Sunday, 18 August 2013
Well, Dan Brown’s latest novel 'Inferno' went on sale a few months back and as expected careered straight to the top of the bestseller charts and has sat there ever since. Naturally, I am a little jealous. However, unlike the throngs of (other) snobbishly unpublished authors who take it upon themselves to parody Brown’s works, I decided it would be far more productive for me to try to learn from someone so clearly a master of his craft. Study him for hints and tips that could help me mug off the book buying public and in the process make fucking millions of pounds!
That said, I needed an edge on my competitors, and just reading Inferno wouldn’t cut it. I know his next novel, scheduled for publication in 2015, had already been written. So at midnight last night I parachuted stealthily out of a Cessna 172 Skyhawk plane with a Garmin G1000 Primary Flight Display flying at 13,000 feet over the small Westphalian city of Gütersloh – home to Bertelsmann SE & Co. KGaA, parent company of Doubleday, the publisher of Dan Brown’s novels. Landing on the roof of the squat office building, I quickly incapacitated the guards, who were armed with Heckler & Koch MP5 sub-machine guns, for reasons best known to themselves. Gingerly, I entered the building through a ventilation duct. Eventually I found myself outside the room where Dan Brown’s next novel was being kept. What I found in there revolted me. The air stank of death and rotting bananas. The shit-speckled walls, the piss-sodden carpet, the flies, the rats. I kicked in the door and combat rolled into the room to be greated with the sight of approximately a thousand primates sat there on ergonomic office chairs, chained to antique typewriters.
The macaques and tamarins were visibly distressed, straining at their manacles, screeching helplessly, banging their heads against their desks. A few chimpanzees had resigned themselves with seeming good humour to their work, while one typed, another groomed its back. By the far wall, a sad-faced old orangutan slowly and rhythmically pressed the ‘H’ key, over and over again, staring dejectedly at the reams of paper it had yet to fill. The baboons seemed to be in charge of the place, though.
They were unshackled and as I entered they shrieked in unison, baring their yellow fangs. I grabbed a few sheets from the typewriter of the nearest gibbon and ran in fear for both my life and sanity. As I left the building, pursued by the chilling screams of the baboons, I briefly passed 'Bertelsmann’s Employee of the Week' board. On every square was a picture of a baboon. And at the top, smiling benevolently down on them, was a photo of the corporation’s legendary former CEO: a silverback gorilla, staring with a pipe in his mouth and the faint gleam of a deep unknowable wisdom in his round brown eyes.
The following transcript is an approximation of what sense I could make of the documents I managed to steal from the chamber of the apes. Read it at your peril:
THE STORY SO FAR: Around the world, hundreds of men and women drop dead on the same day. The tall man Chad McRib, professor of Obscurantology at Hardton University, is accused of complicity in their deaths. Fleeing the French police through the streets of Paris, he finds himself catapulted into the ancient mysteries of the 20th Century, as it emerges that all of the victims had at one time or another been patients of the maverick psychoanalyst Jacques Loran. After Chad enlists the help of the beautiful European nuclear scientess Slavojin Ziek, it is discovered that Loran had been highly radioactive. It was for this reason that he had gone against the 'Société Parisienne de Psychanalyse' in introducing shorter sessions: he knew that prolonged exposure could give his patients a lethal dose of radiation. But who had irradiated him, and why? Chad and Slavojin delve into the sewers of Paris with a stolen copy of Loran’s notebooks to find the answer, but find themselves trapped in the terrifying Mirror Stage, and shadowed by mysterious gazing figures…
"The tall brown-haired man walked into the room. The man was Toned McRib, who was tall. The attractive woman Slavojin Ziek clung to his arm. The whir of a VRF (Variable Refrigerant Flow) air-conditioning unit hung in the air, which was suffused with the hum of a VRF (Variable Refrigerant Flow) air-conditioning unit. “We’ll be safe here, Slavojina,” Toned said. “As we have checked into this hotel, the Hôtel Fièvre Gastrique on the Rue Grossier, under false names, the Big brOthers will be unable to find us here, in this particular place.” Slavojin reclined delightfully on the expensive bed. “Zhe question ish, what ish it we should we do now?” she purred, like a cat suddenly teleported to Planet Milk. “Theesh I claim: we musht carry out the sexual act, it ish our duty, in zhe Kantian senshe.” Her hand fluttered teasingly over her eyebrow and the bridge of her bulbous running nose as she grunted sensuously. “While it is true that we are now experiencing a high level of mutual attraction, especially when compared to our first meeting two days ago, during which you were somewhat wary of me, we have no time for that,” said Toned, who was high in stature and in the amount of M-kat in his system and had brown hair. “Whoever those people are, they won’t stop looking for us until they have these écrits,” he continued. “Whatever the secret is, it must be hidden in this notebook,” he whispered. The notebook was square and had yellowed over the years. Its cover was black with embossed gold lettering. The paper was made from pine woodpulp. 60% of the pulp that had gone into the notebook had come from a single pine tree. The tree had been planted in 1928 near the Spanish town of Rascafria. In 1941 a Spanish imperial eagle (Aquila heliaca adalberti) had nested in its branches like a zeppelin docking at the Empire State Building. The eagle was later shot by a hunter named José Mercader, who had a thick moustache and later fell into stagnation for unrelated reasons. None of its chicks survived. McRib opened the notebook with his fingers, which were long and slim, much like his body, which was tall and slim like his clothes prop, which was long and slim. He read a few pages, like a crowded people carrier plunging tragically off a cliff. I’ve got it, he thought. If the unconscious mind is itself a series of chains of signification, then literally everything has a hidden meaning and every single object is part of a vast religious conspiracy. But what could be the purpose of it all? Suddenly, he knew,,,,,"