Friday, September 12, 2008

I'm reading "Twilight," so you don't have to

I know that you, my readers, are a literate and intelligent bunch. Thus, most of you have avoided reading the Twilight series by Stephenie [sic] Meyer. But it's a big pop-culture phenomenon that everyone talks about, so you'd probably like to know more about it without having to actually read it. Otherwise, when you try to join in a conversation about it, you might end up sounding like Sarah Palin trying to talk about foreign policy. Or the economy.

So I've decided to help you out. I'm going to read Twilight, so you don't have to. I'll provide a complete synopsis -- not a review, although I may editorialize now and then -- right here in my blog, a couple chapters at a time, as fast as I can stomach it do it.

Here's a synopsis of the Preface and Chapter 1 of Twilight by Stephenie [sic] Meyer.

Bella's gonna die, but that's OK because she's in love or something. Except she's not really gonna die, because she's telling the story in the first person past tense, which she couldn't do if she were dead. And there are three sequels anyway. But I'll pretend I don't know that, so it'll be suspenseful.

Chapter 1. First Sight
Bella complains about not being able to live with her mom anymore. She complains about moving to a small town. She complains about the weather. She complains about not fitting in. She complains about how she looks. She complains about the weather some more. She complains about having to live with her dad. She complains because her truck is so noisy. She complains about the way her new high school looks. I begin to sense a pattern.

Bella goes to school. She complains because a nerdy boy is nice to her. A teacher makes her blush. Another teacher makes her blush. She starts to make friends at school. She sees some Beautiful Vampires, but she doesn't know what they are yet. I do, though, since I know this is a book about Beautiful Vampires. I have a hard time deciding if this qualifies as dramatic irony, because although I know something Bella doesn't, the knowledge is not supplied by the text. One of the Beautiful Vampires looks at Bella and makes her blush. His name is Edward. He has bronze-colored hair.

Bella has to sit by Edward in biology because the only empty seat is next to him. He looks like he's mad at her. Bella blushes again. I begin to wonder whether she's easily embarrassed or prematurely menopausal. Edward has black eyes. Not like punched-in-the-face black eyes, black irises. And bronze hair. He acts like he hates Bella.

A not-nerdy boy talks to Bella. She doesn't complain about that. She does complain because she has to take PE.

Edward has bronze hair, and he hates Bella.

(Check the pull-down menu under "Ongoing Series" in the left side-blog for more Twilight chapters.)


  1. Oh Dear Lord, it's worse than I thought. You deserve a medal for trudging into the trenches alone, bravely taking one for the team.

    I've seen it and even as many books as I read, I haven't been interested.

  2. It's a dirty job, etc.
    I hope I'm up to it.

  3. Well, I've taking some for the team in my day as well . . . Like Orson Scott Card's Empire. That made me feel dirty for weeks.

  4. I gave up on Card because of the Alvin Maker series. The first two books were good, and the third one was OK, but then the next two consisted of his characters wandering around America in search of a plot, and with the sixth one it was obvious he'd completely lost interest in the story. he might as well have called it "His Contractual Obligation Book."

  5. Thanks for eliminating any faint doubts I'd had about resisting my daughter's repeated attempts to convince me that this is a Must Read series! I can understand now why she likes the books so much, though--there is a lot of complaining, a sport at which she excels.


  6. My daughters inform me that eventually the book picks up and there's an actual plot, so maybe it'll actually end up being good for something besides the lulz.

    In the meantime, though, I'm reading a couple of chapters ahead of what I've written up, and there's some stunningly bad writing in the book.

    And I mean that almost literally. A couple of times I've actually had to put down the book to laugh at how awful it gets.


What do you think?