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21 November 2008

Daughter's Perspective on Twilight. . . Kids these days! Enclosed is a short chat.[More:]
me: OK I'll quit bugging you and let you get on with your english. . .hey that movie Twilight was filmed in oregon

Daughter: i know too bad the books are just a metaphor for sexual abstinence written by a mormon

me: they ARE?

Daughter: well, it seems that way. .
a girl falls in love with a vampire or some shit, but if he goes to far with her, he'll kill her or something, because he desperately wants her blood
i haven't read these books
just heard about them

me: OK. . well I might get mom to go to it with me. . not sure now .. I'll have to do more research
danf: awesome!
posted by lonefrontranger 21 November | 11:14
She's right!
posted by ThePinkSuperhero 21 November | 11:22
Yeah, the author is an observant Mormon.
posted by amro 21 November | 11:32
she is right. my friends refer to them as "anne rice for mormons."

they also seem to kinda glamourize teenage weddings. Which isn't exactly the best thing, IMO.
posted by kellydamnit 21 November | 11:33
They should let Clive Barker write the screenplay for the next movie in the series. That'd jazz it up a bit.

Hell, *I'd* go see that.
posted by BoringPostcards 21 November | 11:36
Huh. My daughter's reading that right now, after a marathon summer reading all the Harry Potters.
posted by chococat 21 November | 11:58
I haven't read them, but the relationship between the main characters seems really creepy to me. On the other hand, I probably would have thought that sort of obsessiveness was romantic when I was a teen. In fact, my cousin and I were totally in love with this series of books similar to Twilight (although not as popular).
posted by muddgirl 21 November | 12:01
There was a site I saw posted awhile back on...Mefi, I think, that had a pretty savage blow-by-blow review of the series, sort of like what Slacktivist did with the "Left Behind" books, going over the major plot points in detail and trying to make the case that the books aren't merely badly written, but morally objectionable too.

So far I'm not finding the post, though.
posted by middleclasstool 21 November | 12:17
I'm scared to read them because I'm afraid I'll really like them. I did put a hold on the first one at the library- there are 1192 people in line in front of me, for 330 books.
posted by ThePinkSuperhero 21 November | 12:19
When I was a German Lit major at Penn State in the 70s, a few of us combed through the vampire mythos for themes and plot variants looking for new directions. The only one we found with potential was vampire societies but we decided then that even that would quickly become trite including the possibility of warring clans. Combining sex, violence, and religion or politics only goes so far, especially now that modern shock entertainment itself is over a century old.
posted by Ardiril 21 November | 12:30
That's a pretty good description of them. (The movie which just came out though will be wicked confusing to people who haven't read the books. And you'll probably want to kick the dude in the shins.)

The 4th book gets pretty gruesome and has more of that morality bullshit in it too.
posted by sperose 21 November | 12:41
middleclasstool, I know has done a few things on twilight. (their movie review: the whole audience, even fancrazed teenyboppers, laughed their asses off at it's innate crappiness)
posted by kellydamnit 21 November | 12:53
Virgintooth is my favorite modern vampire book. I read it when I was most active with AIDS Services of Austin and Day without Art and it was the first place I ran across the vampirism as virus metaphor and it just struck me as amazing. Of course, I was more or less still a teenager, and I haven't read it since, so it could be the most awful thing evah! But I have fond memories of finding the book thrilling.

My second favorite is a book from Dell's Twilight Series. I remember the scene in which our heroine first meets the vampires and one of them shakes her hand and it's described as being cold, like a hand that's been fishing for the last beer in the cooler of melting ice. Oh I loved those books. I had them all and I was so sorry when my parents did not move them cross-country while I was in college and they moved.
posted by crush-onastick 21 November | 13:09
I would go with The Stress of Her Regard.
posted by Wolfdog 21 November | 13:14
The Stress of her Regard is very good. I just wish that Powers would not keep writing the same book. I loved the Anubis Gates, Dinner at Deviant's Palace, and the Stress one. Then I realized that, while great, they were basically the same book. A good one, though.
posted by danf 21 November | 14:08
Oh, lord, Twilight. Okay, on the one hand they offend every single feminist sensibility I have and offer a great model of the kind of man to RUN SCREAMING FROM. Has a sister who gets you to dress the way he likes? Won't let you talk to your friends? Doesn't approve of your friends? Sneaks into your room to watch you sleep? Is a freaky hot-and-cold never know if he's going to be happy today kind of guy? RUN, YOUNG WOMEN. RUN AWAY NOW. (Don't even get me started on the werewolves and "imprinting" and the one woman who's got a horribly scarred face because her boyfriend got mad and turned into a werewolf in front of her and scratched her up BUT HE FEELS SO BAD ABOUT IT NOW SO IT'S OKAY. She shouldn't have made him mad anyway.)

