Yes, I bowed to the pressure, I did, I’m sorry, I’m a terrible person, how will you ever forgive me. Is that enough grovelling now? I bought Twilight, is what I did. I figured that if the entire female population of the Western world, bar literature students, is raving about this book, there must be a reason, yes?
It’s not actually too badly written. The plot is so far serious wish-fulfilment – the hero is beautiful, troubled, enigmatic, sarcastic, all the things a young girl could wish for in a man; and the heroine is a normal, average girl, of little self-esteem and in many ways if not all your average teenager, perfectly fitting in with and cold-reading exactly (as if that was a difficult thing to do) how it feels to be in school. So yes, wish fulfilment, and vampires. Personally I am (guiltily) enjoying it. What it does, it does well, and I know it’s not new or clever or interesting, doesn’t tell me any more about human nature or make me think in any way, but I’m enjoying it, so there.
I just thought I ought to see what all the fuss was about for myself before dissing it utterly. The red gilting on the page-edges is possibly a step too far, though…! My other (massively patronising) theory is this: kids younger than me, who were introduced to the idea of reading and enjoying actual books through Harry Potter, will then have progressed on to these books. From Twilight, perhaps they’ll move onto adult real literature with ideas and themes they can really get their teeth into and learn to actually love reading. I know this is hugely patronising, but for the sake of the book industry and because reading good things is good for you, I’ll patronise whoever I like: I think books like this are potentially A Good Thing if they have the effect of making people read because it’s enjoyable, so that people realise there is more to books than dissecting in tedious detail Shakespeare plays or Wide Sargasso Sea or Lord of the Flies. Not that those aren’t all good books – I personally love them, but I didn’t love studying them and I’m not alone, and it’s a shame that people are put off reading because they associate reading with the endless discussions of theme, context, gender roles, and so on, all of which is made into this utterly formulaic tedium by the nature of the curriculum we’re made to follow; rather than associating reading with enjoyment and pleasure and total involvement in the book in front of them, preferably accompanied by a cat, a comfy chair, and a cup of coffee.
I’ll let you know what I think when I finish the book, meanwhile, as to whether it is actually any good. And I’m sorry that in this entry my grammar was shot completely. Heaven knows why I’m still awake.