Listening to: Avantasia
Reading: Piss-poor novels
Watching: The Last Action Hero
Playing: Road Rash
There is a great evil taking over our country that must be stopped.
'David Cameron!' I hear you cry. But this menace is worse. Far worse.
It's a recent phenomenon that has secretly been devouring proudly seperate and diverse aspects of our culture like a labrador that's stumbled upon a buffet merging them and making them as one a la the Borgs from Star Trek until it finally manifested in one massive terrifying tangible entity that we didn't even see coming until it was just THERE and we all went "..well where the fuck did that come from?"
It is called Dark Romance.
In case any of you don't read/have never ever walked into a bookshop, Dark Romance is a new 'genre' of literature.
[information] for the rest of this entry, whenever I use inverted commas on a word, please do imagine me saying the word in a smarmy voice.[/information]
Everything's got a genre. Films, TV, theatre, an' books. And they generally don't change very much. Horror, Crime, Romance, Science Fiction, Fantasy, Thriller, and so on.
Until recently. Now, literally shoved rudely and inelegantly somewhere between Horror and Fantasy, is 'Dark Romance.' Wait, where the heck did you come from? What is 'Dark Romance' anyway? Sex with the lights off? Kinky fetishes? Kinky fetishes with the lights off? For anyone still scratching their heads, here is an abridged history. Wiv' a picture.
[Pictured - SOMETHING THAT WAS NOT THERE A FEW MONTHS AGO]
March 2007 - Stephanie Meyer spews out Twilight.
September 2007 - Stephanie Meyer spews out sequel to Twilight, New Moon.
October 2007 - Teenage girls gain an awareness of Twilight and New Moon. Become ravenously obsessed.
July 2008 - Stephanie Meyer spews out Eclipse.
August 2008 - Stephane Meyer spews out Breaking Dawn. STEPHANIE MEYER OWNS THE BOOK CHARTS, ALL OUR WOMEN, AND ALL OUR SOULS.
September 2008 onwards - Twilight spreads. Women everywhere go batshit crazy for Edward. Numerous relationships dissolve due to the lack of boyfriends that sparkle.
December 2008 - Twilight the film is released, thus finalising Meyer's global domination and putting the final nail on the coffin. Men and women everywhere try to run and hide. But there is nowhere to run. There is nowhere to hide.
November 2009 - The film for New Moon is released. Mass civil war instantly erupts across every country in the world. It's Team Edward vs Team Jacob. And it is serious business.
March 2010 - Bookshops everywhere come to the sadly-correct conclusion that since every time Hugh Grant blinks someone in the world buys a Twilight book, it would be a really profitable excursion to take advantage of the target market. How? By creating an entirely new 'genre' and shoving it in our faces. And it was called 'Hey You Little Twits, This Book Is Really Similar To Twilight. Look, It's Got The Same Black Cover And Brooding Anorexic Teenage Girl On The Front! You'll Love It! Now Give Me All Your Money'
..sorry, I was overcome with a sudden flux of honesty there. It was in fact called 'Dark Romance.'
And I died a lot inside.
'Dark Romance' simply means 'Teenage vampires'. And they deserve their own genre? Why? Capitalism dictates it is so. Look at the symbol, they haven't even bothered to pretend it's not a Twishite ripoff, it's a damn hand holding an apple!
But maybe I'm being a bit harsh. After all, I haven't read a lot of these books. So let's review the most predominant among the genre after its founders, The House of Night series, by P.C. and Kirsten Cast.
I've worked in bookshops before. That was shortly before Dark Romance officially forced itself into our lives. So I've got a good idea of what we sold a lot of, and what we didn't sell a lot of. What we did sell enough of to build a fort out of, was the House of Night series. Linky Seriously. I sold one of these books every five minutes. If you look at this photo, you will see them dominating not only THE ENTIRE TABLE ON THE RIGHT, but also most of the middle aisle.
So I figured that this would be a good series to begin with. Come with me, gentle reader, let us see what this new genre has to offer. If I may bastardise Shakespeare,
O brave new world, O brave new world that has such people in it. Let's start at once.
Here we go.
We made a Brave New World for this?? Did - did she just put the word 'sucky' in the very first sentence? Did - did she just say 'sooooo'? And, perhaps the most pressing issue, did she name her cat Nala?
Every time somebody reads this introductory chapter, god kills a kitten.
So please, think of the kittens.
You know the worst part about this book? It has two authors. It was co-written. Meaning, this passage actually took two brains to think up. No, really. The phrase 'two heads are better than one' is well and truly dead and buried, people.
Fine. Maybe I'm being a little bit harsh. After all, lots of great works of literature have terrible introductory chapters. 'The Shining' by Stephen King, for example. The first chapter was horribly boring, but it progressed into something so much more.
Okay, I'll open my mind again. Let's read a little further.
WHERE IS YOUR GOD NOW
Right. One. More. Chance, book.
This book is the leading example of the new 'genre', and it reads like Chris Crocker's little sister's diary. I think I'm going to go cry now.
What upsets me most about this 'genre' is that older, more established and respected authors are all being unfairly placed in the same category. Take Kelley Armstrong for example. The first time I saw her on the shelf in the same aisle as Stephanie Meyer and the tweedledee and tweedledum of literature, The Cast sisters, I almost imploded on the spot. She belongs in horror. With the rest of the grown ups. Looking further down the aisle, I spotted other victims of this plague among bookshops. Laurell Hamilton. Rachel Vincent. Patricia Briggs. Keri Arthur. Kim Harrison.
And the menace responsible for this degradation of the titans in modern Horror?
No, not that woman, this one.
Stop this menace now! *waves fist at the sky* Meyer, you've fucked up all the bookstores forever! All this for the sake of a sparkling metrosexual in a volvo?
This means war. All because of one text, one little text, comprising exactly of -
40% of Bella complaining about the weather
30% of Bella wandering where Edward is
20% of Bella being a bitch to/manipulating people who are being really nice to her
5% of people hitting on Bella for no apparent reason
2% of Bella sniffing Edward's breath
2% of Edward being a fairy
1% of actual menace
0% of ANYTHING WITH FANGS ACTUALLY BITING ANYTHING
With literary highlights such as "His breath blew on my face, stunning me. It was the same exquisite scent that clung to his jacket, but in a more concentrated form. I blinked, thoroughly dazed."
*slams book shut* My case. I rest it.
Stephanie Meyer is the Antichrist! Everybody panic!
I see only one possible solution to this problem.
It's for the kittens.