The Twilight Illustrated Guide: ‘A Conversation with Shannon Hale’ Part 2 I Swear I Will Throw a Cactus!

I should recap what I covered in the last post but what is the point? I can just sum it up that Meyer is deluded or a liar. All good? Excellent, let’s get cracking and the next section is on the rewards of writing. I am willing to bet it is all about the rabid Twihards licking her boots and telling her that she is just so awesome.

What she is actually saying is that she loves the writing but answering her fans, going on tour to see her fans and editing are just like, so totally hard and she doesn’t like that as she is a REAL AUTHOR and they like to write rather than rub shoulders with the unclean and ignorant masses. Harsh? Maybe but after 100,000 words of recap for ‘Life and Death’ then I just don’t care as I am getting serious “I’m so special, teehee, I don’t want to be adored, tehee” vibe.

She then talks about how the characters talk to her and that’s how she gets the conversation so natural. They don’t talk like normal people, it’s purple and bloated prose for the majority of them and with Jacob it’s purple with some faux-teenage boy talk which makes my eyes bleed. They then laugh about how special they are as no rational person would want to be an AUTHOR!

They are special, goddammit! Worship them!

They then move on to endings and discuss having happy endings in which Meyer just blathers on how it was inevitable and says she couldn’t change anything. The thing is though is that most people like happy endings and there is nothing wrong with that but you want the pain and struggle to make the ending mean something. Look at Disney! They threw Mufasa off a cliff in front of his son, Bambi’s mum got a slug to the heart, Ray died in ‘The Princess and the Frog’ and the toys in ‘Toy Story’ were almost burnt alive after they thought Andy threw them out. They know that to make the ending worth while and for the happiness to mean something then the audience has to be emotionally hurt first to achieve that. Bella whining for a month while the Volturi fart around picking their best robes of evil, about how she is going to die does not count. Not even Irina dying, which no one seems to give a shit about, counts as we didn’t know this person so didn’t care. So yes, Meyer fails.

Blergh, they start talking about ‘New Moon’ and the bit that already has me foaming at the mouth is when she talks about how it was inevitable that Jasper would try and eat Bella. OK, fine, he went batshit over a small paper cut but that means the Cullens are awful as he should not be in school if all it takes is a paper cut to make him go completely crazy and try and eat someone. If anyone thinks about Bella’s bacon blood then I will throw things as I hate her bacon blood. However, what makes no sense is that he goes crazy over a paper cut (they must have wrapped her gift in razor blades) after he was there in the ballet studio when she bleeding like crazy and he was very hungry. I want sense, I really don’t ask for much.

She then blows her own trumpet by saying how clever she is for taking the main character or love interest away. Actually, yes you can. He may not be Harry’s love interest but Ron leaving was a huge blow to him and we saw that. I’m sure there are plenty of romances that have done this, so no Meyer I refuse to applaud you.

I burst out laughing again:

That’s one of the biggest changes in Breaking Dawn, that Edward becomes an optimist.

I’m laughing but confused. Have I read the right book? I’m sure I have. Let’s break it down to the key points in the novel and how Edward reacted. Bullet list time!

1. Bella thinks she is pregnant: Edward sits like a useless rock until he declares that he is going to get the rusty coathanger and a rag soaked in ether.
2. Bella is pregnant with Demonspawn: Edward lays on the ground and eats dirt.
3. Bella is transforming but not moving: Edward stares at her stupidly convinced he fucked up.
4. Volturi coming to kill them: Tells everyone they are going to die and won’t train Bella as she is going to die with him so what’s the point.

Optimist my arse!! He is only optimistic about Bella’s vampire crap only because it allows everyone to be in awe of her and worship her like the Mary Sue she is. Anyway, we are now hitting the good bit: On Criticism!

Oh, well scratch that as that was disappointing. She is basically saying that you can’t please everybody which is fair as you can’t but knowing the full blown tantrum she had when people dared not to like ‘Breaking Dawn’ and she said they weren’t real fans then this doesn’t work. I think judging by when this interview took place that she has no idea how bad criticism can get as her fans haven’t turned on her yet. What I do find brilliant is that it is the readers getting the blame if they don’t like what has happened to the characters in the sequels as they just spent too much time imagining what they want them to be. No, that is not the case and I think I showed that in my previous post of my breakdown of each character. They then whine for a page about how much criticism hurts but I think I yelled enough about this on the last post. I’ll end that section with: GROW UP!!

Next up is ‘Breaking Dawn’, I think I will pour a glass of wine for that cesspit. Shannon Hale goes on about how it is her favourite of the series which makes me instantly view her suspiciously as an AUTHOR. Let’s take away the Demonspawn, it’s so badly written and littered with grammar and spelling mistakes, the characters are OOC, and nothing happens! She says the pregnancy bit is her favourite but it’s just everyone staring at Bella’s fertile womb. Nothing happens and anything that goes wrong is fixed within ten minutes. Oh Bella is dying and starving so let’s give her blood! Oh lookie, Bella looks fine within twenty minutes, phew. There is no tension whatsoever.

They go on about horror, which I guess you could say that the was birth horrifying as this Happy and Fluffy Land so Edward gutting his wife like a fish would be quite surprising. Then Meyer pisses me off.

We live in a time where having a baby is not so much more dangerous than giving blood. I mean it’s horrible, but it’s unlikely that you’re going to die.

Miss J

Excuse me? Is this woman deluded, as I really think she must be. How dare she sit there and be so flippant when women die every day from complications and many of the times their babies die with them. There are so many things that could go wrong with a pregnancy and for her to sit and shrug just seems so disrespectful when so many of her readers may have experienced traumatic births. Bella may not have had such a hard time if her doctor was not such a dumbarse who kept on her on the sofa with no IV and then carried around bridal style. That birth was clearly an attempt to make Bella look more special and this confirms it. Oh! Look at Bella and how she suffered the most traumatic birth ever so she could be the ultimate Mother Goddess and throw her fertile womb in people’s faces.

Hades

She then goes on about how she wanted Bella’s pregnancy to be one a kin to historical ones where you would be likely to die. Again, if Carlisle wasn’t such a dumbarse and gave her an emergency cesarean before the baby started doing the riverdance on her liver then maybe she wouldn’t have needed to be stabbed while conscious. The medical fail really hurts me. She gave everyone lobotomies just so Bella could have her violent birth especially as she is now priding herself on how violent it was. No, it was stupid and hilarious.

Train

She then says that if she had just said that humans and vampires can have babies then people may have liked ‘Breaking Dawn’. She should have had foreshadowing in the actual text but no, I doubt they would have liked it as they hate that damn baby as she is basically Scrappy Do. She is like a locust plague that just consumes every character and does nothing but steal the spotlight. The majority of fans were teenage girls that wanted the romance and not Bella’s amazing spawn. Apart from the first part, the majority of the book was about the spawn and the fans hated that which is not surprising.

She then dares to enrage me again!

Vampires cannot have babies … because vampires aren’t real. [Laughs] And vampires can’t have babies with humans, because humans can’t actually copulate with vampires – because vampires are not real [SH Laughs] It’s a fantasy.

I swear to God, I want to throw a cactus. No, bad Meyer, bad! If you sit there and say that your creations are scientific and are based in the real world then you damn well better have a good explanation for how things happen and work. This woman is a hack, I need to believe that these things exist to be able to enjoy the story. Harry Potter does it’s best to explain why wizards live in secret and explains how they do it which is what is needed if I am going to believe that there is a wizard school in Scotland. Also, she just sounds really bitchy for being called out on the fact that she is nothing but a lazy hack. I am so pissed off now *seethes*.

Meyer then insults me more by saying how adorable it is that people love her books so much and think of them as so real that they actually want explanations for things. That’s it! FUCK THIS!!!

Day-of-Rage

*Smoking slightly*

No Meyer, I hate your books and if you are writing in the real world with SCIENTIFIC vampires then you damn well better try and explain your abominations.

Shannon Hale is then stupid by asking if Demonspawn’s bite is venomous, it’s the damn book you love so much. Good Lord, these people are morons! She keeps insulting me as she is now saying Bella so did struggle with her vampire thirst. Meyer, we were reading in her first POV and all she said was “Ouch”, I am not to be convinced that she is not a raging Mary Sue.

Shannon Hale asks why ‘Breaking Dawn’ made Meyer so happy, well she was reading her own wank fantasy and was probably like this when she finished writing:

spiderman orgasm

Yeah. They are now talking about literary inspiration and Meyer has the nerve to compare Bella to Jane Eyre. I really don’t think I need to sit and explain how spineless, selfish, vain, sociopathic and bitchy Bella doesn’t have anything in common with Jane Eyre. I’ll just give myself another hernia.

This part is so much worse than the first as I feel like I’m being punched constantly as she is now banging on about how everyone would have died if they fought the Volturi. Meyer just shows how she is the worst military tactician ever as the Cullens had Captain Planet, Zafrina who could blind you or make you see anything she wanted, Kate who could electrify you, a ton of werewolves and Bella who can turn off abilities. The Volturi didn’t have a chance but Meyer is stupid and lazy so she will keep beating the mental battle until she dies.

Now my Shakespeare knowledge is dying as Meyer says she loves ‘The Merchant of Venice’ due to the happy couples getting happy endings. How this woman passed her English degree is beyond me. That play is seen as highly problematic as Shylock was sick to death of people screwing him over in his job and he is screwed over again by the very white and racist protagonists. He then has to give up everything he owns and forced to give up his Jewish faith to Christianity. Yeah, such a happy and fun ending.

They start wittering and wanking on about how they are AUTHORS who WRITE as they are such special AUTHORS! I’m skipping it as this is killing me and I want this interview to end. Same as the next section as I really don’t think anyone wants to read about Meyer wanking more about she is so successful and how amazing her books are, it’s tedious and horrible.

She then talks about how easy it was to write in the POV of Jacob and Edward which I agree with as they are the same as Bella. The only differences is that Edward is a genocidal maniac who likes to talk constantly and end everything in interrogatives. Oh and wank over the amazing awesome that is Bella. Jacob likes to spout purple prose while inserting teen talk that sounds so beyond fake and stupid. Oh and wank over the amazing awesome that is Bella. Honestly, what teenage boy imagines a teenage girl pregnant with his spawn which such happiness. That’s why it is easier because she cannot write separate characters with their own voices for the life of her.

She then refuses to say if there are any messages in her books, well there are plenty such as sex before marriage makes you a whore (not men of course), you should change yourself for your man and beauty means everything. She says she likes that people take from her books the message to wait for the perfect man as she says women shouldn’t settle for the mean boy. PAHAHAHA!!! That’s what Bella does, oh that is hilarious! If Edward is perfect then I’m an armadillo. I love how she is praising herself again too but also saying how that is so not her message.

SH: On the flip side, if someone comes away thinking that the moral story of New Moon is that there is only one person who’s right for you in the whole world and if they leave you then life is not worth living…

That was damn message in that book!! THE BOOK WENT BLANK FOR FOUR MONTHS!!!

Day-of-Rage

Bella wouldn’t eat, listen to music, read, or watch TV as it was just too painful. She tried to kill herself on multiple occasions and then threw herself back into Edward’s arms the minute he turned up. This is such bullshit!!! Meyer says there is no message but that is crap as it’s literature and there will always be messages in it. Don’t piss on my back and tell me it’s raining!

They both then whine about how it’s the readers fault if they get damaging messages from their books as it’s not like they wanted those messages there. Here is a thing, use your fucking brains and think about you’re writing especially when the main audience is impressionable teenage girls. Jesus Tap Dancing Christ on a Cracker!

I’m summing up the section on Celebrity and Success as it’s just Meyer whining how hard it is to be so loved and adored by fans which makes me fear for my laptop’s life as I may just hurl it out the window if I have to recap that. This is the same as them as wanking over each other about how awesome they are for being AUTHORS and I have truly reached the end of my tether with these self obsessed twits.

Thankfully that is the end of the interview. WOO!!! Next time will be Meyer trying to explain her scientific vampires which I think we know will be hilarious and mind numbingly stupid. At least we are getting onto the main meat of this thing as I don’t think I could take anymore self-congratulating wanking without losing what little sanity I have left. I’m so grabbing wine now. Toodles!

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The Twilight Illustrated Guide: ‘A Conversation with Shannon Hale’ Part 1 Time to Crack Out the Brain Bleach!

It’s been so long since I actually wrote anything for this due to the stress of university but now I am back. It’s been an interesting few months where I have met someone amazing who loves my ranting (Lord help him if he didn’t) and I have been getting my confidence back which has been great. Still though, I have missed this so I thought I should do something simple to get me back but also rage inducing as that calms me. So what better than the ‘Twilight Illustrated Guide’, it is simple as its a guide to fill in the gaps (SPOILER ALERT! It doesn’t) and it’s rage inducing as well, it’s Twilight! I lost my shit dozens of times with ‘Life and Death’ so I am sure this will be no different. I also think this thing should be tackled as it’s really stupid and creates more plot holes than swiss cheese but also as it was published after the ‘Breaking Dawn’ fiasco then it hasn’t received much of a bashing as it should. This thing is copy and pasted crap that had no right to be published in hardcover but like ‘Life and Death’ there is horror and stupidity hiding in each page to cause you to have an aneurysm due to head-desking constantly.

So let’s get cracking! The first part will be ‘A Conversation with Shannon Hale’ but I won’t transcribe the whole interview as it’s not worth it and I would be here until I retired (66 Goddamn Pages! FRONT AND BACK!). Anyway, it means we get pure Stephenie Meyer logic which is both baffling and infuriating. Tally ho!

Church

I have not gone even one page before I am pissed off and want to throw the damn book against the wall but I don’t want to damage my walls as I want my deposit back. First thing that has annoyed me is this line:

I love hanging out with authors, and I don’t get a chance to do it very often. So I oh-so-casually suggested my ‘baffy’ (Best-Author-Friends-Forever)

I think I may have died.

1. GROW UP! Baffy, really? How old are you? Twelve? My God, the utter immaturity of that term has caused me a hernia.
2. We get it, Meyer. You are an AUTHOR and you need to ram it down my throat how you are an AUTHOR who likes to be with other AUTHORS as you WRITE as that what AUTHORS do, which you happen to be.

She then just blathers on how much fun it was to spend a weekend with her AUTHOR friend and how it was the easiest interview she ever had. Well, duh! Of course it is as she is a friend who likes your work for some strange reason so she is hardly going to ask you probing and intense questions like why are your books so damn sexist? Also the second thing that pissed me off is that this interview took place on the 29th of August 2008, this was published in 2011. That is appalling, especially as I don’t think ‘Breaking Dawn’ was even published at this point or at the very latest it had been released for a week. Three years is a long time, especially after the controversy and ‘Midnight Sun’ fall out, this just strikes me as incredibly lazy and just hoping to flog more money out of Twihards but many had already abandoned the fandom by then so this is just a slap in face and shows how she doesn’t care anymore.

Blergh, the first section is about that fucking dream and her saying she needs to get it on record. WE KNOW! She has talked about the wet dream of her talking to the sparkly boy in the meadow who loved her but also wanted to eat her about a thousand times. She then just blathers on about how the dream intrigued her so she ignored her children to write the abomination that became ‘Twilight’. I’m really not bothering with this section as it is just Meyer talking about writing this thing at night as her children are so needy so she threw them in front of the TV so she could write which makes me feel uncomfortable.

She then goes on about how great it is to be a WRITER and AUTHOR! I don’t care, I just want to get to the real meat as she is just repeating herself constantly about how much she READS as she was meant to be an AUTHOR! It is screaming of look how unique and special she is which makes me want to curl up in a ball, especially as she is saying how AUTHORS have a special type of insanity as they can escape into an extra reality. I personally find that insulting, I don’t write creatively but I do that as do so many other people. What about avid gamers or those who spend hours playing role playing games where they create their own unique character for multiple sessions? It feels like she needs to beat me with how special she is for having that and how she was destined to be an AUTHOR.

I’m skipping the section on the writing process as I’m not a writer so I can’t criticise her. However, I am so going to criticise her for this:

SH: Obviously, millions of people now have read what you wrote. Is it still terrifying for you, every time you put a book out?

