A Completely Biased Review of Twilight
I read Twilight.
I read the entire Twilight saga, in fact.
Look, before anyone judges me, let me just say this: I read everything. I am a certified print junkie, a true bibliophile. My entire life, I’ve had an unrepentant love affair with books.
Every room in my house is filled with them: neatly stacked organized on shelves, tended to and dusted with more care than I give to overpriced electrical components. I never borrow books from the library; I buy them and keep them, lovingly (read: pretentiously) referring to my ever-growing collection as, “my archives.”
When I was just a little bitty baby Roman, instead of reading me Dr. Seuss at night, my father read the Lord of the Rings (true story). From the time I was able to read on my own, I read everything I could get my hands on–which meant that as soon as I finished reading my own books, I’d read my sister’s.
And so I spent my youth reading nerdy dragon books and coming of age girl novels (Tolkien and Judy Blum? What a team). The habit continued, and I spent most of my young adult life reading a mix of the comics and the classics; as well as romance novels and whatever Oprah was recommending.
To say that I’m familiar or comfortable with chick-lit is an understatement.
If you’ve not yet worked it out, I take books and literature very seriously.
As you know, I also have a penchant for all things pop-culture.
When something like Twilight comes along, I sit up and take notice. At this point, I think we can all admit that Twilight isn’t just a book, or a series of books: it’s a god-damned blitz.
And so I read Twilight for a few reasons: 1) I like vampires, 2) to see what all the hub-bub was about, bub.
Having read a lot of women’s lit in my life, and loving books and vampires the way I do, I went in with the most open mind possible.
Tell you what, though:
No more pulling my punches, no pussyfooting around so as not to offend people. I read the books, I gave it a shot, and now I’ll share my opinions and give you the reasons for them.
The main character and primary narrator of Twilight is Isabella Swan, a 17 year old introvert recently of Arizona who is dumped without ceremony into the small town of Forks, Washington. As insipid as she is predictable, Bella serves as a warning for what happens when people survive fetal alcohol syndrome.
I hate Bella more than I hate spiders.
Written as an allegory for every dumpy, overweight and unpopular girl in the country, Bella is the most ordinary person in the world. And by that, I mean there is nothing special about her.
Our narrator is not overly intelligent, nor overly beautiful, nor overly witty, nor brave, nor is she even good at narrating. In fact, the entirety of Bella’s character is seemingly based on her having pretty much nothing worth mentioning going for her.
And therein, my friends, lays Bella’s appeal.
Bella is immediately identifiable to every insecure, mopey, isolated or otherwise depressed teenager on the planet. She could be any one of them, and any one of them could be her.
Bella is what we call an “empty vessel” character. She has nothing about her which makes her intimidating, sure. But, there’s nothing about her that’s even an identifying marker. This means that any girl reading the book can mentally slip-in and inhabit her, experiencing Bella’s story for themselves.
In other words, to teenage girls reading Twilight, Bella shines like a beacon of hope.
In meeting and getting a guy as “amazing” as Edward, Bella goes from a paragon of mediocrity to a damsel in distress, caught up in events larger than herself, waiting for her white knight to show her a world she never could have imagined. (Because, as everyone knows, women are worthless until men add meaning to their lives.)
ATTENTION, TEENAGERS WHO FEEL INADEQUATE: Have you ever wished you could change nearly every single thing about yourself, because ultimately, you are not that interesting? Well, then Bella Swan is your new best friend. Finally, a hero you can relate to! After all, Bella didn’t have to DO anything for Edward to fall in love with her: All she did was show up and SMELL good, and he just started salivating. Literally.
Bella is also a stark raving moron, but I’ll get to that later.
The supposed hero of this turgid suckfest is one of the least impressive, one-dimensional characters ever put down on paper.
Women all over the world seem to think he’s “perfect” because he treats Bella with respect and is always there for her. Ya know, except that one time he ran away from her and she had a nervous breakdown and nearly killed herself.
Objectively, maybe I can’t see the appeal because I’m not a chick. I haven’t dated a bunch of guys who treated me like shit, so the idea that a guy doesn’t beat me or sleep with my friends isn’t some revolutionary step in the idea of relationships for me.
I happen to think treating women well should be the rule rather than the exception, and so Edward is unimpressive. The fact that he is attractive, well-mannered, well-educated and has good hair doesn’t move me. Forgive me, but that reads like a casting sheet for One Tree Hill.
Women, on the other hand, swoon over this bullshit. There is one scene in the restaurant where Bella is essentially so doe-eyed of Edward and his ability to dazzle chicks with his good looks that she has mental phone sex with herself about how awesome he is.
Ooooh my vampire boyfriend is soooo wonderful. He took me on a date at this nice restaurant and even though the waitress was trying to flirt with him he didn’t even look at her ONCE, and this is important to note—given that I have exceptionally low self-esteem, I normally think every girl in the world is prettier than me, but Edward didn’t look at her so he must looooooove me.
Yea, that’s it.
Or maybe he was just focused on the fact that he wants to exsanguinate you.
Edward is a punk bitch who runs away from a girl aching for him, and then tries unsuccessfully to commit suicide in the most dramatic way possible.
On top of all of that, Edward is a pedophile. Don’t believe me? Here is a bastardized quote from the book to prove it.
“Of three things I was absolutely certain.
One: Edward was a Vampire
Two: There was a part of him—and I had a very good idea which part—that wanted to pilfer my naughty bits, despite the fact that I am 17 and Edward is well over 100 years older than me.
Three: I was completely and irrevocably infatuated with him, because even though I haven’t stopped to think about the fact that despite him being undead, he is also old enough to be my father’s father, it wouldn’t matter because this dude is so rich it’s not even funny, and even though I pretend not to like money, everyone knows girls are money grubbing whores.” (Way to set feminism back, Meyer)
Ew, gross. Enjoy his old balls, Bella.
Stephanie Meyer has won a bunch of awards, some of which she may deserve. A lot of literary critics say that Meyer is lacking in skill as a writer, and posit that only by volume of sales is she able to lay claim to awards for writing.
On the one hand, I agree. The books are not particularly well written, that much must be said. However, I like to give people the benefit of the doubt. I like to think that writers write for their audience; therefore, Meyer—writing for teenage girls—wrote her books appropriately.
Please don’t mistake me: I don’t mean to say that teenage girls are stupid, or that teenagers en masse are only into terrible writing. I’m just saying that kids are busy, and reading isn’t high on the list of priorities when they could be out doing more awesome things, like watching the Queen’s Gambit, or snapchatting or whatever. The writing in Twilight is easy, quick, and engaging, and you tear through the books easily. There is no real thought, no literary dynamism to any single sentence in the entire saga.
I would like to at least give credit and say, “well, Stephanie Meyer isn’t really a good writer, but at the least, she’s a good storyteller.” Unfortunately, she bungled her way through four books so badly and with such obvious disregard for continuity that I can’t even say that.
Not to mention that a good part of the story is just unoriginal and uninspired.
ATTENTION, STEPHANIE MEYER:
Making consistent allusions and direct references to Wuthering Heights and then blatantly stealing aspects of the story doesn’t come off as tongue-in-cheek commentary or quaint literary homage, it comes off as an obvious attempt to prove to the masses that you actually read one book, one time in your life before setting out on a quest to ruin the world with your novel. Don’t steal from the classics; it’s tacky.
