Friday, 19 August 2011
03:09:16 PM (GMT)
1.Stephanie Meyer most likely did not own a thesaurus. Her diction is full of
repetition. For example, the word "tousled" to describe Edward's (Henceforth referred
to as Mr. Sparkle" hair was used so many times I nearly began to cry.
2. The story does not ever seem to actually pick up or get interesting. This just be
my interpretation and opinion, but pretty much all she does in the first 150 pages is
go to school, want Mr. Sparkle to look at her, and wonder why his eyes change color.
Really, that is pretty much it. I think one of the only actions in the book is she
almost gets hit by a van. Almost. She doesn't get hit. She's fine.
3. The book is written in 1st person, which in and of itself I have absolutely no
problem with. The problem that I had is that a book or story written in the first
person is quite a difficult challenge, one, in my opinion, Stephanie Meyer was not
ready to undertake. A first person narrative implies that we are being told the story
by someone who either experienced or is experiencing it. Because of this it takes a
very crafty writer to get background information into the story, because it can only
be inserted when it would be appropriate for that person to talk about said
background information. A great example of a well written first person narrative is
"Never Let Me Go." A great example of a poorly written first person narrative is
4. One last short little point, Stephanie Meyer mixes her tenses alot. Sometimes the
story is being told as if it is happening before the readers eyes, sometimes it is
being told as if all of the events already took place.
You may be saying to yourself that these are broad generalizations and my claims
cannot necessarily be supported. Well Mr. or Mrs. Skeptic, this is for you.
1. In the first few pages of the novel (page 9 in my edition) Mrs. Meyer wrote the
following " The room was familiar; it had been belonged to me since I was born." When
I read this my literary soul died just a little bit.
2. "None of them, especially [Mr. Sparkle], glanced my way anymore." This sentence
makes absolutely no sense. It literally means, "None of them looked glanced my way,
and Mr. Sparkle not glanced my way even harder."
I implore you, read Twilight. All good writers and readers need an example of bad
literature so that they can distinguish the good stuff.
Do not make my mistake and judge something before you know the facts; instead read
into the subject that you are debating more than your opponent so that you can smite
them with facts and logic. It makes your win much more satisfying.
836 pages. That’s how long Stephanie Meyer’s Breaking Dawn is.
It wasn’t like that in the beginning.
Her first story Twilight was by comparison tiny at only around 250 pages. Her
second, New Moon was around 20 or so pages longer and almost as tolerable due
it’s brevity. Her third, Eclipse was 368 pages in length– a number I believe
to be pushing it when you have very little to actually say.
But Breaking Dawn, her magnum opus as it were, is 836 pages long and it is with great
dread and horrible foresight that I consider reading the first words of it.
All told and then regrettably combined that’s around 1700 hundred pages of
teenage masturbatory vampire fantasy written by a woman who seems to hate
teenagers more than anything else on the planet. 1700 pages penned by a woman
possessed by the horrid urge to continue to write despite the fact that she ran
out of plot at around the 100 page mark and continued to substitute it for self
insert fan service and name dropping.
These are 1700 pages written solely for Stephanie Meyer to read, and re-dream the
dream that led to the penning of the Twilight saga. A dream of vampires and
Washington so personal that it reads like a livejournal entry.
Her main character, the insipid dish water brown Bella Swan is supposedly
selfless beyond all other historical figures. Ever. On the planet.
And that she is.
She is actually so devoid of a self as to be utterly characterless. Of
course this explains perfectly why her super natural boyfriend’s talent of
reading the minds of every person in the world ever whether they like it or not
doesn’t work on her. There is no mind there to read.
This is of course despite the constant allusions to her intelligence or
feminism or advanced maturity. Mind you these things are only ever pointed out
directly, in some fine examples of telling not showing, in order to let you how
know the humans she’s forced to spend time with are stupid, small minded and just
‘don’t get her’. She simply wanders around all day, every day being narrated
in the first person so that every page (of which, I would like to remind you, there
are around 1700) is an endless list of things which “I did” or “I saw” —
the things which Bella and by extension, Meyer observes to be true.
But Bella is a 17 year old girl dreamt up by a 40 year old woman trapped in the
mindset of a 14 year old girl who has only recently learned what adjectives are
and yet doesn’t quite understand them.
In this world of home spun hormone infused folk tale the perceptions of
Stephanie Meyer are those of god. A creepy, Mormon and permanently pre-menstrual
God who peers down out of the hole in the sky moralising her difficult
teenage years into a nightmare of pubescent fantasy.
Edward, Bella’s 100 year old tragic golden eyed hero is a marble Adonis — in
the authors own words the exact replica of Michelangelo’s David — who’s
nasty tendency to sneak unbidden into the rooms of teenage girls to watch them
sleep is endearing instead of threatening and obsessive. He’s a GOOD
VAMPIRE after all and only feeds on Deer and Mountain Lions and it’s not like his
attraction to her is initially based on his magical VAMPIRE sense of smell
which makes his every waking moment a constant battle not to literally eat
her. And I mean every waking moment because that is precisely what they spend
together it being much healthier to constantly stare torrid sexual danger and
annihilation in the face than it is to occasionally walk away and take
some time out for biscuits.
Every decision Edward makes is solidly backed up by the psychic powers of his
adopted sister. Together these two super human jokers co-operate to bring Bella
into their family using methods oddly reminiscent of some sort of messianic
cult. The age difference between the two (that of roughly 83 years but who’s
counting anyway) is written off due to Bella’s immense maturity which is
apparently the product of being made to protect and otherwise look after
her child-like, selfish mother. She is the real adult of the story, being in
possession of the sort of old souls enthusiastically talked about by
the kind of people who routinely take time out to view the girls swim wear section
of the LittleWoods catalogue.
