I’m between books at the moment. Reading them, that is. Yesterday, I finished reading Twilight by Stephanie Meyer. I had to find out what all the buzz was about. It wasn’t a bad story, really a contemporary retelling of Wuthering Heights, only not nearly as good. When I read the Harry Potter books or the His Dark Materials trilogy by Phillip Pullman, I remember thinking that these books were quite sophisticated to be considered children’s or young adult fiction. However, Twilight is definitely meant for a teenage audience. I would have really enjoyed this book when I was about 13 years old.
Twilight did keep me engrossed for a couple of days, but ultimately I found it disappointing. The climax was rushed and gave little description. Actually, there was very little description in the whole book and Meyer’s frequently resorts to lazy tactics such as dialogue tags to describe the characters actions and feeling. I gasped. He growled. I’d like to know what a growling vampire actually sounds like.
This morning I spent a couple of hours dipping into some magazines and the journal Granta. I love this British literary journal and I can count on it for some interesting stories, thought-provoking articles and some interesting art or photography. In the New Fiction Special, I’m really enjoying Jhumpa Lahiri’s interview with Mavis Gallant, a contemporary short story writer interviewing one of the greats of the form. Mavis Gallant may not be that well-known, but if you are interested in short stories, you must check her out. She is an expat-Canadian who has been living in Paris since 1950. Her first story was published in The New Yorker. The interview ranges from Gallant’s experiences in Paris and the inspiration for many of her stories. I haven’t finished reading it, but I am thoroughly enjoying it.
As I mentioned, I am between books at the moment. I have no shortage of books to read- I have stacks of unread books all over my apartment. The hard part is deciding which one to read next. A classic? A short story collection? Fiction or non-fiction? Shall I read deeply into one author and read everything he or she has written, in order of publication? I’m seriously considering this idea and I think Ian McEwan will be my subject.