failing like never before


The Vampires of Twilight

(This could be a little confusing if you haven't read Twilight before, or have no idea what its about.)

I had to see what all the fuss over Twilight was all about, so a few weeks ago, instead of studying, I decided to read Twilight. My literary background isn't exactly amazing, and the fact that I'm an engineering student probably does little to add credence to my literary analysis, but I'm still going to attempt a brief rant against Stephenie Meyer's Twilight.

It seems to me that Stephenie Meyer isn't exactly overflowing with literary prowess, although I will conceded that she is a better writer then me (Face it, who isn't better then me?). Meyer has this thing where she feels she has to insert an awkwardly large number of adjectives into a sentence in order to describe one thing. I don't actually own a copy of the book so I don't have it in front of me and can't quote from it, but I think that anyone who has read the book can understand what I'm talking about. Maybe Meyer was just going for a dark, super-descriptive style, but if that was her goal, then she overshot it by a few hundred yards and ended up with something that reads like a grade schooler's attempt at a "descriptive writing" assignment.

I told a friend that I managed to read through Twilight in about an hour and thirty minutes. He was a little surprised to hear that (and rightly so) and asked me how I managed such a (almost) Herculean feat. The reasons behind my speedy-reading time is two-fold: firstly, I've had a lot of experience speed-reading through books, and secondly, (the big secret) I skipped all the parts where Bella expounded upon Edward's god-like attributes. I realize that Edward is supposed to posses inhuman beauty, and that Bella, as a teenage girl, is of course going to be admiring the physical attributes of her vampire boyfriend, but I think the description's of Edward's hotness are a little much. It seemed to me that every time Edward was mentioned, Bella immediately starts thinking about how beautiful and perfect Edward is (his perfect skin, teeth, scent, muscles, voice, etc.), and I started skipping whole lines of text at a time. Forgive me for not being a teenage girl (or a homosexual teenage boy) , but reading about Edward's god-like proportions brought me pretty close to my retching point, which is why I simply started skipping after I realized the descriptions were never going to stop.

While the plot line certainly didn't bring me to retching, I wasn't too fond of it either; it was pretty much just a funky, boring, romance with some fighting tossed in at the end. I'm not going to bother too much with this point, since I've got little else to say about the plot, besides the fact that I didn't like it very much.

But now we get to something that I can really rant about: the vampires. Every author that has written a book with vampires in it has always taken some liberty with modifying vampire lore in order to make it better fit the story, or just to appease the author's own personal tastes. There is of course no "official" vampire lore, so some picking and choosing of vampiric attributes should always be expected. Stephenie Meyer however, has managed to change so many things that her vampires are more like a blood-sucking Superman then anything else.

When Edward is driving Bella around it is revealed that the vampres in Meyer's world do not suffer from common vampire weaknesses, including garlic, a lack of a reflection, holy symbols such as crosses or bibles, holy water, a stake through the heart, and sunlight. The only way to kill Bella's vampire boyfriend is complete and total inmolation. So basically, Edward the Perfect's only weaknesses is a thirst for human blood and napalm. An oh, by the way, the reason vampires stay out of the sunlight isn't becase it burns them or even discomforts them, its because it makes them shiny. Yeah...

The incredibly stupid idea of shiny, glittering vampires took me a little while to come to terms with. But after reading Twilight I would not be surprised if Meyer revealed in one of her Twilight sequels, that vampires also possess such powers as the "Care Bear Stare" or the ability to fart perfume. And as though the idea of glittering, inhumanely beautiful, almost unkillable vampires wasn't hard enough to swallow, Meyer's had to go ahead and give each of her vampires a special mutant power. Powers like the ability to read a person's mind, see the future, control the emotions of a crowd of people, or track a person almost anywhere.

It seems to me, that with the plethora of amazing powers a vampire possess, people should be queuing up in hordes to get bitten and become a vampire. In my various readings and viewings of vampire fiction, I have always been led to believe that there is something abhorable, or unlikable about becoming a vampire. That vampires are either inherently evil, lack a soul, or in some way suffer from some condition that does not allow them to fully enjoy their inhuman existence, but this not seem to be the case with Meyer's world. Her vampires are too perfect, too happy with their charmed life that makes them so much better then mere humans.

So that is my rant in a nutshell. As always, feel free to comment.