SM: Yeah …. And with good reason. Because the world has changed – and the way books are received is different now. People are very vocal. And I do not have a lot of calluses on my creative soul – every blow feels like the first one. I have not learned how to take that lightly or let it roll off of me. I know it’s something I need to learn before I go mad – but it’s not something I’ve perfected.

1. GROW UP!! (Apologies for the caps locking) You sound like a twelve year old and a Suethor.
2. I find this hysterical considering when this was done as I am sure she hasn’t had the full brunt of criticism and backlash from ‘Breaking Dawn’. Also she never learns this as she once again blamed everyone else for why ‘The Host’ movie sucked rather than see that the source material was awful.
3. GROW UP!! Seriously, Meyer is meant to be a professional AUTHOR as she loves to tell us. Part of that, even for aspiring authors is letting people read your drafts who you know will kick your arse and tell you if things need fixing. I get people asking me to read their essays and creative works because they know I will tell them straight. I am not attacking them as a person but something is clearly not translating well and it needs to be fixed. Meyer cannot separate herself from her work and refuses to so she surrounds herself with admirers who will do nothing but praise her. I’ve known aspiring authors like this and refuse to accept help as they have it in their heads that their work is a masterpiece but the problem is that even though it may be in their heads a masterpiece doesn’t mean the world will think so. Good betas will tell you what to fix rather than lick your boots and if people aren’t mature enough to understand that then they should not put their work out there for the world to see.

They then both whine for a while about how it is just so hard being an AUTHOR as people are just so mean. She then says this about her characters which cracked me up to no end:

You can’t change who they are to make the story go any easier.

PAHAHAHAHA!!!! That is hilarious. OK, so let’s take prudish and extreme virgin Edward, whom I am convinced would never have polished the sparkly knob, who at his wedding climbs under Bella’s dress to remove her garter with his teeth and then throws it in the face of Mike Newton. Yeah, that is so in character for Edward. Even him leaving in ‘New Moon’ is out of character as this is the man that stalked her before he even knew she was interested and refuses to leave her side for a minute, suddenly ups and leaves. No it was not for her safety, it was completely out of character and he had to leave so Bella could fawn over Jacob.

Next is Meyer talking about how Jacob was nothing but a plot device to tell Bella that Edward was a vampire as she is too stupid to figure it out and mysteries are hard to write as that requires skill and effort. What I love is how she uses a real Native American tribe as crappy plot device, that’s just lovely but I won’t go into it too much now as I am planning on a post about the werewolves and how problematic they are. What is hilarious and aggravating at the same time is Meyer talking about how Jacob grew as a character (likeable to an arsehole) and how he was no longer a plot device. Well, he may not have been in ‘New Moon’ and ‘Eclipse’ but he damn well was in ‘Breaking Dawn’, he only appears briefly in one chapter in Part One and that is to scream about vampire sex and Bella forgets him instantly when faced with sparkly penis. He has his own section in Part Two but the minute he imprints on Demonspawn then he is reset into his ‘Twilight’ mode and is basically a device to babysit so Bella can have all the hot monkey sex she wants with Edward without the inconvenience of a child. So yeah, she is talking complete crap.

By the time I got to Breaking Dawn the characters were so fleshed out – and their allegiances were so strong to whatever they hated or loved – that it made the story just a whole lot richer when I came to it the second time, because there was so much more backstory to it.

*Sigh* I’m going to have to break this shit down as there is so much to discuss. Right, the characters, lets break them down pre and post ‘Breaking Dawn’.

Edward

Pre: Prudish and extreme virgin, ridiculously ‘protective’ *cough* abusive, coward and Edwardian gentleman.

Post: Bella’s handbag and sparkly dildo. All he does is praise Bella but also eats dirt when she is pregnant. He is nothing but an accessory to show how Bella has the hottest husband ever, so there! All his characterisation, except cowardness is gone.

Alice

Pre: Twee, perky, appreciation for fashion and miniature Edward for the fact that she throws tantrums when she doesn’t get her way.

Post: CLOTHES! That’s all she cares about and dresses Bella’s corpse in a silk dress which is creepy. She does nothing but squawk about clothes.

Rosalie

Pre: Bitchy blonde who is also very vain due to said blondness but also wants babies.

Post: Fucking physco who wants to kill Bella and steal babies but is reset to being just a blonde minion. Did I mention that she was blonde?

Emmett

Pre: Dumb muscle who doesn’t take life too seriously.

Post: Dumb muscle who just wants to kill things and has the maturity of a six year old when it comes to sex.

Esme

Pre: Useless mother figure who is nothing but a living fleshlight for Carlisle.

Post: Useless mother figure who is nothing but a living fleshlight for Carlisle.

Jasper

Pre: Fucking psycho who scares the living daylights out of me.

Post: Fucking psycho who scares the living daylights out of me but only appears a handful of times.

Carlisle

Pre: Father figure and head of the Cullen family. Believes in peace and non violence.
Post: Creepy Aro stand in and is the worst doctor ever.

Bella

Pre: Melodramatic and always believes the worst is going to happen and that there is no hope even if there is a good chance everyone will be fine. Speaks in horrendous purple prose.

Post: Talks about “snarfing eggs” and “killing her buzz”. Looks like her brain has been eaten by Demonspawn as she just claps and declares that everything will be just peachy.

Jacob

Pre: Started off likeable until he was upgraded to love interest in which he became a raging arsehole and P-G date rapist.

Post: Reset to plot device. He is nothing but a babysitter so Bella can do the nasty with Edward all night and provide dumb muscle for the battle.

So yeah, it is plainly obvious that their previous characterisation did not affect the outcome of their ‘Breaking Dawn’ personas as they were left in their Forever Dawn mode. Even the Twilight forums comment how much the characters seem out of character which says a lot.

She then bangs on about how Edward overthinks everything and always feels guilty. I call bullshit as he never feels guilty and doesn’t care that he has killed hundreds of people. Also this is the man that contemplated genocide on a tribe because of a simple accident. He is an arsehole but Jacob is no better. She talks about how he never thinks about anything but I can assure he does. He loved to talk endlessly about each step he took while he plotted to eat Bella’s baby before he imprinted on it. So yeah, Jacob does think and probably way too much but it is just melodramatic, whiney and scarily rapey.

I burst out laughing when she says that she always wanted to give Bella the choice of who to love and that choice is important. Why am I laughing? Well considering at the end of ‘Eclipse’ Bella tells Jacob that loving Edward was never a choice but a need like imprinting. So that really destroys her choice argument doesn’t it?

Meyer then insults everyone by saying no matter what she knew the events of ‘Breaking Dawn’ would happen and how she was clearly leading up to it. No, she wasn’t. There was nothing in the previous books that indicated Bella would have a creepy baby that Jacob declared as his child bride. She is either deluded or lying. She argues that she didn’t want to make it obvious but that does not excuse the total lack of foreshadowing that occured, it came out of nowhere. We knew the final Harry Potter book would include a showdown with Voldemort and people would have rightly been furious if what actually happened was if Voldemort wandered off and Harry frollicked in Beauxbatons for a year while trying to free house elves instead as it would make no sense.

Meyer than talks about how Bella wouldn’t have changed a thing and would have gone through what she had and I want to say well, duh. She got everything she ever wanted without doing anything. She got her beauty, immortality, money, perfect dildo and dream life with very little work and suffering. Even the Jacob triangle worked out easily as he imprinted on her baby and was just fine and dandy with Bella rejecting him and becoming a vampire.

I’m going to end the first part here as I have ranted a lot and I still have half of the interview to go. Next time will be Part 2 of this heinous interview and then we can move on to the good stuff such as vampires, which I promise is hilarious.

Pet Sematary: The Rebirth of Frankenstein

I thought I would post one of my academic works on here as I had so much fun writing it. I hope you all enjoy!

Since ‘Frankenstein’ was published in 1818 by Mary Shelley, the story has taken hold of the public imagination like no other. One of the earliest transformations of Frankenstein was depicted in Richard Brinsley Peake’s play which first performed in 1823 and the only stage depiction that Mary Shelley saw in her lifetime. This adaptation sees the creature transformed from an articulate and sympathetic being to a blue skinned mute. This adaptation is clearly the inspiration for Hollywood’s later cinematic adaptations. This gave birth to James Whale’s version (1931), providing the world with the iconic image of the creature in Boris Karloff’s performance which grew so familiar it re-emerged repeatedly in Comic Books and pastiche such as the Munsters TV show. However, Stephen King notes in his non-fictional work Danse Macabre (1981) how far the twentieth-century view of the creature has drifted from Shelley’s original concept, replacing the articulate, athletic warrior-sage of the novel with a dull witted, often speechless monster with bolts sticking out of his neck. This is why it must seem odd to many to see this work standing alongside W. W. Jacobs’s celebrated story ‘The Monkey’s Paw’ (1902) as the inspiration for Stephen King’s bleakest work of horror, but the similarities are startling. When reading both side by side the reader can see how the journeys of both Victor Frankenstein and Dr Louis Creed run parallel as both men of science turn their backs on what is deemed to be the laws of nature. The aim of this work is to pick apart both novels to compare and contrast to see how Frankenstein was reinvented for the purposes of the late twentieth century through Stephen King’s Pet Sematary.

Stephen King is seen as one of the greatest horror writers in the modern age due to his keen interest in the psychology of his characters. From the beginning of his career he has been profoundly influenced by the acknowledged classics of the horror genre, as can be clearly seen for instance in his second published novel Salems Lot (1975) which develops a modern day Dracula story. When King discusses the horror genre it is more than clear that he has a particular respect and love for Shelley’s great novel:

How did it happen that this modest gothic tale, which was only about a hundred pages long in its first draft (Ms Shelley’s husband, Percy encouraged her to flesh it out), became caught in a kind of cultural echo chamber, amplifying through the years until, a hundred and sixty-four years later, we have a cereal called Frankenberry […] an old TV series called The Munsters […] Aurora Frankenstein model kits […] and a saying such as ‘He looked like Frankenstein’ as a kind of apotheosis of ugly?

The problem with the Frankenstein myth, as King and anyone who understands the novel knows, is that the Creature has been manipulated by Hollywood from a sympathetic but articulate creature to a mute and stupid but is still seen as sympathetic in the earlier films but the creature has been warped for film adaptations. In Pet Sematary it feels like Victor Frankenstein finally gets a modern twist, escaping from his caricature as a cackling scientist with his deformed assistant Fritz. Through Pet Sematary we see a likeable young doctor who is willing to defy and challenge the laws of nature that all things must die to bring his son back to life, thus mirroring Victor Frankenstein’s journey to create life through scientific means due to the loss of his mother.

The first aspect to analyse is how both novels came to be, due to the fact that both Shelley and King used personal experiences as inspiration for their respective novels. The circumstances of Frankenstein’s creation are well known , having been immortalised by for instance the opening section of James Whale’s movie Bride of Frankenstein (1935) and the Ken Russell movie Gothic (1986) after staying with Lord Byron in Switzerland and trapped in bad weather a group of friends, including Percy Bysshe-Shelley and John Polidori, decided each to write a ghost story to pass the time. Being unable to write one herself, Mary Shelley listened to her companions as they discussed Luigi Galvani’s electrical experiments on dissected frogs and whether it was possible to bring the deceased back to life through the use of electricity. This gave rise to Mary Shelley’s dream of a creature watching it’s creator in bed which later became one of the key scenes in the novel. She argued that what terrified her must terrify others which became known as looking over your shoulder type of horror, and pressed ahead to write the novel with her husband Percy overseeing her work at every stage.

It is known to those who are fans of his work that this is the book King doesn’t like to talk about. This is due to his feeling that this was the novel in which he went too far and is notably the bleakest novel he has ever written as there is no happy ending or hope of one. This novel almost never saw publication and if it wasn’t for the fact that King was in dispute with his publisher Doubleday at the time and that he needed to produce one more novel before he could end the contract it would not have been published. His reason for why he finds this book so repulsive was the inspiration. King had recently relocated to a small town in Maine so that he could work at the University of Maine. His house was situated on a very busy road that had claimed the lives of many of the towns’ pets and this included his own daughter’s cat Smucky, who incidentally is mentioned in the novel but not as Louis’ daughter’s cat but an unknown child’s deceased cat. Smucky is constantly mentioned in Louis’ thoughts after Gage’s death and has hence been reanimated in literature. When his son Owen, who was the same age as Gage, almost ran into the road, King started to wonder ‘What If?’ – and thus Pet Sematary was born.

There are other thematic links between Frankenstein and Pet Sematary, above all the fears attached to parenthood and childbirth. King was rocked to the core at the prospect of losing his son on the road, while Mary Shelley was traumatised by the very processes of giving birth and becoming a mother, both because her mother had died ten days after her birth and on account of losing many children through premature births. Many critics argue that these fears inspired the dream that triggered her writing of the novel, and that her fear of giving birth can be detected in her narrative. This can be seen in Kenneth Branagh’s 1994 adaptation of Frankenstein in which Victor is depicted as a bad mother due to the abandonment of his creation as well as the creation scenes showing influence from childbirth.

Both are exceptionally bleak books without hopeful endings and this appears to stem from their inspiration but also from the idea that to accept death is the most natural road, rather than to try and defy mortality – a position that only one of the protagonists comes to understand and accept which would be Victor.

Both Victor and Louis Creed are devoted to their families but there are aspects of both of them that find their families a burden. This can be seen with Victor in the early sections of the novel where he is isolating himself in his study to the point where he looks ill from lack of exposure to daylight but also neglects to answer letters from Elizabeth who would later become his wife:

I pursued my undertaking with unremitting ardour. My cheek had grown pale with study, and my person had become emaciated with confinement.

However, with Louis this attitude of unhealthy detachment from the outside world, and above all from his family, occurs much earlier in the narrative, when he daydreams of leaving his family by the side of the road to go and work at Disney World in Florida due to his irritation with his family moving cross country. This day dream develops throughout the narrative to only including Gage and occasionally Church.

The key word in the quoted passage that links the two doctors together is the word ‘secret’. Both of these men relish the secrets they are keeping from their loved ones in the beginning such as when Victor is working on his ‘experiments’. This is also clear with Louis Creed, but one of the most startling examples of his love of secrets comes after the death of Church the cat but before he is resurrected home and lies to his daughter telling her that he hadn’t seen Church since dinner:

“Oh boy, you would have made a great murderer – cool as a cucumber. Dr. Creed, when did you last see the deceased? He came in for supper. Had a plate of beef stew, in fact. Haven’t seen him since.”

There is no shame in lying to his daughter, but it is perhaps unseemly how far he relishes it. Victor feels to be the same very early on while he is working on his ‘experiment’ but this changes when he sees the outcome of his creation and the horror he feels when he first looks upon it. This is very similar to Louis’s reaction to successfully lying to his family about Church’s fate. Louis relishes the secret of Church’s death until the cat comes home and is wrong. Both men are horrified by what they have created but they then take different paths, both of which lead to their destruction. Victor shuns the empathetic but hideous creature due to its appearance, a response which transforms it into the hateful wretch that seeks to destroy Victor. Victor feels that if he shuns the creature then the problem will just go away but that of course does not happen. To quote Pet Sematary, in a phrase that seems to apply equally to both novels:

“What you buy is what you own, and sooner or later what you own will come back to you.”

Both men have their creations ‘come back’ to them. Victor ignores and shuns his creation but as the quote explains by ignoring the situation ruins Victor’s moment of happiness when he is able to marry Elizabeth but this all destroyed on their wedding night when the creature kills her as Victor destroyed his prospective mate. Whereas Louis fully accepts responsibility for what he has done, going so far as to clean up Church’s kills, but hiding them from his family, observing ruefully that he now owns Church due to his burial in the Micmac burial ground as Jud explains that you bury your own in the cemetery and Louis sees this to mean that the reanimated Church is now his rather than his daughter’s. This backfires on Louis as he becomes too complacent with Church’s presence and uses his changes to rationalise his plan of resurrecting his son, Gage.

It is no mistake that the student who sets off the events in Pet Sematary is named Victor Pascow; it is as if Victor Frankenstein is there to warn Louis about the consequences of exploiting the Micmac burial ground.

