Friday, July 18, 2008

Vampires


I never really intended to read books about vampires. I mean, yuk. Vampires: blood, gore, Bela Lugosi, Anne Rice, creepy sagas of cold-blooded killers. Nope. Definitely not for me.

But then I downloaded Twilight by Stephenie Meyer to my Kindle and reluctantly started reading it. I really shouldn’t have--the books are written for a teenage audience, after all, and I haven’t been a teenager in a long time. But other middle-aged women had commented on Amazon about how much they enjoyed the books, so . . . well . . . if they read them, so could I.

I found myself hooked.

The premise of the Twilight Series is intriguing. The vampires at the heart of the story are “vegetarians!” What that means is that they deny themselves human blood because they refuse to engage in the violence necessary to gain it. Instead they drink animal blood (obviously they aren’t vegetarians in the usual sense of the term), and live among humans as “normally” as possible.

But what is most compelling about these books is the love story between Edward (a “veggie” vampire) and Bella (a human). The two are drawn irrevocably to one another, and their strangely dangerous relationship is electric. Because, while Edward no longer drinks human blood, he still longs for it, and Bella’s blood is especially alluring to him. Whenever she is near, he is torn between his love for her and his insatiable desire for her blood.

The result is a love story with an added element: danger. In spite of his love for Bella, at times Edward fears his desire for her blood might overwhelm him so much that he would kill her for it. And so, they dance between elemental desires--love and thirst, salvation and destruction, desire and denial. Each touch, each kiss, each moment in one another’s company carries with it these underlying tensions.

The result is a strangely wonderful and pure love--a love that is expressed in restraint and self denial rather than uncontrolled, selfish impulses. In a day when “lust” and “love” are so easily confused, it’s refreshing to experience a story where virtue prevails in the midst of passion.

Vampires, as it turns out, can be deliciously irresistible.

3 comments:

Bezner said...

I heard about this book for the first time last week through my favorite throw-away reading, "Entertainment Weekly." Apparently the book is being adapted into a film as we speak.

Gotta check it out.

And you have a Kindle?

Say wha'?

Kelly said...

Hmmmm...middle-aged women relishing a book about suppressing forbidden lust.

William Ricketts said...

Deliciously irresistible is always nice...so long as the bite marks aren't too lasting, and one doesn't become undead before saying good-bye to the sun, garlic, silver and a host of Christian art.

Wish Edward and Bella the best of luck for me with their potentially deleterious romance and occasional inter-realm trysts!