Thursday, November 19, 2009

Twilight Mania

Twilight series author, Stephanie Meyer, admitted she is “a little burned out on vampires right now.”

Actually, I was encouraged to hear Stephanie say that her first books were not well written. She wishes she could go back and make changes. For me, it felt like wading through adverbs, irksome.

More than 85 million copies of Twilight books have sold. The first movie grossed $385 million.

What has captivated people enough to incite another cultural phenomenon, a book-reading and movie-going maelstrom?

As the release of the second movie, New Moon, sets in motion another fan-crazed, media-covered blitz, well-meaning people will react like Don Quixote fighting windmills, censors and censorious.

That’s disconcerting. And it makes me sad. The way it embarrasses me to look back on church crusades against Barbie and Disney and Colgate, to name a few.

Freedom to think, to create and to discriminate represents a vital core of human values.

I read the books so I could evaluate for myself, as I did when reading all 7 Harry Potter books. I didn’t view any of these books as inherently evil, though reservations about role models abound. I don’t believe the devil made them do it, either the authors or characters.

My objection as I slogged through the 2000+ pages stemmed from the uneven, at times poor writing. “Ponderous prose,” as my English teacher friend once described a well-known author’s book. But popular fiction does not christen literary giants.

What got me to the last page of the saga despite wariness and weariness, I wanted to dialogue with my daughters, my eldest son and granddaughter about how and why the books, originally intended for Young Adults, intrigued each of them.

I confess. It was a good story.

Creative. Imaginative. Not entirely original, but certain portions shined, “like the top of the Chrysler Building.”

Despite mistakes, Stephanie Meyer held the story-strands together, from beginning to end, like a weaver using numerous shuttles, colorful threads and a complicated pattern.

A good editor should have caught where Bella fed her father pancakes for breakfast in one paragraph, and a few paragraphs later, she picked up his cereal bowl.

Portraying vampires as real, with certain sects of vampires as “good guys” as well as werewolves who keep the vampires in check, belongs in the realm of fantasy fiction. Keep it there, and you can deal with the story on its own terms.


I am blessed! said...

I understand why you read the series. If I had the time or inclination for vampire books, I'd read Anne Rice. Few write as well as she does. Plus her books are rich with history and architecture. I heard she's a Christian now, don't know if it's true. Haven't read her since my young and single days.

Carol said...

Knew there must be a reason for Anne Rice's writing success. I read in World magazine about her conversion to Christianity, yet another example of grace.

Thanks for directing attention to her. Good writing stands on its own merit. If time and life allows, I will venture to her works myself.

Ender said...

I would agree, if you want well-written vampires, Anne is the way to go. However, her books are definitely darker and the occultic label readily sticks. I read "Interview with the Vampire" and "The Vampire Lestat", but felt I had to stop there. I have read the first of her books on the life of Christ, "Out of Egypt". Very interesting and well written.

Tammy said...

I just came across your blog through John & Audra's and I could sit here and read all of your past blogs (if I didn't have 4 kids to contend with!). I have to agree with you on these books. I've read all 4 and found so many mistakes but had to keep telling myself to ignore them and continue on. I found the story entertaining and that made it worth reading. I have stopped in front of Anne Rice's shelf at my library and stared often wondering how dark they really are, wanting to try them out but feeling like I shouldn't. I didn't know she is now a Christian, that's wonderful to hear and I'll have to read up on that myself.

I just wanted to leave a little message that I'm enjoying your blog and your writing in particular, you have a wonderful way of wording things that articulates what you're thinking so clearly. Love it!

Carol said...

Appreciative of you taking time to read and comment. A real dilemma to decide what to read and whose recommendations to heed. Trust your instincts, for I always say a book is only as good as it is timely.