Sunday, November 02, 2014

Dan Brown to visit India next week

Bestselling author Dan Brown last visited India when he was eighteen years old, probably as a tourist.

“I visited India when I was 18 years old and became captivated by the people's warmth and the mystical beauty of the landscapes. I have always dreamed of returning to India and am very excited to do so now,” Press Trust of India quoted him as saying.

© Penguin India
Thirty-two years later, Brown is coming to India to deliver the eighth Penguin Annual Lecture on November 10 in Delhi and November 12 in Bombay (Mumbai). He will speak on codes, science, and religion.

Dan Brown is one of many western authors who are immensely popular in India, thanks in the main to the film adaptations of his novels The Da Vinci Code (2003) and Angels & Demons (2009).

He is not the only author who became popular in India because of movies based on his books.

Not many Indians knew J.K. Rowling and Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone (1997) till the film version came to the theatres in 2001. Since then, people lined up outside bookstores on day one to grab a copy of the next installment of Harry Potter, like scrambling for tickets to the first day, first show.

The one western author who is much loved in India, and has been for more than three decades, is British writer Jeffrey Archer. He has been a regular visitor to the subcontinent which still reads his novels.

Dan Brown will join an impressive lineup of past celebrity lecturers that include columnist and author Thomas Friedman, diplomat Chris Patten, economist and Nobel Prize winner Amartya Sen, Indian historian Ramachandra Guha, Tibetan spiritual leader the Dalai Lama, former Indian president A.P.J. Abdul Kalam, and Bollywood superstar Amitabh Bachchan.

There is considerable excitement over Brown’s visit to India and his lecture at Crossword, a leading chain of bookstores. Facebook and Twitter are agog with the news. I think the lecture is by invitation only in which case a lot of his fans are going to be left disappointed.

His lecture should be interesting in view of India’s ancient history and tradition with symbols, art, science, and religion. I wonder if he’ll speak about them in the Indian context or, better still, announce that his next thriller is set in India.


  1. Your last para got me thinking. It would make for a real mysterious read.

  2. As someone who has never actually been able to finish one of his books, I am not qualified to comment on their quality, though it would be great if he set the next one in India and get away from European consiracies, especially if they set a Tom Hanks adaptation there too - I would definitely pay money to watch that!

    1. Sergio, I never thought of Tom Hanks playing Robert Langdon in India. It'd work as Hanks is as popular here as Brown is.

  3. I've avoided his books thus far, perhaps I ought to try at least one rather than pre-judging?

    1. Col, ANGELS & DEMONS is the only novel I read and I liked it. It's a racy and conspiratorial thriller that plays out in ancient Rome. It begins on an unexpected note, at CERN, the home of the Large Hadron Collider in Europe's belly.

    2. Maybe I'll try that one then. I'll keep an eye out for it next time I'm browsing, cheers

    3. Col, you won't be disappointed even if the conspiracies and secret societies he writes about seem far-fetched, but his narrative is convincing.