It was only a matter of time really, wasn't it?

Executive Summary

A clueless teenager has to choose between necrophilia and bestiality.

A bit more detail, if you don't mind?

I think it's time to get out the absinthe for this. There's no way I'm going to complete a review of this four-volume act of arboreal genocide without serious amount of alcohol flying round my bloodstream. This is It. This is the Big Kahuna. This is the second most popular shite novel of all time (after its glorified fanfic Fifty Shades of Grey.) It also was responsible for popularising utterly thousands of godawful wussified vampire novels, as well as making its creator more money than at all conceivable. Not bad for a book that started life as a Mormon's wet dream - no, seriously, by her own admission Stephenie Meyer got the idea after she had an erotic dream about parachuting onto a handsome vampire in the middle of a field.


Fuck, that's oily. Anyhow. Our protagonist is called Bella Swan. She looks like Stephenie Meyer probably did aged 18. She moves to a gloomy town in upstate Washington called Forks. She describes her skin as "pallid," and herself as constantly clumsy and falling over her own two feet. Yet she is so beautiful, it's a curse. Holy crap. It's a ten alarm Mary Sue. As if we didn't already know. She has no real flaws, and everyone thinks she is made of all manner of awesome and suchlike. Everyone likes her. Which sits slightly at odds with her assertion that "I didn't relate well to people my age." Or indeed anyone. Yep, this is all lies. And come on. What sort of an obvious Mary Sue name is Bella Swan, or "Bells" for short. It's almost as Mary Sue-ish as, I dunno, Anastasia Steele, or Gwendolynne Price, or the other syllable-heavy sobriquets of the bad erotica that this had a hand in spawning (see Fifty Shades of Grey for details.)

Needless to say, she meets Edward Cullen in the corner of a canteen where he's being all mysterious and broody with his vampire mates. Immediately, moisties are cracked. There is much gushing over how hawt he is and similar. She's not all that bothered about him being a vampire, because in the world of Stephenie Meyer, vampires have all the benefits of being immortal, ageless, and indestructible, and none of the drawbacks, apart from the fact that they sparkle in direct sunlight.

They claim it's some sort of curse but let's be honest, being Edward Cullen is about as much of a curse as having a fifteen-inch cock that tastes like chocolate and ejaculates money. It's at best mildly inconvenient and at worst really worth having. In fact, if all vampires were like Edward Cullen people would be queuing up to be turned.

Oh, and the whole compulsion to suck peoples' blood? Nope. Animal blood works as well and Edward's okay with it because he doesn't eat people. Just animals. He tries to terrify Bella by saying to her, memorably, "This is the skin of a killer," when she sees him sparkle in direct sunlight, but let's be frank, it isn't. Much ink is also spilled describing him in minute detail, during the writing of which Meyer was obviously splittin' the kitten over her own character. There are a few other suitors that Bella Swan, whose flaw-that-isn't is that she's clumsy, but in an endearing way, not a world-breaking catastrophic way, has, but because they're all mundaines she roundly ignores them. Yeah, there's some evil glowers from the popular girls but they are brushed off because they realise what sort of special snowflake Bella is and besides, she's the one with the immortal ageless bishie-boy vampire for a better half, so PTHHH.

Then again, Edward Cullen's no prize, really, when I think about it. He's 117 years old, immortal, ageless, indestructible, has super strength, super speed, super intelligence, is stupendously rich, and still can go out in the daytime without bursting into flames. However, despite this, he is still a virgin. Now, far be it from me to perpetuate stereotypes about how a REAL MAN is not a virgin, but if someone cannot get their ashes hauled despite all these positive attributes which would all be attractive to a potential partner, it implies some pretty serious personality defects, wouldn't it? And he has those IN ABUNDANCE. He is a stalky, controlling, borderline, abusive spacewaste. For no apparent reason he breaks into Bella's room late at night just to "watch her sleep." That is not normal. That is grounds for an immediate restraining order, surely. He also won't allow Bella to do anything in case she hurts herself. There is also the creephattery that despite being 117 years old, he still hangs around in high schools trying to pull teenage girls. Unsuccessfully. This makes him a failed undead paedophile. I can't think of anything honestly more pitiful or contemptible.


Ugh. Yes. I think it's only fair that I treat you to a sample of the endless descriptions of how utterly ungodly handsome Edward is, in Meyer's inglorious prose, which Stephen King memorably described as "not very good." And for which he was branded Just Jealous by hordes of squeeing fangirls:

"Edward in the sunlight was shocking. I couldn't get used to it, though I'd been staring at him all afternoon. His skin, white despite the faint flush from yesterday's hunting trip, literally sparkled, like thousands of tiny diamonds were embedded in the surface. He lay perfectly still in the grass, his shirt open over his sculpted, incandescent chest, his scintillating arms bare. His glistening, pale lavender lids were shut, though of course he didn't sleep. A perfect statue, carved in some unknown stone, smooth like marble, glittering like crystal."

And it continueth. Every verse end Edward is described in gushing tones. Blimey. If Meyer carries on like this then she is severe danger of going blind. Of course, thrust in between all this derp is Edward going on about how dangerous he is to her. He casually pulls a branch off a tree and throws it into another tree where it shatters just moments after that quote. Furthermore, he also says that Bella is "{his} kind of heroin" and "as if you could fight me off." He also refuses to let her chase him off even though at this stage she's stated how she's not all that interested.


