Today’s Challenge question: “What book made you laugh out loud?” I consider this a great question because the book I’m going to highlight here is a book I’ve never even read. Take that, Book Challenge!
Of all the books, ever, I have to say the book that makes me laugh the most is Twilight by Stephanie Meyers. I don’t find this book so much funny-funny as sad-funny, if you get my drift. I’ll reiterate my prior statement: I’ve never so much as read the blurb on the back cover, but I know enough about it* that the sheer existence of this book makes me laugh my damn ass off for multiple reasons. Maybe it’s slightly hysterical laughter, but it’s still laughter so I’m counting it. Before I jump into why I find Twilight hilarious, I’ll go ahead and provide the obligatory mocking: SPARKLE!
MARY SUE BELLA! VAMPIRES KNOW THEY LOVE YOU WHEN THEY WANT TO KILL YOU! TEAM INTERCHANGEABLE, ABUSIVE AND FUCKED UP MAN-CHILD OF YOUR CHOICE!
Okay, now that I’ve gotten that out of the way, let’s focus on the hilarity that this is a (HA) cultural phenomenon. Where to start? It’s pretty much every teen movie ever. Teenage girl who moves to new city and suddenly all the boys are in luuuurve with her? Check! The hot guy she’s into is unbearably weird and fucked up, but because this is fiction it’s okay? Check! Girl does idiotic things (like become a member of the fucking undead) because she and boy have twoo wuv fowever? Check! It’s pathetic, but in a way I’m so used to in fiction aimed at teenagers that I just have to laugh. Secondly, I love the fact that Bella waits until marriage to both bone
Edcob Jacward Edward and to become a vampire. Oh, the metaphors. Someone noted upon reading the series that it was basically hundreds of pages of Mormons not fucking, and I think that sounds like an accurate description. Also, that girl is eighteen, married, had a kid, and, from what I can gather, does not plan to do anything else with her long-ass un-life than be with her sparkle crazytown husband. In what world is this a good role model? Yes, I get that some people marry young. I get that some people have kids young. They’re not for me, but different strokes, hey? But it sounds like she has no plans to do anything else. That is what I find fucked up. Even the youngest married and youngest-to-reproduce people I’ve met had some sort of plan or goal in life other than “I have married and babied.” Because, you know, they’re not completely one-dimensional. Oh man, there are just so many reasons I find this book stupidly ridiculous.
Also, I laugh at this book because, once upon a time, R used an online writing style analyzer and just plugged in several paragraphs of “herp derp.” His closest match, according to said analyzer, was Stephanie Meyer. I don’t know how accurate that is, but thank you, writing style analyzer, for making me laugh so hard I damn near pissed myself.
I’ll leave you guys with one more observation about Twilight: I find the mere idea of this series sad, pathetic, and ultimately hilarious, and I have read and enjoyed Anne Rice.** Anne Rice is bad. She practically invented fucked up sexy vampires with questionable morality. If that’s not a giant fucking warning sign, I don’t know what is.
Oh, you guys wanted a real answer to the question? Okay. I read a lot of comedy,*** and some of the favorites are Terry Pratchett (particularly Small Gods, Good Omens and The Watch series), Douglas Adams, P.G. Wodehouse, and Bill Bryson (Life and Times of the Thunderbolt Kid, Neither Here Nor There and Notes from a Small Island are my favorites). Yes, I read a lot of British authors, so sue me.****
Oh yeah: SPARKLE! Say it enough and it starts to sound like either a kitchen implement or a German pastry. “Honey, could you pass me the sparkle, please?”
* Yes, I actually do know the plot and have heard a lot about the books. I do have one good friend***** who lists Twilight as her guilty pleasure and has told me all about it. I don’t need to read them to mock them, so save it if that’s what you’re going to pick on.
** I swear to you that I also read good books, like classics and stuff. They’re just not as fun to talk about on a blog as fantasy and the other pulpy or terrible stuff I read. Promise.
*** Bloggerspeak for “my sense of humor, it is so awesome.”
**** I don’t get the general belief a lot of Americans seem to hold that British comedy is sophisticated, at least not the British comedies you can find in the US. The British humor that’s trickled into this country is based on painful awkwardness, being viciously mean to people, the aristocracy being twits, and men in drag. It can be funny as hell, and I love it, but I wouldn’t claim it’s particularly sophisticated.******
***** A measure of how much I avoid Twilight is that I refused to go see the movie with her. This is my best friend, one of the few people on the planet whose happiness means as much to me as my own does, a person I would give up a kidney for without a second thought. I will not, however, see Twilight with her to save her from going to a movie by herself. Maybe this means I’m a bad friend. I think it means I have some standards.
****** Yes, there is sophisticated British comedy, I know, it just isn’t mainstream enough in the US to be what people talk about when they talk about British comedy. Don’t get your panties in a bunch. Also, I know Bryson’s American.