Tuesday, July 06, 2010

The Twilight Phenomenon

There are tons of different kinds of writers. And at least twice as many kinds of readers. And since the invention of the printing press, readers have not denied how much they enjoy pulp fiction. Hey-- I love a good guilty pleasure as much as the next reader.

So, when I first heard about Twilight, I thought, fine. Fun. But I've got to admit, I thought flash in the pan. That was 2006. Now it's 2010, and over 17 million copies have been sold. That's one formidable flash in the pan.

Then I read the first book. Because who was I to judge?
Well, after reading it, I can tell you. I am to judge. Because the book is terrible, guys. The flat characterization. The heavy-handed storytelling. I can't enjoy it on a guilty pleasure level, because it's just that bad. It's the first title I rated 1 star on Goodreads. But no one else seems to agree with me. No one.

Here's me, yelling.
Me: Hello! (Echo: hello. hello.)
Anyone out there? (out there. out there.)
Am I the ONLY one who thinks Twilight is terrible? (No response.)

The other thing is, this book isn't only loved by swoony teens, oh no. The Twilight Moms have taken over. And they're terrifying. Because they can, you know, vote. They drive cars. They have power, you guys. They run the freakin PTA.

What's going on? I can't tell you how many of my teacher and writer friends (who I totally respect, by the way) have partaken of the Twilight Kool-aid. It's out of control.

Even if the madness is no where near stopping (seeing as we still have another movie or two I think?) can someone please explain what's going on? It's like the emperor has no pulse. And also, he can't go out in direct sunlight or his skin will look like diamonds.

I'd put a message in a bottle, but I think my cries for help might fall on deaf ears.


What Would a Nerd Wear said...

holla, i'm with you!!! that's the most terribly written crap i've ever come across! last night, my boyfriend and i were wondering how it even got so famous in the first place. meyer makes j.k. rowling look like proust.
you're not alone!

Shellie said...

I'm with you. I made it 200 pages into the first book and could go no further. What I don't get are the people that admit it's awfully written, that Bella is so unlikable, but say the love the books anyway. How does that work? How do you feel that way about the characters and the writing and still love the book? Baffling...

Robyn said...

Haha. I have to say that I mildly agree with you. I have read the books on a guilty pleasure level. However, they are crazy easy to read. They are written for "young adults" aka children. Young adults today have a lower reading level than ever before.

boomerang man said...

I have mixed feelings about this. I read all four books. The first is by far the worst. The ending of the last book is one of the worst conclusions ever written. Stephanie Meyer is not an exceptionally good writer. She is rather mundane and a bit plodding. She tends to reuse adjectives like they are the only ones available. However - I think she is somewhat talendted in terms of plot development and characters. I am not a twilight hater. I have no plans to read the books again. Once was enough for me (whereas I will be rereading Harry Potter over and over and over and don't care that it's not cool to like something so popular). I'm very much a "to each their own" kind of person. I thought the books were okay. They were by no means the worst books I have ever read. I'll read twilight time and again before I ever re-read "Look Homeward Angel" again. I don't get the disdain for it, but I also don't get the supreme adoration.

some chick said...

I'll say it - I think Twilight might just be one of the worst books I have ever read (and I'm so embarrassed to admit that I read it, too!)

As far as YA books being written for children, yada yada yada... My favorite books ever of all time are YA books, and some of them are the most brilliant and well-crafted books. Age-appropriate writing and bad writing are not the same thing. I don't believe in writing down to kids just because they are kids - if they connect with the story, they will read anything. I know 13-year-olds who inhale Shakespeare.

Twilight is just BAD.

WV - dance

Alyssa Goodnight said...

I would like to bravely volunteer that they entertained me, and I think, creatively speaking, she has talent. I'm really along for the ride on the movies, and honestly, I don't know what's going on with those obsessed PTA moms. (I myself am a PTA mom, but I'm neither a card-carrying member of Team Edward or Team Jacob). That part is kinda freaky really. :)

marta said...

I haven't read them. Don't want to. Don't care about vampires at all on any level. But I get crazy about Harry Potter so who am I to judge?

Anonymous said...

Its obvious to me that you like to judge(people as well as books by the sound of things). But I don't think you are a god judge. The book has much to recommend it. First of all, what the reader relates to isn't necessarily writing style. Its earnestness and passion. Twilight abounds with both. You say flat characterization. It is certainly more detailed in character development then say "Pride and Prejudice". In P&P all we get is one twenty yr old smart ass who likes to mock everyone that isn't cool as the heroine. At least Bella has integrity. She never blames Edward for the situation, unlike the typical romance female lead. She never threatens to leave him because she "wants to be true to herself" or some other balderdash no one understands. She is constant, loving, fair, and smart. Id say an excellent and unusual person, but one that is well presented. In fact Bella is written so well that many people see her as being too real. They think that maybe she should know kung-fu like Buffy or Anita Blake. I understand that you didn't like the book, but I can not understand why you assume that it is the fault of the writing. A lot of books of quality are hard to read. Ever tried "Slaughterhouse Five"? Tough read. Did you figure that is because Vonnegut has no ability? And before you think something nasty because Im comparing the two, let me tell you that the only thing that can truly test literature is time. I believe Twilight will be around for a long, long while entertaining people. Long after you are dead and gone.

ann @ my life as prose. said...

i just stumbled on this post from a google image search for the twlight moms image.

i am loving your little blog here and will be back :)

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