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In love with Twilight

I had never heard of Twilight until last month, when two tween granddaughters of a beloved cousin gave me an enthusiastic, hour-long summation of the four-book saga of love between a girl and a vampire. Our Readers Who Comment are way ahead of me. With the second Twilight movie about to open, they have filed serious, heartfelt criticism of both Stephanie Meyer's books and each other as they review Monica Hesse's fabulous story about how Twilight has surrounded the world. It's not just tweens doing the reading.

Hesse's story is getting the most readers on a day when we have many important hard-news events to absorb [health-care reform, mammograms, Afghanistan and the president in Asia], all of which are getting predictable comments.

The Twilight story has fewer comments, almost all of them are thoughtful. Is this because Our Readers want to be careful in engaging about a series that, as Hesse writes, "is a story about shame"?

We'll start with sql_yoda, who shouted, "...I LOVE VAMPIRE LORE! I'm a junkie, can't help it, never could. I couldn't get past the first twenty pages of Twilight. It SUCKS. It sucks so bad it's like a paginated vampire in a poor, deluded library..."

But Hailey_Baker86 said, "Thank you..I think regardless of what anyones opinion is of the books,that this was a fantastic piece. Exactly how I felt.
I never wanted to be addicted to twilight...but I couldn't help it. Once I started I was HOOKED!"

kadams00 wrote, "This was a fun little article, but I'd like to stand up as one of those women that can't possibly exist: one who's read all four books, seen the movie, and did not get sucked into the mania. I confess, I was afraid it might happen -- everyone was gobbling this stuff up. Still, I "chuckled" my way through the series..."

rja112 enthused, "Wow, a great article. I just might have to read the books now... Will I be swept up in the frenzy? Maybe not, since I am not a woman. But, you never know."

fallengoddess wrote, "...I feel some pity for the women profiled here - but ultimately, it's an unsupportable position. Everyone should feel free to like whatever they want, and no one should be ashamed of how something makes them feel, but none of that can make the Twilight books worth the paper they're written on. I read all four..."

donpersons said, "Nothing too surprising about any of it, including the "revelation"... that many intelligent, strong, capable women are vulnerable to fantasies of being dominated by "dazzling, chiseled" men, or just role-playing such with their partners.
How many enlightened, feminism-supporting men out there fantasize about playing master to their woman's wench? The allure is primal."

Dude_Angus wrote, "People need to chill out. Stop over analyzing everything. Some things are meant to just be fun. Not everything has to be Ayn Rand or Ernest Hemingway. Books and movies don't always have to be serious or artsy."

donpersons said, "fallengoddess and kadams, I'm reminded of an old Bloom County strip, with Opus the penguin sitting in his chair in front of tube saying, 'The quality of TV is really going downhill. The 8 hours I watched yesterday was horrible.'..."

wendymaloney1 wrote: "The Twilight series is a very poor modern example of the Gothic(k) novel. The prime target for this nonsense, teenage girls, are patronised both by 'Edward' and by Meyer. It is a shocking example of poor prose and 'dumbing down' the english language - shocking because it could have been just as popular with a little more rigour."

To which ci01 replied, "I know, I know. I'm an intelligent woman, with multiple degrees and a sucessful career.... the books are terrible... I own all four and I couldn't stop... this article cracked me up because I think most people recognize that they're garbage but, oh, such additctive garbage..."

cvsmith1 wrote, "My 13 year-old daughter has read this series a dozen times. She loves these books. I have never read them. I don't need to as she has shared nearly every detail!...This is a great bonding experience for us both!"

Yankeesfan1 said, "I have on occasion been labeled the strictest mom at our school. However I'll be taking my 12-year-old daughter to the midnight screening of New Moon despite the fact that it's a school night ..."

We'll close with mimi301, who wrote, "My husband cheerfully announced that there was a story about me on the front page of the Post. And he was right. Smug man..."

All comments on this article are here.

By Doug Feaver  |  November 19, 2009; 7:30 AM ET
 | Tags: Twlight, books, movies  
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: Readers pan Obama, polls, each other
Next: Public option: Good policy or evil plot?


I read or skimmed through the last book and don't think I could have actually read the thing. It was like fingernails on a chalkboard trying to read it with so many grammatical and spelling errors throughout the whole book. The story wasn't bad, but she should have gotten a better editor than spellcheck.

Posted by: modameister | November 19, 2009 2:32 PM | Report abuse

I'm so tired of Vampire and Zombie movies. This material is so unoriginal and formuliac is makes Tang look like fresh squeezed orange juice.

The concept of benevolent Vampires is unoriginal, see "Interview with a Vampire", "Blade", "Angel" tv series.

The plot itself basically boils down to girl falls for creepy guy, creepy guy and girl get into a relationship, relationship becomes difficult due to differences and society, the tragic breakup, and the truimphant love conquers all reunion.

Posted by: theAnswerIs42 | November 19, 2009 2:24 PM | Report abuse

This perverse fascination among woman of the vampire-sex story reveals the sado-masochism behind most American sexual fantasy and activity.

Posted by: ravitchn | November 19, 2009 1:50 PM | Report abuse

I think Stephanie Meyers gave her characters (especially Edward) great lines - they're the words we women want to hear, but usually don't. Like everyone else, I was so hooked, so drawn in, I couldn't stop reading. It made me feel like I was part of the story! My heart was racing as I went from book to book, I couldn't wait to see what was happening next! It's a very powerful and provocative story no matter how young or old you are. A great escape from reality.

Posted by: intrepid122630yahoocom | November 19, 2009 1:38 PM | Report abuse

The link on the home page which leads to this article misspelled "fever."

The books, by the way, are nothing but Mary Sue stories. Trek fans will know what I mean by that.

Posted by: GABinOdenton | November 19, 2009 10:47 AM | Report abuse

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