Regarding the content itself: the vampire/human in love thing has been done before, and without question, Joss Whedon did it nearly perfectly with Buffy: the Vampire Slayer. Now, I’m not saying you can’t attempt it again, but when you have a number of well-executed examples in front of you, you lose the right to act like you’re a literary trailblazer or free-thinking radical. Acknowledge your inspiration, then go back to counting your money.
Maybe the worst of it all…
Unbeknownst to Meyer, in any good piece of literature in which they appear, Vampires function as metaphors–for many things.
Now, the fact that vampires are metaphors for sexuality is beyond argument. Think of the very nature of the vampire: blood.
Certainly, I don’t need to demonstrate how an exchange of bodily fluid qualifies as a sexual metaphor. Moreover, think more deeply about it: sex and exchanging fluids is our method of reproduction; as drinking and exchanging blood is for the vampires.
Just as we can have sex without having children, so too can the vampire drink from his prey without siring any progeny—for the fun of it, as it were.
And then consider this: if the vampire’s feeding is sex, and is also necessary for the vampire to stay alive, what, then, are authors saying to us about sex?
As culture evolved and has become less intimidated by sex, this has become more prominent. In vampire stories today, the nightwalkers have become increasingly more attractive; rather than repulsive, they are magnetic. This is obviously related to the fact that as a society we take a more endearing view of sex.
The prettiness of the vampire seems to be the only thing that Meyer decided to import into her ragingly stupid interpretation such creatures.
The take-home is this: the only way a metaphor like that works is if there are drawbacks.
Vampires get to be sexy, fabulously wealthy, and immortal. But the sacrifice for this is that you must live nearly entirely apart from society.
In almost all instances—especially more recent adaptations—vampires can’t go out in the sun. Period. Fair or not, the sun and daytime—light itself—will represent good, and night will always be the province of evil and wrongdoing. And because vampires are a metaphor for the things that go on in the night (such as sex, murder, and rock n roll) the sun is their undoing. For a vampire, you live eternally doomed to function apart from society.
In her insanely vapid view of the Vamps, they can go out in broad daylight without harm. Instead of bursting into flames… they sparkle. Oooooh, scary. Meyer’s vampires do not avoid the sun out of fear or survival instinct; instead, they just don’t want to walk around being man-sized disco balls and alerting humans to their existence.
To mitigate whatever problems this might cause, they move to cloudy environments.
Um…what? This is bullshit.
In the MySpace-friendly Twilight universe, Meyer’s vampires are essentially demi-gods. They are fast, strong, beautiful, powerful and have none of the weaknesses of traditional vampires. Not silver, not garlic, not holy water or even sunlight.
Being a vampire in Meyer’s book is literally the most desirable thing in the world. You can even go vegan and not eat humans. Awesome.
The idea of being a vampire is supposed to challenge the reader with some sort of choice. As in, “Would I really want to be powerful and immortal, if it meant I could never really live in society the same way again? Would I want to live forever if I could never see the sun?”
NOT IN TWILIGHT. The biggest drawback to being a vampire is SPARKLING?
I had this discussion with a female friend of mine and she said, “No, the drawback is that you have to live forever, and you’re essentially alone.”
WRONG. That argument completely loses its memes because every single person or vampire pairs off at the end of the book. All you have to do is wait around until the perfect unimpressive lonely 17-year-old comes around smelling like your own “particular brand of heroin” and BAM, instant true love.
Do you have any idea how hard it is to fuck up a literary metaphor as deeply ingrained in the social consciousness as vampires? Evidently, it CAN be done. Ask Stephanie Meyer.
Just want to give a brief impression of the each book:
The mess that started it all. Despite being badly written and horribly paced, I can see the appeal. If you forgive how badly Meyer betrayed and neutered vampires, this book isn’t half bad. Again, it’s written for tweens, and for them, it fits. A bumbling foray into first love with a hot character who treats his girlfriend well isn’t really hard to understand. The narrative by Bella gives it a personal appeal that I think helps the lackluster story.
Edward is portrayed like a crystallized wet dream, so although I don’t find him impressive as an absolute, I suppose relative to the d-bags in affliction t-shirts running around the high schools of America, he’s a nice change of pace.
By far, the worst book of the series. Firstly, this book completely destroys Bella’s credibility as a character. She has an understandable breakdown when her “true love” (you know, the guy she met 7 months ago) bounces up outta there, and I guess that makes sense. She then spends the majority of the book with Jacob, her “best friend.”
Two things: one, Bella has no romantic interest in Jake, and despite the fact that she tells him this, he hangs on like a sick puppy (which is a great pun, considering). She continues to hang out with him, knowing this makes it worse for him instead of manning up and leaving him alone—or better yet, trying to set him up with a slutty friend so he can get laid and stop pining over her. This makes Bella a complete attention-hungry shrew, which is probably the only “realistic” trait about her.
Here is the worst part. Her entire relationship with Jacob portrays Bella as a complete and total moron.
As the reader, you figure out Jacob is a werewolf, oh probably when you read the cover of the book and see the title has the word “MOON” in it. Bella doesn’t figure it out for about 250 more pages—despite essentially being told in the first book—leaving you banging your head in disbelief constantly saying,
“He’s a werewolf—dude, he’s a fucking werewolf. OH MY GOD ARE YOU BLIND? He is a damn werewolf how do you not see it!?”
The fact that a girl who is DATING A VAMPIRE can’t step back and put 2 and 2 together to figure out that her friend is a werewolf is ridiculous. Especially with the clues she is given throughout the book.
On top of which, basically this book is too long by half. Most of it is unnecessary character development that leads nowhere.
Instead of keeping it short and sweet, Meyer shows her chops by over-writing and using advanced literary techniques, like the thesaurus function in Microsoft Word. Sweet, welcome to 10th grade English. You could cut 200 pages out of New Moon and wind up with about the same result.
I would hesitantly term this book “best” of the series.
I like that Meyer actually made an interesting contribution to vampire literature: in her version, each vampire develops a kind of special power, generally associated with a trait that they had when they were human.
Hence, Edward can read minds, Emmett is essentially a juiced up vamp. It certainly doesn’t make up for the way she screwed up vampires otherwise, but it was a nice little twist.
Overall, the book was not terrible, which is saying a lot of Meyer. Decent action, too.
I’d say this is the literary equivalent of getting a blowjob in your car: nothing special, not really ideal. But, whatever, I’ll take it.
Meyer spends 90% of this book building up to an epic battle scene that never fucking happens.
The main thrust of this story is that somehow Edward gets Bella preggo, and in order to save her from the hybrid nuisance inhabiting her abdominal cavity, they need to turn Bella into a vamp, stat. This pisses off the Voltari, who are like the royal family of the vamp world, imposing harsh justice on the rest of the beautiful undead.
The birth of this child upsets the universe, and it seems like the Voltari are coming across the pond to stomp out the Cullen clan with extreme prejudice, ending this insane dalliance with illogic once and for all. I wished them luck.
Instead, in the end, Bella, having mastered her new vamp powers after about 7 minutes, defeats the oldest most powerful vampires in the world with her magical mind spider web of idiocy.
If Eclipse is a semi-decent blowjob, Breaking Dawn is like a 4-hour handjob from an inept girl you’re too polite to offend by asking her to stop. Instead of having a decent orgasm, you’re left chaffed and unable to touch yourself for days.
After reading Breaking Dawn, I gave up reading for nearly a week.
