Digital Fortress by Dan Brown
So a family member gave me this book over the weekend and I figured, what the hell, I’ve read 3 out of 6 Dan Brown novels, might as well read another one. So far it’s his best.
They’re all basically the same story, the only difference being that when you switch from female leads to a male and involve heretical gnostic Bible interpretations, everyone loses their minds. I liked it because it was written in 1998 and he was doing the best he could with publicly available information.
Go read it, it’s not worth debating the things he got right or wrong 15 years after the fact. What you should pay attention to is the fact that his proto-Langdon is essentially his fantasy of himself off in another country on a fantastical adventure while his pulp fiction wife is the reader’s POV at the NSA. Really take that in. Keep in mind that Dan Brown is hyperbolic to an extreme. With her flat stomach, hot legs and big jiggly titties matched with a genius level intellect; he has taken a common shitty thriller trope to new levels (or lows). Everyone wants to bone her or is intimidated by her but she literally does next to nothing in the story except dazedly witness events as they happen around her. That’s us. We only know as much as she knows and every twist is only possible because Susan learns them deus ex machina. Dan Brown’s wife made him and he in turn remade her in his first 2 books. It’s a Suckerpunch kind of woman however and there’s a weird Victorian frantic effort to keep her on the pedestal and out of the filthy mundane hands that may want to touch her and out of sight of anyone who may see too much. I suppose that makes it a Brown family fantasy then, extremely ridiculous but safe.
Seriously, I’m not sure why they aren’t making a movie of this in light of recent events with the NSA.