Monday, December 17, 2007

Twilight Phenomenon

What it is about these books that make them so popular? That is the question I have been wrestling with for the past little while. No, nothing more enlightening. Sorry dad.

Vampire books aren’t scarce, but they haven’t ever transcended all walks of life like this series has. In fact, one of my students (back in the day) was an avid reader of vampire books, and quite frankly, it was highly alarming when he would recount the stories to me. Also, I can still vividly see in my mind a CSI episode that dealt with people who were trying to be vampires. Nothing has scared me quite as much as that teeny tiny episode. But here you have it, all sleekly packaged in three books (each a mere 500 or so pages): a dangerous love story between a vampire and a human. And it is wildly popular. (I don’t think it is even near the vampire genre that my student read…don’t worry.)

I am completely baffled as to why it is so popular. If you’ve read it, tell me why you love it. I am assuming you love it because I have only one or two people who are kind of indifferent to the whole affair. From teenagers to moms, newlyweds to old ladies…everyone seems to be reading it (although I have yet talked to a guy who has read it). Let me know what you think; I'm really trying to understand the phenomenon of it all.

Here’s what I think. It is entertaining. Maybe not the best written book I’ve read lately, but entertaining and interesting. And it doesn’t hurt that Edward is gorgeous. This is where a lot of the popularity comes in. He is beautiful, albeit in a very statuesque, cold, marble way. Everyone is in love with Edward. (Personally, I like Jacob…werewolf or not he seems more real and alive. I get dirty looks when I say that. Sorry. Granted I haven’t read the third book, so I guess my opinion could change). Next, it is the whole idea of this dangerous, fateful love. It is so out of the realm of real life that it captures people’s imagination. Bella (who I think is annoying at best) is willing to give up everything—her soul—for Edward because she doesn’t seem to have any control over the love she has for him. I guess that seems terribly romantic on one hand. (On the other—more realistic—hand it just seems so weak and wrong.) But real life gets kind of hum drum; so I guess that is why we read something that in real life would be completely crazy. I do it all of the time. We all escape in one way or another—and this is just one more way. So it will continue.

I will read the third book. For me, it’s like a train wreck…I don’t want to look, but I just have to see what is going on.


Amber said...

I can't say I have anything enlightening to say because I haven't read them. But I will be the last hold out in the country against these books, I will not read them. One of my friends read them in the summer and passed them on to two of our other friends. Among the three of them, they probably took a total of a month to read them all, average a week per book per person. Then they always talked about them and in one sense "ruined" them for me but more than that, I think it's creepy. And I already have issues waking up screaming in the night for no reason at all, I don't think these books would help any.

Julie & Jason said...

First let me say welcome Back, you were missed. And secondly I guess i can comment on your post seeing how I just finished the first book last night. I too had planned to boycott, but then a dear friend of mine forced it upon me for my birthday and I caved in less than a week, I totally loved the first half of the book, mainly for all the teenage angst that I could relate too. Then it just got a little long and started to derail, I don't want to give away the ending, but come on I saw it coming a mile away. Its total chick lit, but like you say its entertaining and a bit of a train wreck.