I think this is probably what happened: When she was a freshman in high school, a shy and pleasantly odiferous Stephanie Meyer, dwelling in the lower echelons of social and intellectual mediocrity, had the good fortune to be placed into a remedial English class, where she got to sit next to an older boy named Eddie, who had great hair.
Although he never spoke to her, young Stephanie Meyer was convinced they were in love. Sadly, this didn’t pan out.
In the end, Meyer decided to mentally masturbate to the idea of What Might Have Been for 1600 fucking pages, and drag the rest of us along for the ride.
Comments for This Entry
Jezzie75Best article regarding this series. Entertaining and captured everything I disliked about the books perfectly. I tried explaining my dislike to a die hard fan, pretty much describing what you wrote, and I just know she was killing me in her mind. 😅
December 8, 2016 at 3:29 pm
TsukkiEdward, an ideal boyfriend? Pfft, I'd rather go drown myself in a lake than touch him with a ten-foot pole. Dude, the guy stares at Bella in her sleep BEFORE THEY WERE EVEN DATING, last I checked. If I were Bella, I'd be hailing the police because Edward's behavior would send every warning bell in my system ringing. Though lucky I'm not Bella, I wouldn't want to be that dumb attention-seeking Mary Sue. And yes, she's a Mary Sue. Look, she's so introverted and thinks she's not all that pretty but oh what the hell look at all those guys falling at your feet, Bella, LOOK. Ahem. Sorry. Rant over, haha. I just find reading about how Twilight sucks very therapeutic. Whenever I'm mad, I scroll down the net looking for this kind of pages and start reading. As a person who's halfway through planning a vampire novel, Twilight is a huge blow to my...well, not pride, but something. The only problem I have with this (and about every other site talking about how Twilight sucks) is the fact that they (well, you) have to make it seem like Twilight is the Dream of dreams of teenage girls. Dude. It's NOT true, by the way. Me and my friend spend all the time laughing at my oh-the-Twilight-vamps-sparkle-I'm-sooooo-scared jokes. I swear if someone if tries to imply that I like Twilight I'm gonna blow.
September 9, 2016 at 7:29 am
Jake jrI feel like you should write a book on vampires werewolves and other mythical creatures Id buy it on the spot.
August 7, 2016 at 1:02 am
Jake jrXD savage and accurate
August 7, 2016 at 12:57 am
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September 7, 2015 at 3:44 am
Krista JulienneI only just read this when it was tagged in a newer blog post. It is epic, and perfect. Thank you.
March 19, 2014 at 1:10 pm
9 Ways to Do Cardio That Suck Slightly Less Than Most Forms of Cardio Roman Fitness Systems[...] extended period of time seems like just about the worst fucking thing on the planet, second only to being forced to read Twilight again. Or, even worse, being forced to listen to Twilight on audiobook while jogging. Holy shit [...]
November 17, 2012 at 11:33 pm
Sam Alt ReidI love your views and points about this whole series, I too have twice read through and share a lot of your thoughts about this. Great review. I like how you also admit, there could have been somthing in this story, and there are a few things that are well, about ok. but the overall is shoking and things, done in a terrible way, with a terrible message. At least Buffy broached the same stuff in a better way, with a strong female charactor. One thing I will say, the wole power thing, done before by the women who wrote interview with a vampire though in a way. Just thought I'd say.
November 17, 2012 at 4:36 pm
Aleksandra Bilcaneyou're completely right. just what I was thinking. I liked the 1st book & hated the rest. hey, I tried & failed miserably. fun review & even more fun to read that Twilight. thank you!
June 9, 2012 at 10:54 am
Catherine Km JocelynI agree with all of this so much.
June 7, 2012 at 3:09 am
FrankieI picked up twilight years ago in high school and after reading the first chapter dropped it in boredom, lo and behold years I had a friend raving about this books and as soon as she started describing the first book it struck a cord in me. I couldn't believe it myself. Of course as the popularity spread I went back and indulged in all the books and movies. Your review is spot on, and I am not a literary snob I love Asimov, but have read trashy romance novels too and thoroughly enjoyed them. I however hate masquerade, trash should know it's trash and revel in it. Twighlight fans loudly want to proclaim it as good instead of merely enjoyable trash. If you have time to waste read Fifty shades of Grey the new Twighlight fan fiction with another author who has a dictionary and knows how to make dirty sex utterly boring and should have her access to a thesaurus revoked. the characters are Bella and Edward with different names.
June 4, 2012 at 12:02 pm
AnnechristoffOh my goodness. This is absolutely hilarious. I also think Twilight blows. I read the first book and wanted to throw up. I don't understand how girls my age (mid twenties) thought that this shit was good. Thank you so much for sharing your thoughts. I especially liked how you mention that Bella suffers from FAS. All this talk has me excited for Trueblood next week!
June 3, 2012 at 1:19 pm
John RomanielloHaha, it defies logic that so many women I know to be smart, discerning and otherwise awesome get so into it. On to true blood!
June 4, 2012 at 8:13 am
Corine BlokEnjoyed this, I am like you and will read anything available. I love vampire stories, but hated these. One thing you missed though is that the ( modern) vampire is closely linked to syphilis. Bram Stoker wrote his Dracula when syphylis was reaching pandemic proportions. It is literally a warning that sex can kill. I think it is ironic that the new dracula hype in our time started to really hit it off when AIDS was turning into somerhing bigger than expected ( late 80's early 90's). now that HIV doesn't actually means you'll die, everybody starts having affairs with vampires.
June 3, 2012 at 5:17 pm
Vanessa CrooksI've never been able to put into words how much I hate twilight, because it's so mind-numbingly stupid and bad that I can't bring myself to think about it anymore. so do you mind if i copy/paste? just kidding. but thank you for being so eloquent and funny. this made me feel a whole lot better about having wasted hours reading that garbage in hopes that it would eventually get good, but it never did, and i have all this bunched-up frustration, but now i know someone else shares the exact same opinion as me.
November 23, 2011 at 4:57 pm
MoonbearI take issue with one of your (less-evidenced) assertions: "Women, on the other hand, swoon over this bullshit." to quote you again, in response: "Um...WHAT? This is bullshit!" Please don't throw 'woman' under the bus. Your assertion is hardly true of my entire gender.
November 19, 2011 at 8:06 am
John RomanielloReally? REALLY? I have to qualify that I'm making a generalization? Fine: when I say "women" I mean "women who read Twilight." So really, I'm talking about at least--of whom I would say there are several million. As an example, on the day it came out--the DAY--1.3 MILLION copies of Breaking Dawn were sold. So, since 90% of Twilight fans are women, then 1.17 million of them were women. I feel pretty okay with having made my generalization.
November 19, 2011 at 5:02 pm
November 18, 2011 at 10:53 pm
QJOne of the best written pieces about any subject I've read in a while. Didn't know you were this "deep" and articulate, pretty boy.
November 18, 2011 at 8:19 pm
John RomanielloI'm not all about push ups and protein, my friend.
November 18, 2011 at 9:50 pm
John RomanielloFor your sake, I hope you're 13. Because, if not, you are in some serious fucking trouble.