Comments (14) Trackbacks (0)
  1. I’ve never read the book or seen the movie. I heard the movie was a letdown, and I was about to read the book to see if it would be too, but I’ve now changed my mind. Yay, saved some time.

  2. i’m not usually fond of love stories, but twilight is a very good gripping book. i guess in a way your right, that she expands too much on edwards looks; but she’s writing from bella’s point of view and bella is madly in love with edward. if you were his girlfriend you’d probably continue on about his god-like looks too.
    i’m just finishing the second book and i already want to read the next two >.<
    and wow, your like one of the first people who i’ve heard that isnt madly obsesssed with twilight. its a good book, but its geting on my nerves how practically every girl in my school is hooked on it.
    its a very good book; but its not like it contains the secret for the cure of cancer or something

  3. i think u are completely right about the twilight series it so fake anyone who wants a good vampire novel to read please go to anne rices there way better thanx

  4. i think Meyer’s world is perfect. Her vampires are more realist and we can relate to them more than the vampires that burn in sunlight, etc. i enjoy Meyer’s vampires.

    • Don’t worry, Jeremy. We only got this and one more piece.of-shit movie to endure. After that, the Twilight saga will just fade away into the obcsrue corners of history.

  5. I have read all four twilight books and absolutely loved them.I think the movie was awful though.Meyer has definitely created a perfect world.But your write though her vampires are way to perfect and all but scream fake.

  6. Hi Emily,
    thanks for visiting my site! I think part of the reason I dislike Meyer’s vampires is partly my fault; after reading some Vampire books and watching a few TV shows and movies throughout my life, I’ve developed some of my own notions about how vampires should act. I think maybe you haven’t developed all these notions yet? So to you, Meyer’s vampires are fresh and different, whereas to me they just don’t fit into my head right.

  7. lol why do people read book and then b****
    about them if u couldnt tell the book was going to ssuck so bad in the first 15 mins …
    no offense i didnt much care for the first book but i did get in o them around the 3rd book….

  8. HAHAHAHA!!!! I just got done telling my crazed aunt almost everything you said. Good to know that im not the only one to see the Meyers threw her vampire friends way out of proportion. Lol very nice

  9. It is true that writers took liberty in defining what is vampire. However the one trait I consider should not be changed is that sunlight hurt them, one way or another.
    The cullens? Call it glitterdick or whatever, but please don’t call them vampire.

  10. OMG Iam a Buffy,Angel, Supernatural,True Blood fan and I have to say WTF!! Sunlight doesnt even make them tires?!! The first movie could have used a little zoloft pick up. It dragged on until the baseball game then picked up. I am disappointed with the way the vampires are written. what a joke. Its not real to me. Im not 16. Maybe thats the problem. But I fully enjoyed LOTR and Harry Potter. The writer went too far off course for me but that doesnt seem to matter at the box office..

  11. Wow! It’s like you read my (and everybody else who felt Meyer ruined vampire fiction) mind. I agree with you on all points!

  12. I like how people refer to “realistic” vampires. It is fiction, it has little to do with realism. What I will say, though, is that this “Twilight Wench”; that creates boring literature with blatant hypocrisy throughout her books to rules laid down in book one, truly only made one real error. Her vampires are not vampires. The only thing they have in common with vampires is their thirst for blood. Other creatures have the bite that makes more of their kind, so that doesn’t count. Things would be cool between her stories and myself if she called them something other then a vampire.

  13. Great assessment. I saw the 2nd movie on a plane ride back to the US from India. Had it not been “free”, I wouldn’t have watched. However, many of my female friends–who in other ways are decent human beings–enjoy the series and I wanted to see what the hubbub was about. Turns out “free” costs too much. I kept praying it would get better, but the only thing I found to like was Jacob’s physique (and I’m a straight guy, so really reaching). Meyer claims to have never read a vampire story, but wanted something that fit for “Christian” beliefs. How could you be so completely opposite without having read vampire lore? Basically, she’s taken the Drow elves and let them live above ground. I call them “malignant elves” whenever people bring up their love of these disco balls with modest fangs. Granted, there is no unified vampire lore and it is all fantasy. However, you should still know the field on which you’re playing and stay on that same field. What’s she going to do next? Rewrite Oz so the Tin Woodsman looks like Marvel’s War Machine?

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