Stephenie Meyer's Twilight Saga has taken the world by storm. The four novels that tell the paranormal romance of Bella Swan and Edward Cullen are international bestsellers that readers everywhere are discussing and re-reading again and again. But WHY are the books so popular? Critics have dismissed them as "Harlequin trash" and "literary junk food" but book lovers obviously disagree. Is there more to Twilight than a love story for teen girls crossed with a cheesy vampire-werewolf drama? ~.~.~.~.~.~ John Granger, author of Unlocking Harry Potter: Seven Keys for the Serious Reader, explains in Spotlight the literary backdrop, the themes, the artistry, and the meaning of the four Bella Swan adventures. Twilight readers will learn here: * Why the Book Covers are Black, White, and Red; * How Edward Can Read Thoughts and the La Push Wolf Pack Can Have a Shared Mind; * What Influence the X-Men, Night of the Living Dead, and Plato's Republic had on Twilight; * Why the Volturi live in Italy and Hate the Cullens' "Lifestyle Choices";* Why Bella's "empty chest" is mentioned thirty seven times in New Moon; * Why so many Key Twilight Saga Scenes take place in Mountain Meadows; * What Role the Quileute "Protectors" play in Meyer's Re-Telling of Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet; * How Carlisle's Birth in Sixteenth Century London Explains Why the Cullens are "Vegetarians";* Why the James and Bella Confrontation in Twilight takes place in a Ballet Studio; * Why Jacob and Edward are described consistently as Bella's Sun and Moon; and * Why Books and Films about Bella Swan and Harry Potter are such Blockbuster Hits. ~.~.~.~.~.~ Spotlight unveils layer-by-layer the meaning of the books and the artistry of their composition so Twilight lovers can see how the books work and why we love them the way we do! Spotlight is the only book that explains Twilight-mania and is the perfect gift for serious Twilight readers wanting to learn why the books they love are so good and have become as popular as they are.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
John Granger turns the spotlight from his accustomed Harry Potter turf to Stephanie Meyer's "Twilight" series, and once again he entertainingly uncovers how these popular but critically unappreciated novels fall squarely within the Great Books tradition, peeling back their deeper levels of meaning & appeal.
Granger's book follows a thesis/antithesis/synthesis course: In the first half, he unabashedly explains and champions Meyer's artistry. But it's the second half which breaks the most ground for me, as he draws a revealing & convincing "Portrait of the Artist as a Young Mormon". Since Meyer's upbringing & background is thoroughly modern Mormon, it's unsurprising in retrospect that "the Mormon content in the Twilight series is huge", and Granger presents quite the detailed roadmap. In this regard, Granger deserves extra credit for his fair & self-critical approach to a subject he would have preferred to avoid - but as the neglected "elephant in the room", it demanded...
Like many others, I was drawn into the Twilight saga unexpectedly, and was baffled at why a book about teenagers in love would captivate a happily married and middle aged woman like myself. Generally, I will read a book and promptly forget most of the details, but these books had characters and stories that I found unforgettable. Why?
Mr. Granger's book provides a thorough explanation of the many layers of meaning in these books, as well as the frame of mind of the Mormon author of the Twilight saga. As a non-Mormon, I feel I better understand the situations and reasoning of the series, and I felt Mr. Granger handled the issue very sensitively.
If you are a fan of Twilight and are interested in the deeper meaning of these books, it's definitely worth the read. And the next time someone rolls their eyes when you mention you like the series, you'll have some ammunition handy, including some impressive multi-syllable philosophical terms.
I was never able to explain what it was about Twilight that hooked me, but the author explains it in multiple ways. First of all, he addresses the issue of why we like Twilight even though Stephenie Meyer is 'not a good author'. He explains the difference between what is considered 'good literature' (by 'good authors') and what we actually prefer to read (guess which category Twilight falls into), and WHY we tend to prefer the stuff that doesn't qualify as good literature. He then explains how Twilight reaches us on four different levels (plot, moral, allegory, and resolution of contraries). Then he reluctantly takes on the religious issue. Stephenie is a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (Mormon), but the author of 'Spotlight' is not, so he had to do a lot of research. As a 'Mormon', I can say I was impressed with the depth of his research. Inevitably, he got a few things wrong, but he got a lot right, too. But if you're not Mormon, you won't know which...
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