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Stuff Smart People DON'T Like: Twilight: Post #1

Hello Dear Readers. Today I present you with the first of several installments that will follow my undertaking to try and make it through "Twilight." Notice that I did not say "the novel" or "the book" in describing this...collection of words, for that would be grave misnomer. I decided to do this now to coincide with the release of whichever installment of this franchise is released this week. To start off with, you may be saying "you're not a writer, what right do you have to critique this?" To that my answer is, I'm also not a chef, but I'm pretty sure I could tell if someone laid a pile of shit on a plate before me and asked me to eat it. So, without further ado, enjoy my ordeal, so that you don't have to.

The first step of this masochistic odyssey was to actually get a copy of the....pages with words. I will admit that the notion of walking into the library and having people see me with this book was a bit too much to bear, so I had my roommate get it for me. So far we're still on speaking terms. Next, I had to actually get around to reading this thing. I was actually travelling by plane last weekend, usually a time when I can get a ton of reading done, but once again, I was too embarrassed to be seen with this monstrosity. Did you like my run-on sentence with liberal usage of commas? Get used to it if you decide to read this thing. On to some specifics.

First off, the book generally reads like Stephanie Meyer just needed to fill a word limit quota. It's like a dictionary just shat out a random string of words onto a series of pages. She inserts descriptive phrases that make no sense and have no context. For example, "I donned my jacket --which had the feel of a biohazard suit -- and headed out into the rain." Seriously? This is not an isolated incident my friends.

Next, Meyer describes EVERYTHING. I don't even think these are sentences, just a series of adverbs and adjectives. "I'd noticed that his eyes were black -- coal black." Yeah, well I've noticed that this "book" is garbage -- pure garbage.

And what's with the terrible comparisons. "I made the Cowardly Lion look like the terminator." That's verbatim, not sure why Cowardly Lion is capitalized and The Terminator isn't, but that's besides the point. Ugh, it's almost as bad as the meandering sentences that only serve as a placeholder for an adverb that she wants to use, "Two long, white hands shot out protectively in front of me, and the van shuddered to a stop a foot from my face, the large hands fitting providentially into a deep dent in the side of the van's body." Yeah, just yeah.

I'm only 3 chapters into this POS and already regretting my decision. But I will carry on and finish. Once more unto the breach, dear friends, once more.

This post originally appeared on Stuff Smart People Like. Subscribe to the Podcast.


  1. Stephen King is a huge opponent of adverbs. He believes they are lazy. I am in agreement. There are enough verbs in the English language to express any degree of nuance. No adverbs needed.

    That being said, I don't know if anyone -- twilight fans included -- would argue that this series deserves more credit from the literati as a testament to the written word. My understanding is that people read it for the relationships between the characters and the complicated politics of vampire/werewolf relations.

    At three chapters in have you had a taste of these issues yet? And should we expect more commentary on the content in future posts?

  2. Very good points. In terms of the relationships between the characters and interspecies supernatural politics, I would concede that 3 chapters would not give me an adequate taste of that. The only thing that I can comment on character-wise thus far is that Belle is one of the least-likeable characters that I have ever come across.

    And yes, in the future posts will focus more on content and the development of the characters and issues. This one was more about the writing style as that's what hits you when you start this thing.

    Thanks for the comment!