Here's the full list:
"Marrying Buddha" by Wei Hui (follow-up to "Shanghai Baby")
"Man And Boy" by Tony Parsons
"The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle" by Haruki Murakami
"Digital Fortress" by Dan Brown
in that order.
The first three had much to commend them, especially in terms of relationships, sexual, familial and dysfunctional respectively, and in each I found a lot of memorable poetic and emotional writing.
So when I got to Dan Brown (very famous novelist of "The Da Vinci Code") I was shocked to find how appalling a book it was, full of cliche and hackneyed writing, more simplistic than Mills and Boon in its hero couple, lots of tossing out of research snippets, sneering American judgments on any culture other than its own, fatuous "cryptic" enigmas, oh, it's horrible, horrible ... more shocking still were the plaudits from American magazines and the revelation that this guy used to teach creative writing. Am I over-reacting to what's nothing more than mindless sunbed fodder and doesn't pretend otherwise or does anyone else agree that this is a very poor writer over-hyped?