Do you have the answers, Klein?
Yes. yes I do.
Have you noticed that lately, the hot stuff is either smut or "young adult" fiction? Sells like hotcakes, right? I mean, yeah, Girl with a Dragon Tattoo had everybody's attention after a fashion, kinda like Eat Pray Love, but not the way, say, Twilight did.
Dan Brown is as popular as he is because he writes for 8th graders. And, unlike sparkly vampires or oversexed physically impossible BDSM sparkly vampire fanfic, Dan Brown includes men.
Look - Robert Langdon is a world expert in "Symbology." Not "semiotics" or "linguistics" or anything else that might actually represent reality, but "Symbology." And he takes his made-up Boris & Natasha-grade capers and weaves Jesus through them. So maybe, if the Left Behind series was a little too jesus-ey for you (or if you just couldn't stomach an antichrist named, I shit you not, "Nicolae Carpathia"), Dan Brown lets you question the teachings of your faith without questioning your faith itself.
So you've got drama, philosophy, action, and this super-bitchin' disclaimer that says some shit like "the Illuminati are, like, real." Wowsers! For people who think James Bond is an accurate reflection of modern espionage, Robert Langdon is a straight-up modern-day Warrior Poet.
Here's the part that tickles me pink: Dan Brown read a book called "The Holy Blood and the Holy Grail." The writers, batshit bullshitters if ever there were any, argued that the Knights Templar had stolen away Jesus' daughter or some shit and had all this whackadoo crap about meridians in it. Dan Brown took all this stuff and turned it into The Davinci Code. Then DVC blows up right and huge and the whackadoos sue Random House for infringement. Dan Brown says "my book is fiction, their book is fact" and they come back with "our book is fiction, too, we just pretended it was fact" and because of pretending their whackadoo shit was fact, they lose.
So. A book claiming all this whackadoo shit was real? Fringe material. A book claiming that all this whackadoo shit might be real and aren't you edgy and literate? Especially compared to Cousin Verna. I mean, chemtrails are clearly bullshit but Jesus having kids? Why I might be one! And aren't I clever? I can follow along with the adventures of Robert Langdon, world-famous "symbologist."
Bonus points for linking to David Rees of Get Your War On fame.