The Twilight Zone

A decade ago, there was Harry Potter. A decade later, there is Twilight. Many might argue that Stephenie Meyer’s vampire love saga still has a long way to go before it can even come close to holding a candle to JK Rowling’s masterpiece. However, it won’t take long for the Twilight series to become equally popular in their own right.

For the unacquainted, the Twilight series (penned by Stephenie Meyer) comprises of four books – Twilight, New Moon, Eclipse and Breaking Dawn. The books chronicle the epic romance that brews between the gorgeous, immortal vampire Edward Cullen and the average human Isabella ‘Bella’ Swan. The series is filled with large doses of romance and copious amounts of adrenaline pumping action. Bella is a city girl who reluctantly moves into the small, rainy town of Forks to live with her father, and has her life turned upside down when she comes into contact with vampires and werewolves. She falls in love with the mysterious and enigmatic Edward Cullen, and finds a close friend and confidant in the affable werewolf Jacob Black. The story unfolds chiefly from Bella’s point of view.

Meyer successfully entwines the element of fantasy with the reality, the clumsy blushing Bella epitomizes the imperfections of humanity, and the graceful and suave Edward impersonates the fantastical. The readers easily relate to the characters, especially that of Bella. And it is especially exciting that, when in Bella’s shoes, one gets to (vicariously) experience the sort of love and passion which, in real life, one can only dream of.

Edward is dangerous, unattainable, and chivalrous and moreover, he falls in love with an average girl – and proves to be exactly what (almost) every girl wants. He is torn between a physical bodily desire for Bella and an all-encompassing thirst for her blood. But his greater love for her spirit drove him to ignore the more basic facts of his existence (i.e., his desire to feed on her blood) and vow to keep her safe from himself and others like him. He views her as a delicate soap bubble and every moment that he spends in her company is a test of his self-control. If such a perfect man with such an exciting life can fall for an unremarkable girl, indeed, there must be some hope for the rest of us!!

Stephenie Meyer is a smart woman who understands exactly what other women want from men, and she delivers in the form of the mysterious and sexy Edward and the roughish and warm Jacob Black. Two seemingly perfect men, both in love with a run-of the-mill girl.

The series is currently topping charts worldwide with over 50 million copies sold (7.7 million copies sold in the US alone). The series has been translated into over twenty languages and the film version is on the verge of release. The author bravely ventured into a particular branch of the fantasy genre which hadn’t been as popular as the standard witches, wizards, goblins formula, and managed to render her readers breathless. It is hard to pinpoint the reason behind the phenomenal success of the Twilight saga. It would be safe to say that the reason wasn’t the ‘superior language’ or the ‘innovative use of adjectives’. In fact, after having read and enjoyed the likes of Lewis Carroll and Tolkein – the way Twilight read seemed exceedingly trite. The plot was a tad predictable and the action merely passable. In my opinion, the success relies entirely on the romantic aspect, which is exactly what every teenage girl wants to read.

Summit entertainment recently bought the rights to create a film on the Twilight saga. And a television series on the books has been airing in the US for a while now. Moreover, Meyer plans to launch a book Midnight Sun that tells the story from Edward’s perspective. Ostensibly, it seems that the Twilight fever is here to stay.

Rayman Gill

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