In defense- Twilight Series

I recently watched the movie Twilight and that took me backwards to the time when I had teased my friend endlessly for reading a vampire love story. You see back then the whole idea was too cheesy for me to digest. After seeing the movie I fell in love with some of the sound tracks(Muse-Super massive black hole & Carter Burwell - I know what you are) and wanted to download them. This had me googling on “twilight” and in process I ended up reading quite a few reviews and blogs about the movie/book.

Frankly I am disturbed by the general outcry and hence this post.

So without anymore digressions let me get on with it. About few months back, it so happened that during one particular visit to the library; I was looking for something different to read. Down the corner, in the secluded teen section, right on the top shelf rested the book Twilight. It seemed to beckon and wink at me, as if daring me to read it and in that weak moment, I went ahead and picked the book.

I finished reading it in 2 days.

I liked it.

Yes, I know, it looks like I have lost my mind but let me explain…

Well the book has simple language and it does tend to propel you along and want to find out what happens next. It’s basically mills and boon with a twist; Vampire loves human. The central theme is forbidden love. The hero being a typical bad boy with something akin to good heart (it would have to be called good if he had one) fighting bad guys with hmm…definitely no hearts. Stephanie Meyer says her inspiration for the first book was Pride and prejudice, and for her benefit the conflict and sexual angst is there. Edward is almost as perfect as Darcy. He is handsome, composes music, plays the piano, has a flare for languages and with two graduate degrees, is basically a know it all. You see he had hundred years of wakefulness to read and learn. So our hero is a mature vampire who looks seventeen and is fighting his nature to be a good guy.

Bella, our heroine, on the other hand is everyday teenage plain Jane. Any girl, or for that matter any young woman who remembers how she was in her teens, can relate and live her fantasies through her. She has zero concept of self, is clumsy and is a pushover and yet has the coolest boy in high school madly in love with her. I hope you get the drift…

Many people have called parts of the book very anti feminist, but I don’t agree. This has nothing doing with feminism. I can safely wager many teenage girls feel the same way as Bella does; Insecure, unsure and a misfit.

I went on to read all the four books and was done with them in a matter of two weeks. They are nothing spectacular, but they definitely don’t deserve the censorious reviews they have got. Almost every blog which hosts a review of the books, goes on to mercilessly tear it apart. My point is if you can read any random romance for that instant feel good factor, you can read these books too…For example it fares no better or worse than Chetan Bhagat’s Two States. For me both the books were a tie. Just a casual read which is why I did not want to write about the book in the first place, but all this excess criticism got to me. People do go overboard in declaring fiction that is selling like hot cakes as good for nothing. It has become cool to ridicule, and that is what irks me. All those intellectuals out there first read the book and then scoff at it. If you don’t like something, don’t read it and more importantly, why are you spending time and effort to develop spoof cartoons?

There are some who say Stephanie’s writing skills are really bad, which is true, but if you think about it, this is what makes the story more accessible, because it draws you into the plot more than into the writing, and it means that you don’t have to be a brilliant reader to get into them. (Just like say 5 point someone) It also means the books are generally never going to be taken seriously, which is also fine, because they are not meant to be.

In an age where young people are sworn of reading books, writers who keep it simple have brought back reading to the masses. I actually see people with books in their hands now! It’s nothing big but it is still a start.

In the end, it’s just a book. I did not love it, but neither did I hate it. It is a distraction and can do as a light quick read on days you are depressed and want to get away form all of it. Don’t buy, it borrow it and lastly take the book (the other three as well if you want) with a pinch of salt and read it for what it is – a guilty pleasure.


Pretty Woman said...

:) I hear you! Lots of people do certain things just to feel that they are 'intellectual' enough or 'cool' enough to diss something! That's all it is...

Recently, I read 'The Palace of Illusions' and I have to say it left me feeling very philosophical...I don't believe in this feminism or anti-feminism crap! I believe in 'Humanism'!!

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