Yet just a few pages later, she's saying things like, "I'm here… which, roughly translated, means I would rather die than stay away from you." I honestly ponder the sanity of this person. Besides, if anyone said that in reality, and I heard, I would have to ask someone to pass the sickbags.

There's also a bit where all the vampires play baseball and because they all have super-strength and super-speed they do it on a double-sized pitch. And, of course, the sunlight doesn't hurt them but makes them all sparkle. I'm pretty sure that using one's Disciplines to assist at competitive sports is I. a violation of the Masquerade, and II. is probably considered cheating. And yes, while I am aware that this isn't classic World of Darkness, there are bits lifted from it; in particular, in the second and third and fourth volumes there's a group called the Volturi who are there to ensure that humans don't find out that vampires are real. They're based in Rome, which is allegedly some sort of swipe at the Catholic church. Yeah. I mean that's just not on. I mean, selling children, priests' sexual abuse, slavery, supporting Hitler, and condoms being murder are one thing, but the idea that they're all pathetic vampires? That's just inexcusable. But I digress. Yeah.

Then there's the obligatory werewolf that always appears in these sorts of novels. Jacob, he's called. He's also part Native American, as are all his pack. Quileute, specifically. Spot the Unfortunate Implications, people. Especially considering that Jacob and his pack are sort of the bad guys. Incidentally, in the films he was the one who was played by Taylor Lautner. He's the roidhead with the weird scrunched-up face who can't act. There's some sort of tug of love between the two of them as all this goes on. Jacob, for all his faults, is just, well, boring, quite frankly.

Now, Stephenie Meyer being a devout Mormon, believes in abstinence and as such nobody shags until they're married in the 4th book. I should single out this sequence as being one of the main sources of derp and rage in the entire series. After they are wed, they go on a honeymoon to an island off the west coast of Brazil, which, conveniently, Edward owns. Needless to say, a glance at a map will show this is physically impossible. Then there's the fact that vampire sex is a bit too vigorous for humans to handle owing to the super strength and super speed and the resultant Man of Steel, Woman of Kleenex-style mauling he gives her is a bit too close to her being beaten up on the wedding night for comfort. Quite frankly she really ought to have figured considering his stalky rapey behaviour in the first three books that he was probably going to be a wife beater. But that's not it! She gets pregnant and the half-vampire foetus then eats its way out of her. And even though her life is in total danger by continuing the pregnancy, she can't have an abortion, oh no! Thankfully the whole "continuing the pregnancy is a threat to life and limb" issue is sidestepped by having Edward turn her at this stage. The resulting child, named Renesmee (a portmanteau of various secondary characters' names, and now a real life name for children in reality, who WILL be bullied at school as a result, and it WILL be Meyer's fault) grows up preternaturally quickly, and Jacob the werewolf comes out the woodwork to "imprint" on her. This is sort of the werewolf equivalent of urinating to mark his own territory, although it doesn't involve urine and is basically the equivalent of shouting "shotgun!" at a child star when commencing the Jail Bait Wait.


*double belt*

See, this is where Twilight bothers me on multiple levels. It is, when I think about it, an astoundingly sexist novel series. The whole glorification of stalkyness and abusiveness, and the wedding night sex scene is a bit too much like domestic violence for my liking. The idea that Bella is not, in terms of her own sexuality, a free agent if you will, but has to lay her sexuality at the approval of Edward Cullen or other male characters. The idea that Edward is somehow entitled to have Bella and his veiled threats of using his super-strength and super-speed to carry her off and rape her. The idea that Edward is entitled to act in a controlling manner towards Bella in case she hurts herself because he's Just Better. In fact, Bella's whole role in the novel is, if you will, the arm candy of Edward Cullen. She's not a person in her own right so much as a possession for Edward and she has no personality herself beyond being endearingly clumsy. Then there's the abstinence angle. The first three and a quarter novels, in which they don't shag despite being (ostensibly) teenagers and thus oozing hormones from every conceivable gland, is basically yet more fettering of sexuality. Together with the convenient sidestep of the uterus-bursting bun that Edward has put in Bella's oven and how it's a danger to the mother's live to continue the pregnancy, it comes over as propagandist as well.

At the risk of sounding like a Daily Mail reader, what sort of message is this sending to impressionable teenage girls? That if your boyfriend is being controlling, jealous, and abusive, it's because he loves you and doesn't want you to get hurt?

But then again, what do you expect from a Mormon's wank fantasy. I despair. I really do. I cannot for the life of me work out why people would possibly think this novel was a good idea. I blame Anne Rice myself for making vampires into rock stars and suchlike, so it was only a matter of time before they play baseball and are all cuddly, apart from the whole implications of domestic violence that goes under it all.

Fuck that noise.

Seriously, fuck Twilight. Fuck Meyer and fuck everyone who does not fuck her. This novel series is a massive dump of insubstantial fanfic-level prose, obvious research fails, derp, rage, and sexism. If I had a teenage daughter, I'd rather she read Anders Behring Breivik's manifesto than this.

*drains the bottle*

The best bit? That Robert Pattinson, who played Edward in the films, went on record about how the novels were a bit weird and his character was a creephat. In fact, by his own admission he just took the job so he could get some cash and have a go at shagging Kristen Stewart, and now he's succeeded at that he wants nothing more to do with it. Good for him, I say. In 20 years' time when he's grown the beard and is a serious actor I hope he disowns this pap.