Monday, July 13, 2009

I finally read Twilight ..... hmm .....

Well hello there random people, after months of pressure (from mainly one person I think) I finally procured a copy of Twilight from my local library and perused it.
Albeit at a somewhat fast pace.
I must say its quite a thought provoking book, but not for the reasons you might think. The book itself is interesting but nothing special. Rather its thought provoking because of the arguments surrounding whether the book is good\great\amazing or bad\shoddy\appalling.
In general most people seem to fall into the I LOVE it, or I HATE it categories.
Some people told me it was terrible, others brilliant. So i wasn't to sure what to expect when i started it.

As this is my first blog (EVER) and i set this up five minutes ago on the spur of the moment (to be honest i just wanted to write a comment on something but decided i had too much to write and why not Zoidberg... I mean my own blog) and im not to sure what to do and its very late etc. etc. Ill keep this short and to the point

I found an interesting article while trawling through google, I haven't read it in full but there's one bit I quite like.
It goes as follows,

The book gets even crazier from there. Why? Meyer completely recreates the definition of a vampire within the span of 2 pages. Observe:

"...how can you come out during the daytime?"
He laughed anyway.
"Myth."
"Burned by the sun?"
"Myth."
"Sleeping in coffins?"
"Myth." ... "I can't sleep."

(From: http://www.thatguywiththeglasses.com/component/content/article/54/1703)

*Laughs* Priceless . I for one liked the old vampire myths but Meyers take on vampires is interesting and different. Although it has to be said, Meyer's vampires are perfect. I respect her attempt to do away with the classical image of vampires, however, she made them strong, super fast, beautiful, etc.... She also did away with their weaknesses. And they shine..... that speaks for itself. She also said she did absolutely no research on vampires other then for the above piece because she didn't want to know how many rules she was breaking.
Because its extremely late and Im very tired right now Im just going to throw this out here and hope it comes together.

-Bella and Edward = Mary-Sue and Gary-Stu respectively (See below for a Wikipedia description/elucidation of this.)

-The plot = Clich├ęd (it doesn't bother me but I know some people who would really really hate it.)

- Being clumsy is not a character flaw! (Thank you Nicole if you ever read this) Although it has been pointed out to me recently that she is stupid, unable to play sports, cry's when she's angry and isn't exceptionally pretty, which are all character flaws apparently.
However if you want perfection, were really talking about Edward here.
Its at this point that i feel i have to quote the joke website cracked.com
"The books tell the story of the vampire Edward Cullen, who is described as an "Adonis" no more than every time the author is able to, and Bella Swan, a "plain" girl who reads "serious" literature like Wuthering Heights because she's so intelligent. Also, she is much more advanced than the students in the school that she has just moved to, but that's okay, because she makes up for it by being clumsy, since every well-developed character needs exactly one (1) flaw."
- If the first 200ish pages of your book rely on the mystery of a character's identity (Edward), don't slap; "First, Edward was a vampire" on the back cover. Its a bit of a give away. Also the real plot of the book, the action so to speak, doesn't begin until near the end of the book when James and his Posse (for lack of a better word because im tired) show up.

- The author constantly repeats certain things that she's already described in full detail. (Bella's extremely noisy truck, Edwards 'perfectness', how bad she was at volleyball, etc.)

- Ms. Meyer's first-person point of view isnt very good. She can't pull it off. Why is that? Because she doesn't find a way to explain anything but Bella. We never get to know how Edward works because Bella never thinks it, of course, and Ms. Meyer shows no other way of expressing it. (Yes there is Midnight Sun, but Ms. Meyer shouldn't have to write another book to explain things that should have been shown in the original.)

- There is very little actual conflict in the story. But this probably stems from having a flawless main character(Edward).

- She threw away one of the best parts! ? It's right-off-the-bat in love. They both know it instantly. From then on it's just Edward fighting himself to stop himself from ripping her apart and fighting to stop his species from keeping them apart. Wheres the intimacy, sweetness, awkwardness. The actual falling in love! It's supposed to happen slowly (i thought)...

- Why do they love each other anyway? She smells good and he’s hot… what? Isn't love more then that?

- Edward is HOT. We get it. Good for you.

Saying all that and to be honest, I liked Twilight, but as a book its not as good as the hype suggests it is and fans say and think it is. Its ok; not great, not life changing, just ok. (Take note, i didn't say it was bad)
The series has a very large following and is very popular but there are many who criticize it and i think they make some valid points.
One important question I've been asked is why is it so popular?
Personally I thought the answer to this was obvious but maybe I'm wrong, this is what i think.
For one, Twilight appeals to girls between the ages of 12 and 17, It's the perfect love story for them. Bella is shy and clumsy, she doesn't think she's too pretty and is smart. Girls all around the world will identify with her. And then, this same Bella is the object of appreciation and love of the most beautiful, without a single fault, perfect specimen who happens to be a vampire. Im sure you can see where this is going.
How many girls put themselves in Bella's shoes and imagine they were her?
How many girls aspire to the romance and love in this book?
That in itself makes this book extremely popular, and it is that popularity with young girls that will make people other then the target audience pick up the book and read it. Why did I read it? because some girl was talking about it... A lot.

While its written in an engaging manner Stephanie Meyer isn't a literary genius. She's a good writer but there are some much greater authors and books out there who aren't getting the same recognition as her.
Saying that i think she did put a lot of effort into writing these books and is now recognized as an accomplished author.
The book wasn't as terrible as i was told, but nor was it as brilliant as i was told.
So i think that means i fit somewhere in the middle of the LOVE\HATE Twilight wars.
Im just not bothered by it. As a consequence of this I think I might actually read the rest of the Twilight series... hmm ... well we'll see how it goes.

And thats all I have to say on that folks, until the next book.
Ps. Too many people take these books too seriously, its quite facetious.

*(A Mary Sue in literary criticism, is a fictional character with overly idealized and hackneyed mannerisms, lacking noteworthy flaws, and primarily functioning as wish-fulfillment fantasies for their authors or readers. Male characters are often dubbed "Gary Stu" or similar names.)

4 comments:

  1. Bella is an (insert self here) protagonist. I'll cut my hatred short, I don't mind if you don't share my hatred. But surely you must acknowledge that Meyer is a terrible writer! Every element of good story telling is lacking in her work; advancement of plot (or a plot in general), conflict (to provide a plot), proper characters (not 1D Mary Sues)and good writing (someone please buy her a thesaurus, she ruined the word 'incredulous' for me!).

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  2. Nice blog, that was a very well-constructed arguement which actually brought up writing techniques! A winnar is you. :P

    Blog moar!

    Do as I say, not as I do. :P

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  3. I'm just going to say I love thesauri (or thesauruses)

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  4. Haha, Cracked is amazing :P

    So is your blog.

    Check out my dissing twilight post... tis under 'the twilight fail' on my page

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