Sno-Isle’s Dan Brown Round Up

[Ed Note: The Collection Development staff at Sno-Isle PL (WA) write a lively blog cleverly called “Collection Developments @ Sno-Isle.” Yesterday, Marin Younker posted this round up of reactions to Dan Brown’s latest. We thought is was fun and Marin agreed to let us use it as a guest post]:

Dan Brown Round Up
(or, a desperate attempt to close numerous tabs on my browser)

by: Marin Younker
Collection Development Librarian
Sno-Isle Libraries

Dan Brown’s blockbuster met expectations and then some.  After the first week on sale, a total of 2 million copies were sold.  On the first day, the number of Amazon Kindle copies sold exceeded the number of Amazon print copies.  Overall, the ebook sales are at 5% of total sales, which are average numbers for most titles which might quell (at least temporarily) the panic that the simultaneous release of an ebook spells the doom of the printed book.

Of course, some worried that the focus on The Lost Symbol would overshadow perfectly deserving titles (read “more literary”) including Blame, the Charlie Brown Christmas Tree of one of our recent ARC giveaways (by the way, Blame‘s been getting good reviews and we’re adding more copies to meet demand).

Blame: A Novel
Michelle Huneven
Retail Price: $25.00
Hardcover: 304 pages
Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux – (2009-09-01)
ISBN / EAN: 0374114307 / 9780374114305

There are positive reviews of Lost Symbol, along with the usual elitist grumblings (sorry Philip Pullman, I do love you, but really, have you even read The Lost Symbol? it doesn’t sound like it). PW gave it a starred review saying,

“Jealous thriller writers will despair, doubters and nay-sayers will be proved wrong, and readers will rejoice: Dan Brown has done it again.”

Thriller author Louis Bayard, writing for The Washington Post begins his relatively negative review with this honest comment, “Welcome to the least relevant review you will read all year,” because really, does it matter what the reviews are?

Over at The Guardian, John Crace provides a snarky digested version of The Lost Symbol; useful if you don’t want to wait or you’re not going to crack those pages anyway (also good for faking a conversation at a cocktail party).

“Mwahahahaha. A stream of mysterious italics appeared across the page as the 6ft 6in initiate admired his tattooed physique in the solitary confines of the Freemason Hall. Soon the Secrets of the Universe would be his.”

Even better, is Crace’s chronicle of his day spent reading the book (though not as good as Doc Turtle’s reading of J. R. Ward’s Dark Lover).

Dan Brown says that he is not immune to the criticism in an interview with Entertainment Weekly,

EW — “Does it sting when people say you stink?”

Brown — “Yes of course it hurts. But I wouldn’t expect everyone to like what I do. When you’re a creative person, you’re creating something that you like and it’s all just a matter of taste. I’m almost amused that people go so far out of their way to say I hate this guy’s writing. It’s just a strange sort of thing for people to do. It comes with that level of success. You just have people gunning for you.”

Interestingly, just a couple of weeks before the release of The Lost Symbol, there were less than 500 holds. Now, there are over 850, more than a week after its release.  Who knew it would build moment as a word-of-mouth title?

(via PW DailyShelf AwarenessPW DailyBookshelves of Doom, and EW’s Shelf Life)

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