November 4, 2011 at 8:44 am
monI think the books were about giving women what they want. Guys that arnt afraid of such a strong powerful love... if this even exists. Id just like to say that I don't read and never really cared for it, I found it hard to get through even a few pages of a book at school. When Twilight came along I had no idea what it was and people would ask me if i had read it. They were raving about it. I never gave it another thought! Then I went to the movies with my boyfriend and we didnt really know what to see so I picked and we ended up seeing Twilight finally id get to see what was so good about it. I came out of it thinking nothing of it and that maybe it was a bit crap. I went on with my life.... and i dont know how it happened but i must have seen the movie again somewhere, and something hit me. I LOVED IT!!! Shocker :S One day i was feeling a bit unintelligent and thought i might start reading. So I borrowed my sisters book and read the first one and i was hooked, seriously they greatest book Ive ever read and Ive hardly read any books. I bought the set of all of them and have all the movies and i really enjoy it. I didnt know who she was until this movie but i liked Kristen Stewart ever since ive seen her in catch that kid and panic room. I suppose i saw the qualities in both of the male leads which drew me in. Edward is timeless he is old fashioned he had experienced so many different centuries which is something that i find amazing. The world used to be a beautiful place and now its turning to shit. The government sucks! Australias such a great place but even i can see the cracks. Jacob is HOT! and he is so in live with Bella that it makes he crazy... trust me when you feel that kinda love from a guy its so exhilarating. I just gotta say if your not a girl and not intrigued by history and love.... if you cant look past what the critiques say is so crap about it then you will never fully see the beauty of what Stephanie Meyer was trying to create. Its not about what she wrote its about the idea, and its a beautiful idea... to spend eternity with the one you truly love... the love Edward and Bella shared seemed so much stronger than the love on earth it makes you wonder if that love really exists.
November 2, 2011 at 2:56 am
John RomanielloFor your sake, I hope you're 13. Because, if not. You're in some serious fucking trouble.
June 3, 2012 at 12:31 pm
TobyI absolutely agree! One of the major issues I have with the vampires in this series, is that they have no weaknesses. And they sparkle in the sunlight? WTF? That's not a vampire, that is some teenage girl's glamorized masturbatory wet dream. If movie executives or writers want to take notes for future vampire movies, they should look no further than Whedon's Buffy.
July 14, 2011 at 11:55 am
RebeccaI just like you better all the time! This was hilarious and spot-on. I think you will enjoy The Oatmeal's similarly-disgusted review of the series: http://theoatmeal.com/story/twilight Also, at Cracked.com, if you search on "Twilight", you will find some of the most scathingly funny articles written about the series. "If 'Twilight' Was 10 Times Shorter and 100 Times More Honest" and "Why the Rumored 'Twilight' MMO Must Be Stopped" are particular favorites of mine. I should also add that "women" do not go crazy for Twilight. Every woman I know, including myself, is horrified and repulsed by Meyer's misogynistic view of women as helpless, desperate, clingy, damaged, and frankly psycho. The fact that any (apparently emotionally stunted) women go for this crap makes me really, really sad for my gender. Ripping off "Wuthering Heights" does not surprise me at all. Every remotely emo-inclined female teen of my generation at least went through a phase at about the age of 14 or 15 when "Wuthering Heights" was the deepest and most romantic book in existence. I read it myself probably four times, I admit it. And it *is* a great book, just not for the reasons I thought it was at 14. =) I suspect that in your vision of Meyer as a lonely teen pining after Eddie, she was also carrying a dog-eared copy of "Wuthering Heights" in her backpack, full of marginalia that claims to be poetry, with the most tragic scenes highlighted, and with tiny hearts drawn over the dots of the i's in every instance of "Heathcliff" or "Catherine". Are you a "Game of Thrones" fan by chance?
July 14, 2011 at 11:14 am
ChrisUmm. Are you me? I ask this because I thought the EXACT SAME THINGS! I, too, am a bibliophile. If I read one book in a series I have to read the remaining ones strictly because I will feel like a quitter if I don't That is the only reasoon I read all four books. Now, as someone who holds a B.S. in English with an emphasis in Secondary Education (I opted not to student teach and get my teaching license), I have been able to work past poor writing if it is getting today's youth to read. Moreso if the poor writing is overshadowed by an excellent message. However, I've have to amend my belief strictly because of The Twilight Saga. It is pure shit. THE. END.
July 14, 2011 at 10:26 am
RajatYep Roman, totally agree with you. After reading the vampire series of writers like Anne Rice, the Twilight saga seemed to be a complete joke...seriously good post....there is another hilarious book by another female author, I don't remember it at the moment but its about a vampire who has got his tooth chipped by some means and must visit a beautiful female dentist to fix it for him...:)..its even more ridiculous...
April 8, 2011 at 1:09 am
VespaI found this highly entertaining and is one of the written articles that has actually made me burst into laughter as I read it. This however is rather strange--considering I DO like the Twilight books...even stranger I am a boy (nothing to do with typical stereotypes...just stating the fact that most Twilighters or whatever their fans are called are girls). I also lament the fact that it has inspired a whole wave of (let's face it) of crappy vampire books that want to cling on to its sales...I used to like vampires. I don't like it for the reasons most people do however. I am neither wearing a TEAM JACOB or TEAM EDWARD t-shirt (or TEAM BELLA for that matter). So just wanted to clarify that I'm not a twilight fanatic (haven't even seen eclipse yet and don't really care if I do) but that I did find the books entertaining. Sure thing--they're not the greatest works of literature ever made on the earth and Meyer is not bringing anytihng innovative but at least for me I was able to have a good time reading them--its sort of that book you read just to forget the world around you. However I think most Twilight girl-fans also usually overlook one important crucial fact. It is true that Bella has nothing extremely special when compared to other heroines we find in actual pieces of literature but I disagree with you that most people identify wtih Bella for the reason you stated. Bella personality is in a way so passive people most people don't identify themselves with her--they shove her out of the way and put themselves in her place. Honestly girls do you think, considering what Bella was like that Edward would even notice someone so fanatical and obsessed who decided to put on a TEAM EDWARD t-shirt? and went along with the masses? For me (and this is because I have some fucked-up reasoning processes) Bella symbolises that you can be loved no matter how plain and simple you are--because that's how SHE is.The whole point of Bella is that she doesn't try to be anyone else--Edward criticises the c*** out of most members of the female sex in her school--the ones that follow the sheep like mentality etc....strangely enough though its all those girls who in real life have become obsessed with Twilight. Strange no? Well thanks again for an excellant article--I just wanted to put forth my own personal interpretation of certain things. Thanks for the laughter!
September 7, 2010 at 5:20 pm
Dietrich MarquardtHey Roman, Loved the article. Some other fantasy authors you might like to check out: Russell Kirkpatrick, Terry Brooks, and David Eddings (who I'm sure you've heard of). Kirkpatrick is a great author - his sagas are epic, and written on a grand scale - I've read one review, of his Fire of Heaven series, which says its scale of grandeur is on par with Lord of the Rings. Not true in my opinion, but damn close nonetheless. Brooks has an interesting twist in the foundation of his fantasy. You've got your swords, monsters, elves, and magic, but the way it all came about is rather interesting. His approach is that the age we live in (i.e. technology and machinery) ended up in a massive apocalypse of sorts, ala Terminator (just without those weird hot machine chicks). This sort of 'unleashed' magic, and now everyone lives in a a fantasy world etc. Check out the Sword of Shannara series. Happy reading dude :)
July 3, 2010 at 6:06 am
Robynand yea thats me and my roommate @ the Twilight Convention with some of the Wolf Pack around us. And yea on my finger nails i have painted Team *Paw print* Jacob. :)
June 27, 2010 at 9:26 pm
RobynI somehow never saw this blog post Roman. I kinda agree with you about "Edward" and in my mind, real men dont sparkle :) I am very happy you didnt pick on "Jacob" because if you did, we would have very serious problems lol
June 27, 2010 at 9:24 pm
RekaHehe, awesome article. It was well worth to read it... unlike the books. Actually I stopped reading the very first one quite at the beginning, and never went on. I hardly ever do that, not to finish a book, but this was incredibly terrible. The movie wasn't a great deal either but I'll watch 2nd part when I have time, to see Jacob's cool new body. But really, the dozen pages I read of the twilight book was pretty close to what a lobotomy can feel like.
