So, I bought Wendy a ring and some books for Christmas. She likes Barbara Kingsolvers essays and somehow, she had never read "Ender's Game"
So, I bought her the boxed set of Ender's Game, Ender's Shadow, and Shadow of the Hedgemon. They decline in quality as they go. But Ender's Game is frikkin fantastic! A true Sci-fi classic about smart kids. I love stories about super geniuses. Good Will Hunting. Searching for Bobby Fischer. Little Man Tate. Ender. Great Stuff. She devoured it in about two days and finished the three in about a week. Then re-read Ender's Game. It's that good. I then read Ender's Game and Ender's Shadow for about the fifth time and loved them all over again. If you've somehow missed them, pick them up as soon as possible. You won't be disappointed.
In a moment of weakness, I also bought her "Twilight."
Look, it's a popular series they just made a movie about. I knew it wasn't any "Harry Potter" but I knew that millions of fans loved it. It was a romance novel. You know, for women. Or rather, girls. I figured we could see if the hype was justified.
Look, no offense to an author who has made more money than me (so far) and has had her book be made into a movie, but this fucking thing is god-awful. The writing is fucking horrible. On the back cover it proudly proclaims "New York Times Editor's Choice" and Amazon "Best book of the decade" and Publisher's Weekly "Best Book of the Year."
This elicits nothing but sheer anger from me. Are you fucking kidding me? Sure it's a twelve year old's fantasy, but book of the year? The writing is just plain bad. The repitition is maddening. The number of times the main character fawns over her boyfriend's "angelic face" his "deep eyes" his "savage beauty" his muscular chest, his porcelin skin, his marble features, his... whatever. Hundreds of pages where the author can't stop describing how beautiful this boy is just gets so old! Both of us almost tore the book in half and threw it across the room in the first three hundred pages.
Oh, but don't worry, the first three hundred pages fly by. It's like the book is printed in large type for ancient people. The book is thick but widely spaced and the type is large.
"I love you like a hamburger" describes his love for her. A twisted thing neither of us can understand. How is this sexy? How can women love this? Actual quote follows.
"You see, every person smells different, has a different essence. If you locked an alcoholic in a room full of stale beer, he'd gladly drink it. But he could resist, if he wished to, if he were a recovering alcoholic. Now let's say you placed in that room a glass of hundred-year-old brandy, the rarest, finest cognac - and filled the room with it's warm aroma - how do you think he would fare then?"
This is why el vampire loves her. Because she smells good. And he wants to drink her fine, fine blood. This is about three steps below "I love you because you have a nice rack." And one step above "Want to be in my snuff film?"
It also shows a startling lack of comprehension about alcoholics and shows the love interest wants her like I want a thick bloody steak. How romantic!
On top of that, the innocence is sickening. These are late high school students we're talking about. One day the main character is talking with her friend.
"Has he kissed you yet?"
"Do you think it will happen Saturday?"
Um, welcome to 2009. A more realistic conversation for anyone not writing a wet dream for a twelve year old girl would be -
"Has he kissed you yet?"
"Uh, I blew him on the way home from the movies the other night. Kissed me? What are you ten? This isn't 1950."
Not only that but the trend continues about making vampires more and more powerful. They used to move fast and be as stong as three men. In today's fiction they're as strong as the Hulk and as fast as the Flash. Oh yeah, and they glitter like gods in the sunlight.
There does come a time where a conflict is introduced and does make it a bit interesting, and she adds something to the vampire myth that also adds to the story, but all in all, it's pretty much crap.
Despite all this, we both read the book (grudgingly, and with much bitching) in about two days apiece. And sadly, we will watch the movie and might buy the second book. But only for the ideas, not for the writing, which is God-awful.
Tomorrow I'll talk about the good books I actually read and the revelation I came to thanks to Wendy's Christmas gifts.
In closing, some videos of interest.
Usually I hate WoW videos. But I just watched one unlike any I have ever seen. I can't grasp how it was done but it was spectacular. Even if you don't play WoW, it's worth the watch. The sound is very important to the overall feel so if you're at work, either close your door if you have one, or wait until you can watch it at home. If you don't play WoW you'll be interested to know there is a whole quest series where you go about exposing the woman who is a dragon and the conclusion in the game is epic and amazing.
The video. Really, really good.
Lena sent me this youtube vid that is really entertaining. A three minute summary of the year that was. AND it has Rick Astley. Sorry, but I love him. In a totally non gay way. Well, maybe a little gay...