Monday, July 20, 2009

Review of "The Host" on Times Online

I have read only one Stephenie Meyers book. It was on a dare from someone who found my criticism of the book's sexual content hard to handle. Before I read the book, I based my criticism on the overreaction of adolescent girls to a dark romance. I opposed "Twilight" not so much for what it was, but for how innocent young minds were corrupted and obsessed by it.

I had experience with adolescent obsession over a book. When I was 13, I was obsessed with Scarlett O'Hara in "Gone with the Wind" reading the 1037 page book in only 4 days. I loved the pathos and the romance of her impossible love for Ashley Wilkes, the pathetic failure of her marriage to Rhett Bulter, and the fairy tale life of rich plantation owners in the antebellum South. My obsession ignored both the misery of the slaves and the adulterous actions of Scarlett kissing a married man. It was unhealthy escape of a shy, bookish teen, yet it is a romp in the tulips compared with the potent sexual pull of "Twilight" series.

I read "Twilight" and was mortified by the subtle yet powerful undercurrents of sexual tension, dragging readers into a story with masochism, sadism, necrophilia, and many other shades of ugly and unworthy elements for young minds. A well known child author called it "kiddie porn". Yet many Catholic writers defend the series, after I suspect falling under its sensual spell, calling it 'a good book about abstinence'. If my daughters ever practice that type of abstinence (Edward in bed with Bella yet restraining himself) she will find herself grounded till she's 25!

So, I enter this review by the Times Online of Stephenie Meyer's latest book series, "The Host" for adults as evidence that "Twilight" is kiddie porn, and not suitable for young women or old women.
"Erotic abstinence is the potent subtext that sold more than 40 million copies of Stephenie Meyer’s young adult Twilight series, working like catnip on teenage girls, for whom the theme of forbidden sexuality holds particular resonance. . .
The sizzling Edward/Bella dynamic is Meyer’s winning formula and abandoning it to write The Host, her first adult novel, would risk losing her marketplace monopoly on burning loins, along with the teenage characters to whom they belong. "

If the Times Online could name the attraction which drove the "Twilight" craze, why were intelligent Catholic women so blind? It's time to undertake a painful examination of conscience about the corrosive effects of literature and film on our sense of morality. I had a neighbor whose obsession with romance novels and her subsequent comparison of her husband to the romantic heroes, led to the breakup of a perfectly good marriage. Don't let a clever author make millions as you lose your soul.
Frs Eteneuer and Amorth warned us about implicit dangers in Stephenie Meyers books. There is something to be said about obeying good advice from priests, even when our loins are telling us to ignore them.
Let's not allow "The Host" to become an obsession.


David Murdoch said...

If people are going to write about sexual content they should do it in a way, if possible, that would not provoke erotic thoughts of a reader and if that's not possible they should not do it at all.

God Bless,

Leticia said...

Last month, I would have said that this is impossible, however, I am reading "Death of a Pope" and the author is doing an excellent job. The protagonists are acting immorally and the reader is not tempted to sympathy or lust.
Well done, Piers Paul Read.