Dan Brown acquitted

It looks as though Dan Brown has been acquit­ted of pla­gi­ar­iz­ing the cent­ral con­ceit of his nov­el, The Da Vinci Code, from authors Michael Baigent and Richard Leigh. Baigent and Leigh pub­lished a book called The Holy Blood and the Holy Grail (1982, new edi­tion out Sept this year). Relief all round, I think. I’m relieved because a con­vic­tion would have been — to use a leg­al term — bonkers. Brown is relieved because the pub­li­city will boost his paper­back edi­tion of The Da Vinci Code and Messrs Baigent and Leigh (and the third author of the work, the ‘silent part­ner’ Henry Lincoln) will be relieved by the explos­ive infla­tion of their roy­alty cheques. It should help Leigh par­tic­u­larly, who has new books to shift. This from his web­site:

Richard Leigh has recently com­pleted a nov­el in which an anti­no­mi­an her­met­ic numin­ist con­fronts the con­flict between artist­ic detach­ment and polit­ic­al com­mit­ment set against the tur­bu­lence of the Civil Rights Movement in Mississippi, the Vietnam War, and the troubles in Northern Ireland.

An anti­no­mi­an her­met­ic numin­ist? Put me down for a dozen.

*Whistles tune­lessly*

Oh, God, I can’t hold it in any longer: The Da Vinci Code was fuck­ing awful! Awful, I tell you! Jeeeeez. I mean. Really. You know? Erghf.

I need a cup of tea.

Update: Maxine (over at Petrona) com­men­ted on the judge’s remarks, and I hadn’t looked at them. I have now. They’re fairly amus­ing:

By vir­tue of vari­ous mer­gers and acquis­i­tions Random pub­lishes both The Holy Blood and the Holy Grail and The Da Vinci Code. It is a test­a­ment to cyn­icism in our times that there have been sug­ges­tions that this action is noth­ing more than a col­lab­or­at­ive exer­cise designed to max­im­ise pub­li­city for both books. It is true that the book sales of both books have soared dur­ing the course of the tri­al. I am not in a pos­i­tion to com­ment on wheth­er this cyn­ic­al view is cor­rect but I would say that if it was such a col­lab­or­at­ive exer­cise Mr Baigent and Mr Brown both went through an extens­ive ordeal in cross exam­in­a­tion which they are likely to remem­ber for some time.

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Author: Ian Hocking

Writer and psychologist.

7 thoughts on “Dan Brown acquitted”

  1. Totally a pub­li­city stunt…I out­line it on my blog who bene­fits from this law­suit.

    –RC of strangeculture.blogspot.com

  2. if it was such a col­lab­or­at­ive exer­cise Mr Baigent and Mr Brown both went through an extens­ive ordeal in cross exam­in­a­tion which they are likely to remem­ber for some time”

    Yes, I expect they are cry­ing all the way to the bank.

    And for the oth­er team, note that the mass mar­ket paper­back of DVC has now been pub­lished in the USA, they have been hold­ing pub­lic­a­tion, first to make more money out of the hard­back but lat­terly for the out­come of the tri­al. Of course, that will make more money for DB now.

    Someone on anoth­er blog (Booksquare I think) had a rant and asked who on earth would buy the paper­back as every­one must own the hard­back by now. My sug­ges­ted answer to that is “gifts”. (ie people buy it for oth­er people rather than buy­ing it to actu­ally read).

  3. PS. Love your note about Leigh’s book — with that descrip­tion I can’t wait to read it either!

  4. It seems like an inspired plan really — write a crap and obscure book, and when it goes as poorly as can be expec­ted, hitch your meta­phor­ic­al wag­on to the nearest pop­u­list crap. Fame by proxy seems to be in these days.

    Still — you have to hand it to Mr Brown, he’s done well out of writ­ing badly…

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