Continuing my tradition of being several years behind (I find it easier as time goes by), someone gave me a copy of Dan Brown’s Angels and Demons to read on a flight. I knew about the Da Vinci Code and all that but hadn’t read anything by him. The result was very nearly as painful as my attempt to read Cryptonomicon last year. Cryptonomicon consisted of nerdish Mary Sues afloat in a sea of Cliffs Notes for popular science books. Angels and Demons retains the nerd protagonists but adds a layer of cack-handed James Bond stuff. I mean, can you believe this shit:
Descending from the chopper in her khaki shorts and white sleeveless top, Vittoria Vetra looked nothing like the bookish physicist he had expected. Lithe and graceful, she was tall with chestnut skin and long black hair that swirled in the backwind of the rotors. Her face was unmistakably Italian—not overly beautiful, but possessing full, earthy features that even at twenty yards seemed to exude raw sensuality. As the air currents buffeted her body, her clothes clung, accentuating her slender torso and small breasts.
“Ms Vetra is a woman of tremendous personal strength,” Kohler said … “She spends months working in dangerous ecological systems. She is a strict vegetarian and CERN’s resident guru of Hatha yoga.” …She turned to Langdon, holding out a slender hand. “My name is Vittoria Vetra. You’re from Interpol, I assume?” Langdon took her hand, momentarily spellbound by the depth of her watery gaze.
I imagine it was the air currents from the chopper that were making her eyes water. My own eyes were doing the same by this point. I didn’t get much further, but I suppose it was worth it for the image of Harvard (the protagonist is “professor of religious iconology” there) and CERN (much like Dr Evil’s Island, apparently, except for being in Switzerland).