May 17, 2010 at 4:56 pm
Jim CrowellTrue...It doesn't hurt at all, actually. ;) haha Yeah, it's not bad thing, just took some getting used to.
March 30, 2010 at 12:34 am
John RomanielloHey Jim, I'm right there with ya! Thanks for the rec, I'll check it out. PS - I wouldn't say looking like Jacob is a bad thing...chances are it's not hurting you with dating.
March 29, 2010 at 9:39 pm
Jim CrowellDude. Thank you SO much for writing this!! I am also a huge reader, and before Twilight, my favorite books to read were vampire books. Twilight is so terrible it makes me want to carve my brain out of my skull with a spoon while the rest of my body is run over by a steamroller. Seriously. Maybe even worse than that. And it doesn't help the fact that people think I look like Jacob and remind me of the fact on a daily basis. I hate it so much. On a brighter note, if you want something great to read, check out The Name of the Wind by Patrick Rothfuss, if you haven't already. Amazing. It's as good as Twilight is bad.
March 29, 2010 at 2:27 pm
HybridFound this from a link on the Anticraft forums. I only disagree with you on one point (I think, I didn't read anything that will "spoil" the rest of the series)- you cannot read them quickly! I got through Twilight, thinking it was alright, but I can't get into New Moon. May try again in the summer holidays. When I have more time & less intelligent books and notes to read (I take English Lit) Great review, very well thoght out, informative and true.
March 25, 2010 at 2:13 pm
Ginger@T. Lynn - I have to say that from what I've read so far, My Little Pony is an exciting and action-packed cartoon series with much better story lines than Twilight. A quote from wikipedia :"The Little Ponies make their home in Paradise Estate, living a peaceful life filled with song and games. However, not all the creatures of Ponyland are so peaceful, and the Ponies often find themselves having to fight for survival against witches, trolls, goblins and all the other beasts that would love to see the Little Ponies destroyed, enslaved or otherwise harmed." They all recover in the end, of course, but it's a kids' show and it doesn't claim to be 'badass'. It teaches the kids all the important things and has a healthy dose of humour as well, while Twilight has very little to offer to anyone. I'm speaking, of course, of the classic My Little Pony from the 80s (not My Little Pony tales, and not the modern my little pony stories with characters that don't have a personality between them, as well as being thick, and situations where nothing ever really happens. They seem to be very marketable though, so I suppose this is just as bad as Twilight). Okay... I'll stop talking now. (I'm an artist who wants to be an animator one day and my favorite hobby is customizing toys, including my little pony. So yeah, I'm not all there :D ) P.S. Random fact: The Neopets Team were so fed up with people talking about Twilight on their forums that they made a filter that changes the characters' names to different neopets and the name "Twilight" to "My Little Pony".
March 21, 2010 at 7:54 am
T. LynnOh my God, I love you! Not like an obsessive sycophant, but because you so clearly nailed the problems with the Twilight books. Them, I hate, as well as people who say they love vampires AND these books because Stephenie Meyers wrote about the vampire conceit about as much as Shakespeare wrote about them. Then again, I can even read some kind of vampire metaphor into the Caliban character in "The Tempest" and yet can't stomach the idea of a sexless, sparkly vamp family cooling their fangs in Washington state. The Cullens are like "My Little Pony"... Kudos on this post - great writing, better than Meyer. You should turn your high school angst into a novel like she did.
March 20, 2010 at 9:20 pm
GingerYou actually got me reading it. You terrible terrible person... I never thought I would, but your review made it seem like a failure too hilarious to miss out on (and I'd have full right to slag it off then). I thought I'd get away with an audio book, but my mind wanders off when I try to listen to it. Even the reader's voice sounds dull and boring. Anyway, I thought you might enjoy this random twilight parody I came across http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1glNuQiE77E
March 6, 2010 at 10:07 am
JenniOMG!!! Edward is so HAWT. Twilight is the best EVER!!!!1!!!
January 26, 2010 at 2:16 pm
JessicaThanks for the welcome. I’ve shown myself around the site (hope you don’t mind, I promise I didn’t take anything or at least something that you wouldn’t notice until after it appears on eBay) and it’s an interesting and seemingly original concept/product you and your colleagues/friends have developed. Congratulations. (I’m not sure what the collective noun for a group of psyched-up personal trainers/fitness experts would be. A posse? A platoon? A plague perhaps? Kidding!) There are certainly a number of online personal trainers and web based fitness systems in Australia but they don’t appear to be the cohesive and fluid network you guys have created and nor do they come with same degree of um, personality. But maybe you, Roman, are just special? Glad I could contribute something you hadn’t heard previously to the Twilight debate. I may be doing you a gross injustice here but I suspect while keeping your eyes peeled and ears open for all the social commentaries that have abounded since their publication, you may not have been closely following the major Australian newspapers. Here’s the link to the opinion piece in the Sydney Morning Herald, which details the “vampires as celebrities” metaphor. http://blogs.smh.com.au/lifestyle/fearclothing/2009/12/04/twilightitsth.html?page=fullpage Actually, my all time favourite commentary is that of Robert Pattinson or “RPatz” himself (I’ll try to keep from swooning while I type) who sees the abstinence portrayed in the books as a metaphor for well, abstinence. Genius. But perhaps we’re all just taking it way too seriously. So if you want to read another extremely funny and equally scathing review of the series here’s another link - http://www.cracked.com/funny-36-twilight/ Maybe we should all start a lobby group to petition the IOC to include “Twilight Bashing” as the next demonstration sport at the Olympics. It’d have to be significantly better than golf!
