in many arts, from Ignite Phoenix to Improv, and from Information Security to Screenwriting. Jeff loves creating new things, and tries his hand at many forms of writing from screenplays to prose. He pontificates on his personal blog, and helps authors get their works online.


  1. Couldn’t agree more. Big name authors often don’t translate into great writing. It’s almost as though the more popular some writers become, the worse their prose gets. We can all be envious of the success, but not the product. And, I’ll read the article, but won’t buy the book, much less see the movie.

  2. C’mon…manta ray migrations? That’s gold baby! Most people I know have the same Dan Brown trajectory I did. They read one Langdon book first (doesn’t matter which one) and kind of enjoyed the quick paced treasure hunt feel. Then they read the other and realized they’re the exact same book. Then they were over the whole thing.