Saturday, 17 March 2012

Stephanie Meyer - The Twlight Saga

For some reason I’ve been too polite to review these books but seeing as the literary world is spiralling out of control I thought it might be a good idea to take a look at where it all went wrong.

So far, I’ve reviewed three books that are essentially Twilight rip-offs which shows; a) how much people are buying into the supernatural love thing; b) The supernatural can be made to be really boring; c) Men no longer read.

There are four books in the series with a total of 2,227 pages, of which 100 are exciting and the other 2,127 made me want to die.

The first book, Twilight is roughly 300 pages of getting up in the morning, going to the same three classes, Edward stares at Bella, Bella stares back, rinse and repeat. And then in the last 50 or so, there are a few fast paced scene that make for slightly entertaining reading.. I couldn’t quite believe what I was reading. Even when Bella finds out Edward is a vampire it’s pretty much, ‘So, you’re a vampire.’ There is no fear or amazement. She simply seems bored by the whole notion which is quite the feat considering she is meant to be in love with him.

So how can Stephanie make her serious of books even more interesting? Introduce Werewolves! Oh wait, they aren’t actually Werewolves, they are Shapeshifters, as we are made aware in the final book but, frankly, who gives a shit. New Moon is not only the worst title, it’s the worst book.

It doesn’t matter what these dog things, they are still boring in contrast with the actual legends that created them, and it’s made even more boring when one of the Werewolves is in - that’s right - love with Bella. Introducing Jacob, the whiniest, most annoying character in the history of the world. When Jacob finds out that Edward is a vampire and Bella wants some vampire porking love, he first goes into a sulk and then gets mad and stamps his feet and then plays the best friend card while occasionally dropping in the odd, ‘WHY DON’T YOU LOVE ME?’ line. He goes as far as saying that they are perfect for each other, but who is he kidding? Edward is a one-hundred-plus year old vampire, Jacob is a prepubescent puppy who thinks he knows what life’s like. If he was born a few years earlier, he should have dated Avril Lavigne.

This is coupled with the fact that Bella spends the whole book in a depressed state because Edward has decided that being with a vampire is too dangerous for her after she gets a paper cut. There are four pages with just the names of months on them to show that nothing happened for a long period of time. This was my favourite bit and I wish Meyer had taken it upon herself to do this every time nothing happens in her books. Then we would have one novella instead of four over written novels that as more usual as door stops.

Eclipse is the best of the bunch, because, and it’s taken two books to get here, something actually happens which warrants writing about. A big fight with werewolves and vampires and actually using your characters to create excitement.

However, while this was happening, Bella has decided she is going to be a massive dick. After saying she is in love with Edward, he is her shining star, her one and only, she will never love again blah blah, blah - she then goes and kisses Jacob and tells him she loves him. He kind of forced it on her but you can forgive him because he was already a dick. Bella can fuck off.

The final book, Breaking Dawn coming in at just over 700 pages and is a major waste of time - mainly because half of it is written from the perspective of Jacob. After having to listen to his whining from the third person for three books, having a dose of it straight from the werewolf’s mouth was cringe-worthy. It was literally whine, whine, whine some more and when I’m done whining about that I’ll whine about something else. Literally, he whined about Bella marrying Edward. He whined about having his wolf pack split up. He whined about having all their voices in his head. It goes on and on and on.

Then when Bella’s baby is born - half vampire, half human, something that Dracula couldn’t manage in Van Helsing but in this world were vampires can walk in the day and look like diamonds, it’s easy – Jacob decides that he is linked to the child and that they are going to spend their lives together. Bella is angry at this, not because of the paedophilic connotations associated with this whole ‘linking’ thing, but simply because she can’t accept the fact that he likes the baby more than her and this, and everything I’ve mentioned above is the thing that pisses me off the most.

In a world of vampires and werewolves, even though she hasn’t been exposed to it for long, Bella gets so caught up on the mundane childish relationship garbage that happens to 14 to 16 year olds in school with all their mortal friends. I was under the impression that if you were exposed to the supernatural world you would be a little bit awestruck, confused, frightened or any other sensible relative emotions. Bella shows none of these and settles for apathy, and this is captured perfectly in the films where she could be replaced by cardboard cut-out. I’ve seen the trailer for the new Breaking Dawn movie and even there, the smile is completely forced.

I can’t believe the extreme furore the books have created with this Team Edward, Team Jacob stuff and the sheer amount of money, Meyer has made from it. I don’t think the quality of stories merit the success and acclaim they have received and I also think a lot of genuinely good books get overlooked because of it.

I didn’t like The Twilight Saga. It took a lot of things I liked, romance included, trivialised them and destroyed their power through uninteresting storytelling and bad writing. However, the sales and acclaim speak for themselves. Stephen King agrees with me, the rest of the world does not. After Stephanie Meyer and J. K. Rowling can the next big thing please be something worth reading.

The Twilight Saga bibliography:

1. Twilight by Stephanie Meyer was published by Little, Brown in 2005. RRP £7.99 (Paperback)

2. New Moon by Stephanie Meyer was published by Little, Brown in 2006. RRP £7.99 (Paperback)

3. Eclipse by Stephanie Meyer was published by Little, Brown in 2007. RRP £7.99 (Paperback)

4. Breaking Dawn by Stephenie Meyer was published by Little, Brown in 2008. RRP £7.99 (Paperback)

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