December 19, 2009 at 7:02 pm
John RomanielloJessica, Thank you for such an eloquent review, as full of wit as it was vitriol I applaud you and your hatred of the series that has become a blight on all literature. We share similar thoughts, so I'll not rehash overmuch, but I do want to thank you most especially for your last paragraph. To be honest, though I keep my ear to the ground (and eye to the internet) regarding Twilight, somehow, the theory of Meyer's vampires as a metaphor for celebrities. How mention of that comparison slipped my notice, I don't know, but I can see the reasoning behind it. I agree with you: that idea is interesting, but far too clever to credit to Meyer herself. More likely, it was an idea that was stumbled upon after the fact, and looking back people are sort of retro-fitting the book to fit the metaphor. Still, I may re-read them (or at least skim them) with that idea in mind, and see if I have a somewhat different experience. Thanks again so much for your post, and welcome to the site--looking forward to hearing more from you! -Roman
December 17, 2009 at 10:06 pm
JessicaHi there, I realise this particular post is a little old but I’ve just come across your blog and have been inspired to contribute. Like you, under the guises of investigating “just what all the fuss is about”, I’ve recently finished reading the Twilight saga however unlike you – masochist! - I’m not going to do it twice. Some things are truly meant to be a once in a lifetime experience. It’s not often I reach the end of books having almost lost the will to live. That feeling is usually reserved for the invariably miserable Thomas Hardy novels where children die - horribly, the good suffer – horribly, the honourable are ruined – horribly and the weather and landscape are yes, you guessed it, horribly grim but that’s what Hardy was all about. However, Stephanie Meyers has succeeded in evoking the same emotional reaction as Hardy but without the literary kudos to go with it. Bravo! Unlike the other teenage book phenomenon Rowling’s Harry Potter series, which while equally unchallenging was great story telling and utterly charming, by the time I was onto “Breaking Dawn” (the final book) it was a toss up as for whom I was more embarrassed - me to be seen reading it on public transport or Meyers as she effectively ruined what could have been an almost interesting battle scene with a ending so clichéd and nauseating I was actually shocked to discover that the final words weren’t “and they all lived happily ever after”. No, upon reflection, I was more embarrassed for Meyers. What was so frustrating about that last novel was that by that stage I was so disconnected from and aggravated by the characters that I was, ironically unlike the vampires themselves, actually baying for their blood and so almost wept with disappointment when they weren’t massacred – horribly, which actually would have been a nice Hardy-esque touch. Look, if you’re in to stealing from the classics at least mix it up a bit. So how refreshing to come across someone who rather than buy into the whole “a love story for a generation” and “are you a Team Edward or Team Jacob supporter?” crap was more vehemently opposed to the novels than I was, but perhaps your extreme prejudice stems from reading them twice. I can see how that would happen. I agree with your character assassinations of the main players. I’ve known people with clinical depression with better self-esteem than Bella and as for her attitude during her vampire transformation of “I’m not going to let anyone know how much pain I’m in despite it feeling like every cell in my body is boiling in concentrated hydrochloric acid while being burnt in a fat fire because it might hurt Edward’s feelings”. Well, way to go to set the new gold standard for female self sacrifice. Jesus. Perhaps that inspiring attitude should be used around global maternity wards – “Ladies suck it up, despite the fact that your baby is performing the biological equivalent of getting out of a car via the exhaust pipe expressing your physical discomfort may make your partner feel bad.” Yep that’d go down a right treat, I reckon. And as for Edward being the archetype of the perfect man. Well, if intense, moody and sullen martyr with good hair is considered the benchmark of the quintessential male then boys I’d be setting the bar to “grossly flawed” and be starting to grow a mullet if I were you. Seriously, what is THE character trait that appears at the top of every survey into what women find desirable/sexy in a man that is blatantly missing from Edward? (Let’s limit ourselves to Western culture here, I’m sure for some women/girls not being with someone who will stone them to death for simply talking to a male cousin is probably up there. Let’s just take that as read in this case.) On these lists there are likely to be any combination of descriptors such as “intelligent”, “good looking”, “nice smile/eyes/bum”, “financially secure”, “kind”, “emotionally available”, “faithful“ (Tiger Woods if you’re reading this, we mean it) but in the number one position? A GSOH that’s what! Yep without exception these surveys supposedly prove that blokes who have the gift of humour, who can make women laugh and are able to engage in witty banter will almost always have a serious competitive advantage. Edward? Sure, he’s used the last 100 years to become fluent in multiple languages, become a virtuoso pianist and composer of personal lullabies but would he recognise even a half decent joke if it jumped up and bit him on his sparkly arse? Not bloody likely. Imagine living with that and for an eternity no less. Well I’ll be passing on immortality thanks because if my soul mate turns up with “humour batteries not included” death will not be coming fast enough! Regarding Meyers complete destruction of the vampire metaphor in literature, well as I’m neither a particular fan nor purist of the genre so I can’t really comment. However, in my book being lumped for all eternity with the afore-mentioned humourless brooder would indeed constitute a fairly significant drawback to vampirism. Interestingly enough though some have credited Meyers with using her perfect vampires and Bella’s obsession with them as a metaphor themselves for the cult of celebrity and the modern obsession with pretty, sparkly (aha!) people who earn 100 times the average wage for what is essentially non-productive/contributory labour. “Celebrities” especially those of the oxygen thieving Paris Hilton ilk can potentially be seen as vampires on society and our all consuming fixation and feelings of inadequacy in comparison to them is as unhealthy as Bella’s obsession with Edward. Personally, I’m not convinced Meyers is that deep and that these observations stem from far cleverer people desperate to try and find something nice to say about the books given their gobsmacking success. But hey, tis the season to be generous of spirit so perhaps Meyers really has written a series of novels that not only have captured the imagination of a generation but at the same time make an important modern social commentary. Yep and pigs might fly backwards over the Sahara desert at Christmas time too.
December 17, 2009 at 9:44 pm
John Romaniello@Darkeiko - I would say read them again. Any aspiring writer should do so--I can think of few examples that more effectively illustrate that you don't need to be a skilled writer to hit on a jackpot. An example of what not to do for any writer. Unless you want to churn out drivel and make bank. In which case I guess it's a good guide for how to do that. @Wendy - Thanks, Wendy =)
December 10, 2009 at 1:34 pm
WendyYou're my hero. This is great.
December 10, 2009 at 11:22 am
DarkeikoI've only read the first book and seen the first movie (my mother seeing the second movie upon curiosity and telling me about it) but I still sum up the book the same way you have. Thank you for giving my opinion more weight since you've read the entire saga. I'm not going to say anything about the way they're written (because truthfully I sped through the dang thing much too fast to even remember) since I'm still an aspiring writer myself. But still, good job with the comments and keep up the good work.
December 10, 2009 at 3:34 am
BrandonYlwa, glad to see I saved you from vampire abstinence. There really is a lot of good vampire lore out there. Although I have to take back my recommendation of Cassandra Clare. I just found out she's had more than a few charges of plagiarism aimed against her. I liked the series, but I can't recommend it anymore.
December 9, 2009 at 5:43 pm
John RomanielloThanks for comment, Jessie! I'm glad you got a new perspective--which doesn't mean you can't enjoy the books, of course. As long as you're not calling them, "the best books evah!!!1!!1omgomgloltaylorlautner!!!!omgz!!1!", you're okay in my book.
December 9, 2009 at 4:57 pm
Jessiethat was hilarious i read the books and i liked them but this was wayy better then the books. lol thanks for givin me a new perspective on twilight, i can finally agree with my boyfriend on why he doesnt want to see the movies lol
December 8, 2009 at 12:58 pm
BunyipFollowed the link from t-nation. Great laugh, thanks for the article. After reading Elin's comment I now view Meyer as the most arrogant, vapid bitch in existence.
December 6, 2009 at 10:29 pm
ElinAlso interesting from an anti-Twilight perspective http://vampirely.wordpress.com/2009/05/10/extra-credit-the-twilight-saga-and-domestic-abuse/ Essentially, the author of this makes the case that the relationship between Edward and Bella is far from healthy and 'perfect'. While Edward himself might not be written as abusive, a lot of the things he says and does are signs of emotional abuse and he probably isn't the sort of character that tweens should be holding up on a pedestal. Also, Smeyer has given at least one interview stating that Twilight is somehow superior (still not sure how) to Romeo and Juliet, and that Bella is a stronger, better character than Princess Buttercup from the Princess Bride. It's sad to think that it's apparently escaped her notice that the Princess Bride is a satire. It's sadder to think that she's probably wrong about Bella. From what I've seen, the stereotypes in Princess Bride are better fleshed than her characters. Buttercup pushed Wesley down a hill for crying out loud. What has Bella done except lust after Edward for his sparkly marbly skin, and he after her for her complete and utter lack of anything remotely resembling a personality? They're not bad books (kay, maybe just a little) but they're certainly not all they're touted to be. I might have enjoyed them minus all the hype from tweens about them being the 'bestest books we eva wread!'
