Posts Tagged ‘Stephen King’

Las Senoras show up

May 9, 2009

Yes! Las Senoras do exist! Now we know this for a fact. Vanessa and I have seen them with our own eyes – at least five of them. We had our meeting and  … even though there was pizza, we have good reason to believe they came for the love of books.

pizza

We talked a great deal about Twilight. And then we talked a great deal about Twilight, and then – you guessed it – we talked a great deal about …  well … Twilight. This obsession was difficult for Vanessa and I to fathom. The first Twilight book does not contain any difficult words or especially long sentences, and yet neither of us could get beyond the first one hundred words. Some of Las Senoras, on the other hand, had read the books – more than one of them – three or four times. How can this be?

The wrath of Las Senoras has fallen on Stephen King, stephenkingwho – as I mentioned in the last post – said that Stephenie Meyer’s writing was ‘not very good.’ There was great indignation on the part of several of Las Senoras about this statement of King’s, which they retained to be a sign of immense arrogance on his part. I defended him, saying that, of course, we did not know the context in which this was said. As you can see from the photo, Stephen is not as pretty as Stephenie, though he does appear to like cats, and this could be a point in his favour. 

Las Senoras did not withhold their scorn for King … after all, what did he know about how to write, and anyway, what was ‘good writing?’ Clearly, then, Stephenie is a good writer – let us overlook the fact that she misspells her name – and Stephen is a bad writer.

So, what is good writing, and what is bad writing? Well, it depends. What is good writing for you, Senoras, may be bad writing for me. What is good writing for me, may be bad writing for you. We talked about ‘page turners’. Twilight is a ‘page turner’ for Las Senoras. They read and turned the pages quickly because it was so interesting. But when Vanessa and I read Twilight, we did not turn the pages quickly because we had already fallen asleep before we had finished the middle paragraph.

For myself I felt rather sorry for Stephen King, and to try and gain some sympathy for him from Las Senoras, I related to them the tale of his terrible accident in June 1999. This he describes in great detail in his book On Writing, A Memoir of the Craft: ‘Writing is not life,’ he says in the book, ‘but I think that sometimes it can be a way back to life. That was something I found out in the summer of 1999, when a man driving a blue van almost killed me.’ onwritingKing was out for his daily walk when the van veered off the road and crashed into him. The driver, who had a misbehaving dog with him, had lost control of his vehicle. King continues the story: the driver, ‘told friends that he thought he’d hit “a small deer” until he noticed my bloody spectables lying on the front seat of his van.’

Now, at this point I need to make it clear that for all their talk of Twilight, Las Senoras are in fact remarkably well-read, with perhaps the exception of one Senora who does not read books at all, but likes to hear descriptions of them from her friends. So it was that one of our Senoras told us that Stephen King’s book the Duma Key contains an account of a horrible accident experienced by the protagonist of the story. In telling you this, naturally I am not recommending that you go in search of horrible experiences so that you can write about them. Some of us are now putting Duma Key on our To Read booklists. It sounds intriguing.

Duma Key Cover

On the subject of booklists, Stephen King has one at the back of On Writing. He advises us to ‘write a lot and read a lot.’ Admittedly, booklists worry me slightly, especially when I find that, out of a hundred titles on a list, I’ve only read three … or less.

I’m pleased to announce that Las Senoras have now released their own updated list of recommended reading. There is, however, something a little suspect about this list. Out of 20 suggested titles, seven are by miscellaneous authors, one is by the much-loathed Stephen King, one is by Sidney Sheldon, one is by Charles Dickens, two (only two?) are by Stephenie Meyer. The remaining eight (!) are all by Nicholas Sparks! Now who is the Senora who is sneaking Nicholas Sparks onto our booklist?

What are you reading? What should be on Las Senoras booklist? Post a comment. More about reading tastes – and pizza – in the next post.

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Twilight

May 6, 2009

In an earlier post I was wondering why Twilight is on Las Senoras list of favourite or recommended books.

twilightbookcover1

After all, it’s about vampires … and vampires bite humans and drink their blood.

vampireteeth2

That doesn’t sound too commendable to me! But I suppose you could argue that some vampires are better than others. For example, there are bad vampires, like this one:

vampiretom

And there are good vampires like this one – Edward, from the movie version of Twilight.

robertpattisonasedwardcullen

So, in other words, perhaps you can transform something unacceptable into something acceptable by making it look cute or pretty. Am I right?

The fact is that Twilight has been immensely successful. It came top of the New York Times Best Seller list for young adults and it has been translated into over 20 languages. Does anyone know if it has been translated into Arabic? (I doubt it somehow!)

Twilight‘s author Stephenie Meyer is 35 and is married with three sons. She does not belong to Las Senoras Book Club, but she has always been an avid reader, which is probably why many classic novels were the original inspiration for the Twilight series.

There are four books in the series. Twilight (2005) was inspired by one of the books on Las Senoras recommended book list. Which one? Surprise, surprise … it’s Pride and Prejudice. New Moon (2006) was inspired by Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet. The third book, Eclipse (2007), was inspired by Emily Bronte’s Wuthering Heights; and the idea for the fourth book, Breaking Dawn (2008), came from Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream.

Not everyone likes Stephenie’s books as much as Las Senoras. The author Stephen King (more about him another time) said she ‘can’t write worth a darn.’ (Whatever that means … I’m not sure). What do you think? Post your comments here.

Senoras, remember that there is a Book Club meeting on Thursday at 3pm. There will be pizza and Pepsi. It may be time for you to stand up and be counted. Are you Las Senoras, or not?