Is it wrong for a writer to diss another writer's novel in public? What is the difference between bashing and critical analysis? Where do you draw the line when discussing another writer's books?
On February 2, Stephen King said in an interview with USA Today that Stephenie Meyer "can't write worth a darn." He added, "She's not very good." For a writer of his caliber, he showed an embarrassing inability to articulate his comments. Furthermore, he failed to substantiate his opinions with evidence. Telling the world that a writer is "bad" is so vague it communicates nothing useful.
Interestingly, he acknowledged that the pacing contributed to the appeal of Twilight. However, his assessment of the tame sensuality in the book falls short. Granted, the young readers (and their parents) do find the sexual tension non-threatening, but King failed to recognize that Meyer provided excellent motivation for why the characters used caution when touching. I cannot think of anything more deadly than a man's fear he might inadvertently kill the young woman he loves.
The stakes are life and death. That is what makes Twilight so compelling.
Now I have a confession. After seeing all the publicity for the movie, I decided to read the first page of Twilight at the bookstore. I did not expect to like the novel. After all, I wasn't the target audience. So I turned to the Preface and read five short paragraphs. Chills erupted on my arms. I shut the book, walked straight to the counter, and flipped out my debit card. One week later, I finished the last book in the series. Then I gave the books to my daughter who is in college. She rarely reads for pleasure. One week later, she finished the entire series.
Stephenie Meyer is not a perfect writer. None of us are. And her works do not appeal to everyone. No book does. But prior to Twilight, I cannot recall the last time I could not put a book down.
Tell me what you think of King's interview. Here is the link to the article: http://tinyurl.com/d5ld3d
The image is courtesy of: http://twilightersanonymous.com/