December 3, 2009 at 12:51 pm
SirenaJohn, So I have been meaning to comment on this post for a couple of reasons: 1) To say thank you. You have spared me the aggravation and TIME from reading the Twilight series -- something that I was oh so close to succumbing to. 2) For your refreshingly witty commententary on all things non-fitness related. Way to have a back bone, man. --Sirena p.s. Sooooo, her vampires actually SPARKLE??? Sounds like a trait the "Jem" lost somewhere in the 80's and picked up years later by sexually hyperactive tweens.
December 2, 2009 at 10:42 am
YlwaIs she Mormon? HA HA! That explains everything. Mormons are hilarious, and they have the best beer ever. Seriously. I had one of them at a small taco place on the boarder of Utah when we stopped for dinner after flying over grand canyon. I didn't know the Mormon's made beer but they do - Polygamy porter. With the slogan "why just have one?". Seriously it's true. I've saved the bottle. Not too bad of a beer either, but how can you not love a beer with a name like that? Maybe I'll give vampires a try. With a bottle of polygamy porter.
December 1, 2009 at 9:17 pm
Brandon@Ylwa - Don't let Twilight turn you off of vampire fiction for good. There is a lot of good vampire lore out there. The way I see it, Twilight isn't a vampire story per se (she goes way too far off the beaten path for that to work). Stephanie Meyer basically wanted to write a typical "good girlad boy" teen romance, but Meyer, a Mormon, didn't want to encourage typical "bad boy behavior" (knowing people would look up to Edward), but needed to find a way to make her "bad boy" forbidden in some way, so she made him a vampire. Don't get thee to a nunnery, just find a good vampire to take your vampire virginity. Try something not aimed at 12 year olds.
November 29, 2009 at 7:50 pm
YlwaNever read it, never seen it. I'm a vampire virgin, and after this brutal review I'm ready to join a vampire convent.
November 29, 2009 at 6:30 pm
PerSure... my guess is that you changed the appearence of your site so that it would be more "dark" and appealing to the Twilight-fans that will soon flood your comment sections. Haven't read the books but seen the first movie and will probably go and see the second one too (not too much to watch in our little town). I acctually sat next to one of the guys who had been doing the special effects for New Moon on the train, he was here to hold a lecture for some computer design students in Sweden. He didn't recommend it either... ;O)
November 28, 2009 at 10:46 am
John RomanielloOriginally Posted By AizanI never bothered watching the Twilight movies, let alone read the books. But I did enjoy Anne Rice's version of vampires. And I have a feeling that she trumps Ms. Meyer in terms of writing skills big time. Rice's version of vampires is excellent, in my view. As a writer she is annoying. I think someone gave her a copy of the Great Gatsby and her immediate interpretation of "great writing" was to add 5 adjectives before each noun. Boo. I don't think she's bad, by any stretch--it often just seems she's being flowery for the sake of being flowery. I really enjoy her stories, though, and I wish they had continued making movies. I think if they re-did them now, with enhanced effects and a solid cast, they could film them all at once, release them over a period of 3-5 years, and they'd be great.
November 24, 2009 at 9:05 pm
John RomanielloOriginally Posted By AntonellaI view twilight like i view britney spears or any of that pop psuedo music garbage flooding the radio waves, or the reality tv that numbs our brain on the daily. There are those books that are profound, intelligent, and really change life... then there are those that are meant to pass the time, engage us in a fantasy, and provide us with an alternate world to get lost in, with little intellectual residue. this is the "pop music" of literature. you hit the nail on the head when you said she writes for her audience (maybe not on purpose...). There is janis joplin, and there is miley cyrus. When classic lit fans need a vacation, they read twilight. i'm a crazy avid reader as well, and i enjoyed the series just like how i turn up "party in the u.s.a." Do you ever look at a sports illustrated magazine? Internet porn? there are those trite, contrived fantasies, and then there are the real girls that touched your heart. the books are NOT terrible! they're enjoyable. not everything has to be in the canon. sometimes it's just for shits! but still, you're pretty fun. good article. change the black background its killing my eyes I see your point, but I think you're missing mine. I didn't say I begrudge the readers or fan of Twilight the right to like it; after all, if they enjoy it, that's great. The problem I have is the ardency with which the fans defend the books, and the language they use to do so. To stay with your analogy, no one is comparing Miley Cyrus to Janis Joplin and saying, "these two things are rougly comparable in quality." Not even Miley Cyrus things she makes "great" music. As you said, that doesn't make it any less fun. I take issue with anyone who says that the Twilight saga is well written; because by any measurable standard we have in place, it really is not. I take issue with fans who compare Twilight to Harry Potter, or the Lord of the Rings. The simple fact of the matter is that despite the whirlwind, these books will be remembered for the splash they made, not how great they were. They'll be remembered fondly, as a sort of adolescent curiosity. In much the same way girls now look back on their "obsession" with N'Snyc, the Backstreet Boys, or New Kids on the Block, people will look back at Twilight and say, "wow, I was really into that for a minute." This is just my opinion, and I am confident in it: over the years this book will be forgotten, it's impact diminished. If you were to look at the shelf of classic works, can you HONESTLY say that you think Bella and Edward deserve to be on that shelf with Oliver Twist, Huck Finn, Holden Caufield, Sam and Frodo, Merlin and Arthur? I just don't see it happening. Does that make it any less fun for those who enjoy it? I hope not. I know apple pie is shitty for me to eat, but it still tastes good. Enjoy whatever you want, however you want to. But Janis Joplin is a rock legend, and Miley Cyrus is an over-produced puppet of a genius marketing department. Twilight is all sizzle, and no steak.
November 24, 2009 at 8:30 pm
John Romaniello@Fred Eklund - I actually enjoyed the Dark Tower series quite a bit. I'll say that, for me, Stephen King is very hit or miss. Sometimes he'll churn out a masterpiece, like IT, The Stand, The Shining and maybe Needful Things, Shawshank, and the Green Mile. Other times, I think it's kinda crap pulp, like Misery, Christine, Pet Cem. I go on and off with him. King has a habit I dislike: when he is writing from the perspective of the omnipotent narrator, it tends to sound a little too "conversational" for me. This bothers me. It's almost like he wanted one of the characters to tell the story, but didn't know how to work it in. For me, the omnipotent narrator shouldn't have an opinion on what's going on. When he writes from a characters first person perspective, I find his stuff to be much stronger. In summary, I guess I would say he is a writer with a lot of stories to tell--stories I generally like--I just often don't like the way he tells them. Regarding the Dark Tower specifically: I thought it was well written, well paced, interesting, and overall a great fantasy epic. The best part about it was the way King made constant references of allusions to his previous work. Random words and references would come up and I would go, "huh, I think that's from the Stand." I'd go to my archives and check it out, and sure enough, there is was. King did this in a very humble, almost grateful kind of way. Instead of coming off like a self-aggrandizing bastard trying to play off his own work, he came off like a guy giving a gentle nudge to his long time fans--a sort of inside joke that says, "hey, thanks for sticking with me," It was a nice touch, and as a writer I appreciate the thought that went into it.