This adds another interesting parallel between the two stories as both provide elements of the situation in the U.S.A. towards the Native Americans. The creature expresses sympathy with the Native Americans due to their treatment by the American government which saw their sacred lands taken from them. The Creature is heartbroken as he is empathetic towards those he feels are being wrongly treated by an unjust society which mirrors his feelings and treatment. He laments the way humans treat each other so viciously and the reader can see the childlike innocence of the creature being stripped away with the realisation of the horrors of the world. This is also due to appearances as the Creature is never given a chance to show his good personality as he is immediately shunned by all those who see him or worse is treated with complete scorn and ridicule. He becomes attached to the peasant family and wants to help them but is shunned, he runs a parallel with the Native Americans who first tried to help the settlers but were then horribly persecuted and slaughtered. The ‘Other’ is usually treated with mistrust and contempt by the majority. However, in Pet Sematary the Native Americans are treated with indifference but Rachel shows her ingrained racial constructs when after she has heard that the Micmac’s want their land back, she is ignores that but exclaims with delight to hear that this land is part of her property and says that she ‘owns it’. Jud replies that the land is part of the property which Louis notes is not the same thing. It appears to show the arrogance of white settlers assuming that they own Native American lands and never consider the repercussions and it is more than clear that the white settlers of Ludlow are not to be trusted with the powers of the Micmac burial ground as they use it for selfish gains and have no respect as to what those grounds mean to the tribe. The Micmac tribe knows that the Wendigo is not to be trusted and knew to abandon burying their dead there when it became apparent that the ground had gone ‘sour’.

Once again it is important to quote two things that Victor Pascow says to Louis Creed before and after his own death as it provides a clear parallel to Victor Frankenstein’s journey in his story:

“The soil of a man’s heart is stonier; a man grows what he can and tends it.”
“Don’t go beyond, no matter how much you feel you need to, Doctor. The barrier was not made to be broken. Remember this: there is more power here than you know. It is old and always restless. Remember.”

The first quote refers to secrets, invoking the idea that men due to their nature are more inclined than women to keep secrets away from their loved ones and this is explained by Jud to Louis which is shown when it is revealed that Jud had been unfaithful to his wife throughout their marriage but he believed these secrets protected his wife’s sanity. The idea of men having to keep their secrets in check to protect their loved proves to be futile as it is revealed by the Wendigo that Norma knew and had cheated too. It would appear to show that men should not feel justified in keeping secrets from women to protect them due to their gender. If both Victor and Louis had been honest to the women in their lives then neither women would have died. This accounts for the wrongful execution of Justine for William’s death.

Women are ultimately the ones who suffer the most in both novels due to the misogynist view that they are not strong enough to handle the truth of what their husbands have done. It shows a clear gender division and when the reader sees descriptions of Elizabeth it is always how sweet, innocent and kind she is which infantilises the character and in turn in Victor’s mind justifies his secrets. He never gives Elizabeth the chance to show her strength of character. Rachel is described as damaged due to the death of her sister at a young age which gave her a phobia of death. However, Louis also has the view that Rachel is too delicate to handle unpleasant truths which the reader sees early on that Rachel never knew that her father tried to bribe Louis to leave her as he deemed him not good enough for his daughter. Rachel struggles through the novel especially after Gage’s death in which the men surround and treat her like a child believing she can’t cope. Like Elizabeth, Rachel’s strength is there but is diminished due to the narrative focusing on Louis’ grief and increasing insanity. In both novels the focus is on the male characters such as Victor, Walton and the Creature whereas the focus in Pet Sematary is on Louis, Jud and Gage which means that the women are often sidelined but are ultimately the main casualties. The women in both novels are clearly restrained in the domestic spheres and are confined to the caring and supportive roles to the dominant male characters.

The theme of secrets is not just defined by these two men but by their mentors who empathise with both protagonists. Victor’s teacher Waldman doesn’t scoff at the young man’s interest in alchemy like his other tutors; instead he supplements it with his own specialist knowledge and later confesses that he was pleased to finally have a student he could take under his wing and with whom he could share his most treasured knowledge. Louis has a similar relationship with his neighbour Jud Crandall, who comes to view him with fatherly affection and who reveals to him the secret of the Micmac burial ground.

In the end both men suffer utter destruction, with Victor losing his entire family to the creature and embarking on a quest to end his creation’s life while Louis has to kill his son and see the bodies of his wife and father figure. One vital aspect is that both men try to impart their secrets to others: Victor to Captain Walton as he lies dying, in an effort to warn him about the dangers of meddling too far with nature, while Louis tries to lure his friend Steve into helping bury his deceased wife Rachel in the Micmac burial ground. Steve almost follows him, feeling the influence of the Wendigo, but then pulls away. It is established that the Wendigo has influenced the events in the novel in many instances such as when Jud tries to stay awake to wait for Louis and to stop him from burying Gage in burial ground. Jud acknowledges that his drowsiness is caused by the forces of the burial ground. The Wendigo influence doesn’t cause the events but helpfully moves it a long as it was still Louis’ decision to reanimate Gage.

It’s never explained but Jud suggests that the place gets hold of you and that you must share its secrets, and this seems to explain Louis’ reasoning to try and lure Steve to the burial ground as it is explained that is a secret that people can’t help to share. Both, then, try to tell their dark secrets, but only Victor does so with good intentions.

The creations are polar opposites in representation but also shed light on Louis and Victor’s perspectives on their actions throughout the novel. Victor’s creation on the outside is a hideous creature that is treated with scorn and hatred but has a good heart at the beginning. The creature only wants acceptance and love but is shunned by his creator and the peasant family that he learns the art of language from. This rejection is what causes the creature to commit his first major crime: that is, to kill young William Frankenstein, both because the boy scorns him and also because he is a close relative of the creator who shunned him. The creature was not created evil but slowly became murderous due to the treatment society dealt him with. This is in stark contrast to Gage Creed. The big part of Louis’s rationalising that Gage will return whole was on account of Church the cat, who seemed to look very much as he did before his death. Unlike animals, who appear stupid and clumsy, humans come back as demonic forces but lull their creators into a false sense of security even though they emit an aura of wrongness. This is defined in the Encyclopaedia of Fantasy, as most found in horror and supernatural fiction that sees the real world violated by supernatural elements.

The demonic forces in Pet Sematary are said to be the Wendigo which is a Native American mythical creature that is often blamed for the outbreaks of cannibalism in tribes due to the starvation faced as a result of European colonisation. The victims of cannibalism buried in the Micmac burial ground are blamed for the land going sour as it is said that those who resort to cannibalism have been touched by the Wendigo. It is the Wendigo’s power that reanimates the dead and acts as vessel. All of those that come back have the element of wrongness due to being violated by the supernatural force of the Wendigo.This may explain the hostile actions of the Wendigo as it is probably an act of revenge for the the atrocities committed against the Micmac tribe. However, this is not the case as in Native American folklore the Wendigo is the equivalent to a monovalent and evil demon that is connected to the winter and starvation. It is clear that this creature is myth associated with the troubles that Native Americans faced when the European settlers came to the continent. It is the Micmac’s who need to be entrusted with the burial ground to prevent the Wendigo from possessing corpses for its own gains. This further links the novel to Frankenstein as the creature has sympathies with the Native American people when he overhears the struggles they face: I heard of the discovery of America, and wept with Safie over the hapless fate of its original inhabitants. The creature is distraught to learn of the social injustices and sympathises. The Creature embarks on quest of revenge to those that have wronged him but also a society that has shunned them. The Wendigo in Native American folklore is an evil creature but in the novel it becomes clear that it is a metaphor for white colonists ignoring native beliefs and culture but also appropriating them too as the Micmacs know what the burial ground does and wants it back as it is clear that the white settlers of Ludlow are not to be trusted with its power. Both are highlighting the social injustices of the time, when Frankenstein was published Native Americans faced great injustice and were stripped of their lands for colonisers which ties together the time of Pet Sematary which was published at a time when Native Americans were fighting the U.S. government to reclaim their lands.

In conclusion, there is a reason that the Frankenstein myth and Stephen King’s novels have come to embody the ‘post-industrial modernity’. Both Shelley and King know how to play on the fears of those around them but also delve into very personal fears of loss and rejection. This makes both works highly effective and I can personally say that ‘Frankenstein’ and ‘Pet Sematary’ affected me deeply due to the social injustices to those who are different from the anglo-western normative, bereavement and utter bleakness of the stories told.

It seems odd to post something with a lack of anger and insults but I am pretty sure my next lot will have that. I’m going to take a break from ‘Pet Semetary’ (I have one last post to do on the subject) and take a bash at the representation of the Native Americans in ‘Twilight’ or ‘The Twilight Illustrated Guide’ as my God, I’m in need of a rage and they are perfect!

Darker (Christian Grey Sequel): I Need My Brain Bleach!!! *Sobbing*

Why do I honestly do this to myself?! It’s scary to think that my first review was Grey https://literaturemasochist.wordpress.com/2016/12/18/grey-review-the-book-that-made-me-want-to-bathe-in-bleach/ and now look what I have read in between. Well, the damage is done and I have now read Darker which is Fifty Shades Darker but from Christian Grey’s point of view. Now, I have read some of the worst fiction to darken a book store but I honestly think this is truly the worst. It was both boring and horrifying. I am not going to do a chapter by chapter recap for a few reasons:

*No point what’s so ever! It’s the same damn book. Yes, Life and Death technically was but that had huge discussions to go with it due to the gender swap. This is just the same story with Grey being annoying or disgusting. No one needs to be subjected to that.

*The chapters are split by days and one Saturday is literally a 100 pages long! That is not good for recapping and reviewing.

This post is mainly about Christian Grey as everyone is a cardboard cutout who only speaks to praise our arsehole of a love interest. Now I must go through the safety check list:

*Wine CHECK!
*Unicorn Hooded Blanket CHECK!
*Brain Bleach CHECK!
*Life Jacket CHECK!

Excellent, all set to go. The first thing to discuss before we reach Christian Grey is the blurb as it thinks I am a fucking moron!! The entire blurb is interrogatives! Here is one of four she puts:

“And if Christian does win Ana back, can a man so dark and damaged ever hope to keep her?”

Screaming

NO! Bad Book! BAD! *Gets Fly Swat*

Bird

THIS BOOK IS NOT NEW!!!! IT IS A RETELLING VIA A DIFFERENT POINT OF VIEW OF A BOOK THAT CAME OUT YEARS AGO!!! FOR CHRIST SAKES, WE KNOW!!!! THE ONLY PEOPLE WHO READ THIS ARE FANS OR LITERATURE MASOCHISTS LIKE ME!!!! GAHHH!!!!

The others are; oh will Leila hurt Ana and other such crap. That blurb is insulting and stupid as the people who picked up this shit know the damn plot. *Punches Cushion*

Let’s discuss the arsehole that is Christian Grey! Now, during the first review I said even though Grey made me want to die as he is a psychotic bastard but it was still better to hear that rather than Ana the child who has a prudish sub-conscious and a sex goddess who is constantly on heat. I take that all back!!! Please give me that point of view instead as this was beyond tolerable, he is either an abusive arsehole or a love-sick and whiny teenager who WON’T SHUT UP!!!! I swear to God all this man does for 546 pages is go on and on and on and on and on about how Ana will surely leave him when she finds out that he is a monster and likes shagging mother surrogates because he is a creepy arsehole. I swear every page looks like this:

“She doesn’t know the monster.
The monster is not worthy of her love”

It is repetitive, bad form and just so boring. He just doesn’t stop whining and I know it’s for us to think “Oh noes! Christian you are amazing and worthy!” Well, no I just wanted to stick his head in a blender as he is still the abusive arsehole that he was but whinier. He honestly sounded like Edward in Midnight Sun, “Oh Bella won’t love me as I’m a vampire but I am going to watch her from the bushes anyway!” His constant words of how he is a monster would have more effect if he didn’t stalk her and hatch plans to win her back within five pages. If he really felt like that then he should have told her about his creepy fetish of shagging pseudo-mummy figures when she agreed to be with him and never leave him again. As we all know, he does tell her and she accepts it while being horrified for about a page (maybe a chapter if I’m being generous). Yet, he still whines!!!! All he does is go on about how she will leave him in either his thoughts and speech. The speech side bothers me as it feels abusive as he keeps saying she won’t love him enough and will just leave him while shattering his very existence and he may as well die without her. He even falls to floor in a frankly fake way to his knees when all she wants is a night away to think after being scared that she isn’t right for him. He emotionally blackmails her that she promised never to leave and then proposes. He is such a manipulative snake.

Right, let’s go back and start at the beginning. Grey is pissed that he has to wait a few hours to stalk/see Ana as he decided he wants her back. He picks her up and takes her to the helicopter while expressing his wish that he could rape her then and there as he describes how unwilling she looks but he wants her NOW! This is disgusting and thank goodness I have my Shiraz. They go to her friend Jose’s art exhibition and we get a new vile quality to add to our errmm….. hero? We know he is a sexist, rapist, abusive and narcissistic prick. Well, we now need to add racism to the list as that is exactly what we want in a love interest!

“He’s a good looking son of a bitch, for a dope smoker.”

*Pinches nose and breathes heavily*

E.L. James, do you know how it looks when you say the only person of colour and of Latin American descent is a dope smoker? It was never, ever established in this series that he smoked weed. Guess what that looks like? “Oh he is brown and from Mexico or something, of course he smokes weed! Isn’t that what they all do while wearing sombreros and napping? This why we need the wall. MURICA!!!!”

*Facepalm*

Congratulations E.L. James, you have now made your love interest, who is apparently the dreamiest guy, ever into a racist prick to add on to his other disgusting qualities. Anyway, shock horror Ana and Grey get back together and that is when we start the dance of how he is a monster and how Ana is the most amazing woman to ever grace the planet and don’t you dare forget it!

It really is so bloody tedious. She does something simple like making eggs and he goes on about how amazing she is. Sadly, we also have a lot of the annoying child sections thrown in where he doesn’t stop going on about apples and being burnt. I know I should care but I don’t as he was only abused until he was four, it was horrific yes but from the age of four he was adopted by the rich and indulgent Greys compared to other children who are thrown around from foster home to foster home for years but they don’t abuse others and use their past as an excuse. It really pisses me off. We also sadly, get more vile retcon when it comes to his mother, Ella (I am not calling her the crack whore, like Grey). We knew in the trilogy that Ella made her son a chocolate cake for this birthday, which is one of the instances that shows that she did love and care for her son. James, really tries to beat it into us that she is evil because she called him ‘maggot’ and kindly shows us the scene when she was going to make his cake by showing a beaten woman showing a client into her room and promising to make him a cake afterwards but calls him maggot. That fails on so many levels! The use of the word ‘maggot’ does not convince me she is evil and hates her son as why would she make him a damn birthday cake? She would not do that as that costs money which they clearly don’t have as Grey loves to go on about how poor they were. She would not waste her time and money on her son if she didn’t love him, I can’t even see her keeping him if that’s the case as why would she? Give him up and go back to the crack. It is honestly just so lazy and James thinks we will believe she is a evil by throwing in this word for retcon sake. This is pure telling and not showing but then again fans think Grey is the best so I’m sure they believe this crap too.

The other aspect to discuss is Leila, the mentally ill ex-submissive that was stalking Grey and Ana. In the original we have the utter nonsense that a mentally ill and filthy girl just happened to get a gun permit in Washington, which is pretty strict, for plot sake. Well, James who loves to retcon likes to tell us that she forged the papers to get the permit.

Disgusted Cat

*Groans*, this is so stupid and my brain hurts. How on earth could a homeless, stinking, mentally ill young woman have gotten forged papers for a gun permit. The book describes her as damaged and vacant due to her illness but yet she had enough gusto and mental sufficiency to find a forger and pay him for papers which is hilarious as when Grey finds her she has no belongings. This has to be the worst retcon ever as it just makes the stupid even worse. This woman needs to research! Oh wait, it’s a wank fantasy! Never mind!

So part of me was impressed (very small part) with Grey when he takes care of Leila as he does seem to care about her wellbeing and what happened to her. This is completely ruined when he notices how filthy she is from being homeless. Does he feel utter horror and sympathy that someone he claimed to have cared about once has been reduced to this pitiful and tragic state? PAHAHAHAHA!!!! Of course not! He just goes on about how she stinks and it reminds him of his tragic past with his mother’s pimp because she smells icky like him. Wow, I can really see how good his heart is. *Eye Roll*

To be honest, the rest is just the same. We get no extra back story as whenever we have Grey talking to someone else then it’s just him going on about Ana and is she talking about him. There is no extra backstory or characterisation. Everyone is just as boring as before and waving pom-poms for Grey and Ana’s golden vagina. The sex scenes are the same but interrupted with Grey talking about Ana if she is property which is nothing new and going on about how she will leave him. More time is spent fleshing out their banging then plot, and no I am not surprised.

