I still haven't read any of the Twilight novel series, nor have I seen the movie. Hell, we rented the movie last weekend and returned it unwatched. Just couldn't find enough time, or motivation, to get around to it.
I strongly suspect the series is not going to be my thing, and yet, I keep feeling inclined to give it a try. I never would have thought the Harry Potter series would be my thing and yet I remembered what happened when, on a lark, I picked up The Philosopher's Stone. I was in Clarenville at the time and was chomping at the bit to rush into St. John's and buy the other three novels.
No, from everything I've read, these books probably won't appeal to me. Cathy, who loves Potter, loves almost anything to do with vampires, is decidedly blah about the first book. I believe her review was "It's not great, but kids love it and it gets them reading, so it's good by me." I understand the logic - I've used similar tactics when describing comic books - but it's not exactly a ringing endorsement.
Plus, two authors who I respect tremendously - Stephen King and Peter David - have trashed the books. And it's not likely they're oblivious to the fact that they're not the target audience. Teenage girls are the main audience and that's fine.
However I think it is a touch offensive that the defence of "it's just for teenage girls, so it's all right that it's crap" is pretty lame. if I had a teenage daughter, I would prefer it if she was reading something well written. According to King and David, the books are not even close.
But here's the thing, and it's the thing that's making me almost tempted to read books that far too many people I respect say are crap, is that many of the fans of the series are deeply crazy. Now, I like to think I have some experience recognizing the deeply crazy aspects of fandom. I like science fiction. I read comic books. My introduction to the internet was reading newsgroups focused on things like the X-Files, Star Trek and X-Men. I've seen and read some deeply crazy stuff by people that would happily burn the internet to the ground to win an argument on who is the better captain of the Enterprise.
But then I stumbled across this message board list of attacks against people who said bad things about the novels. Including people who have suffered broken bones, have been stabbed or shot at with flares. Even one of the stars of the movie has a healthy fear of the fans.
So I almost want to read it now, just to see what it is that inspires that level of craziness. Because although a lot of very knowledgeable people say its crap, there's got to be something there that makes people snap. Perhaps its a code or something subliminal. So we'll see. Maybe this weekend I'll crack open the first book and spend an hour or so reading it (Cathy says its won't take much more time than that) and see what happens.
Feel free to leave a comment to this post. We'll see if in a few days times I reread it, snap and try to skin you with an ulu or something because of my deep love of the book and that you just don't understand!. Then we'll know there's something to those books.
1. Gamma ray - Beck
2. Support system - Liz Phair
3. Why do you love me - Garbage
4. Harry Worth - Elvis Costello and the Impostors
5. Girl, you have no faith in medicine - The White Stripes*