Sunday, November 30, 2008

Two Cents

With the movie coming out, there's been a lot of hype about the Twilight series. The first book came out in 2005, but the books are still quite the rage with teenage girls. I tried the first book, got halfway through, said to myself, "Oh my giddy aunt, can this girl become any more pathetic?" and returned the book to the library. My general opinion is that it's a lot like cotton candy -- which looks and sounds pretty, but has no nutritional value whatsoever.

There are some sections (that don't necessarily have anything to do with the whole vampire thing) in the books that I feel rather uncomfortable reading, and, without giving away any spoilers to anyone who is really enjoying them, let me just say that I wouldn't necessarily want just any young teenager (assuming I had access to any to whom I could dictate what they were allowed to read, which I don't) reading them.

But the hype, as well as the big to-do last year when The Golden Compass hit the theaters, has got me thinking: How much does an author's religious or moral beliefs affect your desire to read a book by that person? Even if the author claims he or she isn't trying to preach (or, for that matter, even if they are)?

I asked a Morman friend of mine about Twilight, and she answered that the fact that Stephanie Meyer was Morman was an added bonus, and that it was great to see a Morman author go mainstream, but that she didn't see it as a big deal to the books, and that there were other Morman authors out there popular with young adults (like Shannon Hale, for instance, or Orson Scott Card -- but then neither Enchantment nor The Goose Girl deals with half the controversial things that Twilight does).

So I'll pose the question to the blog and see if I get anything back: How much does it matter? Even if the author claims that there is no preaching, does the fact that Stephanie Meyer, Shannon Hale, and Orson Scott Card are Morman affect whether you would read Twilight, The Goose Girl, or Enchantment (or anything else they've written)? What about The Dark Materials Trilogy and Philip Pullman's atheism? Or The Lord of the Rings and JRR Tolkien's Catholicism?


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