Aspects that should have involved more fleshing out were skipped through quickly like his helicopter crash, all he does is whine that Ros is excited to be in a helicopter for the first time as joy annoys him. Even his conversation with his mother when she learns he was in a sexual relationship with her friend at 15 is rushed through. All we get is her patting him and saying she is angry and then we are done! Yes, she is horrified that her friend is a pedophile but it lasts two pages as we need to go on about Ana rather than plot building. I can’t even talk about Ana, as there is nothing different but Grey/James wanking over the self-insert with declarations of how awesome she is when we know she is as smart and interesting as a cabbage.

So basically, this book is pure trash and I would honestly say this is the worst one of this series which is an accomplishment. This book should flesh out the characters and show us scenes that we haven’t read then rehashing the same shit with Grey whining all the damn time. I expected to be horrified and I was but not as much as I was with Grey. If anything I was just very bored, which is shocking as Darker in Ana’s point of view is vile. It still is but you can only be shocked once. I was appalled with the racism and the notion that maybe beating a woman till she cries is good for her as women love to cry to get hold of their emotions don’t they? Oh, wait! Most don’t, maybe I should tell James but she’ll block me like every other critic who calls her out for this abusive shit.

So we are done! I do not recommend reading this, even for the horror or lols as you won’t get many of that but may be good as a cure for insomnia. I’m not sure what I’ll do next as I am back to university in January but I am sure I’ll figure out something. Happy Holidays!

IT: Tim Curry Did IT Better!

Pennywise

Yes, yes, yes I am horrendously late to this little gathering (as usual), I did see this in October but it has taken me this long to write about because of …… reasons. Yup! Anyway, I have to do this now because there is a darker cloud descending on this universe that is even worse than Pennywise loose on Derry. Yes, the release of ‘Fifty Shades Darker’ Grey Edition is due to be released next week and because I hate myself means I will review/recap the shit out of that thing. It will probably take months and gallons of booze as my God, we thought Twilight was bad, well this is a different beast. I may even wear a life jacket while writing it as I need to take as many safety measures on board with that thing.

Anyway! I saw the new instalment of IT with a friend of mine and I did enjoy it. Promise! However, there were glaring problems with it and I am going to take you all through it as I want you to suffer with me.

Mike

I know it sends petty but I hate how they took a character of colour with amazing growth and the one responsible for solving the 27 year mystery as just a black guy. The book is set in the 1950s (when they are children) and Mike has understandably a hard time fitting in with the Maine and the vastly white town of Derry. Mike doesn’t lay down and whine but is a strong character and it is through his father that he learns about the 27 year mystery of Pennywise. His father was a veteran of WWII and settled in Derry but experienced horrendous racial abuse due to his skin colour but his father loved Derry as the place he became settled and produced a scrap book to document the history of the town. This works as we will find out (SPOILER ALERT) that Mike becomes the towns librarian. He took his love of the towns history from his father and is the only one to settle.

Yet, in the film he is nothing but the black kid. He barely has any lines and his arc with his father about dealing with racial prejudice is just gone. There is a whole segment of how Mike’s dog; Mr Chips is killed by the psycho Henry Bowers due to him believing that his father has been persecuted by black man loving cops. Sounds racist, damn yes it is as Bower’s father killed Mike’s father’s chickens due to his race and Henry feeling like he must avenge his father. He uses the most racist words when killing Mike’s dog and the audiences truly feels disgusted about the racial abuse and segregation that Mike and his family goes through. This has been cut! All we see is Mike traumatised by a fire that killed his family which neatly removes any character arc that he gets. He is just the black kid and he stays like that. Which is a complete shame as his character is transferred to:

Ben

Ah Ben, he is such a sweetie in the book. He is well read and considerate but I stand by he should never have been given Mike’s story arc. Yes, they handwave it and say that due to Ben being new (translates as fat which therefore means: EW NERD) that he is the one who figures out the 27 year secret to Pennywise, Just because he is new, fat, white and wears glasses I guess. It really annoys me as Ben has his own arc to follow without stealing Mike’s and therefore making the stand in token person of colour which he becomes. Ben is very intelligent and this helps him become what he becomes in the adult years which is an architect but he isn’t the historian, that’s Mike! We never see Ben’s skills as an architect like we do in the book. He just plays the fat and love sick puppy. Like Mike he has no growth whatsoever.

Beverly

Oh, Bev! What to say about you?! I loathe that she became so sexualised that it is ridiculous. Yes, I have read the book and that scene *shudder* but Bev is so much more than meat to be stared at. Bev is strong considering her upbringing of abuse (the sexual abuse is never known as it was Pennywise that instigated it) and she is one of the boys in the Losers Club. I almost threw something when I saw her being taken to Pennywise’s lair as what the hell is that?! She is the one who was given the slingshot to fire the silver bullets at IT in the first half of the book so why now in the film is she the helpless female and is captured for the big, strong men to come and claim her. She seems to be there for very awkward and prison related wank fodder. All we see is her in her underwear and then captured for the big strong men to come and rescue her. EWWW GROSS!!! NO!!!

Why cant we have a strong female in horror fiction? Why!?! *Sobbing* What makes this shitfest even worse is that it takes Ben to kiss her while she is comatose to bring her back from the deadlights and back to herself. *Throws Wardrobe* For Christ sakes can we please have a strong female protagonist?!?
Bev is nothing but a prepubescent wank fodder, which makes me want to die. She was so much more in the books but she has been reduced to the feminine ideal of useless that needs rescuing by a man.

Pennywise

I am not going to lie that I found the lack of child death disappointing. They are in the novel (Yes I know there is a weird orgy scene but go with me here) but in the film in it is pretty sanitised. I find that a shame as a lot of the deaths mentioned are tragic due to the repercussions that we see. Also all we see is Bill being obsessed with his brother which is fair but it lacks the edge the novel has that Bill knows George is dead.

Henry Bowers

Is he dead?!?! He surely must be but we need him for the second part.

Final Thoughts

I enjoyed the film, I really did but Timmy Curry did it better. I can’t help it but you have excellent source material so use it! I loathe that Mike becomes the random black guy that stands there and Bev is just there as someone to be rescued as women can’t take care of their own. Blergh, they’ll want to vote next. Anyway, next is Grey’s version of Fifty Shades Darker and to be honest I would rather face Pennywise in the Sewer.

Disney Role Models: Elsa (Frozen) vs. Hercules (Well Duh!)

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Hades really sums up about how I feel about this topic. He is awesome so I am good with this. Hey-ho! Let’s Go!

This blog post is inspired by several conversations I have had regarding the film ‘Frozen’. For those who know me, know that I hate that goddamn film with a passion! If you don’t then here is a link to my review to see my reasons as to why I hate this film.

https://literaturemasochist.wordpress.com/2017/01/19/frozen-alternative-title-no-i-dont-want-to-build-a-fucking-snowman-throws-chair/

Anyway, during a conversation at an event I was in the minority in my hatred for the film which never surprises me but the thing that I found surprising was the vocal outrage that I said that I found Elsa to be useless and whiney with her powers and especially in terms of when I made the comparison with “Hercules”. As this is the introduction I won’t go into it now but will discuss it in length in this post. I decided that ‘Hercules’ was the best comparison for reasons I have said before but I will go into more detail here. Also ‘Hercules’ is so ridiculously underrated in my opinion, considering it has very empowering messages that I feel it is this film’s time to shine against the lazy crap that is ‘Frozen’.

I am also sick of this film being lauded as amazing for female empowerment as it really isn’t, especially when you look closely at the messages that are shown. This is why I have brought up ‘Hercules’ as even when you compare the two, the argument is thrown out as Hercules is a man and the film is apparently aiming to the macho man. I want to show why that is wrong. It maybe my bias showing but I identify very strongly with Hercules and I promise to explain!

Please remember that this is biased as I loathe ‘Frozen’ and am determined to prove that it is overrated crap. I will try and be fair though. (sort of)
Both of our protagonists have very powerful gifts that can easily be used to destroy everything around them. Elsa has her ice powers and Hercules has his super strength. Both of them are shunned for their powers too. Elsa accidentally strikes her sister with her ice-beam and needs to be cured by trolls, this leads to Elsa shutting herself away with her gloves made out of angst. I refuse to believe that her parents shut her away as they do not have a son so therefore Elsa would automatically become the reigning monarch after the death of her father. Why shut her away as she needs to learn the rules of the land and court so making her a social novice would be detrimental to the kingdom when (not if) she rules. This makes me believe that she shut herself away in guilt, which is understandable but there comes a point when you need to pick yourself and get over it, especially when your sister is outside of your door begging you to build a goddamn snowman. We see the span of this guilt and self-rejection for over ten years, it was accident and for the love of God, get over it! Please! I hate angst!! Oh, Jesus, I’m having flashbacks of Bella and her Goddamn Hole. It is not good to be reminded of the most useless literary female protagonist as that really doesn’t say much for your so called empowered female.

I’m not going to lie but I have little patience with long term self-pitying over something small. Elsa could have tried to learn to control and use her powers for good. She didn’t, she sat there and wallowed in her room for ten years. GAHHH!!! IT”S BELLA AGAIN!!! *PICKS UP FLY SWAT!* This is why it all comes to disaster at her coronation where she iced things and caused eternal winter while running away. She may have her “I don’t care song” in “Let it Go” but then she just sits in her castle and whines some more which is understandable after what has happened. What is unacceptable is that she does not care that she hit her sister with the ice-beam that she knows WILL KILL HER and just sits and whines some more. That is not empowering at all. Please tell me how this is empowering towards woman?!

I will bring up a well-loved female protagonist before I discuss Hercules and that is Mulan. She has her moment of self-pity which is damn well understandable as she is stranded in a snow ridden valley and has been shamed for being a woman in the army. When she sees that the Huns have survived and things are bad she doesn’t curl in a ball to die in the snow. She gets off her arse and rides to the capitol to warn and fight against the enemy. Praise Mulan for female empowerment, not Elsa.

Now we come to Hercules. He is brought up in a peasant home in Greece but has his powers from the failed attempt of his murder by Hades, he may now be mortal but he retained his God-like strength. He is loved by his parents but is shunned by everyone around him. He is desperate to be like everyone else and to belong. However, the big thing is that he tries, he wants to play discus with the boys at the market even though they don’t trust him and his strength. He is also keen to help a man in the market struggling with an oversize amphora as he thinks his strength can help. He does it because he is a good person and eager for acceptance but unlike Elsa, he tries. He clearly has a reputation as an over eager clutz and group of boys either out-right reject him or are nervous around him due to his powers proving disastrous at times. Hercules knows this but he still tries to be accepted and most importantly to help.

Elsa doesn’t, she shuts herself away and won’t come out at all. I know we all have different experiences and Elsa is clearly depressed but I think it is wrong to outright reject Hercules’ struggles because he is a man and to commend Elsa as strong and empowered because she is a woman. It should be a goal that we try no matter what our gender is but if we are depressed then that is understandable regardless of gender. However, we shouldn’t laud Elsa’s depression as empowerment as that just shows that women have a right to be openly depressed but as Hercules is a macho man, according to some, then he should get up and deal with life which is extremely damaging as male depression is often ignored and not recognised until it is too late.

Anyway, we see Hercules destroy the market place because he tried to catch a discus due to his super strength. The town shun him and call him Jerkules. Hercules is clearly upset as he has been going through this his whole life but still desperately tries to be accepted. I’m sorry but I honestly feel more for Hercules as Elsa shuts herself away after one incident and I am meant to totally understand that but Hercules who honestly tries his best after constant rejection yet he is just an image of macho masculinity so cannot be compared to Elsa? No, I really don’t agree with that.

What I also find commendable about Hercules is that he finds out that night that his parents are in fact his adoptive parents and all he has to go on is a Zeus medallion. Does he sit and whine which would be understandable, no he is determined to find where he belongs and goes to the Temple of Zeus for answers. Hercules is a very proactive person considering all the rejection he has had in his life. Hercules learns the origins of his powers and is determined to join his parents in Mount Olympus, he doesn’t lie down with the massive task ahead but faces it head on as he wants to be where he feels like he belongs. I honestly found that far more empowering as I have been honest about my depression and Aspergers. I feel rejected so often due to my Aspegers as I get it is hard for people to like me and I’m like Marmite but at the same time I am not going to curl up in a damn ball and not try. I have to try and if I keep getting rejected then fine. I will live with it but at least I tried as I desperately want to find where I belong.

I loathe the argument that “Hercules” does not count as he is a macho masculine man. No, he is not. Hercules is sensitive and adores Meg for her sassy awesomeness, it is a genuine story. Anyway, it should not matter that I am comparing them as the gender should not matter here and Hercules cannot be accused of male privilege as he for most of his life was a peasant who was out-casted by his village whereas Elsa was a monarch with extraordinary privilege, wealth and influence. I find that appalling that Hercules’ experiences have been said to be pointless due to his gender as he has very similar experiences to Elsa but isn’t worshipped as an amazing role model when she is not.

What I find frustrating is the argument is that it is completely understandable for Elsa to abandon her people to anyone to sit in angst ball in her castle. I said this before and I will say it again: it is not understandable when you are a person with enormous privilege to abandon your people to God knows what because some people were mean to you. GROW UP! Look at Elizabeth I, how many derided her for being a woman of power in a patriarchal society. She ruled with strength and knew her country needed her strength and valour. Elsa just runs away as people are mean to her.

Hercules may have utilised the masculine trope of strength but he did it for good and to help people. However, he was willing to give it all up to save the woman he loved and cared for but even after he realised she betrayed him still ventured out to meet the Cyclops to save the people of Thebes and then Olympus. Hercules is a true hero as he never thought twice about sacrificing himself for Meg and the people which therefore proved himself a true hero. He showed that his strength did not make a hero but the strength of his heart. His heart was true to the core and he was selfless.

Elsa never has that realisation. She never returns to her kingdom for the good of others and as a sacrifice for the greater good. She does it because Hans forces her and then just does it because well, meh why not. I’m guessing because of the evils. She never has a moment when she realises that the need of the many is more important than her feelings. The people needed a stable monarchy after the death of their king at a young age. She will not accept responsibility and has power over those of who defy her. She needed to act like a true monarch and stand up for herself. She is a very weak individual. I honestly find it sad that she is worshiped as a strong female icon when she is in fact weak, which has nothing due to her gender, and lays there and whines. When I want female strength then I will turn to Mulan or Tiana not the Disney version of Bella Swan. If anything, I find it funny that so many people who love Elsa loathe Bella. They are the damn same if you take away Edward. They lay there and whine about their Goddamn Hole.

I understand this is a massive rant but it infuriates me when Elsa is lauded as a great feminine icon when she really isn’t. She just whines in isolation and could not care less about what happened to her sister. I will say it again but I completely disagree that Hercules can’t be used as a comparison as he is male. He may be defined by strength but he is very caring and compassionate but also most importantly selfless in the end. He goes through a character arc, he goes from rejection to peacock to selfless hero. He is very human and I think he is a role model due to who he is as his heart is what makes him a true hero, not his strength. Hercules shows that masculine heroes are not defined by their muscles but their emotions. This is very important in a society where men are told not to cry and show emotion yet Hercules shows that your heart and emotions are what is more important. I can’t think of a better role model than that. On that note for all those who feel down, depressed and/or worthless than I stand by that Hercules has the best words to ever give you:

Everyone can go the distance.

Louis Creed from ‘Pet Sematary’: The soil of a man’s heart is stonier, Louis

Gage

It’s been ages since I last posted but to be fair I have had a whole new university to navigate (the library is a scary fortress) and naturally to those that know me would not be surprised that I changed my course as I do this a lot. Enough excuses though! I have promised a discussion on Louis Creed from ‘Pet Sematary’ so here it is. Also it’s Halloween time so seems like the right time!

