Thursday 26 August 2010

Cruel and Unusual

The Inky Fool doesn't usually get involved in politics. Why fall into a camp when you can stay in a hotel? However, the guards at Guantanamo have finally overstepped all bounds of human (or inhuman) decency. They are giving the inmates Dan Brown novels to read. It's true. There's an article about it in Time if you follow this link.

Oh the humanity.

Take this sample torture sentence from the first chapter of The Da Vinci Code:

These were the gardens in which Claude Monet had experimented with form and colour, and literally inspired the birth of the impressionist movement.

Now, aside from the fact that Claude Monet was part of the impressionist movement not an inspirer of it (as, say, Turner was); if you literally inspired a birth you would need to inhale a foetus.

The Da Vinci Code is also such a one trick pony of a novel: there's somebody chasing them so the traffic jam is meant to be exciting. There's somebody chasing them so visiting the library is meant to be exciting. There's somebody chasing them so...

Let them die.

To be fair to The Da Vinci Code, I didn't even make it halfway through. Perhaps somewhere midway it morphs into a better version of Shakespeare. I was forced to give up my reading by the demented tripe that passed for New Testament textual analysis. The only thing I learnt from the novel was that Dan Brown should probably be sent to Guantanamo.

Odd little thing, but did you know the song Guantanamera was originally about a girl from Guantanamo? You did? Oh well.

Moreover, I have just invented the greatest* cryptic crossword clue the world has ever known:

Darn Clue! (5,3,7)

A typical scene at Inky Fool Mansions

*Actual quality may vary. The manufacturer cannot accept responsibility for words uttered in whimsical excitement.


  1. Close to halfway? I didn't make it to page 2. Your endurance is commendable.

  2. I'm familiar with the original meaning of clue, but I'm buggered if I can work this one out...

  3. Argh, I am so stupid - it was obvious all along.

  4. Congratulations. Just to keep the almost unbearable level of fun going. If you solve the clue, by all means leave a comment saying you have, but don't reveal the glorious answer.

  5. Wouldn't dream of it. Is it strictly legal though? Seems a bit arse-about-face to me.

  6. Exclamation marks always mean that there's something unusual about the structure of the clue.

    One of my favourite clues was in The Times and went:


    To which the answer was, of course, capitalism.

  7. What truly alarms me about Dan Brown is how effing popular he is despite being crap. I suppose, as a budding author I should be encouraged by this.

    I haven't worked out the answer yet, but yes, I knew about Guantanmera - it is the Cuban's favourite song and inescapable on that beleaguered island... a bit like Dan Brown

  8. Bahahahaha! Very funny Dogberry. Never even picked up Dan Brown - I've heard enough to stay clear - but this is the funniest indictment on his writing I've seen!

  9. Yeah, I trudged painfully through Da Vinci Code, hoping it might come up to the frisson-inducing revelations of allegedly nonfiction "Holy Blood, Holy Grail" which it had completely ripped off.

    It didn't.

  10. Dear me, and the Twilight series. Torture indeed.

    I must confess to having read the Da Vinci Code (and occasionally thrown it against the wall in frustration) because people kept trying to discuss it with me. This did allow me to avoid discussion of conspiracy theories by ranting about the awful writing. People would believe me about the awful writing but not the conspiracies or 'demented tripe' or, you know, history.

    If they persisted (this was rare; nothing like a good rant to make people realise they actually don't care) I'd tell them to go and read Foucault's Pendulum and then come back and discuss conspiracy theories. No-one ever did: I'm not sure if this is because they looked at the size of the book and gave up, or because they actually read it and ended up as confused as I was.