This newest book of Dan Brown doesn’t straightly follow the Dan Brown formula, which makes it unpredictable, or even makes its readers paranoid, making you wonder if you should trust anyone in the story, including Robert Langdon himself.
It’s very informative about Dante, Florence and other Italian art stuff, without being boring. The thrill is good too and the point of view of the villain is understandable, albeit correct if humans just have “all logic, no heart”.
Overpopulation is the main theme of the book and anyone who lives on earth will surely be able to relate.
Book’s Inaccuracy About Manila
Manila, Philippines is the setting of an important event in it. I don’t know if I should find Dan Brown’s stereotypical writing offensive or funny. So far I’m going for the latter.
The character in the book said she hadn’t seen poverty on such scale, and I can only think “Perhaps you’re spending too much time in Italy.”
While the information in the book about Manila can be true, the whole Manila isn’t like that. Like any city, Manila has both its good and bad side. Not all people living in Manila are poor. Child prostitution is rare, if not non-existent.
And the reason why Manila is densely populated is not because of poverty alone (although that can be a factor), but because many people from province go to Manila, knowing that the busiest city in the Philippines has most of the jobs in the country. It should be noted too that the provinces in the Philippines have very few people due to this.
For Story Reasons
It is understandable though why Dan Brown wrote about Manila as if it’s such a very bad place. Like any art, sometimes facts are twisted in order to serve the purpose of the story, and in Brown’s book, he needed to highlight how overpopulation can make people so poor and do horrible things. Bottom line: It’s just fiction.
Many Filipinos comment on how it’s just the truth. There is an element of truth, yes, but it was obviously exaggerated, like any fiction story. That’s the point, it’s fiction and we wouldn’t want those who haven’t been in the Philippines to believe it. And to keep on commenting about how ugly Manila is, isn’t a mature thing to do. You’re not helping your country by bringing it down.
What some Filipinos don’t understand is what made the others react against the portrayal of Manila. No one’s denying that Manila has a lot of problems, but the problem is, the book exaggerated it. The CITY is made of metal and cardboard, wrote Dan brown. Truth? Wow. Well if you’re living in a place made of cardboard and metal, that’s really sad, and I suggest you go for a walk and check for yourself that the WHOLE Manila isn’t like that.
Who can blame some foreigners though to think that Philippines is so poor when many Filipino indie film makers joining international events resort to making poverty porn about the Philippines, as if being poor is something to be proud of, and as if poverty is the only thing we have?
Despite this, I wouldn’t let Sienna say “Like I said, denial.” I wouldn’t deny that Philippines also have population problem. I hope the government and the Department of Health (DOH) would do something that can help solve this.
Dan Brown researches a lot. It’s either he made a mistake, or he knew the truth about Manila but still twisted the facts. The least he could have done was inform the Philippine goverment about it in advance. That’s just the polite thing to do if you mean to paint a place so bad in your story even though you know the truth. It might be more the fault of the publisher. Dan Brown was just telling a story, he’s allowed to do so. It’s then up to the publishers to take care of censorship and contacting the government about it.
Despite this, I would still recommend this book to everyone.
If you want a good thrill, if you want to learn some passages from Dante’s Inferno, if you want to travel to Italy through words, if you want to know what the villain did to combat overpopulation in this sci-fi book, if you want to know how to fight depression, this book is for you.
A friendly reminder: Before we react, can we please read the book first. Don’t bring up irrelevant issues.
SPOILER ALERT! Don’t read if you haven’t read Abundance of Katherines, The Fault in our Stars, Looking for Alaska. Do carry on if you want to ruin your reading experience in the future.
I started reading this witty book with the prejudice that, like the other two John Green books I’ve read, this will be another very interesting story filled with smart characters but will just be another fugging sad story in the end, because a.) someone important might die b.) the main character might not end up with the person he likes.
Already near the end of it, I was bracing myself for something bad happening. Maybe she dumps him. Maybe she dies. Maybe she’s kidnapped by aliens or whatever horrendous thing that could happen just so our main character won’t be happy. But it never happened and it actually ended in a happily-ever-after way, which made me think “No shit, Kafir. Did I just read a John Green Book with an ending in which a relationship worked?!”
You could say that I was dumped by John Green I (Looking for Alaska)and John Green II (The Fault in our Stars) and was almost positive John Green III (this book)would just dump me too. But like what happened in the story, I soon learned that just because I was dumped by my first two John Green, doesn’t mean I’ll get dumped again. This is what this book gives you–hope, not just in relationships in which hundreds already failed, but hope generally in Life.
“Yeah, God. We could, couldn’t we? We could just keep going.”
The happiness I felt in the end was too much, it almost hurt, I wanted to cry.
Our Westeros queen-wannabe Margaery Tyrell is going to be in adaptation of Neil Gaimans Neverwhere! AND Benedict Cumberbatch is in it too! It’s just radio though. Still happy to know there’s something that connects Gaiman, Cumberbatch and Dormer (Margaery).
Wow. Another book by Dan Brown! Can’t wait for the main guy to meet with a femme fatale woman, to know/share things as if they’re secrets, to accuse of a person with bad attitude as the killer, and to later know the killer is the person you’ll least likely suspect because he/she just acts so nice. And of course there’s bed scene in the end.
Seriously though, I want to read this and see if the above “Dan Brown Formula” is still valid and to enjoy the book, of course.
“Most people can probably recognise that our love of bread, potatoes and any other carbohydrate heavy foods will have had an effect on human evolution, but now scientists are beginning to understand how it could have shaped the evolution of dogs as well.
It’s well known that dogs are the domesticated close relatives of wolves. It is generally considered that this must have occurred as wolves took advantage of the easy food source of waste food left by humans. This food would have been a very different composition of nutrients compared to a traditional wolf diet with far more carbohydrates from roots, bread and porridge than they normally would have got.
A report published in Nature this week compared the DNA of 12 gray wolves with 60 dogs (including 14 different breeds) and found there were key differences which allowed dogs to digest carbohydrates far more easily. The presence of changes to starch and sugar-processing genes would have allowed early dogs to make the most of the scraps they could scavenge from human settlements, helping them to thrive despite abandoning the pack lifestyle.
What’s really interesting about this study is not necessarily the study itself but rather the questions that it has led to. The study itself suggests that the domestication of dogs was a form of selection as the canines which were already able to easily digest carbohydrates were able to survive easier apart from the pack and consequentially became domesticated. While other scientists have suggested that these genes may have become adapted after the domestication of dogs as the carb heavy diet promoted the specialisation of the carbohydrate digestion genes. So rather like the question of which came first the chicken or the egg, science now has a different question to ponder, which came first domestication or the genes?”
One year after I graduated from Jose Abad Santos High School, our school was relocated because the old one was demolished and turned into a mall, which is very elegant, to be fair. (It’s safe to say that I studied in a “mall”.)
Yesterday was my first time after years to enter the new place of our school.
I signaled to my brother that this is it.
“It’s too small,” he said in Filipino.
“Yea,” I agreed, disappointed.
We entered, and lo and behold, “It’s bigger on the inside!”
Our new school is a TARDIS.