I wanted to do a whole post on Louis and his actions as he is a very complex man but we get the impression from the novel that Louis would fall prey to the Wendigo’s influence and was powerless to resist. Well, the novel also tells otherwise and Louis was the perfect prey for the Micmac Burial Ground and the Wendigo because of who he was. So in standard fare, I will go into this issue in excruciating detail. Hey – Ho! Let’s Go!

Louis’s Love of Secrets

This is a huge issue that leads to Louis’ and his family’s destruction. Louis loves to keep secrets and he feels validated when he is told:

“The soil of a man’s heart is stonier, Louis. A man grows what he can, and he tends it.”

He is basically believing that a man’s heart is harder to penetrate with love and emotion but also how tough his heart is. He believes that he is the keeper of many secrets such as Church, his night time stroll with Pascow and the deal his father in law made to him. However, in many instances he takes glee and pleasure from these secrets.

Let’s discuss the first in terms of importance and that is his stroll with Pascow after he is killed. Pascow takes Louis to the Pet Sematary and points to the Deadfall and warns him never to cross no matter how tempted he is to cross. Louis never remembers this even though he remembers the whole dream. If anything what gets Louis is that when he wakes up and finds his feet covered in dirt and thus realizing that he has been to the Sematary and it wasn’t a dream is not the shocking realization that a spirit has sought him out to warn him but his skills at covering it up. He bundles the sheets up and disposes of them and goes into the shower while laughing manically while he imagines committing murder and how he could get away with it due to his lying skills. He even scares Rachel in this scene due to his manic laughter.

His lying skills become even better after Church’s death and resurrection. Church takes up the hobby of killing with much gusto then he had ever done before but Louis makes sure that his family never see these kills. He even notes that on Christmas Eve when Church kills a huge crow and eats its eye in front of him that no one must ever see this as Church is his cat now. After all, what you buy is what you own and what you own comes home to you. Louis hates clearing up the kills but he does it anyway as he keeps his secrets buried inside and the worst one is what could have prevented the entire story from happening.

Louis’ relationship with his father in law; Irwin, is exceptionally tense. When Louis was a med school student, Irwin offered him his entire tuition fee up front if he stopped seeing Rachel, again which Louis refused. However, Louis never told this to Rachel so she just sees it as an awkward situation where her husband refuses to be friendly to her father. This attitude leads to the events and tragedy to come because:

If Louis Went to Chicago, Then Pet Sematary Would Never Happen
Yes, if Louis honestly had swallowed his pride then nothing would have ever happened. Think about it, Louis let his wife take two very young children on multiple flights to her parents on a family holiday alone because he couldn’t deal with her father. That is utterly selfish as his wife loves her parents and he should suck it up and deal with it for a few days for his wife’s sake. She is also agonizing how much Louis won’t tolerate them but she doesn’t know why because Louis won’t tell her. She just thinks Louis dislikes them but he should be there for her.

I don’t care what Irwin did as some in-laws are hellish but you try your best as you do it for your loved one. Louis didn’t which left him alone with Church, so he was prime meat for the Wendigo to influence Church across that mean road to his death. If Louis had just sucked up his man pride and go to Chicago, then Church would either have been left in a kennel or if he had been home and been hit then Jud would have just buried him in the safe burial ground as you bury your own in Micmac Burial Ground. Louis’ selfishness and pride started the events of ‘Pet Sematary”.

Louis Loves His Son More

This may sound harsh but in all honesty when reading the book multiple times that I truly think that if it was his daughter that had died then Louis would have left her dead. Louis clearly loves Gage more and that is why that Louis risks and loses everything by burying Gage in the Micmac Burial Ground. Most of the time when Louis talks about Ellie is in the negative, he talks about how she talks too much and how sometimes he just wants to smack her. He never once considers her when Gage dies but just thinks about himself.

Whereas with Gage, he constantly talks about how proud he is of him and how sad he is when after Gage’s first haircut he is shedding his blonde locks to reveal Rachel’s brown hair. When he speaks to his children on Thanksgiving he grows bored of Ellie’s “prattling” but enjoys talking to Gage. In the chapter before Gage’s death we have Louis describing his last perfect day which does not include his wife or daughter but only his son. He is relieved that his wife and daughter are away to not interrupt his last happy day. This does not signal a particularly good image on Louis and this may be why he does not comfort them and help them once Gage dies and leaves them to it.

We are even privy to Louis’ fantasies and the constant is the Disney World Orlando dream, he even fantasizes that he could leave his family by the road but this evolves to Louis just having Gage with him wearing mouse ears. It is more than obvious who Louis’ true affections are towards.

Louis loves Ellie but clearly loves Gage more and this is why the Wendigo targets Gage as chances are Louis would not have exhumed and buried Ellie in the Micmac Burial ground.

Louis’ Arrogance

Louis prides himself as a man of science and I don’t think it was any coincidence that King made Louis a doctor. I think this what the Wendigo preyed on but Louis’ arrogance was what caused the events to occur. Throughout the novel, Louis has lots of evidence that the burial ground is sour and evil but he ignores as he thinks he knows better. He even tries to rationalize it when he thought Gage had water on the brain which causes disabilities that he would love him no matter what even he was (I’m sorry but I am quoting) a “retard”. I hate that fucking word as I’m autistic but it was the 80s so I shall forgive. Louis refuses to acknowledge the story of Timmy Baterman as he is a doctor and knows better than these small town yokels. He constantly talks about how he doesn’t believe in souls as he never felt one even though Victor Pascow appears in his room to warn him like Ebenezer Scrooge but like Scrooge he blames it on other things, maybe a bad piece of food. We know it’s not the case but Louis refuses to acknowledge it, unlike Scrooge in the end. He convinces himself that Gage will be fine which is the influence of the Wendigo but also his pride and arrogance. Louis believes as a doctor he is far more intelligent and worldly so therefore refuses to listen to Jud as he is just a small town man even though he has seen it occur.

Final Thoughts

I find Louis a fascinating character as we see both the influence of the supernatural but also the repercussions of a man’s pride and arrogance. The Wendigo preyed on Louis specifically and I think that is due to the type of man he is and his attitudes. He was prime meat for the Wendigo and he succumbed which lead to the destruction of his entire life and family.

Next time, I will be looking at Frozen again as I have had a few debates with people about why I loathe the film and I thought it best to put down my argument. I will be looking at comparing Elsa with Hercules specifically. Then I must find something else, tempted to review the film ‘IT’ even though it been out for ages but I am rather slow with the it (pahaha I’m hilarious!) thing.

“Sometimes Dead is Better” Pet Sematary: Book vs. Film

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A couple of months ago I finally cracked open my first edition ‘Pet Sematary’ by Stephen King and I polished it off in three days. This may seem odd considering the nature of this blog but I loved it! It has become one of the best books I have ever read and one of the most thought provoking. I must admit I was only scared because my cat who looks like butter wouldn’t melt. Observe:

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Don’t let looks deceive you! That sadistic creature decided that she needed to jump on my face while shrieking at 4am was the thing to be done for a week straight. That wasn’t exactly pleasant after reading about an undead cat. Thanks a lot, Meegles.

Anyway, as this is me then there has to be moaning as what else could I write about. The source of my irritation was when I decided to watch the film. My God! That film is horrendous and offends me, not just because it is a terrible B Movie but also because it misses the point of the damn book. The good news is that a remake is in the works and it has been promised that the new adaptation will be faithful to the book which is a relief. However, I still want to talk about this so off we go!

(This will be spoiler heavy, so be warned.)

To refresh people’s memories then I shall give a summary of the plot. Dr. Louis Creed and his wife Rachel move their two children to Maine where he has accepted a job at the university. They meet their friendly and elderly neighbour Jud Crandall who warns them of the mean road that has claimed the lives of many of the town’s pets which are buried in the woodland cemetery by the children. Things steadily get worse as on Louis’ first day at work a student is hit by a car and as he dies he warns Louis not to go beyond the Pet Sematary. Later that night Victor Pascow’s ghost takes Louis there and warns him again. Tragedy hits again on Halloween when Jud’s wife Norma suffers a heart attack but Louis saves her. So when Louis’ daughter’s cat Church is hit by a car then Jud feels the need to repay Louis and takes him beyond the Pet Sematary to the Micmac burial ground to bury Church there. Louis hears noises but Jud tells him to ignore them and they return after burying Church. The next day Church returns but is a little strange and smells bad. Jud explains that pets buried there come back to life but a little different then before and that they are a little dead. The next victim of that mean road is Louis’ two-year-old son Gage, Jud warns Louis against burying him in the cemetery and tells him of Timmy Baterman who came back and was evil. Louis ignores him and does it anyway. Gage comes back as an abomination who kills Jud and Rachel. Louis proceeds to kill Church and Gage then sets the house on fire while he takes Rachel up to the cemetery to bury her. The end is probably one of the best endings of a book:

“The steps ended directly behind him.

Silence.

A cold hand fell on Louis’ shoulder. Rachel’s voice was grating, full of dirt.

“Darling” It said.”

This leads us into our first discussion and that is the ending!

The Finale (Part 1)

Read that again! Jesus, that’s creepy and already one of my peeves with the movie. I love the ambiguity of the ending as we the reader don’t know what happens to Louis. We know he is completely insane at this point but we never know if he lives or dies. Some aspects tell us that he may live as he says in Chapter 12 when Pascow dies and 35 before Gage’s death:

“Looking back on it, Louis would think – when he could bear to think about it at all – that the nightmare really began when they brought the dying boy, Victor Pascow, into the infirmary around ten that morning.”

“Louis Creed came to believe that the last really happy day of his life was March 24th, 1983.”

This would make sense as he loses everything after those days and it would be doubtful he would recover his sanity enough to be truly happy again or to even look back. I love that we just don’t know what happens which is why I think the film ruined the impact the ending had by having Rachel looking like this:

Rachel

I will go into more detail as to why I have a problem with this look. I also loathe having her bringing down a knife onto Louis which completely destroys the mystery of the ending which therefore takes away the impact. It’s a classic horror ending but this story is so much more than a cheap horror story. This book delves into the flaws of human nature, our love and how people deal with the agonising grief of losing a loved one but also how far man will go to deny the laws of nature. It is tragic and thought provoking as well as a horror story but the ending is just pure crappy horror in the film. It almost feels like this is a film about dead things rising up but once again this book is pure human tragedy and isn’t just a supernatural horror with zombies but the film couldn’t be bothered with that. This leads us to the next point:

The Undead Animals

The humans will be discussed next as they are a huge part of the topic and my annoyance with the film. I find the animals brought back from the dead one of the most fascinating parts of this book. They aren’t mindless and blood thirsty zombies, they are just wrong. They walk as if they are drunk, their eyes are dead and muddy but they also stink of the ground they were buried in and no amount of baths will stop the smell. They seem almost normal but they give an aura of wrong. People instinctively don’t like to be near them but can’t explain why. The two main animals featured that have been resurrected are Church the Creed cat and Spot who was Jud’s dog.

Let’s discuss Spot first as he is the first to be resurrected in terms of time lines and is also the shortest to talk about. In the book Spot died after getting an infection from barbed wire, Jud’s father shot him to put him out of his misery. Jud is taken up to the burial ground by Stanny B the local drunk. I am going to put some quotes up describing Spot when he returns home:

“Standing in the doorway was Spot, my dog. The fur on his belly was filthy, knotted and snarled. He was just standing there – not growling or nothing – just standing there, but it was pretty clear that he had backed her into a corner, whether he meant to or not.”

“So I found some scraps and called him, and at first he didn’t come, at first it was like he didn’t know his own name … But the second or third time I called him, he came. He sort of jerked towards me, and when I led him out to the porch, damned if he didn’t run right into the side of the door and just about fall over.”

“I got on my knees and hugged him, I was so glad to see him. For just one second it scared me to be hugging him, and I – think I must have imagined this, but he growled. For just a second. Then he licked my face, and …”

“Louis, his tongue was cold. Being licked by Spot was like getting rubbed up the side of your face with a dead carp.”

“But that day Spot just sat in the tub and let me wash him. He never moved at all. I didn’t like it. It was like … like washing meat.”

“Spot was always a good dog. He always smelled like dirt but he was a good dog.”

I found the descriptions one of the many reasons as to why the book is fascinating as they are just wrong but aren’t obviously zombies. The film completely destroyed this by showing Spot covered in blood and barking and growling viciously at Jud’s mother. If these animals are that bloody nasty, then no one would do it. The only animal that came back truly mean was Hanratty the Bull but most just assumed that the bull as a one off as most animals were still friendly but stupid.

Jud even explains that Ellie will still love her cat like he loved Spot but will sigh with relief when they die the second time due to the aura of wrongness about them, this is clearly not true in the film as why would you love a vicious animal. It completely takes away from the creepy nature of these animals to have them acting to the extremes of viciousness as it is obvious something has happened to them. The beauty of the undead Spot is that he was always a good dog, even after he came back but he was just odd and smelly now.

Now onto Church! It is Church’s resurrection that helps convince Louis to take Gage to the cemetery as Church seemed like Spot as in a bit stupid. However, Church has taken up the cat hobby of hunting to a higher level than before as he kills and eats a crow on Christmas Eve but also brings home other kills. Still fairly common for cats but Church now does it far more frequently for a neutered cat. This is ramped up to the extremes in the film. When Church comes home and Louis draws himself a bath Church joins him in the bathroom for a truly and subtly creepy scene:

“Church was swaying slowly back and forth as if drunk. Louis watched it, his body crawling with revulsion, a scream barely held back in his mouth by his clamped teeth. Church had never looked like this – had never swayed, like a snake trying to hypnotise its prey”

“Church stared at him a moment longer – God, his eyes were different, somehow they were different – and then leaped down from the toilet. He landed with none of the uncanny grace cats usually display. He staggered awkwardly, haunches thudding against the tub, and then he was gone.”

That to me is subtly creepy, I can’t explain why but it is the swaying as it is just odd behaviour and not frightening but yet it is as it is just not normal for a cat to do that. The film thinks they need to really ramp this scene up by having Church throw a rat at Louis while hissing but also looking like this:

Church

Wow, how subtle.

I must admit I nominate this cat to play Church in the remake as they are in character already:

princess

How Rachel and Ellie don’t seem to notice the demonic glowing eyes is beyond me. They must be that stupid, as I am sure I would find it odd if Meegles’ eyes now acted as glow in the dark torches. I guess it was the 80s so it was difficult to have the things mentioned in the book but throwing a rat at Louis is frankly ridiculous.

Church is so important as his death leads to Gage’s resurrection. Louis has to convince himself that Church is like most cats with his new hunting skills, seems stupid and that he smells funny but all in all seems OK so therefore Gage should be as well. He ignores the fact people won’t touch him, even Ellie who no longer will let Church on her bed but would have been inconsolable if she knew that Church had died. He convinces himself while keeping Church’s kills a secret that Gage will be fine but maybe a little stupid but hey, that’s OK as he would love him anyway and he will be the normal Gage when he knows deep down that this is not true.

The most important aspect that Louis does ignore is the feeling of revulsion with these things especially when he feeds Church for the first time and he makes disgusting slurping noises that makes Louis feel revolted. We don’t see any of that, we just see Church hissing with his glowing eyes while throwing rats. The film completely misses the point of these animals as they lure you into a false sense of security as you think that a person will come out exactly the same but the film shows every animal as a vicious abomination which makes it harder to believe why Louis would even consider burying Gage there. This leads us to the next point which is the one known person buried there before Gage. Next is the Return of Timmy Baterman!

Timmy Baterman

Timmy Baterman was a seventeen-year-old boy who was killed in Italy during World War Two. Timmy was shipped home to Ludlow with full military honours to be buried in his local cemetery, however, his father digs him up and buries him in the Micmac Burial Ground. Jud tells the story of his return to warn Louis against burying Gage in the cemetery and says that Bill Baterman would most likely have not done it if his wife and youngest child hadn’t died during childbirth and now after losing Timmy, Bill had nothing left.

The story of Timmy is one of the most terrifying sections of the novel as like the animals Timmy was just wrong. He was first spotted lurching up the street, he would walk up and down the street all day long. His hair was a mess and he stank of the grave. What made him terrifying was how harmless he seemed at first but also how wrong he was when he was interacting with local residents. I will quote again so you get the full impact:

“He just stood there, she said, his hands dangling at his sides and his head pushed forward a little bit, so he was leadin’ with his chin like a boxer who’s ready to eat him some canvas…Then she said he turned around it was like watching a drunk man try to do an about-face.”

