Sorry this post is so late in the day, sometimes life gets in the way of blogging! Day eight of my 30 day writing challenge is one book I love and one that I really don’t. I read a huge amount, but the difficult choice I had today was a book I didn’t like – I’ve just read so many!
My most beloved book since childhood has to be Jane Austen’s ‘Pride and Prejudice’. I’ve read it so many times that I’ve worn out 2 copies already and I can recite nearly the whole of the first page word for word.
What I love about this book is not just the love story or the historical insight, but the characterisation. Mr Collins alone is a complete lesson in how a writer should bring their characters to life. He’s absurd, funny, embarrassing and one of my favourite fictional people ever. You take Mr Collins and transfer his characteristics into real life and you’ll meet so many people just like him, even today. And that’s the beauty of Austen’s most famous and revered novel.
In my opinion, this book has never been more relevant than it is today – people cultivate an external profile of themselves so much in the modern world that you can argue everyone is simply doing the same thing for themselves as Mr Collins, Darcy and even Lady Catherine. She’s another favourite of mine. She disguises her nosiness, her interfering and her snobbery as good will, good breeding and good community spirit. Collins portrays this arrogant, ignorant clergyman when in reality he strikes me as a lost little boy with no social awareness. It resonates today because that’s what everyone is like. We hide behind the persona that we think we should have, given our situation in life.
After much thought and consideration, my winner for the title of ‘Worst Book Ever’ is… Twilight. Sweet baby Jesus what was that woman thinking?! Worse still, what has that woman pioneered since? I don’t think I need to point out the sick and twisted sexual repression of ’50 Shades of Grey’, and that started as ‘Twilight’ fan fiction. Honestly, Stephanie Meyer should have her hands cut off for what she’s done to the literary world.
I don’t even know where to start really. The writing is awful, the story predictable, the climax of the whole series is tragically boring and the protagonist! WORST ‘HEROINE’ EVER! She’s pathetic! “Oh my boyfriend left me, let me assume the foetal position for 3 months and not move”. Get a bloody grip child! Get up, put your big girl pants on and deal with life like every other woman does. This generation that adore Bella is in serious danger of becoming the most down-trodden, miserable, weak women the world has ever seen. Feminism, sufferage, ‘girl power’ has been set back 30 years thanks to one woman and her inability to write a strong female lead. I grew up with Wonder Woman, Elizabeth Bennet, Debbie Harry, Hayley Williams, Oprah, Princess Diana, Jo March and Hermione Granger as role models. Bella Swan (terrible name, well done you) is weak, controlled and a poster child for sad little women to excuse their pathetic behaviour as ‘being a typical woman’.
Do these Bella’s of the world even know what a ‘typical woman’ is? A typical woman gets up each day and goes to work in a system based entirely on patriarchy, glass ceilings and objectification; a typical woman sustains relationships, raises the next generation, hones a myriad of skills from cooking and sewing to acting, dancing, politics or academia; a typical woman smashes the glass ceiling and still has time to attend her child’s school play. Bella Swan is a dangerous precedent that destroys everything we women have worked so hard for for generations.
And now that I have vented about my hatred for this book series, I feel much better. Thank you Internet 🙂