Overrated Books

Discussion in 'Non-WOT - Literature and Fiction' started by Toral Delvar, Aug 20, 2012.

  1. Irinia Argyvni

    Irinia Argyvni

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    Twilight!
    I began to read the first book and I never finished it.But my sister love all of Stephenie Meyer's books,she talks a lot about them so I know the plots and the basic storyline.Twilight is the reason I almost dislike all the vampires related movies,tv shows and books!
     
  2. Jessibelle Coralis

    Jessibelle Coralis Citizen

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    The one thing you have to remember about Twilight and Meyer's Books is that not all vampires as like the ones she wrote about. Vampires are suppose to be scary monsters but with the change people have been making in vampires over the years it fall to reason that one day they were going to become sparkly fairy creatures that drank blood and not a mean killing machine. There are some good vampire books out there that have vampires as they are suppose to be, almost like they once were, not blood sucking fairies.
     
  3. Toral Delvar

    Toral Delvar Archivist Gaidin

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    I don't think there is much justification for considering the Twilight vampires blood sucking fairies. They feed on blood and their vampirism is transmitted through blood, that pretty much makes them a vampire. It's not like there are real vampires that we can use to set a standard, so instead we have myths and folklore from many countries over multiple centuries and around a hundred years of vampire books where people have taken bits and pieces they like and spun their own story around them
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_vampire_traits_in_folklore_and_fiction
    Gives examples. Other than fangs, and being killed by staking, there isn't much that is consistent in all the early tales.
     
  4. Paxam Leratharn

    Paxam Leratharn

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    Not many of the popular Vampire books even pre-twilight had Vampires matching up with the horror themes people seem to attribute to them. And even in film, Vampires have rarely been the subject of true horror -- they're almost always a comedy or romantic villain.
     
  5. Eluial Aldaran

    Eluial Aldaran A real gaydin Aes Sedai

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    Well, the romantic part is at least keeping true to Stoker's Dracula (which I know is not the origination of vampire myths, but I think it's the story that did the most to bring them into pop culture).
     
  6. Toral Delvar

    Toral Delvar Archivist Gaidin

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    And whatever they are, they certainly aren't fairies - Fairies are a separate species, typically with a weakness to iron. The vampires in twilight are transformed humans.
     
  7. Aran Cherubim

    Aran Cherubim Resident Citizen

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    I'm not an expert in literature history, but I believe it's a technical term of the time. From what I can tell, it comes from an association with Roman literature (hence the name "Romance" via Old or Norman French). I'm not sure, but it could have to do with being written in a Latin style/following certain Latin literary conventions (as opposed to Anglo-Saxon or Celtic ones). Just a comparison, early science fiction was called "scientific romance" - with the understanding being that the "romance" denoted a certain way of approaching the subject (with grand scale and deep treatment of consequences.) Our idea of "romance" strictly being a "will they get each other?"-kinda story is relatively recent.

    I have to admit, I really dislike vampires. It has very little to do with Twilight, though it certainly didn't help. The thing that put me off vampires was the ridiculous romantization and over-sympathization of them as an archetype. Anne Rice-kinda stuff, you know.

    Don't get me wrong, I definitely understand the erotic undertones - the intimacy of drinking blood of a throat, the - if you'll excuse my impression of it - submission of the 'pure' (typically) female character to an unfettered and 'hungry' (if you know what I mean) virile male figure, that is infinitely more powerful, thus rendering the female's safety wholly contingent on the desires of the dominant, controlling male figure - but also emphasizing the special position the submissive character holds.

    I mean, I get why this makes people hot and bothered - I just really wish it wasn't played so damn straight all the time. It's like if we had an entire subgenre of novels dedicated to telling stories about how awesome doing cocaine is :p without explaining how f***ed up it is as well.

    To me, at least, the emphasis is on vampires being essentially people who willingly became predators of their own kind because they were obsessed with their own youth and beauty. Wholly narcissistic and ego-driven in all things, as well as very vain. To me, they are more akin to drug dealers more than anything; preying on other people to sustain themselves. Maybe I would've been more interested in the "unwillingly turned to a vampire" tragic hero kinda type, if it hadn't already been done absolutely to death.

    I mean, don't get me wrong - Vampires make great villains, but I can't make myself root for them. And definitely not when they remove their status as ultimately damned beings and they essentially become just like people, except better in almost all ways.

    I think I read somewhere that Dracula is actually a knock-off of some older obscure vampire novel. :lol (which in turn would of course have been loosely based on eastern European folklore, yadda yadda)

    Regardless, TVTropes at least uses the term "Trope Codifier" for when it comes to stuff like what Dracula meant to the popular perception of vampires (or Superman to superheroes, as a comparison).
     
  8. Elays Saeryn

    Elays Saeryn

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    Hmm I don't mind Stephenie Meyer's interpretation of vampires so much because she is a writer, it is her story and her characters, and if she wants to have sparkly vampires in the story that she wrote she has every right to do that.



    What bothers me about this book and many other "romances" is that they make an inherently evil character be good. They also make the surprising good evil character fall in love with an unsuspecting innocent. Then somehow this happens:
    There are a ton of little teenage girls thinking that inherently bad characters in real life can be good, and can fall in love with them. As a result the inherently good guys are the "boring friend" and the bad people are the ones girls need to seek after. To take this a few year down the road we have emotionally traumatized, and abused women, and men who think they need to be "bad" to get the girl.

    It is the writer's choice to write whatever they like and the people's choice to read whatever they like but in the traditional Dracula story the good guy got the girl and that was a message maybe more writers especially women writers should aspire to write about
     
    Last edited: Jun 9, 2013
  9. Rhandhal al'Deez

    Rhandhal al'Deez

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    I disagree. Those books are as close as we are ever going to get to perfection in fantasy novels.
     
    Last edited: Jun 10, 2013
  10. Dareth d'Rahien

    Dareth d'Rahien Soldier

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    Perfection, really? I have to disagree in turn. The conception of good and evil is far too simplistic, with barely any room for nuance; Gollum's Jekyll-and-Hyde routine is basically the only place where we get any internal moral conflict. The female characters are underdeveloped where they're even bothered with at all. The story is littered with tropes lifted wholesale out of mythology, though I admit some of those are at least executed reasonably well. Tolkien's prose style is pretty inconsistent, varying from artfully poetic (mostly when dealing with those moments of pure heroism and myth) to a dry, academic tone weighted down with the whole constructed history of his world.

    The sweeping arc of the Lord of the Rings is an effective story largely to the extent that it leans on the storytelling conventions of the epics from which Tolkien drew his inspiration - the same things that made the Eddas and Beowulf and the like such enduring classics. But as a work of literature, it has some serious flaws.
     
  11. Taika Vinh

    Taika Vinh Aes Sedai

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    ^To be honest, most fantasy I've read has its inspiration in mythology, and it shows clearly - WoT being a good example. And I'd add Boromir to the not-so-black-and-white characters (because his internal moral conflict is more believable than Gollum's - just imo, of course), and some of the minor character Hobbits are more "human" :-)P), too. Otherwise I agree with you, but the Lord of the Rings is a classic, just like any Dickens (whose characters are also very black-and-white), and I wouldn't read it the same way as some more contemporary fantasy. It's written the same way as fairytales (or mythology tales :cheese ), clear concepts of good and evil, noble and low. But I agree, it's not as enjoyable to read today, when we're used to more fast-paced and many-sided stories, and characters who have more depth than the LotR characters.
     
  12. Rhandhal al'Deez

    Rhandhal al'Deez

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    I disagree.