I never could get past the first few pages of the book. The writing is just so dull. My friend Dan, who seems to have more tolerance for poorly written books than I, generally agreed with my assessment and added his own. The base story, he said, would make a good movie. The whole book reads like a screenplay. The problem is, to add depth to his very thin take, Dan Brown takes a whole lot of information and speculation and mythology, and dumps it onto us so thick we’re buried in it.
The Turkey City Lexicon has a term to describe this: “I’ve suffered for my art, and now it’s your turn.” Not that Dan Brown is in bad company. Victor Hugo’s Les Miserables goes on fifty-page riffs about the intricacies of the Paris sewer system, which is why the abridged version (and musical) sells so much better than the original version, but nobody has tried to abridge the Da Vinci Code yet, sadly.
(3) The chase sequences are rather dull. Actually, they’re painfully dull.
(4) There is about as much chemistry between Tom Hanks and Audery Tautou as there is between oil and water.
(5) The screenplay follows the story almost to the letter — which means the script is as poorly constructed as the book…even down to ALL the info-dumps…this time with FLASHBACKS! Dan Brown continues to make us ALL suffer for his art.
Well, that settles it then. I’m not giving this movie my hard-earned $8 and two hours of my time. Heck, I’ve proudly avoided setting eyes on the Revenge of the Sith, so I know I’ll be able to keep this vow. I’ll stick around and get my McKellen fix from X-Men III, and then wait for Superman to blow me away.
Good News for Mac OpenOffice Users
I’ve written before about the challenges that Mac users had in getting the freeware open source office suite OpenOffice to work on their machines. NeoOffice had a fine program, but it was based off of OpenOffice’s version 1.1.5 code, and OpenOffice had recently rolled out the Microsoft Office-killing version 2.0 of its beautiful system.
NeoOffice users had an even more frustrating time with the arrival of the Intel-based MacIntosh computers. The two simply weren’t compatible. And as NeoOffice is a purely voluntary effort by a small team of developers, users just had to be patient.
Well, the wait will soon be over. The Alpha 3 version of NeoOffice 2.0 will soon be available for free download. I signed up for its early-release program (a way to help the developers raise money) and even though I have an early alpha release of this program, I love it. It’s feature rich and very stable, and it’s just getting better and better. An Intel Mac version will be unveiled as in its own early-release program on June 5, so Mac users of all stripes can soon count on an excellent and up-to-date freeware office suite.
Many thanks to the developers of NeoOffice for putting together a program that this writer simply could not be without. And a thumb of the nose to Microsoft!
P.S. If free word processing is all you want, then you might want to consider AbiWord, a program with a smaller memory footprint than its competitors, but which gets the job done. Thanks to Rob Cottingham for the suggestion.