Dan Brown

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Dan Brown : biography

June 22, 1964 –

Because of the research-intensive nature of his novels, Brown can spend up to two years writing them. To remain focused on such projects, Brown ensures that when he chooses a theme for the novel (what he refers to as the "big idea"), and its subject, that they be those that can hold his interest. In Brown’s view, the ideal topic does not have an easily defined right or wrong view, but presents a moral grey area that can lend itself to debate. Because his favorite subjects include codes, puzzles, treasure hunts, secretive organizations and academic lectures on obscure topics, he tends to incorporate those into his novels. Because Brown considers writing to be a discipline that requires constant practice, he has developed a routine to maintain his abilities. He wakes up at 4:00 am when there are no distractions (a practice he began with Digital Fortress when he had two daytime teaching jobs) and when he feels most productive, in order to give symbolic importance to the first order of business each day. He keeps an antique hourglass on his desk, so that he can stop briefly every hour to do push-ups, sit-ups and stretching exercises to keep his blood flowing.Brown. Witness statement; Pages 6 & 7. Brown does his writing in his loft. He has also told fans that he uses inversion therapy to help with writer’s block. He uses gravity boots and says, "hanging upside down seems to help me solve plot challenges by shifting my entire perspective."

Film adaptations

In 2006 Brown’s novel The Da Vinci Code was released as a film by Columbia Pictures, with director Ron Howard; the film starred Tom Hanks as Robert Langdon, Audrey Tautou as Sophie Neveu and Sir Ian McKellen as Sir Leigh Teabing. It was much anticipated and served to launch the 2006 Cannes Film Festival, though it received overall poor reviews. It currently has a 24% rating at the film review aggregator website Rotten Tomatoes, derived from 165 negative reviews of the 214 counted. It was later listed as one of the worst films of 2006 on Ebert & Roeper,Guest reviewer Michael Phillips, sitting in for Roger Ebert, listed The Da Vinci Code at No. 2 on his list, second to All the King’s Men. "Worst Movies of 2006," Ebert & Roeper, January 13, 2007 but also the second highest grossing film of the year, pulling in $750 million USD worldwide.Box Office Mojo. Brown was listed as one of the executive producers of the film The Da Vinci Code, and also created additional codes for the film. One of his songs, "Phiano," which Brown wrote and performed, was listed as part of the film’s soundtrack. In the film, Brown and his wife can be seen in the background of one of the early book signing scenes.

The next film, Angels & Demons, was released on May 15, 2009, with Howard and Hanks returning. It, too, garnered mostly negative reviews, though critics were kinder to it than to its predecessor. , it has a 36% meta-rating at Rotten Tomatoes.. Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved October 7, 2011.

Filmmakers expressed interest in adapting The Lost Symbol into a film as well. The screenplay is being written by Danny Strong, with pre-production expected to begin in 2013.

Criticism

Brown’s prose style has been criticized as clumsy. Much criticism also centers on Brown’s claim found in the preface to The Da Vinci Code that the novel is based on fact in relation to Opus Dei and the Priory of Sion, and that "all descriptions of artwork, architecture, documents and secret rituals in [the] novel are accurate."Richard Abanes, The Truth Behind The Da Vinci Code (Harvest House Publishers, 2004 ISBN 0-7369-1439—0).

In an interview with Matt Lauer on The Today Show in September 2009, Brown responded by saying, "I do something very intentional and specific in these books. And that is to blend fact and fiction in a very modern and efficient style, to tell a story. There are some people who understand what I do, and they sort of get on the train and go for a ride and have a great time, and there are other people who should probably just read somebody else."

Charity work

In October 2004 Brown and his siblings donated US$2.2 million to Phillips Exeter Academy in honor of their father, to set up the Richard G. Brown Technology Endowment to help "provide computers and high-tech equipment for students in need."

Brown and his wife Blythe are also supporters of the New Hampshire Charitable Foundation.. New Hampshire Charitable Foundation. 2009. Retrieved July 21, 2012. (PDF document)

On April 14, 2011, Brown and his wife created the Dan ’86 and Blythe Brown Scholarship Fund to celebrate his 25th reunion from Amherst College, a permanently endowed scholarship fund at the college whose income provides financial aid to students there, with preference for incoming students with an interest in writing.[https://www.amherst.edu/media/view/425849/original/Brown%2BDan%2BScholarship%2BFund.pd "Dan Brown ’86 Creates Scholarship Fund to Celebrate his 25th Reunion"]. Creating Connections: A Campaign for Amherst. Amherst College. Retrieved August 9, 2012.