In Meyer’s fictional world of Forks Washington it is clearly acceptable for
things like this to happen. Restraining orders are a thing of myth and legend
and childish experimentation reaps no consequences that cannot be
completely ignored due to the omniscience of VAMPIRES.
VAMPIRES are fantastic. VAMPIRES fear nothing. Especially not consequences,
concerned fathers or statutory rape laws. The only thing they could possibly
fear is other VAMPIRES.
And around these universal maxims grows our story which will encompass
obsessive jealous Native American werewolves, equally obsessive and vengeful
EVIL VAMPIRES and multiple crimes against grammar.
Not that there’s anything wrong with escapism. (Which is what Meyer is writing
about here.) Not that there’s anything wrong at all with a bit of fantasy.
(Although in this case it might be necessary to replace a bit with ‘a
fucking ton’.) And what was I doing reading a collection of books
(supposedly) written for teenagers anyway?
To be honest I don’t really know. It started with a YouTube video of the by now
famous baseball scene from the movie adaptation of Twilight. It featured
sparkly photoshopped 20 somethings pretending to be teenagers, like most movies
for the teen demographic. It was horrific and yet fascinating at the same
time. So obviously when the movie appeared on general release I had to see
what exactly was going on with these ‘sparkly faggot vampires’ and so I
And then after I’d watched it I somehow decided that reading the books would be a
good idea. I will never know where ideas like this come from — whether it’s
wholly formed out of the ether or from inside the part of my own brain that hates
me beyond measure and wants me to suffer. Regardless those ideas are always
terrible, as I have discovered before and was about to discover again around
two pages into what I would like to call ‘my horrible journey of discovery’.
It’s not that I hate Stephanie Meyer — even though there is a lot to hate. I’ve
never met her so it would follow that hating her wouldn’t be entirely rational.
I have frankly no idea what she must be like as a person apart from the vision of her
I have managed to pull together from her writing.
If anyone reading this is familiar with Virigina Woolf’s ‘A Room of One’s
Own’ then you are probably equally familiar with her supposition that any
novel writing that results in the reader forming a picture of the author in
their mind is technically bad. Shakespeare, in Woolf’s opinion is the perfect
example of a writer who avoids this trap — there is very little which can be
taken from his work of himself and therefore the man remains a mystery, which
is the goal of writing good fiction.
Not so for Miss Meyer whose cardigan shrouded, round shouldered presence was so
recognisable in her cameo appearance as ‘silly cow eating burger in diner
while looking massively fucking smug and out of place’ in the movie
adaptation of Twilight that it was impossible to miss her. She’s just
that type of woman.
The type of woman who wrote a book that, behind all the pretend feminism,
dramatic self indulgence and self interested self sacrifice, was really
about what it would be like to be married to a VAMPIRE and the magical
responsibility-less teen pregnancy that such a union would result in. It’s pure
pulp fantasy trash.
She’s not a hateful cow. She’s not a horrible human being. She’s just a lady
who wrote a stupid series of books for teenagers, which, at the heart of it is why
I dislike her and her 1700 pages of retardo VAMPIRE smut. At the very center of
it I have climbed on to my high horse, not because of her bad writing, but
because I’m annoyed at her dis-service to teenagers in general.
Your teenage years are the safest place and time for you to do stupid things.
They’re specifically the time in which a young adult is supposed to make
retarded mistakes and in doing so learn from them. Bad friendships, dangerous
relationships with intense older dudes your parents disapprove of,
sexual experimentation, flirtation with alcohol and the wrong type of
people. You’re supposed to do all this when you’re a teenager and it’s ok
to be stupid — that’s the behaviour expected from you.
Any sort of young adult fiction aimed at teenagers is going to reflect that.
But it’s also hopefully going to try to educate the idiot kids reading it and
steer them away from making stupid decisions they can’t undo while
encouraging them to understand more about themselves and the world around
them. Writing for young adults is a serious job with big responsibilities.
Peddling a bit of fantasy is great but you have to back it up with a feeling that
at the end of the day you don’t jealously begrudge young people their youth,
beauty and possibilities the way that Meyer does.
She single mindedly sets Bella on top of a pedestal of incontrovertible
logic — at her mature 17 years of age she knows it all far better than any adult
or in this case super human 800 year old adult.
Bella knows everything. Bella is bulletproof and nothing, ever can go wrong. She
just has to keep on believing that her relationship with a giant
controlling creeper is right for her and no-one can tell her any different even
if they’re older and more experienced.
She knows she wants to become a VAMPIRE instead of going to college. She knows
she wants to lose her virginity before becoming a VAMPIRE even if this means
going against her bloody minded principles and getting married at the age of 18
to a possessive, broody twat bag whose 18th century chivalry wont stand for sex
before marriage or compromises. Later, after her marriage of VAMPIRE
convenience she then knows she wants to give birth to her very own half idiot
half VAMPIRE baby, which until it’s delivered by fang cesarean amuses itself by
eating her alive from the inside out.
Bella Swan, the literary incarnation of Stephanie Meyer, is a bloody minded,
pig headed, arrogant teenage girl. There is nothing in her story that couldn’t be
fixed with some self esteem building exercises like horse riding and a good
lecture about contraception. It would be that simple to turn this horror
Throughout her 1700 page journey of selfishness she whines, moans and name drops
expensive yet terrible cars for no real reason. There’s no point to any of it
save reading about a bit of gothic glamour and dreaming about how great life would be
if a suave well read older man whisked you off to Europe and filled you with babies
so that you didn’t have to turn up for your shift at your summer job at Tesco.
Of course there’s nothing wrong with that.
As long as you don’t pretend to impressionable teenage girls (and in some
cases fully fledged adult retards) that it’s anything other than it is.
Last edited: 19 August 2011