low concept
Dubious and far-fetched ideas.

The Dan Brown Sequel GeneratorPlug in a city and a sect, and our computer will do the rest.

At the stroke of midnight on Tuesday, renowned author Dan Brown will publish The Lost Symbol, his fifth novel and the third to star Harvard symbologist Robert Langdon. Early reviews report that Brown's new thriller has all the elements that made The Da Vinci Code a phenomenal success: intricate conspiracies, sexy sidekicks, and grotesque villains intent on stopping our erudite yet brave hero at all costs. Previous Langdon adventures have taken him to Rome, Paris, and London in pursuit of the Vatican's mysteries. The new novel takes place Washington, D.C., and delves into the mysteries of the Freemasons.

For those of you who can't wait another moment for Dan Brown's next blockbuster, Slate has your fix: an interactive Dan Brown plot generator that takes a city and a shadowy organization and spits out the plot of the next volume in the Robert Langdon chronicles. You can either select a specific city and/or group from the dropdown menus at the top of the tool or leave it on "random" and let the computer decide. Make sure to hit "refresh"—even the same city and group have multiple story lines.

Seem formulaic? That's because it is.

Play with more interactive features from the Slate Group and the Washington Post.

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Chris Wilson is an associate editor at Slate in Washington, D.C. Follow him on Twitter.

I'm up at 4 a.m. this morning, and this article provided a much needed laugh—because there isn't anything funny going on until at least 9.

I've read two of Brown's novels (Da Vinci and Angels and Demons) because my late uncle, a Catholic priest, wanted to discuss them with me. (And that's my explanation for reading Brown a second time.) We shared a few good laughs, made a few more memories, and so I should thank Brown for that.

Thanks for writing the hackneyed garbage, Dan!

-- markbeemsterboer
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click here)

I read DaVinci first and found it mildly entertaining, though the plot was transparent and the characters one dimensional. It wasn't until reading A&D that Brown's "write by numbers" formula became apparent. This satire is perfect!

-- Curt Shannon
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click here)

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