Tag Archives: Twilight

Worst Reads of 2013

So this is the corollary of the post 2013 in books. Not the best books I’ve read this year but the worst.

Those books you read and think

Well, that’s a week I’ll never get back again.

Or those books you finish with a “meh” sound as you reach for the next.

Or those you finish, look at and and file next to Twilight on the “Too Embarrassing Even To Give Away” shelf.

These books don’t need promoting, just a health warning! Click on the book names to read my reviews of them. If you think they deserve it. Or you have too much time on your hands.

So first and definitely least enjoyable book of the year: The Shakespeare Curse by J. L. Carrell. Do you like Shakespeare? Or thrillers? Or characters? Or a plot? If you answered yes to any of these, this is not the book for you.

20131230-164248.jpg

The most disappointing book? Particularly disappointing conclusion? Dan Brown’s Inferno.

20131230-164929.jpg

And for the slowest, dullest, most glacial plot, George R. R. Martin’s A Feast For Crows.

20131230-165735.jpg

Twilight Breaking Dawn Part One

I was forced to watch this appalling aberration of a film last night.

50 minutes of people and vampires not having sex; 50 minutes of werewolves not killing vampire-spawn…

But the post-credits section…. Beneath a very rock soundtrack a young blonde girl walks through a darkened and dingy corridor with a note on a silver platter.

Was it my imagination? Or did the sinister camp chaps to whom she gave the note – the Volturi? – have her murdered because she spelt Carlisle “Carlyle” and mangled her grammar?

“First it’s the spelling. Then the grammar.”

Watch for yourselves here!

Spelling Bee Extreme Expert Level!

To be played as a starter in every English lesson henceforth?!

Perhaps the only 90 seconds worth watching from the 480 minutes of the so-called saga thus far.

I wonder whether the reason why I am so offended by this series is the word saga. I mean, fair enough, people like it; I don’t. There’s plenty of room in this world for a plethora of tastes and preferences. I’m not keen on many films or books but I don’t have the vehement hatred I do of the Twilight saga which is not a saga! Its just not. It’s not Icelandic; it’s not heroic; it’s not mythic; it’s not got the scope or power of a saga. If anything, it’s a melodrama. A domestic melodrama. Beowulf, a saga; Twilight, not! Snorri Sturluson would be spinning in his grave!

Now, feeling rather like Polonius, I shall retire.

Word of the Week, prosaic

Take my hand; come with me; let’s take an (abbreviated) tour of my bookcase.

To our left we see Wuthering Heights, Moby Dick, The Millennium Trilogy, The Snow Child, Dracula, The Name of The Rose, even, ahem Twilight

And what do these titles have in common? They are all prose and therefore, by definition, prosaic.

Don’t get me wrong, I love poetry too: Browning, Marvell, Shakespeare. But most of my reading is prose and (most) is great. But the connotations of the adjectival form of the word, prosaic, are so strongly negative! It is almost synonymous with banal to suggest how dull, uninspired and mundane something is. How terribly unfair! I love prose; prose writing can be as just as enchanting and magical and wonderful and, yes, lyrical as poetry.

Anyway, rant over, let’s look at this word.

Prosaic. That little collection of vowels at the end which I love. The /eī/ followed by the sudden drawing back of lips to articulate the /ī/. It is such a precise, careful enunciation, possibly reflecting the use of prose to create precise and careful meanings; whereas lyricism conveys impressions and feelings….?

The etymology is interesting too. It derives – as so many of my Words of the Week do – from Latin: provotere is “to turn forwards” and its past participle is proversus, “turned forwards”. So is it truly “straight forward” or “forward facing”, perhaps even “looking to the future”?

What a strange word to have come to refer to a style of writing!

Or is it?

The novel is the form of writing most obviously written in prose – yes I know drama can be; I know there are analyses of Moby Dick that have identified pages written in perfect Shakespearean iambic pentameter; I know verse novels do exist – but as a rule it’s pretty accurate. And the word novel is derived from the word for newness, novelty. So prose – and therefore prosaic writing – is forward facing, looking to the future, creating novelty, innovative?

And instead of this very positive ideal of writing, the word – presumably as a result of nothing more than prejudice and ignorance and habit – it means little more than “banal”.

On a side question…. Is there a difference between the two words? I think so. Banal to me has a greater connection with the idea of being valueless and worthless; prosaic suggests perhaps a greater value but an uninspired expression.