I am probably in the vast minority, but until some three months ago I had never heard of Stephanie Meyer or the vampire phenomenon that she has created. I plead being immersed in my own creation as absolution for my ignorance! It began, for me, when my Entertainment Weekly arrived and I read all about the hoo-ha surrounding the fourth book. I was a bit embarrassed to realize that something major in the literary world had been transpiring without my awareness, and was further stunned to learn a movie was being made! Geez! What have I been doing?! Well, I was intrigued, moderately so – decided that I would definitely see the movie – but have to say that I wasn’t exactly trembling with anticipation. Then my sister called. She and I share very similar interest in books, movies, TV, etc. She was reading the novels and was seriously hooked. Now, to be honest, I am only a semi-vampire fan. Meaning that I did very much enjoy the Anne Rice series and have several fantasy-style vampire books on my shelf, and of course I have seen all the classic Lugosi flicks, but I don’t crave the genre. Still, I trust my sis, and she did send me the book for free, so who am I to argue?
I began “Twilight” one day and within three, I was finished! I totally could hardly put the thing down! This is not a perfect book or the best book ever written, nor do I think it should be compared to Rowlings and her Harry Potter saga. Nevertheless, it is a very good book with a solid plot and amazing love story. Meyer writes in a very easy manner, probably partly why the younger set is so enamored with this series. But the real attraction is the stunning relationship she weaves between Edward, the one-time teenage immortal vampire, and Bella, the seventeen-year old human. It is intense, electric, heartwarming, breathtaking, poignant, sensual, tragic, and highly dramatic. They never do more than kiss – and that rarely – but the physical sexuality and magnetism these two share sizzles. Yet, it is the emotional and spiritual affinity that captures and shines. It is their story, of course, but Meyer creates a cache of terrific secondary characters, both human and undead. She also spins an original vampire mythology that is quite different than anything I have ever read. And, in case you are worried, it is very light on blood and gore. Personally I think it a shame her novels have been touted as mere youthful reading material because her visionary romance is fantastic and apropos for anyone who loves romance with some bite – pardon the pun! My sissy sent the next two books – the fourth is being read and enjoyed by her husband, who is VERY discriminating in his reading material – and I could hardly wait to start “New Moon.”
I could also hardly wait to see the movie! I went tonight with my daughter. Naturally I had read several articles about the movie, especially the fan-fears in how to present these beautifully alien immortals. It reminded me of the challenge Peter Jackson, et al had in coming up with Elves to fit Tolkien’s description. It truly is impossible. However, the folks behind “Twilight” the movie did an admirable job, as did Jackson with his Elves. I was very impressed with all of them. Robert Pattison, who plays Edmund, is a very handsome young man and the vampire-mystique was done very well. Kristen Stewart, Bella, is very pretty and plays the awkward teen nicely. Neither are fabulous actors, I have to say, or maybe it was how the director chose to present them. The book goes into incredible depth and takes considerable time developing the blooming relationship between Bella and Edward. There are many chapters with nothing but conversation as they grow to know each other. There is humor, warmth, and happiness mixed in with the angst. Unfortunately the movie did not have that much time, and I suppose that makes sense. Still, I missed it. The tension was ratcheted up, the gloominess of their unique situation, with both of them seeming more miserable together than blissfully connected and in love as they were in the book. And of course there simply is not time in a 2 hour movie to fully convey the depth presented in a book.
Nevertheless, I really loved the movie. The ‘bad’ vampires were fabulously rendered and the ending, climatic scene was riveting, edge-of-the-seat stuff. I was gritting my teeth and holding my breath, even though I knew what was going to happen! My daughter was beside herself! She has not read the books – yet – but loved the movie and had no trouble understanding what was gong on. As always, the book is better, but do not let not reading the source material keep you from seeing the flick. I highly recommend it!! Now, I am going to power through the remaining 3 books because I am dying to find out what happens! And, I will be hoping the movie a success so they will finish out the series! From the looks of things – over $70 million just this weekend – I suspect some Hollywood mogul is already making calls. Stupendous!