“She said his eyes … she said they looked dead and dusty as marbles, Louis. But he saw her … and he grinned… and she said he talked to her. Asked her if she still had those records, because he wouldn’t mind cutting a rug with her. Maybe that very night.”

To me that is once again subtly terrifying as he isn’t doing anything scary but it is just wrong and very creepy. Especially the description of the eyes as I can assure that the eyes do change in death, it’s like the soul has left the body. The eyes are what makes this scene so scary as it is not right and subtle changes can cause people to feel scared. One common aspect films use is removing someone’s eyebrows. It’s such a small change but it gives the viewer the element and feeling that something is wrong.

In the book Jud’s friends meet at his house and decide enough is enough as the War Office is receiving too many letters reporting Timmy making one hell of a hell of a lively corpse. They go over there and it is obvious the effect that Timmy’s presence is having on his father as he is reported to have lost a lot of weight and looking very sick but most importantly he looked damned. Once again I will quote so you can really get the full impact as me just describing it doesn’t do the scene justice.

“Timmy Baterman was like that, Louis, like a zombie in a movie, but he wasn’t. There was somethin’ more. There was somethin’ going on behind his eyes … it was sly, that was one thing.”

“It was more like … a radio signal that was comin’ from somewhere else. You looked at him and you thought. ‘If he touches me, I’m going to scream.’”

They find Timmy staring at the sunset but he does look at them and grins but goes back to looking at the sunset. The men discuss with Bill about the needs of exhumation as Bill just says that Timmy never died but is just suffering from PTSD.

Timmy lurches over to the men, Jud describes it like watching a crab walk. He also describes the dimples and small healed burns on his face where he was shot with the machine gun. This is so important as the Micmac burial ground fixes the injuries of the deceased. Spot had dimpled skin from the barbed wire and white hair where he was shot. This is so important for later. Jud tells us how he stank of the grave and it was festering and spoilt. What is so unnerving is when Timmy begins to speak as if he has dirt in his lungs and tells them all their deepest darkest secrets. He is quiet at first but becomes increasingly hysterical but every bad thing he says is true. Jud last sees him screaming on the lawn.

This makes the slyness very important as Jud said Timmy was always a nice boy, perhaps a little dull but a good person. The new Timmy only saw and spoke of the bad.

I find this genuinely unnerving as he starts speaking quietly which is very menacing. The return of Timmy is so poignant as he seems OK but odd at first but the terror ramps up during the encounter but it is still something that Louis is able to rationalise. This is why the film completely failed at the importance of this scene. I couldn’t find an English video but you don’t really need the actual words as Timmy doesn’t say much anyway, it’s more the actions that are stupid.

What in God’s name is that?! Where did he get that foot from to gnaw at?! That has to be one of the most ridiculous scenes I have ever seen as it completely destroys what makes Timmy so terrifying. It also makes Louis look like a twit as you can’t rationalise a zombie cannibal, there is just no way to rationalise that so why would he would even think resurrecting Gage is a good idea. In the book we know it’s a terrible idea but Louis convinces himself that because Gage is a child then he will be like Church and Spot but where Timmy is subtle he can convince himself that it will be OK and maybe Jud was overreacting. Someone covered in blood while eating a random foot is not something you can rationalise or ignore.

The end of Timmy was destroyed in the film too. In the book Timmy was shot by his father and then his father set the house on fire and shot himself. You bury your own in the Micmac Grounds, you therefore kill you own when it comes home to you from that place. Instead we saw Timmy pushing his father around while the men of Ludlow set the house on fire. I think that just destroys the foreshadowing that was to come where Louis kills Gage and Church. It is exceptionally hard and traumatic for them to do this but they have to as what they buy is what they own and what you own comes home to you. They had to kill what they created, they have to feel the utter pain of killing their children after everything they did to bring them back and it costs Louis his sanity and Bill his life.

The next bit is to discuss is the return of Gage and the finale.

Gage and the Finale (Part 2)

First up, let’s discuss the death of Gage. We don’t read his actual death scene until a bit later after the announcement of his death. We are led through the utterly heart-breaking funeral plans where Rachel is sedated and Ellie carries Gage’s picture with her everywhere and the false sense of relief when Louis describes Gage’s life into adulthood. We are then hit with his death scene which has the utter trauma of Louis desperately trying to catch him but unable to and finding Gage’s baseball cap filled with blood and then his trainer and then his jumper. You can feel the sense of shock and stillness as Louis finds these items knowing that Gage is dead via the mean road. He reacts like many would and that is disbelieving and shocked as how could this happen to his son.

The movie however felt the need to give a few seconds of Louis displaying some of the worst acting skills imaginable by falling to his knees screaming ‘NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!’

Also, pretty impressive that a massive truck managed to get totalled and flipped by hitting a two-year-old. It is just far too drama llama to be taken seriously which is really not the feeling you want when you just watch a toddler being hit and killed by a truck. You want to feel devastated and feeling Louis’ trauma, which the film fails at! It’s almost funny which is really not what you want to feel as it seems like a whammy soap opera. I almost cried with the book whereas this was my face when I watched that:

shrek

I’m Shrek by the way! I do give the film it’s dues when Gage returns as they managed to give him dead-eye but also you can see where his skull was broken up. However, I find it disappointing that we don’t have the confrontation with Jud where Gage tells him that Norma knew of his visits to the whorehouse, which Timmy accused Jud of, but that she was unfaithful to him and is now burning in hell. I know she has been omitted from the film but still, it could have been mentioned that his wife who is dead did these things. Timmy did scream ‘Whoremaster’ in the film after all. That is bloody menacing coming from a small child, instead Gage does a Kill Bill and cuts Jud’s Achilles tendon and gnaws on his neck.

When Rachel finds him, I am utterly bemused as to why Gage is now wearing a top hat. Why?! He even has a pimp stick! Is he a demon pimp now!?! LOOK AT IT!!!

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That is such a random add on. I also find Gage calling Louis to say that he played with Rachel and Jud and now wants to play with him such a let-down as the impact is Louis slowly realising that Gage has been and gone but that Rachel is over at Jud’s. We see Louis losing his sanity as the realisation hits him, having Gage just outright tells him ruins the impact.

Now I have to admit I absolutely cracked up laughing during this scene:

BAHAHAHAHA! I’m sorry but what the hell is that!?! How did a small child zombie get a dead lady body up to the attic to hang her when the hatch drops?! How did he manage to even get the attic open?! He is a tiny little child; it makes no sense. I completely cracked up when he launches himself at Louis while stabbing and gnawing him. I am sorry but it is hilarious.

I do feel sad when Louis injects him and he toddles off to die but I still think the book did it better. This is Gage’s death in the book:

“Now Gage looked up at him and for a moment Louis saw his son – his real son – his face unhappy and filled with pain.

“Daddy!” he cried, and then fell forward on his face.”

I honestly find that heart-breaking as it could be the Wendigo trying to manipulate Louis one last time but it could also be his son who is in pain which is Louis’ final memory of his beloved son. This is when Louis loses the small amount sanity he has left and curls up in a ball and sucks his thumb for two hours. I find those two sentences have much more gut wrenching tragedy and torment then Gage growling a bit before he died.

Louis then recreates Bill Baterman’s final movements by setting fire to the house but carries Rachel up to the cemetery in the hopes of her resurrection being successful as he is convinced it will work as he waited too long for Gage. I brought up Rachel’s dead face in the beginning but after all the discussion it just pisses me off that she has no eye and is all oozy. That is just cheap horror that completely neglects the true horror. Gage and Church look slightly different with dead-eye but considering Gage and Timmy had very traumatic deaths but were fixed then so should Rachel! Louis has to make sure Gage is facing the window in the car because his body was so mashed that Louis couldn’t be sure if he had bent Gage’s legs backwards, yet the cemetery fixes him. Yet, Rachel is all oozy with no eye. It’s honestly stupid as what makes these things terrifying is how normal they look but their movements, stench and eyes give them away. These are not typical zombie but the film wanted a dramatic and gross ending and they got that by setting the excellent book ending on fire. It pisses me off as you can tell.

Norma Crandell, Wendigo and Victor Pascow

I honestly find it bizarre that they chose to cut Norma out of the film as she is very important. Her heart attack is what prompts Jud to take Louis to the cemetery but also her death is the only natural death in the book which is very important. It shows that death is natural and the pain of the loss slowly becomes happy memories of the deceased. Also her marriage with Jud is vital as they seem like the perfect elderly couple with the ideal marriage but we learn of their secret infidelities and the lies. We don’t know if Norma did cheat as the Wendigo may have wanted to torment Jud before he died but we know he did cheat on her. Her character may be small but she is vital. Why on earth was she replaced with Missy, the babysitter, who kills herself. It is honestly so pointless as it doesn’t impact the story in any way. It seems like it was done for shock value which is stupid and lazy.

I also find it baffling that the Wendigo is left out so the viewer has no idea what the power is in the cemetery and completely neglects to realise the influence that the Wendigo has on events such as Church and Gage’s death but also Rachel’s journey home and Louis’ decision. Louis isn’t innocent but the Wendigo is an important influence. The Wendigo also makes Louis’ journey to the cemetery with Gage utterly terrifying but it was just ignored which is a real shame.

Last but not least is Victor Pascow as I actually liked that he was more of a main character in the film even though I do find his final words to Rachel, which seem oddly chirpy, as strange as surely he knows something terrible will happen as he visits Ellie and warns her that her family are doomed. I think that should be changed to him almost screaming for Rachel to go to Louis and not Jud as it makes him look like he is working for the Wendigo when actually he is the source for good in the story.

Final Thoughts

Anyway! Final thoughts, I think the film sucks. I feel that the film is far too much focused on the cheap horror of a demon baby with a scalpel and undead cat to really appreciate the thought provoking messages in the book. The book shows how love can be what drives us to our destruction and has to be one of the bleakest books written, even Stephen King hates it for this reason. He describes this as his most terrifying book and I agree as it may not have killer clowns but it is the thought that our love and grief can drive us to do the unthinkable and thus lead to our utter destruction. The film is nothing but cheap horror (I was shocked to find that King wrote the screenplay) and I really hope the remake moves away from that and does a decent adaptation.

I wanted to go into Louis but I have decided to do that in another post as I have written far too much already and he is a whole other discussion but I will talk about the film too but it will be more book heavy. Until next time, dear readers!

‘Life and Death’ by Stephenie Meyer: Final Thoughts

Well guys, this it! I stared writing this God forsaken post on the 6th of February 2017. I have honestly been reviewing this shit for almost seven months but started making my notes back in September 2016. It has reached 186 pages and over 100,000 words. I don’t regret doing it this way though, even after all my bitching as I think it has worked out better than a one of review as we would never have seen the horrifying nonsense in all it’s horrifying detail unless it was a recap. It’s funny as this book has been the one constant for me during this time. I have moved three times, lost a beloved family member, up and down relationship that is finally over (phew) and decided to move to Scotland for my Masters and hopefully PhD, plus it has been a God send for my depression which has been rampant over the last year. It’s odd that this book has been my stability and constant for the last 7-12 months but it really has. This book has truly helped my depression and anxiety but I have no praise for this book. This book is horrendous and I hate it! This book didn’t inspire me, the hatred for this crap helped my depression but it also got me into my dream course at the University of Glasgow where I will study Fantasy Literature (you bet your arse that I will critique). How did it get me there? Hatred of certain literature taught me how to finally critique properly but also improved my writing style as I am severely dyslexic. I know I make mistakes but nothing like I used too. So thank you Meyer, Green and James! I have learnt to critique and I will continue my studies but please don’t write anymore books as I will cry.

However, this is the final thoughts and I will tackle this shit for the last time!! We will break this nonsense down for the last time.

Plot

IT’S THE FUCKING SAME!!!

*STORMS OUT*

*THROWN BACK IN*

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Fine, well actually it is not. We clearly had a different ending which I honestly cheered for at first as I honestly wished we would have something different from the perfect new-born or the cheese fest that is the end of ‘Twilight’. Well, why was I so stupid to expect something different?! Maybe because I honestly thought cannon would be important for an author and I was wrong. Beau was just as perfect as Bella which is dull. It ended just like ‘Twilight’ which was so cheesy that I honestly thought my book smelt like stilton.

I was also not impressed that Meyer felt the need to cram four books of plot into two chapters. It was sloppy and rushed. It should have been woven into the story such as the story of the Volturi. That should have been told in the Carine chapter as it would have worked well instead of just being shuved in the end while Beau is transforming. The plot was exactly the same until we had a massive info dump that was frankly jarring and too much. I really don’t understand why she did that but it just seems to me that she has not improved as a writer in the past few years. She just copy and pasted 70% of the story with changed names and then just dumped a ridiculous amount of back story on us at the end which made the characterization suffer.

Characterisation

Oh boy! Meyer cannot write a decent character for the life of her. She really has a knack of writing some of the most horrifying characters which would be awesome if she was writing these people as villains rather than her heroes. Let’s discuss each character!

Beau

Jesus Christ, I hate him so much. Beau is just as toxic and vile as Bella but in an odd way I honestly think he is worse than Bella. Beau seems far more judgemental towards others than Bella, especially is his disgusting attitudes towards Renee. Bella just thought of her as scatter brained but the way Beau describes her makes it sounds like she is a neglectful parent who leaves all responsibility onto her son as well as being so mentally insufficient that I am pretty sure a cabbage has more brain function. I am still not convinced that this is true and I honestly think it is Beau using his mother as an excuse as to why he is so boring. Beau comes across as just plain nasty towards his mother while expecting us to believe that he loves her. It is clearly not true as words like flighty were changed to unstable and far more insertions about how she couldn’t be bothered to cook and how he had no time for hobbies as taking care of her was a full time job. He comes across as a resentful and nasty brat.

We also have his attitudes towards his friends, especially his female friends. Beau is far more judgemental to them then Bella was to her male friends. He loves to compare them to Edythe and therefore loves to judge them for wearing make-up and not being perfect. Beau will actively look down on someone for wearing make-up but also has the standard Nice Guy attitude. He claims that Edythe’s beauty has made her cruel and how all girls would go for the ripped guy as they are shallow bitches. Beau is far more shallow than Bella which is shocking but he honestly is as his waxing poetically over Edythe has gone overboard to the point we are constantly told how Edythe is perfect.

So all in all, the gender swap didn’t fare well for Beau’s personality. He comes across as a nasty little pig who thinks everyone is beneath him and feels like he has every damn right to be disdainful to those around him because he is special.

Edythe

Ergh, I hate her too. Edythe’s characterisation is completely off and does not fit her time period. She is nothing but an egotistical, psychopathic and nasty woman. She is honestly worse than Edward who at least sort of fits his time period as the protective man who doesn’t want his woman to worry her silly little head over man things. Edythe should have been demure, softly spoken and very much like Mary from Downton Abbey. She doesn’t fit that at all and therefore comes across historically wrong and just Edward in a wig.

I have noted changes though and she is far more psychopathic. She seems to truly relish trying to scare Beau and is constantly talking about murdering him. She is more aggressive than Edward when it comes to their siblings, especially Royal. She will constantly talk about how she will attack Royal if need be but seems to relish in it.

Meyer loves Edythe and it shows in the Tumblr Q&A. I have said before that I suspected that her new avatar would be Edythe and the text truly showed that. We suddenly had the constant drum beat of her perfect body, perfect face and just being perfect. Edward was never described like this but now that Edythe is Meyer’s self-insert then we have to hear how perfect Edythe ais. It’s sickening really especially when Edythe is described.

“I could see the delicate shapes of her shoulder blades almost like furled wings under her pale skin. Her arms were so thin…I’d never seem so much of her skin. Her pale arms, her slim shoulders, the fragile-looking twigs of her collarbones, the vulnerable hollows above them, the swanlike column of her neck, the gentle swell of her breasts – don’t stare, don’t stare – and her ribs I could nearly count under the thin cotton. She was too perfect, I realised with a crushing wave of despair. There was no way this goddess could ever belong to me.”

