BOOKS: Scream, Dracula, Scream!

twilight_book_cover1.jpgBY SYDNEY SCOTT Our obsession with vampires seems to be as deathless as the undead. Images of pasty-faced bloodsucking sophisticates with miles and miles of style epitomize our notions of the vampires thanks to the lurid prose of Bram Stoker and Ann Rice. But with the sudden and, arguably, undeserved success of her ‘tween hit Twilight, Stephanie Meyer has flipped the script for a new generation. I managed to avoid reading the book for a while, but eventually I succumbed to the hype when my old roommate kept urging me to read it. It took me two months to finish the book, because I kept stopping and trying to convince myself that the end would be worth it — it wasn’t. Meyer’s story about a teenage girl named Bella who moves to a dreary Washington and falls in love with a “vegetarian” vampire, Edward Cullen, is told in the most wooden of prose. The dialogue is weak and a lame parody of what Meyers believes teenagers sound like. The book drags on for what seems like years before anything eventful happens and the events are all rather predictable. Bella being hunted down by a vampire? Yeah, didn’t see that coming. The characters aren’t any better. Edward and the rest of the Cullens are PG teen-friendly vampires. But unlike the vampires of yore, they don’t die when exposed to sunlight, they sparkle. The Cullens do not sleep in coffins, they don’t drink blood, and they go to school! Um, excuse me Mrs. Meyers, but you just drained all the bad-ass coolness out of vampires. However, Meyers has undoubtedly found a formula that works,’tweens plus sparkling vampires plus a ridiculous love story equals hit! The phenomena that is Twilight does not look like it will be dying down anytime soon with toys and perfumes hitting the shelves of your local Hot Topic. Sad to say that may mean the dawn of a new sparkling vampire empire and the end of Dracula’s reign as the Prince Of Darkness. Pity, that.

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