Ugh. Aaugh. It hurts. It burns.

And on the other hand...the sparkles. Though by the fourth book the sparkles had been thoroughly overwhelmed by the general fucked-upness. There's some romance to the strong enigmatic guy who'll always be there to save you, the one who's never loved anybody else. Bella is SUCH a Mary Sue that it's dead easy for a reader to pour herself into that mold; she's seriously got no defining characteristics except clumsiness. Bleah.

And yet, here I am, having a SPARKLEPARTY before a bunch of friends and I go see the movie. We're getting drunk first, and I, at least, am donating 2x the ticket cost to a No on 8 group. *sigh*

And here's the summaries and snark that I've been reading: Cleolinda and Growing Up Cullen.

Is it okay to like it a little bit if I feel really bad about it?

(Also, psst. For HOLY SHIT AMAZING vampire romance you want Let the Right One In (movie) and Sunshine (book). Because, oh my god, yes.
posted by Fuzzbean 21 November | 16:48
Yea...I'm in no hurry or rush to read these books because I got my whole "vampires and dirty naughty sexiness" phase out of my system with Anne Rice in middle school, and they slowly lost appeal as I both aged and the Vampire Chronicles series got even more ridiculous. Though really, goddamn, was that stuff like crack when I was a kid, so yea, I get the phenomenon.

But the biggest reason I really can't see myself reading these books is because based on bits and pieces I've read it sounds TOO much like livejournal/deviantart/fanfiction Mary Sue "insert myself as the main heroine" style of writing. The awkward female lead that bemoans how she isn't all that special yet her milkshake brings ALL the boys to the yard as soon as she hits the scene because there's just something about her. The ridiculously torrid language. The totally unnecessary length. The pretty much laughable and sometimes outright wrong description, preoccupation and attitude towards all the (non)sex that results in, oh snap! pregnancy. It's just like someone writing a Buffy/Sonic the Hedgehog/Kingdom Hearts/Final Fantasy fanfic. Seriously. (NSFW, sorry, Encyclopedia Dramatica)Go read some. Even down to the miraculous baby, the Twilight series totally follows formula. And really, in the end I can't hate on that because no wonder it's so popular with tweens because have you seen how rabid some Mary Sue fanfic fan folks can get in defending it? It's like, fine, it's met its market. So yea, I can't be made at Twilight, but I'm annoyed that it's going to give all those Mary Sue writers out there both delusional hope that their terrible fan art and fiction will be published/made into a game/made into a movie as well as more material for their wankery.
posted by kkokkodalk 21 November | 17:29
I just watched the South Park vampire episode. Does she use "per se" a lot? Was trying to figure out if that was a Twilight thing or what.
posted by Eideteker 21 November | 18:31
IS NOTHING SACRED! Vampires as abstinence metaphor? Blech. I didn't want to see it before, and I really don't want anything to do with it now.

Second on Let the Right One In. AMAZINGLY FANTASTIC!!! And with the age of the characters, the whole abstaining thing is fairly moot.
posted by sakura 21 November | 19:36
But he ~*~*sPaRkLeZzZzZzZ*~*~!
posted by casarkos 21 November | 22:08
Aww, it didn't work.
posted by casarkos 21 November | 22:09
I've read Twilight (the second in the series is next in my stack to read) and thought it was fun. /shrug
posted by deborah 21 November | 22:16
I am in tears of disappointment. || When I think about you