November 24, 2009 at 8:17 pm
John RomanielloOriginally Posted By [email protected] Romaniello - OK, I got a little mixed up, but if I didn't say it someone else would. Here's what the real problem is going to be: The popularity of the Twilight books is going to cause a flood of the market. Everybody is going to be publishing vampire stories, and things even worse than Twilight (if that's possible) are going to hit the shelves. When this flood of vampire-crap hits bookstores, it's going to turn people off of vampire stories and possibly fantasy in general, in addition to burying good fantasy authors, like Jim Butcher, Charlaine Harris, Tanya Huff and Terry Goodkind. (If you're a fantasy fan, check them out, along with Cassandra Clare. She does teen and tween sci-fi/fantasy right.) Actually, I'm not a Charlaine Harris fan. I have only read her Sookie Stackhouse series, and I think thew writers at HBO do a much better job. For fantasy, I like Terry Goodkind, Robert Jordan, RA Salvatore, George RR Martin, Margaret Weis, Tracy Hickman, and a host of others. I'll check out some of the others you recommend; thanks =)
November 24, 2009 at 8:08 pm
AizanI never bothered watching the Twilight movies, let alone read the books. But I did enjoy Anne Rice's version of vampires. And I have a feeling that she trumps Ms. Meyer in terms of writing skills big time.
November 24, 2009 at 2:05 am
SallyOh, good! It's not just me! Whew! Thank you, John! : )
November 23, 2009 at 11:10 pm
AntonellaI view twilight like i view britney spears or any of that pop psuedo music garbage flooding the radio waves, or the reality tv that numbs our brain on the daily. There are those books that are profound, intelligent, and really change life... then there are those that are meant to pass the time, engage us in a fantasy, and provide us with an alternate world to get lost in, with little intellectual residue. this is the "pop music" of literature. you hit the nail on the head when you said she writes for her audience (maybe not on purpose...). There is janis joplin, and there is miley cyrus. When classic lit fans need a vacation, they read twilight. i'm a crazy avid reader as well, and i enjoyed the series just like how i turn up "party in the u.s.a." Do you ever look at a sports illustrated magazine? Internet porn? there are those trite, contrived fantasies, and then there are the real girls that touched your heart. the books are NOT terrible! they're enjoyable. not everything has to be in the canon. sometimes it's just for shits! but still, you're pretty fun. good article. change the black background its killing my eyes
November 23, 2009 at 3:57 pm
chrisVery good reveiw. My favourite vampire books are the Dracula series by Fred Saberhagen. The Dracula Tapes is a retelling of Stoker's Dracula, but from Vald's point of view. Bloody marvellous stuff. This is the 'benchmark' for all vampire books as far as I'm concerned. Once again John, thanks, you've saved me wasting precious time wondering what all the fuss is about.;-)
November 23, 2009 at 3:31 pm
GrahamAmazing stuff lol Love your writing like I have mentioned before. Keep it up! Looking forward to working with you in December.
November 23, 2009 at 2:16 pm
Fred EklundYou should totally put this review on Amazon John. That would spark some serious conversation, I would imagine :-) Haven't had the "good fortune" to read the series, but I saw the first movie when it came out. Pretty damn dull. So, not having read the books, I can't state any opinion on them per se, however, that was some funny shit you wrote, way more exciting than reading 1600 pages of utter BS! Another rather controversial fantasy series is Stephen King's "the dark tower", which I enjoyed. Like most of King's books that I've read. Have you got the chance to read the dark tower series?
November 23, 2009 at 4:21 am
Brandon@John Romaniello - OK, I got a little mixed up, but if I didn't say it someone else would. Here's what the real problem is going to be: The popularity of the Twilight books is going to cause a flood of the market. Everybody is going to be publishing vampire stories, and things even worse than Twilight (if that's possible) are going to hit the shelves. When this flood of vampire-crap hits bookstores, it's going to turn people off of vampire stories and possibly fantasy in general, in addition to burying good fantasy authors, like Jim Butcher, Charlaine Harris, Tanya Huff and Terry Goodkind. (If you're a fantasy fan, check them out, along with Cassandra Clare. She does teen and tween sci-fi/fantasy right.)
November 23, 2009 at 12:14 am
John RomanielloOriginally Posted By BrandonI hate to do this, the last thing I want to do is encourage Stephanie Meyer, but as a bibliophile I just can't let it go. http://www.snopes.com/language/literary/dracula.asp Actually, the whole sunlight thing wasn't in "Dracula." He could handle sunlight just fine. It was the loose adaptation "Nosferatu" that started the whole sunlight-weakness thing. That's true, certainly. I realize in re-reading that I a bit unclear. I was using Drac to illustrate the sexual metaphor based on the negative connotations of sex. The trade off with Dracula is that he has all the benefits of the vampire, but not only is he unattractive (until Hollywood got their hands on him), he is also essentially a slave to his appetites--demonstrating the Victorian view that lust can take control of a person so it must be kept in check at all times. I didn't mean to imply a connection between Dracula and sunlight; thank you for pointing that out. Although I should say that I do believe it to be the case that in most medieval and Victorian vampire stories (such as Drac) even in those instances where vampires could be exposed to sunlight without harm, they were generally a bit weakened and left bereft of their powers. I'll have to check my archives on that. And, importantly, while Nosferatu was the first film to show sunlight as a weakness, traditional vampire lore assumed such for a long time. That is, when people actually thought there were actual vampires running around the village, they noticed that vamps didn't walk around during the day. Instead, all the things they attributed to vampires seemed to happen at night. A bit of logical manipulation and you arrive at the point that vampires cannot come out during the day light. From there, they'd dig up the bodies of the recently dead (whom they though to be vampires) in broad day light, and stake them in their coffins. Sunlight as a weakness has popped in and out of vampire lore. Within the past 60 years, though, it has become completely cemented. Thanks for the link, I love snopes =)
November 22, 2009 at 12:27 pm
BrandonI hate to do this, the last thing I want to do is encourage Stephanie Meyer, but as a bibliophile I just can't let it go. http://www.snopes.com/language/literary/dracula.asp Actually, the whole sunlight thing wasn't in "Dracula." He could handle sunlight just fine. It was the loose adaptation "Nosferatu" that started the whole sunlight-weakness thing.
November 22, 2009 at 11:45 am
HadiBrilliant, i talked to a Twilight fan that i know and HE agreed with what you said about the individual books. Somehow, he is still a fan -.- I despise Twilight
November 22, 2009 at 11:40 am
TedHAHAHAHAHAHA. Get this published somewhere. In the meantime I'll be forwarding it to everyone I know.
November 22, 2009 at 1:40 am
BrandonI looked at the Thesaurus in my Microsoft word, and there aren't enough versions of THANK YOU to explain my gratitude for someone writing this. You can imagine the fun I'm having as an English major. Between classes and the Night of One Acts I'm currently in, I spend my day surrounded by English and Theater majors. With access to the best poetry, prose, and plays ever put to paper, we are truly some of the most well read and smartest people on campus. Imagine my frustration when, after an English class where we spent 90 minutes discussing Lord Byron, a couple of the girls actually started to squee over seeing "New Moon." On the plus side, I've finally left my mark on this school. It's a dent roughly the size of my cranium in room 220 of the English building. Stephanie Meyer might be the reason I change my stance on book-burning.
November 21, 2009 at 11:44 pm
tanfunny as hell John. nice work. i've gotta show my girlfriend this the next time she drags me into a twilight movie.
November 21, 2009 at 11:03 pm
rossdude, thats hilarious. i know a few people im forwarding this post to ;) hope all is well
November 21, 2009 at 10:00 pm