Much like the Harry Potter franchise can be blamed for the swell of literature extorting the glory of teenage wizardry, the Twilight franchise is the reason a trip to my local bookseller involves copious amounts of lusty vampire jacket art. Apparently, at least in the literary world, being dead is the new being alive. Furthermore, in addition to being surprisingly sexy, it pays far better than one might think. But while I will admit to having a working knowledge of the rules of Quidditch, I haven’t been able to bring myself to drink the collective Kool-Aid that is the present vampiric infatuation. As you might imagine, there are reasons for this.
First among equals is that, for whatever reason, the prospect of fantasizing about human lampreys hell bent on sucking my life force and, in the process of doing so, passing on some sort of blood borne pathogen that afflicts me with a similar inclination does not excite me as much as it does the average teenage girl. Go figure. My guess is that similar sentiments are possessed, even if not always expressed, by every other male on the planet with occasional cause to leave their parents’ basement.
Of course, this admission opens me up to a charge of preemptive damnation in regards to the Twilight series – particularly when I add to the fire that I’ve neither read, nor have plans to read, the books in question. However, I do have what I feel is a fairly solid counter argument for that. Enter my wife, editor and English literature major, who subjected herself to the series for reasons I will never fully understand. Needless to say, the most convincing book review I have ever heard in my life came in the form of three sentences, uttered by the spouse in question, moments before sleep overtook her. They were as follows:
“I’m finally enjoying Twilight.”
“It’s only grown interesting in the last fifty pages or so.”
“And that’s only because someone is trying to eat the protagonist.”
Were one to condense the above into some sort of numeric score, I’m not quite sure where it would fall. But either way, if the only incentive to read the book comes from the possibility of the protagonist’s untimely demise, I’ll stick to Greek tragedies and Russian lit.
Of course, I hardly needed a reason not to read the series when my mind had been made up about it for some time. Call me a hopeless romantic, but I hold somewhat conservative views when it comes to vampires – specifically, that their activities should be limited to instilling fear, biting necks, and having stakes rammed through their hearts when they’ve done too much of the first two. Based on the book jacket and various previews for the movie, I have concluded that Twilight contains precious little of the aforementioned. So unless someone is going to reassure me that Wesley Snipes does indeed show up and enact utter pandemonium, I’m going to politely decline any variation of the experience.
While I’m bemoaning the lack of a certain Mr. Snipes (something I never thought I’d do…particularly after Blade 3), allow me to indulge a last petty gripe in regards to the Twilight setting – high school? Really? Admittedly, the presence of the undead could have only improved my own educational experience, but let us pause for a moment to inquire what the undead are doing in a high school setting at all. Is a GED insufficient for a career in professional neck gnawing? Did Congress pass the No Child of the Night Left Behind Act before their most recent recess? In short, if I had every reason to believe I was going to live for an eternity, a high school education would not make the list of things to do before I…don’t die. Eating the football team might, but perhaps my priorities are a little askew.
On the topic of askew priorities, the mass murder of the football team wouldn’t put me too far afield of the female protagonist of Twilight who concludes, after the eternity of a one-week high school courtship, that her vampiric co-protagonist is the one whom she is destined to be with forever. Yes, ladies and gentlemen, because lest we forget…high school matters…to someone…somewhere…maybe. Furthermore, important life decisions are made there everyday – mostly to the effect of whether the chemical in question can be safely smoked or not, but I suppose that is beside the point.
One can only hope that the present vampire obsession is already in its twilight, pun premeditated. Of course, this means something else will take its place, and at present, my guess is that something involves zombies. I’m cautiously optimistic that it is impossible to draw a sexy zombie, which means it might not be safe to walk the fantasy section of Barnes & Noble in the near future without running the risk of blindness. Of course, I’m probably wrong, and I should probably be writing a book involving a sexy zombie rather than ruminating on whether it would be popular.
So on that note, I’m off to work on The Love Zombie. Watch for it this fall.