Twilight – A Man’s Perspective
To quote a good friend of mine, ‘Twilight swept through the ranks of my female friends like the bubonic plague.’
I first heard of this series of books two years ago, when my former English professor told me about this teenage vampire book that was sweeping across the country at such a pace, it made Harry Potter look like amateur hour. I found this rather distressing, because at the time… Harry Potter was one of my favorite series of books. However, since that time, the series has concluded, and I have changed my mind.
Back to Twilight. I paid it no heed until just a few months ago, when I finally relented to the pressure from an old girlfriend, and decided to pick it up. I was slightly disturbed by this choice of mine, and went into it very reluctantly. The first thing I noticed… the story is told from the first person point of view, of a teenage girl. This does NOT bode well for my sake of mind, as pretty much the last thing I need is to be put into the head of a high school girl. My keen fashion sense, as well as my affinity for cooking, baking, romance movies, and gardening had already left a huge question mark hanging over my head, in terms of my orientation. It was this juvenile hesitation(not that I actually care about this. I find it all highly amusing when people assume I’m gay) that led to my initial reluctance to pick these books up. However, I finally got into it, and I began to enjoy it. I will digress for a moment though, and address some of the critics of Twilight and Stephanie Meyer.
There seems to be a lot of you out there, and I simply have one thing to say, and this likely encompasses the grand majority of you, including Stephen King and his minions of doom and gloom. Literary snobs, the lot of you. As long as they have their dusty tomes of Don Quixote, Faulkner, Shakespeare, Chaucer, Machiaveli, and whatever else they deem necessary to applaud the genius of, they will cast judgment upon others for not having their level of taste in the field of books. Well, I’ve read my Mark Twain, and I’ve read Dumas, and Faulkner, and Shakespeare, and Hawthorne, and Chaucer, and I’ve even taken a very brief stab at Jane Austen. Some of those classic authors are total garbage, in my opinion. I’m specifically speaking of Faulkner and Hawthorne, who are the writers of such self-aggrandized drivel, it’s like trying to read a medical dictionary when the Sunday Comics would suffice. So I say this: I’ve read the classics, and if that’s what I am supposed to base my library on, I will likely never even bother getting around to filling the shelves.
Reading a book is about two major things: You either do it for enjoyment, or you do it to learn something. When it comes to enjoyment, why does it matter how good the quality of the writer is? I understand and accept that Meyer is not the greatest writer, but honestly… who cares? I know you do, but that doesn’t matter. Tens of millions of people love it, and the only thing you’re doing is ostracizing them. Stephen King just had to go and open his obnoxious New England-accented mouth and rip Meyer. He must be a lunatic. I love his writing, but he is obviously lacking quite a bit in the common sense department. When teenage girls who love teenage vampire stories start growing up, and want a more mature story about monsters… who were they going to turn to? Stephen King would’ve been one of the most likely choices. Nix that, now. Way to dismiss an entire generation of fans from the genre of the supernatural.
But, enough about that. Let’s get into my actual thoughts on the stories.
I found them to be quite enjoyable, particularly Book 1. After I got used to the writing style – and quick side note here… I know these books are geared towards the young adult female audience, but is it really necessary to keep up the mantra of ‘He is like a living version of Adonis, a Greek god with a chest made of polished marble, a beautiful representation of magnificence and sex appeal…’? I had to stop reading that tripe on several occasions just to go look at Playboy and set myself straight. Back to the books now. Book 1 was enjoyable, and I found the characters to be quite entertaining. The story was interesting, and above all, kept me feeling like I was involved in it somehow.
Book 2 started out great, turned into one of the most depressing stories I’ve ever encountered, and then finished a high note. It left me feeling like there would indeed be a happy ending, and that all was right in the world.
Book 3 came around, and it was spectacular in parts, and mind-numbingly frustrating in others. I tore through it in about two days, and shook my fist of fury numerous times.
Shortly after beginning Book 4, it hit me that because Stephanie Meyer is not a great writer, she messed up her timing with her characters. Typically, as long as the characters can keep me interested and sympathetic to their plight, I will keep reading. They did great up until the end of Book 3, when they began faltering at such a level, it would be totally inaccurate of me to say that I still had confidence in them. Then Book 4 came, and in approximately three chapters, made me hate everything about it and refuse to finish the series. Edward is the biggest wuss in the modern literary world, and Bella is a tweaked, self-absorbed twit with mental problems.
I understand why a lot of women love Edward. He’s beautiful, he’s powerful, he doesn’t stand his ground, and he’ll let them get away with anything they want, as long as it’ll make them happy. He’ll sit at home while she’s off at a hepatitis-infused biker bar getting passed around like a beach ball. She comes home with smeared lipstick and tangled hair, and all he’ll do is ask her if anyone hurt her. He is an emasculated wimp of epic proportions. The opposite of a man’s hero, such as Jack McClain, Jack Bauer, James Bond, or Jason Bourne.
Bella went from being a great person to be stuck in the head of, to being an insufferable twit with such a lack of sensibility that I wanted to draw the line FOR Edward since he was obviously too much of a weakling to do it himself.
Don’t even get me started on Jacob Black. He breaks every tenet there is for being an honorable man: He refuses to acknowledge Bella’s request to stop hitting on her, he refuses to acknowledge that he has been beaten, he is overbearing and pressuring to the extreme, and more or less is the exact opposite of Edward. While Edward is a wimp, Jacob is a boorish lout. Why are the two main male characters polarized to such extreme dispositions of awfulness?
All in all, it was a good series of books up until the end of Book 3. I never did finish Book 4, nor do I have any plans to. I know what happens in it, as the grapevine has expressed such information to me, but I have no interest in actually reading it myself. It is the perfect example, to go along with J.K. Rowling and Harry Potter, of the author simply running out of good ideas, and deciding to finally just finish the story off so she can get back to real life.
Again, keep in mind, that I am not refusing to finish it off due to some snobbish reason, it is simply because I hate what the characters turned into. I still think it was a great story, up until I refused to follow the characters any longer.
Goodnight, and good luck. And if you wake up in a dreamworld where you’re in bed with Edward Cullen, slap him in the face and tell him to stop making the rest of the male gender look bad.
Christopher McCollum is an owner and contributor to the materialistic technology and fashion review blog G.DEP. The blog features reviews of anything that strikes the fancy of the authors, which is mostly entertainment, technology, fashion, and general gripes about humanity. http://gaming.deadend-productions.com
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