He may have sold more than 80 million copies of The Da Vinci Code but Dan Brown’s works are being offloaded to second-hand shops faster than anyone’s. Oxfam named him the “most donated” author at its chain of charity shops. John Grisham, Ian Rankin, Danielle Steel and Helen Fielding were the other high-profile authors to achieve the dubious honour of making the top five. But Brown can take comfort in knowing Oxfam’s survey also revealed him to be its second most purchased author. Brown is unlikely to lose any sleep over seeing his previous novels given away, with his next novel The Lost Symbol expected to break global sales records when it is released next month. After The Da Vinci Code was released in 2003, it became a worldwide phenomenon. It sold 11.7 million copies in the UK and sparked huge interest in Brown’s three previous novels.
Their popularity also spawned two hit movies each starring Tom Hanks as central character, the symbologist Robert Langdon. Topping the best-seller list at Oxfam’s 700 branches was Rankin, known for his hugely popular Inspector Rebus series. He said: “It’s always good for an author to know that their books are popular. With Oxfam, it’s also heartening to realise that each book donated and bought is helping such a worthwhile organisation.” Others on the best-seller list included Bernard Cornwell, Stephenie Meyer, Terry Pratchett, Khaled Hosseini and Margaret Atwood. Oxfam says that its nationwide Bookfest celebrations last month led donations to the charity’s shop network to rise by 40%. Some donations have also proved particularly lucrative recently. A first edition of JRR Tolkien’s Lord Of The Rings sold for £800, while a rare print of the sheet music to Don Giovanni raised £750.
The Da Vinci Code in book form was dire - the film was even worse. Media hype made it a “must read” - thats why I read it. The beautiful Rosslyn Chapel here in Scotland did well out of it so it only goes to show that “every cloud…”
I thought that the Rosslyn scene in the book was by far the best part (from a literary point of view). It was a lyrical and potent statement of the book’s basic theme. The rest of the book was a forgettable pedestrian thriller based on some remarkably silly misunderstandings of Christian history.
It makes sense that the books that sell the most new copies are the ones that eventually have the most in second hand stores. There are so many more in print.
I never heard of the DVC until the religious folks started complaining. I bought it, put a few bucks in Brown’s pocket, and read it because of them. Getting the religious protestors was probably the greatest marketing coup in history.
My employer and his wife are non-denominational Christians. They both read DVC and loved it…they recommended it to me and I was just mildly interested until I began reading all the protests against the book by coservative Christians. I went out and bought a nice hard bound copy from the Goodwill…I then bought a nice copy also at the Goodwill of “Angels and Demons”…I will buy a new copy of “The Solomon Key” or “The Lost Symbol”, which ever title comes to print.
The books were an easy read and enjoyable. I also enjoyed the movies…the DVC had protesters outside the theater…which I enjoyed listening to as they “ranted”.
I agree, Dan Brown has made his fortune from the religious protesters of the themes of his books. He found his niche.
The South Park take on the origins of the Easter Bunny was much better than the DVC movie.
There was really nothing outstanding about either the book or movie. The whole phenomenon was a creation of religious protestors.