Saturday, August 8

Book: Twilight, Stephenie Meyer Click for more info

As I've previously stated, it was a relatively low key trip to Edmonton, Canada that got me into Harry Potter. I didn't have much to do, so thought "what the hell?" and with trepidation gave it a go. I'm glad that I did of course, being the big Harry Potter fan that I am now. The experience taught me literally to never judge a book by its cover, and since one of the cousins I'm staying with here in Edmonton has all of the Twilight saga I thought it would be the perfect opportunity to check those out too. Unfortunately it didn't pay off this time. Quite the opposite in fact. Twilight was bad.

I'd be the first to admit that I'm a sappy guy. I love rom-coms, thrive on teen drama and get sucked in by literary romance. So no, I don't think my opinion of this book simply stems from me being a guy who "just doesn't get it". For a start, I like to think I can distinguish between good and bad literature - and since even Twilight fans themselves admit that the books are badly written I think we can accept that this ain't no literary masterpiece.

But it's not necessary technical excellence which makes a good book good. You also need a good plot, good characterisation and a sense of realism (which itself doesn't have to be possible in real life). We'll tackle these in order, shall we?

The plot is non-existent. For the most part it revolves around Bella; what she eats for breakfast, what classes she has in school and what she wants to wear each morning. Okay, there is the non-trivial aspect of her relationship with Edward, but this is presented in such a mundane and haphazard way it hardly qualifies as something that a whole book can ride on. Toward the end things change a bit - for the better - and we're at last treated to a bit of progressive drama, but it's hardly worth it over all.

Characterisation is admittedly pretty good. The problem here is that the characters are all annoying waste-of-spaces - Bella being a self involved little cow and Edward a bit too inhumane (which might actually be the point). They're extremely imbalanced both in how the emotions, thoughts and actions are demonstrated and what they actually are; anyone reading would think there's extreme levels of puberty hormones in the water of Forks.

Finally there's the level of realism or believability. This stuff was unreal; and no, not just 'cos it involved vampires (you're reading the blog of a die-hard Buffy fan, remember?). It read like a cheap Mills & Boon novel with talk of "marble-like-chests", "angel like perfection" and numerous breaths being taken away. There's only so many "you complete me"s one can take before wanting to slap all those involved.

There really isn't much good I can say about Twilight, and I'm honestly baffled at the popularity of such a book. That such cheap and shallow literature has made it so big is kinda scary, especially when this success revolves around such a basic premise (that's Edward, by the way). I've not been so disappointed since reading The DaVinci Code.

Apparently this was the best book in the series. I shan't be reading the other three. So no, no recommendations here; if you want good a good love story pick up something like The Time Traveller's Wife instead.