Thursday, October 09, 2008

Utensils and Best-Selling Novels

Books are great. I've even been known to read one or two over the years. Even a few without pictures that required the use of an actual bookmark. I don't really keep track of what books are popular aside from I guess Harry Potter and the 976 versions of the Bible that seem to always be for sale at the Sam's Club. It is however, tough to escape the popularity of the "Twilight" series by J.K. Rowling or Stephanie Meyer, . . . it's one of those two. Not that long ago I got my first introduction to the series which is INCREDIBLY popular among women of all ages.

I literally thought my wife was playing an amazingly creative joke on me. She described a tale about a 17-year-old-girl named Bella who moves to Forks, (yes, I said forks) Washington and falls for a boy named Eddie or something who just happens to be a . . . (wait for it) . . .CANADIAN . . .!! Actually he and his family are real-life, fictional, VAMPIRES. But not to worry because, as wikipedia points out, this is not that big of a deal because his family has shunned drinking human blood and sticks with meals of animal blood instead.

So my wife, along with 86.7% of other litterate females, is suddenly a HUGE fans of vampire books. There are four of them (the books, not the females), but you can ask the lady of your choice for the rest of the plot. And there's another one called The Host that's about aliens possesing people's bodies and taking over the world. (I'm not making that up) Suddenly my wife is into vampires and sci-fi novels?!!!

All that I know is that once the Mrs. HTF picks up one of these books she ceases to, you know, exist in this world. She tunes the rest of us out completely. Here's proof. Also, unless you're living under a rock and/or you're a guy, you'll know that there's also some movies based on the books coming out that will be like an estrogen convention I'm guessing. (not that there's anything wrong with that)

I was recently given an even better reason to be a Stephanie Meyer fan - two females, (my wife and alert-blog-reader, JJ) pointed out - at the end of Mrs. Meyer's last best-selling novel, the Mormon, BYU grad pointed out that she was inspired in her writing by my brother's rock band, Spoon. (if you're paying attention, that's the second utensil reference in this post, and I wasn't even trying!) So maybe, just maybe, I should put down my books about politics, current events, or business management and join the ladies in reading about blood-sucking, alien, body-snatchers who woo teenage girls in logging country.

Or maybe I'll just wait for the movie.


JJ said...

You should be commended for not only a great article but for working in two references to utensils. That's extremely difficult to do.

Yes. The phenomenon of Twilight. Not sure if I will see the movie. Only Harry Potter has lived up to an author's vision on film (at least for me). More often, I am disappointed with the jump from page to screen. However, I am sure, as you say, that it will be an estrogen-filled event. The poor men that will get dragged to that...

agm said...

I am such a nerd that, with all of her books, I would look up the bands on her "writing inspiration" list on Itunes if I wasn't familiar with them. She's into some interesting stuff & I thought that it was about time that she came around to Spoon!

bspeck said...

I'll admit that I'm a big Twilight fan, but I'm particularly enjoying your pun on the word literate.

rlsecor said...

‘Round these parts seeing the Twilight movie will probably be an Enrichment/ Girls Night Out activity – it really does spread like a virus!

You know Forks is only a mere 3 ½ hours from Seattle, of course you’ll have to cross the Puget Sound , Port Angeles and not to mention the time you’ll spend driving past the Olympic National Forest – all of which are prime vampire hunting grounds!

If I remember correctly vampires don’t have a strong reptilian inclination so if you were to take the journey as Henry the Frog you might be completely safe.

I attribute the success of Twilight to the simple fact of excellent character development.

Oh, you can argue that it is a first in sci-fi romance – or that the new spin on Vegetarian Vampires brought on a captive audience but those theories barely scratch the surface.

The truth is that when you find yourself hours later washing the dishes and wondering what Bella or Alice are up to – and you then have to remind yourself that Bella and Alice are fictional – it is evident that there is some pretty darn good writing going on.

I don’t think the movie will even come close to making the money or the records that Harry Potter made. I wanted to say Twilight was written to a different audience – but that isn’t true. I believe both books were released as Juvenile Fiction . The bond we quickly felt with Harry or Hermione or Ron was similar to what Stephenie Meyers created in Twilight. But, I think Twilight will still draw a stronger girly-teenie bopper crowd.

After watching my hiatus from life when I read the books – I think my dear hubby wanted in on the mini vacation and dove head first into the series as well. His reaction was equal to mine – and I again re-lived the experience every night as I drilled him with questions, “what’s happening in the book, where are you at, tell me more, oh you are getting to a really good part!”

My friend Greg, who also read the book and enjoyed it, had an interesting comment… (which I have mentioned before so I apologize for the redundancy but I find it fascinating!) He says it is definitely a story meant for women because there is so much dialog. So, Greg made that comment and I began to wonder about dialog.

I personally hate writing dialog. He said, she said makes me crazy!!!! But his comment makes sense. Women generally talk more, so more dialog would be natural to women and less comfortable to men who want what:
•more descriptive, narrative, action filled scenes?
•Story telling vs. characters talking to each other?

I don’t know why anyone would ever think women talk more – especially me – I don’t have much at all to say.

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