This paragraph really bothers me. On the one hand I think it shows how Meyer is deeply unsatisfied with her looks. It’s been said before especially in ‘Breaking Dawn’ when Meyer describes vampire Bella, especially when Bella was modelled on Meyer herself. Bella constantly talks about how hideous she was as a human but is now a glorious immortal (those are the words she used). It is very telling. It is just sad that she feels this way and also uncomfortable to be seeing how unhappy she is with herself. However, my sympathy is limited.

If anything I am furious with this description as her target audience are teenage girls. This demographic already suffers from record high insecurities and self-esteem issues which are leading a record high in eating disorders. Read that paragraph again. Really soak it in. The description of Edythe sounds like she suffers from an eating disorder and sounds clearly anorexic but then she is described as too perfect. This is just a downright dangerous message to send to young girls. This book is telling them that extreme thinness is perfection and that is an appalling message to broadcast to girls who already have ridiculously high expectations on them due to the media.

Edythe is toxic. She is glorifying psychopathy and downright horrible behavior with the added bonus of applauding and glorifying anorexia. I was meant to love her but I don’t and never will. This character is pure poison.

The Cullens

There is no point in separating them as they are just cardboard cutouts. I decided to mention them though as some of the characters became truly vile with the gender swap.

Eleanor: Vile, through and through. The happy and carefree Emmett who likes a fight has been amped up to horrendous levels with Eleanor to the point that the character is now nothing but a psychopath who just wants to kill things for the sake of it. It is disturbing.

Earnest: He is only briefly mentioned and is pretty much a background character. However, his backstory is what makes him horrifying. Esme just came across as a doormat but Earnest comes across as horrible as he hates his deceased wife who was clearly suffering from extreme post-natal psychosis and never bothered to help her but just vilified her for not being a mother goddess.

I really have nothing else to say about the others as they are exactly the same and are not really featured.

Others

I really don’t see the point in discussing the other characters as they don’t appear much and are exactly the same with just some sexism thrown in. We hear about the Bro Code constantly to show that Beau and Jeremy are guys now. Charlie is exactly the same, except for being slightly pervy as he fawns over Edythe’s beauty and it is a bit creepy.

The Gender Swap

The next thing to discuss is how the swap worked and to go through why she failed her point. I am going to bring up all the changes she spoke about it in the Foreword as we have now finished the book so we can finally anaylse it in terms of that.

“As I was musing on Twilight after being away from it for so long, and discussing the anniversary problem with friends, I started thinking about something I’d said before signings and in interviews. You know, Bella has always gotten a lot of censure for getting rescued on multiple occasions, and people have complained about her being a typical damsel in distress. My answer to that has always been that Bella is a human in distress, a normal human being surrounded on all sides by people who are basically superheroes and supervillains. She’s also been criticized for being too consumed with her love interest, as if that’s somehow just a girl thing. But I’ve always maintained that it would have made no difference if the human were male and the vampire female—it’s still the same story. Gender and species aside, Twilight has always been a story about the magic and obsession and frenzy of first love.”

I won’t repeat what I said in the Foreword but I think we know that she failed in showing how she is so not a sexist.

*Points Down*

MAKE ME A SANDWICH, BITCH! 77

Yeah, we know that failed. We were told in this book that only tacky whores who are not pretty would succumb to make up, we had constant Bro Codes to excuse the fact that boys talked about feelings, and we had the girls who liked Beau turn into hell bitches who are jealous of Edythe and her perfection. Never mind that she is a bitch who looks down on everyone, na they are just jealous.

Also it didn’t make a difference because Meyer made sure that it didn’t change the story. I don’t know why she thinks this was so successful because as the author she would make sure her point stuck and worked. However, it did just show us that her characters are awful people who will happily cut everyone out of their lives to obsess over each other. The gender may have not made a difference but the vile messages still shone like an exploding star.

“The biggest exception is Charlie and Renée, who have stayed Charlie and Renée. Here’s the reason for that: Beau was born in 1987. It was a rare thing for a father to get primary custody of a child in those days—even more so when the child was just a baby. Most likely, the mother would have had to be proven unfit in some way. I have a really hard time believing that any judge at that time (or even now) would give a child to a transient, unemployed father over a mother with a steady job and strong ties to her community. Of course, these days if Charlie had fought for Bella, he probably could have taken her from Renée. Thus, the more unlikely scenario is the one that plays out in Twilight. Only the fact that a few decades ago a mother’s rights were considered more important than a father’s rights, as well as the fact that Charlie’s not the vindictive type, made it possible for Renée to raise Bella—and, in this case, now Beau.”

PHAHAHA!!!! Considering everything we have seen with Renee then I don’t think it would have been vindictive at all for Charlie to have taken custody as she was bordering on being guilty of abuse via neglect. She is constantly described as useless and stupid who needs Beau’s man influence to protect her from dying out in the desert as she is that stupid. It would be easy to prove her unfit in this instance. Meyer could have made it work if she really tried. She could have had Lady Charlie being diagnosed with post-natal depression and allowed Beau to be raised by his teacher (Meyer seems to forget this) father but when she got better she realized that Beau was happy with his father so relinquished custody on a permanent basis. There are ways it could have worked but that requires effort which Meyer doesn’t like.

“The second exception is very small—just a few background characters mentioned only twice. The reason for this exception is my misplaced sense of justice for fictional people. There were two characters in the wider Twilight universe who really got the shaft in an ongoing sense.”

I really didn’t see the point in the new Volturi story, it was frankly stupid and annoying to read. It was still in the wrong place too so that it just came across as random. I also don’t understand why she wanted to get justice for the wives when they are such a non-entity in the books who never speak yet took great pleasure in punishing Tanya, Rosalie and Leah by pushing Bella’s fertile womb and marriage to Edward in their faces.

“5% of the changes I made were because Beau is a boy.”

All we saw with this really was Beau’s toxic masculinity where he had to reassure us that he was not a nerd and his obsession with Bro Codes. He is constantly fussing over his delicate Edythe even though he knows she is a super charged and an invincible vampire because surely as a girl she is delicate. The rest is blindly obvious that Bella is in there as he lapses into poetic and bloated speech all the time. Meyer thought a few Bro Code phrases would be enough to convince us that he is a guy but left the rest so he sounded like a strange hybrid of a whiny teenage girl and a bro.

“5% of the changes were because Beau’s personality developed just slightly differently than Bella’s. The biggest variations are that he’s more OCD, he’s not nearly so flowery with his words and thoughts, and he’s not as angry – he’s totally missing the chip Bella carries around on her shoulder all the time.”

*Points Down*

WAHHHH!!! 84

Yeah, he is seriously less whiney. *Rolls Eyes* I honestly found him worse, especially with in terms of his mum. That was the point of this count and look at it! I have no idea how Meyer thinks he is missing the chip off his shoulder compared to Bella. He whines all the damn time.

Also, he was not more OCD. He does not have OCD but just likes to keep things tidy. All we saw was him whine constantly about how his father was not OCD like him so he could call him a disgusting pig. All he did was say was “Oh, my OCD blah blah blah” he told us but never showed us which means he just came across as an idiot and whiney. I think it was also to make him seem special compared to everyone but this is just Meyer glorifying a mental illness that can destroy people’s lives all because she thinks it means clean and tidy.

“70% of the changes I made were because I was allowed to do a new editing run ten years later. I got to fix almost every word that has bothered me since the book was printed, and it was glorious.”

YOU HAD TEN YEARS!!! 37

These were all things that needed to be fixed and she clearly didn’t otherwise the count wouldn’t exist. Also I once again only have two words to say:

THICK SARCASM!!!

No, I will never get over that. I am so moving on as the count says it all.

“10% were things were things that I wished I had done the first time round but that hadn’t occurred to me at the time. That might sound like the same thing as the preceding catergory, but it’s slightly different. This isn’t a case of a word that sounds clunky or awkward. This is an idea that I wish had been explored earlier, or conversations that should have happened but didn’t.”

I can honestly think of only two instances of this and that was the ridiculous soap opera screaming fit Beau had with Taylor about using him and the talk of vampire boning. The rest was just copy and pasted with different pronouns. It was a straight copy and paste so I really don’t see how she can say this in the foreword. Unless she is counting the end, of course.

“5% were mythology issues – mistakes, actually – mostly related to visions. As I continued into the sequels to Twilight – and even Midnight Sun, where I got to look inside Alice’s head with Edward – the way Alice’s visions worked was refined. It’s mystical in Twilight, and looking at it now, there are ways she should have been involved and wasn’t. Whoops!”

I really saw no difference in all honesty. It was exactly the same as it was in ‘Twilight’, how can she honestly think that she refined it as she clearly didn’t. It was still inconsistent and sloppy.

“Which leaves a 5% catchall, for the many miscelleanous changes that I made, each for a different, and no doubt selfish reason.”

I think the big one is the constant talking over how amazing and perfect Edythe is while he slut shames every other girl. So yes, that was for complete selfish reasons and lots of self-insert wanking.

Conclusion

This book is just vile. I honestly didn’t think the messages could get worse with this series but Meyer felt the need to prove me wrong. This book is sickenly sexist and tells us that you are not worthy of attention or perfect love if you are not skeletally thin, have blemishes and wear makeup. It is also dangerous with the rise of eating disorders and body dysmorphia. Meyer is telling you via a man what makes a woman perfect which is frankly disgusting. Girls could read this and think that they need to be super thin to find love as Beau, who is meant to be ‘The Every Guy’ thinks this is what is perfect and according to Beau that is what every guy would think too as he is the Word of God. This book still repeats the message that looks are everything and personalities can be damned. Who cares if you are intellectual and funny! If you are not thin and perfect, then you are nothing.

I loathe the anti-makeup messages too, Beau loves to tell us how women who wear makeup are doing it because they feel inadequate with themselves and only the truly beautiful don’t wear it because they don’t need too. Never mind that many women love to wear makeup just for the fun of it. This message is not new to this series as Edward thinks the exact same thing. I really don’t get Meyer’s problem with makeup.

We also get the sick message of Earnest’s wife. She is completely vilified for being mentally ill and that is sick as so many women don’t come forward and admit that they are suffering from post-natal depression due to the stigma society has on mothers. Imagine reading this shit while suffering and seeing a character so condemned, would you come forward? Maybe not as you are seeing the attitudes in published work and are meant to agree with Earnest.

We still have the same messages that you are nothing without a partner and your life is utterly meaningless. We also have the same bullshit of stalking = romance and how it is only true love if you cut everyone out of your life for love.

This book is nothing but a toxic tantrum of Meyers. She wanted to prove that her books are not sexist but all she has done is show her arse. This book is damn sexist and shouldn’t be read by anyone. I hate this book! So now to finish this all off it is time to open up the bubbly and say goodbye once and for all to this awful book!

(Sadly, I couldn’t burn the book in time for this post as summer has truly left the south coast of the UK and it has been raining all week since I got back from Denmark. It will be done at some point as I don’t want it mocking me from my bookshelf.)

Thank you to all of those that have stuck by this ridiculously long recap. I really appreciate it.

I’M FINALLY FREE!!!!

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It will be a while till I post again as I will be moving tomorrow and up to Scotland so I will be pretty busy. The next topic however will be a look at Stephen King’s ‘Pet Sematary’ Book vs. Film discussion.

Happy Blogging!!

‘Life and Death’ by Stephenie Meyer: Tumblr Q&A “*HEAD-DESK* My God Why!?!?!”

Hello dear readers! We have finally finished the main text which is a huge relief but now we dive into Meyer’s own words as she answered a Q&A on Tumblr. It is bizarre and stupid but I think it is important to read and discuss Meyer’s own words and thoughts on this book as remember she thought this mess was a good idea and her fans would be all over it. Let’s dive in!

Why did you choose “Edythe” as fem! Edward’s name, rather than the more conventional (and much more common for 1900) “Edith” or “Editha”?

I can answer this one pretty easily on her behalf! It is because Edythe is a special and amazing and wonderful and unique and special little snowflake who couldn’t have a name as common as Edith. That would be insane! Let’s see what Meyer said:

SM:  As I began with the renaming process, I committed to keeping the first letter of every name the same, mostly to keep the swap from being too confusing. With Beau, I was looking for a “B” name that had a common nickname and longer, more formal version that the character could dislike.  One of my younger brothers had a childhood friend nicknamed Beau, and I always liked the name’s vibe.  I searched the internet for different long version options, and decided that Beaufort was perfect.  Obviously, Beau was going to resist his full name if it was Beaufort.  It’s not as mainstream as Isabella/Bella, but it suited him.  

No, I seriously doubt that Meyer picked Beau because of a friend of her brothers. What does Bella mean? Beautiful. What does Beau mean? Beautiful. Yeah, I think we know that Meyer wanted to keep her ‘Beautiful Swan’ and so she did.

With Edythe, I followed the same process I did in naming Edward.  I looked for a name that was out of style—if someone mentioned a person with this name, you would assume the person was in his or her late eighties.  Currently, vintage names are in vogue, so a lot of grandmother names feel young again.  “Edith” still felt dated, more than most of the other options, but it took me a while to warm up to it.  It just wasn’t pretty enough for my gorgeous vampire girl. It was when I stumbled across the “Edythe” version that it started to work for me. (In the course of writing the book, Edith/Edythe has become a favorite name and I can’t remember exactly why I didn’t find it pretty at first.)

Bird

*Sigh*

So basically I was right. Edith was just too ordinary for her vampire and needed a different and more unique spelling. Also, she is right that grandmother names are becoming popular but Edith is one of them due to ‘Downton Abbey’. She is trying to sound unique and special again which irritates me.

What if Bella and Edward met with Edythe and Beau?

I shudder to think what would happen if those self-obsessed psychopaths met.

SM: I imagine they’d all get along pretty well after they worked out the kinks.  Edward and Edythe might start out castigating each other for being so reckless with the humans—lots of projected self-loathing.  Bella and Beau would roll their eyes. Bella would never say it out loud, but she might wonder what Edythe saw in that totally normal human boy, and Beau likewise.

Oh God Lord! So basically Edythe and Edward would be total emos but also probably wank over their lovers. I am not surprised that both Bella and Beau would think that about each other as they are both arseholes who have no concept of personalities being attractive and only concentrate on looks. Does Meyer even realise how shallow they sound? Also these people don’t like other people so I doubt they would give each other the time of day. It would also destroy their opinions of how unique and special their match is as there is another one right there.

Hi Stephenie! I am incredibly intrigued by this new version! Thank you so much for writing this. My question is: Who was the hardest character to do the gender switch on? And why? Xxx

I can’t see how any of this would be hard as most of it was copy and pasted. She couldn’t even be bothered to make Edythe fit her new gender in terms of historical expectations and social norms for the 1900s.

SM: Thank you!  Once I got started, it was pretty easy to make the shift.  Bonnie was a little difficult, mostly because Charlie wasn’t changing.  It made the dynamic between them different, and I definitely felt some stirrings of possible future romance by the end, which I hadn’t intended. Carine was absolutely the hardest to name, and I called her Carlyle (just tweaking the spelling) until everyone else involved (editor, agent, partner, mom) demanded that I chose a new name so readers wouldn’t be confused.  (I still think of her as Carlyle, though.)

Of course it was easy! See my earlier point. How was Bonnie difficult? She barely appears and acts just like Billy. I think it’s because as if a divorced man can be friends with a widowed woman without them banging like ferrets. I really cannot see any sort of future romance as their interaction was minimal, we were just told what great friends they are but didn’t see much in terms of subtle flirting. She is just telling us things again and that really annoys me. I think it is because she is incapable of having single people in her books but also my earlier point of how men and woman can’t be friends.

Why was Carine so hard to name? I gave a perfectly reasonable Stuart England name for her to use. Catherine would have been fine but no she needed something fancy and French which was a total history fail. Also, Carlyle is a boy’s name which would have been utterly bizarre for a woman in the 1600s. I agree that it had to be changed but not for the reasons her editor gave as it is not confusing but just stupid.

One thing you have been discussing in other interviews is how Beau developed a slightly different personality than Bella. I was was wondering if you would say Edythe developed slightly different too? As a reader, I got the vibe that Edyth had a harder time convincing herself NOT to go after the baddies from the Port Angeles scene. I was wondering if that scene felt different because of Edythe’s personality or for editing purposes? PS. You’re awesome sauce.

Disgusted Cat

My heart hurts.

