Let's pretend that instead of being the thrilling space opera it is, Star Wars had been written by a woman with only the faintest grasp of what makes a good plot. Let's say that Han Solo spent all three original movies telling Princess Leia how much he wanted to kill and eat her. Let's speculate how things would be if the excitement built up to the point where Luke flew off to destroy the Death Star, only to have him pass out en route and wake up a few hours later with everyone celebrating, all the action having happened while he was frolicking in dreamland.
Pretty stupid, right?
I recently finished the bestselling book Twilight, and, honestly, I wasn't too impressed. Maybe it's because I'm a guy and my literary needs involve a few more explosions and fewer declarations of undying (no pun intended) love.
First, I could have gone without Bella's incessant reaffirmations of Edward's utter perfection. I understand that his skin is flawless, his eyes are rapturous, he has superhuman strength, his kisses have the power to instantly put a woman into a state of extra-bodily bliss and his pukes probably smell like Bath & Body Works lotion. I just don't need those facts repeated.
Next, what the heck is up with Bella's attraction to a vampire who wants to drink her blood? Next time I go out on a date, I will tell my date (repeatedly; perhaps every ten minutes) that I hunger for her in more ways than one. If I believed Twilight, nothing would turn her on more. Girls love Edward because he can control his urges; what about us normal human beings? I've been on dates with girls I've been strongly attracted to, and to my knowledge, I've been pretty good at controlling my hormones. Would it be better, if you're a hot girl, if I told you at regular intervals how much I lusted after you but was able to contain my infatuation? Seems to work pretty well for Edward.
Now comes the biggest quibble I have, the one that, if fixed, could have redeemed the book in my opinion. WHERE THE CRAP DID ALL THE ACTION GO? It's not that the author got too busy to put action in; there's plenty of it. It just happens behind the scenes: There's a part where you're in a hotel room with Bella as she frets like a six-year-old girl and you're wishing strongly to be out there with Edward, tracking the bad guy vampire, but do you ever get to see the exciting stuff? Nope. Wouldn't it be more effective, as far as the story goes, just to SHOW the danger Edward's in, instead consigning the reader to hear Miss Whiner's jumbled thoughts about her lover's peril?
Then comes the clincher. The plot builds, and so does the reader's anticipation, as Bella finds herself face-to-face with an evil vampire. Edward is on the way, tensions are rising, your heart is thumping — and then she blacks out, only to awake having missed the whole fight between the bad guy and Edward. What's the use of having the action take place offstage? It's like spending hours preparing food, only to fall asleep and hear others describe it later.
There you have it. Twilight: the perfect escape from reality for thirteen-year-old girls who have yet to realize that men are human, not undead incarnations of Jane Austen love interests (Yes, Pride and Prejudice's Mr. Darcy is not human, but a robot from the future sent to destroy women's perceptions of men). Twilight: the perfect blubberfest for people whose literary tastes are flawed and whose emotions run unchecked.