Thursday, 27 August 2009

Oh Oh Oh I Got the Dan Brown Blues

So this morning I had the following conversation with a young lady who works in WH Smith.


Me :: [Handing over a card with the meerkat on it which I was buying for my grandmother, who likes meerkats] Just that please.

Lady :: Are you interested in half price Dan Brown today?

Me :: I’m sorry?

Lady :: You can order Dan Brown’s latest book for half price.

Me :: Um, no, thanks. Do I look like a simpleton?

Lady :: Eh?

Me :: No, I was just wondering – do I look like a simpleton? You know, an imbecile.

Lady :: [Not sure] Erm… it’s half price. It’s a promotion.

Me :: The reason I ask, incidentally, is not because I’d necessarily have to be a simpleton to read a Dan Brown book, although…. [waiting in vain for some recognition of a shared sense of intellectual snobbery before giving up and continuing] No, it’s just that, if I did want to buy Dan Brown’s latest book, I’d probably already be aware of the fact. Without being prompted. Don’t you think?

Lady :: We ask everybody.

Me :: Well, I wish you wouldn’t.

Lady :: But we ask everybody.

Me :: Yeah, I’ve gathered that. You ask everybody. Great. It’s just that it doesn’t seem fair to me, you know? I mean, there’s my book, for example, a gorgeous, funny, moving little memoir that no one’s ever heard of, struggling for breath, slowly drowning in a sea of suffocating, interminable dross, and there’s Dan Brown’s latest congregation of moronisms, which has, if memory serves me well, an initial print run of 6.5 million copies – 6.5 million copies which will fly off the shelves like hot cakes in cold climate – and despite this already assured best seller status, WH Smith are making every effort to ram it down the throats of customers who don’t even want it. Two weeks before it comes out and it’s already the literary equivalent of McDonald’s fries. You know? ‘Do you want fries with that?’ Erm, no, thanks. If I’d wanted waxy strips of tasteless toxic spew with my order, I’m pretty sure I would’ve asked for them. Similarly, if I wanted to spend ten pounds on nearly 500 pages of poorly-constructed toilet paper, you would probably have known about it by now. Do you know what I’m trying to say?


Unfortunately, she was serving someone else by then.

Oh, Dan Brown.

How I hate you.



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29 comments:

janetyjanet said...

I've heard he speaks kindly of you too...

daisyfae said...

you really are quite sexy when you rant like that... i'd have been compelled to at least blow you.

fourstar said...

"Half-price Dan Brown" makes him sound like a Boxing Day gigolo. Now there's a thought to ponder over your waxy strips of tasteless toxic spew. Enjoy.

juliette said...

Well cheer up, your book's getting loads of publicity too!!

And I've never, ever read about Dan Brown in Grazia, so you've won that one :-)

J x

Panda said...

Couldn't agree more, poppet. I was gratified to learn that a friend of mine visited Rosslyn Chapel yesterday (which apparently played a really significant part in that pile of self-eulogising old shit The Da Vinci Code), and neither it nor Dan Brown was mentioned ANYWHERE on the site. So, thankfully the Scottish Tourist Board has way more taste than WH Smith.

suburbanhen said...

So, rather than take your issues up with WH Smith management directly, you couldn't hold back, and chose to ruin a cashiers day?

How cute of you.

La Bête said...

JJ, bah.

Daisy, would that you were there, would that you were there.

Fourstar, one day, someone somewhere will write something special with the title 'Boxing Day Gigolo' and it'll all be down to you.

Aah, Juliette, thank you for the positivity. It is appreciated.

Panda, if Random House paid them a lot of money to theme the site, I bet they'd do it though.

Hen, that's right, I totally ruined her day. I intend to follow her home tonight too and set fire to her trellis. Because that's just the kind of guy I am. I shout and swear and innocent shop assistants and never exaggerate or make anything up online.

Nicky said...

I did just the same in Waterstones over the last Harry Potter book - except I asked "do I look like an imbecilic 14 year old?" Given that I'm 45, I'd have been happy with either a yes or no answer, frankly

suburbanhen said...

Then maybe the whole blog is made up?

