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English Muse: Damn Dan Brown

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Damn Dan Brown

The literary blogosphere continues to buzz with angst and dismay as thousands -- or maybe even millions -- of people learned the shocking news this week that they write like ...Dan Brown. The growing outrage -- sparked by a computerized prose analysis on a obscure website called "I Write Like" -- could be the biggest controversy involving Brown since the release of his insanely successful but widely reviled book, The Da Vinci Code. (BTW, Audrey Tautou was lovely as Sophie in the movie version.)

In a move that some hoped would calm the fears, the NYT's Paper Cuts blog weighed in on the controversy Thursday with a post titled "I Write Like...Yeah Right."

"I entered my last blog post and was told I write like Edgar Allan Poe," NYT blogger Jennifer Schuessler wrote. "Pretty neat. But then a colleague plugged in a paragraph from Poe’s “Fall of the House of Usher” and was told it sounded like Sir Arthur Conan Doyle."

One reader commented: "Thank you for debunking that. It told me I write like Dan Brown,
and I almost killed myself."

Brown, meanwhile, has gone into seclusion after learning that he writes like Jane Austen.

PS: Only parts of this post are true. The rest is fiction. I would like to dedicate it to Jonas (I hope you've gotten that dreadful program to finally give you Hemingway.)

Also, I have no idea who did the cartoon -- now floating freely about the Internet. (Email if you know the source.)

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Blogger Tonia said...

Fantastic! Think I'd have hung my head and slunk away from the keyboard forever if Dan Brown had come up on my entry too!

July 16, 2010 at 12:32 AM  
Blogger Santafire said...

lol i like the part where you mentioned Brown went into seclusion XD

July 16, 2010 at 1:07 AM  
Blogger Amber said...

J.D. Salinger for me. What a fun, time wasting site. Tried it a few times and each time the same. Interesting. I linked you to my site. Hope thats ok.

July 16, 2010 at 1:28 AM  
Blogger Tina said...

yes! thank you for the link!!

July 16, 2010 at 1:35 AM  
Blogger Au Lapin Blanc said...

David Foster Wallace for me every single time I tried it.

I'm chuffed with that to be honest

July 16, 2010 at 1:50 AM  
Blogger Hannah said...

hahaha very very funny. aww god dan brown....nightmare....i think that one who writes the twilight books has pipped for "successful writers who cannot write"


July 16, 2010 at 2:34 AM  
Blogger Christine said...

I got David Foster Wallace too. Though to be fair I plugged in a post in which I was trying a different writing style. But now I'm afraid to try again for fear of getting Dan Brown:) I should also try plugging in a writer's words and see what I get. Have a great weekend!

July 16, 2010 at 2:45 AM  
Blogger Brian Miller said...

lol. i got dan brown as well...figured it was a free publicity stunt for him as i kept seeing it on everyones blog...

July 16, 2010 at 3:45 AM  
Blogger Elizabeth said...

Hilarious post!

July 16, 2010 at 4:31 AM  
Blogger jonas wunderman said...

It finally gave me David Foster Wallace ... which was interesting. Anyway after all the heartache of the day before I can rest easy at my keyboard again.

xoxo you're so sweet tina!

July 16, 2010 at 6:04 AM  
Blogger R. J. said...

I think I'll pass on that particular analysis. My ego can't take it. It would probably say I write like a five year old.

July 16, 2010 at 7:41 AM  
Blogger m.a.f said...

i got dan brown twice! but the third time i got james fenimore cooper and i started breathing again.

July 16, 2010 at 9:29 AM  
Blogger Carey said...

I got Dan Brown the first time, but got a different writer each of the next 4 times. Sounds like everyone kept on trying. . .

July 16, 2010 at 10:02 AM  
OpenID aerussell said...

Oh I'm so glad I didn't get Dan Brown! I think I would have cried. It would have been messy. ;)

July 16, 2010 at 10:44 AM  
Blogger Mademoiselle Poirot said...

What a funny post - and I'm really glad Dan Brown didn't come up for me, I must be doing something right ;-) Love from London x

July 16, 2010 at 11:16 AM  
Blogger liza said...

This is hilarious! Thank you so much, Tina.

July 16, 2010 at 12:20 PM  
Blogger Giulia said...

Mille grazie, bella Tina.

from the great East Coast power grid that goes off & on at effing random moments.

Susan & Julie zee Cat

July 16, 2010 at 1:24 PM  
Blogger Erzulimojo said...

I went from James Fenimore Cooper to Dan Brown (gulp!) to David Foster Wallace. How random is that?

July 16, 2010 at 1:41 PM  
Blogger Emma said...

lol - so funny. I was scared to do the test fearing that I'd come out as Dan Brown!

July 16, 2010 at 3:58 PM  
Blogger Kristin Hjellegjerde said...

This is just too funny:)

July 16, 2010 at 4:42 PM  
Blogger Tina said...

someone left this funny comment on the NYT post:

"All I put was the F word a few times and I was Chuck Palahniuk.

He must (be) quite a stylist."

July 16, 2010 at 9:03 PM  
Blogger Jennifer said...

I've only given it one shot so far, but my blog entry is written like David Foster Wallace. Wonder who it will be next time I try?

I did hear an interview with the creator of the site on NPR today. He said it is based on an algorithm, so I'm assuming the result options are somewhat limited. Fun, nontheless.

July 16, 2010 at 10:21 PM  
Blogger mkendall said...

oh god that would be horrible! I tried ti four times, the first time getting David Foster Wallace. Then I got Stephen King, then David again, then Agatha Christie. hmm...

July 17, 2010 at 5:55 AM  
Blogger Tina said...

Agatha Christie! This is the first I've heard of Agatha joining this little cyber party...

July 17, 2010 at 8:21 AM  
Blogger Julia said...

This is pretty hilarious... It's weird because Dan Brown is obviously a very popular author, but it's true, his writing style is kind of lame. I was pretty PO'ed when I was told I write like him from the results of this test. No one wants to write like him, but somehow his books are flying off shelves and being made into movies starring Tom Hanks? And I'm not gonna lie, I read his books and though they get a little exhausting at times, I have a really hard time putting them down. I finished the Lost Symbol in like 2 days.

July 17, 2010 at 8:26 AM  
Blogger SPLENDEROSA said...

Hilarious. I thought I wrote like Norman Mailer, now I'll have to check!!

July 17, 2010 at 8:57 PM  
Blogger Meghan said...

I found your blog through Micaela at Dolce Vita - and thanks to the link, I discovered I write like Chuck Palahniuk. It kind of made my day:)

July 18, 2010 at 11:46 AM  
Blogger Kristin said...

I would think Brown would be honored to write like Austen! Not so much? HA!

July 18, 2010 at 4:54 PM  
Blogger jenna said...

Mine was hilarious. I got James Joyce first but then... Stephanie Meyer!

July 20, 2010 at 9:01 AM  
Blogger Daniel Tunnard said...

I got Raymond Chandler. I should be happy, but I've spent the last three months trying to copy Kurt Vonnegut...

August 3, 2010 at 2:09 PM  
Blogger H. Gillham said...

This is totally hilarious.

The analysis said I write like Cory Doctorow.

I had to look him up.

Is that better than E.L. Doctorow?


September 2, 2010 at 7:55 AM  

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