Monday, August 10

Monday Morning Cage Match IX:
A book I have not read vs. a book I also have not read.

A few weeks back my dear sister finished reading the first of the books in the Twilight series, and it would be safe to say her judgment of the novel's literary merit was less than charitable; in a two-part post on her blog, she ripped apart both what she called its shitty writing and awful social message for young girls. Now, baby sis would probably readily admit that she did not pick up the book in the first place thinking she'd like it at all, so she may have been a little bit prejudiced. So I figured, what if the Monday Morning Cage Match took a crack at the book with the unprejudiced, unbiased judgment you've come to know and expect? The thing is, I haven't read the book and, not being a 14-year-old girl, don't plan to, but there are plenty of books I haven't read and that's never stopped me from talking about them. So to come up with the definitive judgment of Twilight's place in the literary firmament, it's time for a quick comparison of what seem like two similar books, at least based on their titles: Twilight vs. Night.


AuthorJournalist and Holocaust survivor Elie WieselMormon housewife Stephanie Meyer
ProtagonistEliezer, Orthodox-Jewish concentration-camp inmateBella Swan, clumsy, bookish, yet somehow irresistible high-schooler
Villain(s)The Nazis; man's inhumanity to manAn evil vampire coven; the inconvenience of dating someone who wants to drink your blood
Autobiographical?YesYou'd kind of have to think so
Excerpt"How could I say to Him: Blessed be Thou, Almighty, Master of the Universe, who chose us among all nations to be tortured day and night, to watch as our fathers, our mothers, our brothers end up in the furnaces? ... But now, I no longer pleaded for anything. I was no longer able to lament. On the contrary, I felt very strong. I was the accuser, God the accused. My eyes had opened and I was alone, terribly alone in a world without God, without man.""As I had just that once before, I smelled his cool breath in my face. Sweet, delicious, the scent made my mouth water. It was unlike anything else. Instinctively, unthinkingly, I leaned closer, inhaling."
Sample praise"Every sentence feels weighted and deliberate, every episode carefully chosen and delineated. It is also shockingly brief; it can be read in an hour, and carried in a pocket. One has the sense of merciless experience mercilessly distilled to its essence . . . To read it is to lose one's own innocence about the Holocaust all over again." (Ruth Franklin, The New Republic)"hi i;m a new obsessed fan...probably too old to feel that way, but i can't stop reading the books! my fam never sees me anymore! can;t wait for new moon! i;m dying!!!" (Mindy, "Twilight Fans" group on Facebook)
Film adaptation?NoYes
WINNER: Twilight

FINAL SCORE: Night 6, Twilight 2. The biggest walkover in any Cage Match so far. I can tell you're shocked.


jkelsofarrell said...

The first book and the second book in the Twilight series aren't awful. The third and fourth are. The movie adaptation is one of the worst films I've seen in a long time. I mean, it's so bad it's kinda fun to watch. Put it on SciFi (I refuse to refer to it with it's new syphilis call letters) in between a movie about giant spiders and a movie about giant snakes and it'd be right at home.

Elie Wiesel is awesome. Both Night and Day are excellent reads.

ACG said...

Prejudiced?! Just because I picked up what so many people said was a shitty book, expected it to be a shitty book, and as a result gave it little to no chance to impress me? Man. If that's prejudice, call me Mr. Darcy.

Ollllddude said...

Twilight didn't deserve the points it got; I think you did that just to poke a metaphorical stick at baby sis.

Allen said...

Funniest cage match ever...