How old is this person?! Who says ‘awesome sauce’? Do they have spell check?

Edythe is just a murdering psycho, why is this so difficult to comprehend?

SM: Thanks Edythe is very similar to Edward in temperament, but—good catch—she is just a tiny bit less patient.  Many of the little changes are things I would have done if I had just been editing Twilight ten years later, without the swap. For example, I should have had Edward say the correct answer before Mr. Banner had actually spoken the question. It’s cooler that way.  There are lots of little moments like that.  But in Port Angeles, I think Edythe is slightly less restrained about her desire to murder bad people because Beau is never really afraid of her the way he should be. She pushes a little more to try to get him to see what she’s capable of.

Wow! So Edythe wants to scare Beau after he is almost murdered? That’s sensitive. I know he didn’t care about almost being murdered and was more scared of Edythe being hurt because he is an idiot but that is not the point. He could have been terrified and then Edythe decides to scare him more even though she stalks him? Why does Edward and Edythe want the person they apparently love to be afraid of them, that is disturbing.

No, Edythe answering a teachers question before they ask is not cool and makes them look like morons who can’t be bothered to even try and blend in.

Why is Edythe significantly awesomer than Edward?

She isn’t. She is just as much of a murdering maniac as Edward is.

SM: To quote Movie Jessica: I know, right?  I feel a little guilty for loving Edythe so much.  She’s a rock star.  I love Edward, but he doesn’t have the exact same edge, does he? I’m not sure why this is.  Is it because Edythe is a girl, so I more naturally put myself in her shoes?  Now I’m the deadly, mysterious one? Or is it because of some indefinable Edythe-ness that came out of the ether and remains impossible to explain? I do not have the answer.

She is not a rock star but a murderer and stalker. Why is this so difficult to understand? Also, look at what she has said about putting herself in Edythe’s shoes, does she think I am stupid? I know full well that Edythe is her avatar due to her finding that she is more of an Edward then a Bella and her tendency to have characters wank over her self-insert. It does not surprise me one bit that she loves Edythe more as Edythe is who she wishes she was. Edythe is Edward in a wig, they are the same maniacs regardless of gender.

Hey Steph! I wish I could meet you someday! So, in what occasion will the Cullens find out that Beau is a shield? Is he also shielded against Mele? And what if Aro finds “Mel”? — a young boy this time. Are the Cullens protected because of Bella?

I’m not going to lie but I am so grateful that we skipped Beau discovering his shield as it was painful enough with Bella and no one needs a repeat of that. Of course Beau would shield Mele as he is awesome and the best vampire EVA!!

SM: I can imagine a few scenarios in which the Cullens would discover Beau’s talent. Maybe it would be when they have a reunion with the Denali clan.  Being so strong at first, Beau would probably be a little cocky.  He might want to see what Kirill’s electricity thing felt like. Or maybe Sulpicia would hear through the grapevine about the Cullens’ new addition, and request a visit.  It wouldn’t be the same fraught encounter that Bella’s first trip to Volterra was, and there would have been more time to talk through the implications of Beau’s mental silence with the experts.

I think that Aro did eventually find “Mel” (long after Didyme’s death) and, after thinking carefully through the implications of Mel’s gift for a century or so, had him quietly destroyed.  Aro wouldn’t like the thought of himself being replaceable. 

Of course Beau would be a cocky little shit as that is what Bella was as a vampire. He would deserve to be shocked if he wanted to try it out because he is a cocky arsehole. Also, why would Sulpicia request a visit? Why would she even care that Edythe is finally getting laid? I don’t know why I even care.

Also the Aro thing is a complete arse pull as it has been said time and time again that no two gifts are the same. So are they now? Also, I can’t see Aro throwing away a perfectly useful and powerful vampire. Chelsea is very dangerous and could brainwash the guard to follow her instead but Aro keeps her happy by getting her addicted to Corin’s happy smack. Surely he would do the same with Mel, just get them addicted to the smack so they stay loyal. Simple!

It seems that Beau had a much easier life than Bella, he has to go through faking his death but doesn’t have to deal with nearly as much as Bella. Was that intentional to completely change the story so Beau’s couldn’t follow what happens in New Moon and on or is their more to his story?

Have we just forgotten that he has had to give up his family (unlike Bella) and live with the knowledge that his parents think he died an agonizing death?

SM: As I said in the afterword, I think Bella got the better version of the story.  Yes, she endured so much more physical and emotional pain, but in the end she gets to keep her human family.  Worth it, in my opinion.  Edward, also, did many things he regretted, but he can at least console himself that Bella got to make her choices and shape her future into what she wanted.  Edythe will always have doubts about the way Beau was forced into his vampire life, no matter how content he may seem.

I changed the ending of the book because I always wondered how it would feel if the story had ended with Twilight. Now I know. Obviously, Beau has an indefinite number of years ahead of him, no doubt full of adventures, but I feel satisfied with what I’ve already written.  I’m happy to leave those adventures to the imaginations of the readers.

I can’t believe that I agree with Meyer that yes, Bella did have the easier time of it as she keeps her family. She is also right about Bella choosing rather than being forced to change but I am sure that he would have started his “I WANT TO BE A VAMPIRE!!!” shrieking pretty quickly and the end result would have been the same.

I very much doubt he will have adventures. He will probably be the same as Bella and just hump all night long and play house during the day. Maybe he would dazzle a human or two but that would be it.

Is Rosalie’s vampire origin story still going to be steeped in heavily gendered trauma and revenge now that she’s a man in the new book? Please say yes.

Are we basically saying that only women can be raped? If so then this poster is an idiot as it can and does happen to men too. Also why is this poster so excited about heavily gendered trauma? I am confused. Do they want Royal to have been gang raped to death or do they want him to have a more ‘masculine’ death? Christ knows! I am also sick of rape being used as tragic backstory that has no effect on the actual character and their development. It’s just tacky and insensitive to use rape for drama.

SM: Not in exactly the same way, but there is definitely still revenge.  As Royal explains while Beau is transforming, he was beaten (nearly) to death by the secret boyfriend of his erstwhile fiancée, and that boyfriend’s mafia colleagues.  The feeling of betrayal is still there, perhaps even stronger.  Royce King was loathsome, but he did have feelings for Rosalie—desire, at the very least.  Rowena King was ice cold as she watched Royal die; she was entertained by the spectacle.  As she laughed, he realized that she had never felt anything for him at all, except perhaps scorn and amusement that he was so easily duped. When he came for his revenge, he didn’t come in a tuxedo. He came carrying the broken body of her lover.

I KNEW IT! I knew that it was the mafia which means everything I said before about this stupid backstory was right and it was complete nonsense and historical fail. I won’t go into it again but Meyer has shown what an idiot she is.

Also how is this worse in terms of betrayal? Do I have to repeat myself again? I think getting gang raped to death, being so utterly violated is far worse. It is utterly bizarre that Meyer thinks Royal’s story is worse because his fiancé didn’t love him. How can it be a plus point that Royal felt something for Rosalie even though him and his friends GANG RAPED her to death. Jesus Christ, that is appalling!

Oh but she laughed while he was beaten! That makes her so much worse. NO! What she did was vile but Rosalie was and I repeat GANG RAPED to death. What is wrong with Meyer?!

Rowena? Wow, how Sicilian! Rowena is Welsh in origin and is found in Old English so that name is an utter fail. Rosa would have been far better choice for a girl of Sicilian descent.

Stephenie, does a male version of Leah exist in the Life and Death world? Will he eventually turn into a werewolf? Will he have the same relationship with the wolf pack as Leah? Thank you!

Oh God, I hope not! Leah was treated appallingly and we really don’t need to see a repeat. I am willing to bet though that Man Leah would get far more sympathy from Meyer as he is a man and the werewolves would be treated as bitches rather than understandable. Meyer has a real issue with woman in the original.

SM: Ooh, fun question!  The answer is yes, absolutely.  The Clearwaters still exist.  The shape-changer bloodline runs through both Holly and Saul Clearwater to their two children, Leland (Lee) and Sarah.  Just like in the Twilight universe, Holly is in on the secret, and after Samantha Uley changes, she knows eventually that her daughter Sarah will join the pack.  But she’s never dreamed that Lee could change, and the shock of that occurrence triggers her fatal heart attack.

Lee is every bit as horrified to join the pack as Leah was.  He, too, had his heart broken by Sam.  He, too, doesn’t want to have Sam’s love for Elliott—his former best friend—always there in his head.  He, too, feels ostracized by the pack for his gender.  He, too, is pretty harsh in his thoughts toward the pack.

So basically exactly the same? I am still certain that Sam would be vilified for leaving Lee for Elliot as they were bros and the bro code must not be broken compared to the constant explanations of how Sam was awesome and totally right to dump Leah for Emily. Luckily, I will never know.

Hey Stephenie! Could you explain the inspiration between the Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea epigraph, and Beau’s love for the book?

It’s obvious that she picked a well-known masculine Victorian classic as Beau is a man and needs man books but they need to be classics as he is smart and stuff.

SM: Ha ha, this is kind of a funny answer.  Because we did this project so quickly, there wasn’t time to get an approval for any modern quotes (I initially thought of using lyrics).  So I was limited to public domain novels and songs.  I had to scan through options pretty quickly, and I wasn’t finding much. Knowing that I had to narrow it down if I was ever going to find anything, I decided to go with Beau’s favorite book, which is—not coincidently—my son Gabe’s favorite book.  Once I had decided that Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea was the source, it was easy to find the option that fit.  I like that it’s also a little clue.  Unlike Bella, Beau does find his destiny by the end of the first book.

*Points Up*

Yeah, I think we know why. I doubt she would have considered a modern novel as she has beaten us to death with how Bella is so intelligent for liking the classics and it would clearly be the same with Beau.

With changing genders of the two main characters in life and death were you worried that the storyline might change to the point where people wouldn’t be able to see the similarities between that and twilight? love both books by the way

Why would she be worried? She is the author and was determined to make it the same so she did.

SM: I was not worried that Life and Death would become too different from Twilight for the story to be recognizable.  It was obvious from the beginning of the project that my hypothesis was correct: switching the genders did very little to the plot.  

YES! BECAUSE YOU ARE THE AUTHOR! So no, the gender swap didn’t change the plot but the sexism rocketed up. I will discuss it further in my final thoughts.

If you had kept the same ending from Twilight for Life and Death, how would Renesmee ‘fit’ in this new take? Would it be possible for Edythe to carry a child?

Meyer’s fans are so stupid. It has been said time and time again that female vampires cannot carry children. I am willing to bet that Meyer would draft in a wizard to change things though if she really wanted to as she is not averse to destroying her cannon for her own needs and wants.

SM: Even if Life and Death had ended the same way that Twilight did, the storyline would have had to take a sharp left when it hit Breaking Dawn.  Edythe is not able to get pregnant, so all the post-honeymoon drama would vanish; Renesmee could not exist in this alternate version.  Which means Ivan (Irena) would have had nothing to report back to the Volturi, and the entire second half of the novel would have been pretty uneventful.  Maybe they would have gone to Dartmouth after all. Let the college hijinks ensue!

Thank God she has made it clear that the little Hell Beast couldn’t exist. Also, I would not want to see them in college dazzling the humans together. It would be agonizing.

I have skipped the question where she is asked about who she would want in a ‘Life and Death’ movie as it just Meyer throwing names around and it’s dull.

Would you consider making any of the other books into a gender swapped form like you did for twilight?

She couldn’t switch the other books as Beau is a vampire now unlike Bella at the end. Are these readers complete idiots?

SM: No.  I did enjoy the experiment more than expected, but it was also very successful in answering the questions I had.  I don’t feel like I need to do more.

It was not successful! Stop saying that! Also why couldn’t Meyer have just said what I said as it is perfectly valid and would mean she doesn’t come across as an arrogant peacock.

What’s your favourite and least favourite thing about (writing) Life & Death?

SM: My favorite thing during the process was probably getting to fix the little problems in Twilight that have bothered me for the last ten years; it was like scratching an itch.  And then my least favorite thing was calling the story finished and turning it over to be printed, knowing that I’ll find another million tiny changes I will never be able to make.

Two words:

THICK SARCASM!!!!!

Hi, Steph! Does Bella also like Monty Python or is that just a Beau thing?

SM: Bella is also a big fan.  This was mentioned briefly in my Midnight Sun manuscript, which is where I pulled it from for Beau.

It would have been nice to know as it would have given Bella a smidgeon more personality than the empty bucket that she is. Anyway, Beau never talks about Monty Python after the first line so I can’t take this seriously.

I am skipping the next question too as it is just Meyer saying she knew what the characters look liked in her head. She describes them all in flat terms so it seems pointless to anaylse it. Same with the next question as it is about ‘The Host’ which isn’t relevant here.

Was there any one minor character or couple (not Bella, Edward, Jacob) in Twilight that surprised you by how popular they became in the fandom? And thank you so much for writing these books! I love them still and I’ve met so many amazing people because I love them and found friends online who love them too!

SM: Actually, no.  Maybe it’s egotistical, but I’m so interested in the characters that it doesn’t surprise me when other people are into more than just the main three.  This sounds like a contradiction of what I said before about being surprised by the popularity of the books, but I’m looking at it more on a case-by-case basis.  Yes, I’m shocked so many people like Twilight, but if you do like Twilight, how could you not be into Alice and Jasper? Or Esme and Carlisle? Or even the tumultuous ups and downs of Mike’s and Jessica’s volatile relationship?  I care about them all, so when someone enjoys my little world, I’m happy that they get excited about more than just Bella and Edward.

Also, thanks for the compliments, and I, too, have made some life-long friends through Twilight.  That was an unexpected bonus.

Wow, she sounds very arrogant there. Just like Bella they say something but then admit that it may sound wrong but hey the admitted it so it’s OK! They were asking about minor couplings like say Sam and Emily, not the main cast such as Alice and Jasper. Why couldn’t she just try and answer the actual question without hand waving it.

If you could have changed one thing about the way the original Twilight series ended, if any, what would it be?

I think we all know the answer to this after her tantrums after the ‘Breaking Dawn’ fall out.

SM: I wouldn’t change anything in the plot (the writing, obviously, I’m always open to polishing some more).  I wrote the story the way it made the most sense to me, and I’m happy with it.

Yeah…. After all these years it seems that she still refuses to acknowledge that ‘Breaking Dawn’ is not the masterpiece she thinks it is. She could have said one small thing to at least acknowledge some of the complaints she had but no she refuses to even think of any possible changes. It’s perfect so there haters!

Hey Stephenie, what made you decide that Emmett and Rosalie should be together? I like them both a lot, but they just seem like such polar opposites, and I was wondering if you have something else to say about it. Thanks!

SM: Sometimes the clichés are true, and opposites do attract.  But Rosalie and Emmett do actually have a lot in common, aside from the difference in their general outlooks on life.  They’re both very physical people, rather than being more cerebral or introspective.  They both would much rather do something active about a problem rather than sit around and think about it.  They’re both a little Machiavellian—they don’t care how they get there, as long as they get there.  And they both worship Rosalie’s beauty, ha ha.  In many ways, Rosalie is the pessimistic version of Emmett.

It would have been nice to have actually have seen some of this. However, they are probably the healthiest coupling in this entire series which isn’t saying much to be honest.

I am not bothering with the other questions as it just advice to aspiring authors and I can’t criticise her as I’m not a creative writer in the slightest so I have no idea if she is giving good or bad advice.

That is the end of the Tumblr Q&A section and from what we have seen is that Meyer genuinely believes she made a point when it comes to gender and how she is so not a sexist. We have also seen that her opinion of ‘Breaking Dawn’ has not changed. Interesting tid bit though is that in other interviews she has stated that ‘Midnight Sun’ is dead due to the release of ‘Grey’ which I find pretty funny as she will blame everyone but herself for not releasing that book.

Next time will be the final installment of ‘Life and Death’ which will be my final thoughts where I discuss everything now that we have gone through the book. I will then finally burn this damn book as sadly I can’t donate it to charity as there is too much red ink notes that say “DICKHEAD” or “FUCK YOU”, I really don’t think a charity shop would accept that and I refuse to let this thing live on my bookshelf mocking me.

So get the champagne ready as we say goodbye to ‘Life and Death’ forever! WOOO!!!!!