The thing about the dynamic of blogging is that a lot of it relies on the reader believing what the author writes. You've relied heavily on readers to believe the things you write, Bete. Now you're getting precious when a reader is gullible enough to believe a story that reads to be true, and finds what you have written to be indicitive of particularly lowly behaviour.

Shame on me for being that gullible reader. Perhaps you've been duping me all along.

True Lateral said...

I knew I could count on you. I hate Dan Brown with a passion, and as soon as any casual acquaintance reveals that his work is fascinating and amazing and just wow, then it is time to punch and leave.

Did the cashier blow you?

La Bête said...

Hi, Nicky. Please don't say the P-word.

Hen. Yeah, could all be made up. Isn't. In this particular case I thought it was obvious that I'd moved from real story to jokey little blog routine. Even if it were entirely true though, 'indicative of particularly lowly behaviour'? That seems a bit overboard to me.

La Bête said...

Hey, TL. Punch and leave? Lowly. And no, sadly, there was no blowing. Not even a kiss.

Nicky said...

Potter potter potter potter potte pott potty Bwahahahhaha! Am I banned yet?

maurita said...

oh Stan! your like one of those customers that you just want to slap! I deal with them every day so I should know! But yes, you do have a valid point. I'll speak to my boss & maybe our promotion for the next month will be a Stan Cattermole book half price with every purchase. All I need now are 500 copies! There's always amazon.com for that I guess.

Lv ya guts, you are a treasure.

Anonymous said...

Couldn't find your book in either W.H.Smiths or Waterstones today....

AA

MB said...

Half price Dan Brown book!!!!!.......excellent, I need an expensive door stop, or chew toy for the dog. Whichever. Though I'm sure my dog has more taste than that.

La Bête said...

Nicky, if I had the power to ban you, I wouldn't ban you. Instead I would use that power for good. Not sure how. Eugenics maybe.

AA, please don't give up. It's all so fucking depressing. The book's selling like shit cakes. Bastard life.

Swineshead said...

Seriously - this can only be read in two ways - Hen is right.

a.) You were shit to a cashier because you were having a bad day and you're not rich as you expected to be.

b.) You pretended to be shit to a cashier in the depressingly accurate belief that your followers would lap it up.

Maybe a change of tack might help.

Nick Tann said...

Thought that was a bit cruel of you. Working in a shop is soul destroying enough....

Anonymous said...

Hen, Swine and Nick T - Has it ever occurred to you that you might be just a little bit mental?

Wellington

OOAK babies by Mina said...

who is Dan Brown anyway, and why would I want his book?
By the way, Mauri finished yours. Lucky, cos I almost stole it again this morning

misspiggy said...

well yes, but I find this post a bit depressing too. I don't want you trying to compete with the likes of Dan Brown and Jeffrey Archer, Stan - as far as I'm concerned you have the potential to produce genuinely good literature that people appreciate for years and years, quite different from the 'unthreatening nonsense that everyone buys once and never reads again' bracket. I admit this is pure selfishness, as you're far less likely to make a good living from decent writing. But I just reread your book and it made me tingle all over. I want the next one to be a proper piece of work that gets as close to the perfection of Crime and Punishment or Nineteen Eighty Four as it possibly can. So enough of this bestseller talk, I say!

CarolH said...

You really are a nasty, bitter and twister man........ love it.

Mindy Marsh said...

Ohhh you literary snob you! I actually secretly like Dan Brown his novels are akin to porn only of the literary world - it's totally unreal rubbish and liking it makes me feel dirty and unclean.

cheps said...

Does Dan Brown actually keep writing???
Wow, there must be no real talent at that publishing house if they insist on splurging on that poor excuse for a writer.

Fenz said...

Bete, when I have spare cash I fully intend on purchasing your book... booktopia post to Oz free of charge so that's a bonus.

I can proudly say I have and never will, read a Dan Brown book, yay me!

Nick Tann said...

Better to be mental than anonymous.
Wilde said that, probably...

fourstar said...

@CarolH: I like the idea of a Twister man; would he have contorted limbs and be covered in spots?

Becca said...

Watch out for the legal proceedings:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U9eXhqeuP-s&NR=1