Tuesday, February 03, 2009

Reading Twilight

I bought a copy of the book, "Twilight" to read during my recuperation. I'm almost done with it and I find myself at an odd place. I like it and yet I'm disturbed by the underlying message of it.

The basic premise can be summed up with high school angst vampire love story. Human girl likes vampire boy. Vampire boy could kill human girl. Continually resists. Love blooms.

The writing is compelling enough that I'm reading it, so obviously I can't fault it. If you're reading it and you have no reason you have to, then the writing is more than adequate. The conflict is the continual "I want to drink your blood" drama.

I guess my problem with it - as with most "romance" stories - is that I don't find that particularly romantic. Even if I believed in vampires and love at first sight and everything else that is required, why would I want to be with someone for whom my mere presence is that traumatic? Not to mention why would I want to be with someone who is continually struggling to not kill me. Is that Domestic Violence in Waiting?

I know, it's supposed to be all beautifully tragic. I get it. I just need a little reality with my love story - even if it involves a vampire. I realize this leaves me out of the loop - that people everywhere love this book, which is now a movie. And I'm guessing it's a beautiful, atmospheric, movie. There's a lot there to work with and I'll want to see the flick eventually.

Things other people get just escape me. When Bridges of Madison County came out every woman I knew was thrilled with the romantic story. I didn't get it. At all. It's a story about a woman cheating on her husband, who's never done anything but provide for her and their children to the best of his abilities. Admittedly, he might not be the most exciting man on the planet, and I know the charm of photographers - I've dated four of them. But there is nothing about adultery I find charming. Nothing.

There's also nothing I find charming about being with someone who is struggling to not kill me. And I'm not sure that's the sort of message I'd want my teenage girl to be absorbing. But, of course, if I had a teenage girl I'd have very little actual control over what she was reading/seeing - despite what we like to think - and so all you can do is hope people are able to think things through logically and realize this is just a fantasy world and not something one wants in real life.
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lillie said...

I agree with your assessment of Twilight. I did not care for it. My thirteen-year-old granddaughter, however, loved it and has read the whole series. A couple of books I recently read and enjoyed are: Pillars of the Earth by Ken Follett, and Wild Swans, by Jung Chang. The last book is a true story about three generations of VERY STRONG, amazing women, who lived through the struggles of China from the period of War Lords to the present. It was very informative, well written, and I so admired the strength and integrity of these women. I think it would appeal to you. Pillars of the Earth is all fiction, but intriguing and well-written as well. LOTS of adventure! I did not EXPECT to like it, thinking it dealt with the Middle Ages, but it was a birthday gift and I felt obligated. Well, I DID like it, and so did my husband and others I recommended it to.

I am glad you are doing so well, and so impressed with your WORLD of magnificent friends!!!!

Anonymous said...

I'm in your camp with that one Patsy, I never did get all this silliness with vampires and I won't even begin with my take on teens' fantazising about them.
I agree with lilie about Wild Swans, it is absolutely spellbinding, I shall read it again, perhaps during March break. I too enjoyed Follet's Pillars of the Earth and was thrilled when his World Without End came out. It picks up the Pillars story two hundred years later, exceptional reads both books.
Continued good recovery Patsy, so glad you are back blogging.


Cynthia said...

I highly recommend the Outlander series by Diana Gabaldon. I am not a big romance reader and I have never read/seen The Bridges of Madison County OR the Titanic! The Outlander books are historical fiction. Substance and passion. Hot Highland Hero, and a lost damsel with a brain. Very Very good.