I did enjoy this comment from Slate on Dan Brown's witness statement:
Brown has done a lot of thinking about what makes a successful Dan Brown thriller. He has found that it requires a few essential elements: some kind of shadowy force, like a secret society or government agency; a "big idea" that contains a moral "grey area"; and a treasure. The treasures in Brown's four novels have been a meteorite, anti-matter, a gold ring, and the Holy Grail. The shadowy forces have included the Priory of Sion, Opus Dei, and the National Security Agency. The big idea, if I'm reading him correctly, goes something like this: Is the Vatican good … or is it evil? Is the National Security Agency for us … or is it against us? When all of Brown's elements come together, doled out over cliffhanging chapters, with characters that exist to "move the plot along," it is like mixing the ingredients to make a cake.
go to http://www.slate.com/id/2138483/ for the rest of it
thanks to lili at the cyl for the orginal link