Saturday, February 21, 2009

Testosterone at Twilight

If you recall, I picked up the novel "Twilight" in December during a "stealing Santa" gift exchange. To my limited understanding, the book's plot revolves around a cast of benign male vampires with their female human love interests, and includes meticulous descriptions of their romances and hotness.

The book has become quite a phenomenon, spawning its own feature film - à la Harry Potter. I passed the book off to Evey, who is an avid reader (so I expected that she would be done shortly). She made it through about a chapter before getting bored with the mediocre use of language and repetitive descriptions. By her account, it sounded as though the author had thrown a bunch of words into a thesaurus and strung them together in consecutive sentences.

It was not the level of descriptiveness that distracted her, per se. J.R.R. Tolkien was notoriously descriptive, yet Evey had made it through (at least two of) the Lord of the Rings series. Rather, it was fluffy, pop-culture writing.

The topic of Twilight emerged again on Valentine's Day. In a flurry of organizational madness, I had collated a list of movies that we could potentially see at a variety of cinemas along with their show times. These included action movies (for me) like the International and Valkyrie, computer animated adventures like Bolt, the Tale of Despereaux, and Coraline (the winner), as well a couple of more romantic movies like He's Just Not That Into You and... yes, Twilight.

Andy: I put Twilight on the list, but I guess you said it's pretty stupid.

Evey: Maybe it's not so bad. My little brother seems to like it.

Andy: Really?

Evey: Yeah, actually I was talking to a friend and she said her little brother read the whole series. She said it was the first book set that he read without putting down, and her brother walked by and he was like, "No, what are you talking about? I don't like those books!"

Evey: And my brother read the first book and the second book. So I asked him, "You must really like those books, eh?" And he was like, "No...! That book was so boring." Then I asked him why he read the second book too if it was so boring and he was like, "Uh..."

Evey: So maybe that book secretly appeals to boys a lot.

Andy: Hmm... maybe I should get it back from you.

I have to admit, with its allegedly vivid romantic diatribes and disproportionately descriptive depictions of beauty, Twilight sounds awfully geared toward gushy teenage girls. That it's attracting so much (ardently denied) male attention perhaps demonstrates a missed marketing opportunity. Guilty pleasures?

4 comments:

Alexis said...

Don't worry, Andy. Now that I finished my other books, I'll finish Twilight while I wait for Mass Effect to load. I already read a whole book while waiting for my computer to unfreeze.

Linda said...

i enjoyed the plot, but i agree w/ u that meyers is obsessed with adjectives. btw, if u haven't seen the movie, i can tell u it sucked REALLY bad. i was sitting in a packed room with teenage girls and the girl beside me gave me dirty looks every time the incompetent director did a close up of rob patti's face and i laughed out loud. (LOL esp when he was sucking out the vampire venom from the girl)..oh geez..i'm laughing now...Twilight the movie was unintentionally funny.

Joyce said...

I got through maybe 10 pages of the first Twilight novel and my reaction was: "WTF is this crap?!?".

Um...yeah. 8D

But seriously, the beginning was really boring and the author's writing is pretty damn bad, in my opinion. /mauled by Twilight fangirls (and little brothers?)
Besides, the plot is just so cheesy (reminds me of an equally bad, yet popular anime, Vampire Knight).

a_ndy said...

Oh dear, I actually watched Vampire Knight. That show made me rather uncomfortable by the end - what with all the little girls squirming provocatively for their blood to be sucked. *shudders*