Bella and Edward, and their family and friends, have faced countless dangers and philosophical dilemmas in Stephenie Meyer's Twilight novels. This book is the first to explore them, drawing on the wisdom of philosophical heavyweights to answer essential questions such as: What do the struggles of "vegetarian" vampires who control their biological urge for human blood say about free will? Are vampires morally absolved if they kill only animals and not people? From a feminist perspective, is Edward a romantic hero or is he just a stalker? Is Jacob "better" for Bella than Edward?
As absorbing as the Meyer novels themselves, Twilight and Philosophy:
Twilight and Philosophy is a must-have companion for every Twilight fan, whether you're new to the series or have followed it since the beginning.
Would you recommend this book to a friend? Why or why not?
Maybe. Depends on the friend and his or her level of maturity or need to explore relational dynamics with the "yes" going to novices.
How would you have changed the story to make it more enjoyable?
Exploration of many of the chosen topics seems a bit superficial such that there is a lack of sufficient development of arguments
Who would you have cast as narrator instead of Rebecca Housel?
Any pro narrator. The narration had the tone that I would take when reading to a child when I had no desire to actually explore the story.
Was Twilight and Philosophy worth the listening time?
Yes and no. With some noteworthy exceptions the authors applied key philosophical models and theories BUT without any heart felt engagement in the story. I found some of the arguments presented in the latter chapters inspiring of thought. Specifically, chapters 9 – 14 were of interest; much of this is a feminist critique of the story. Indeed, these arguments should be heard not only by the tweens that adore the series but also by the adults who also embrace the skewed dynamics of Bella and Edward’s story. Conversely, some of the presented arguments fall short. For example, the discussion of vegetarianism does not sufficiently consider the contrast between Bella as a non-vegetarian and her engagement with a group vampires that label themselves as vegetarians. Similarly, almost all of the vampires struggle with the tradeoff between what they lost in the transition from human existence to immortality. Loss in this context was not worth a chapter or two? What about questions of identity? This is another underlying theme that goes unexplored despite that fact that the key characters, Bella, Edward and Jacob all struggle with questions regarding identity and the related formation of self. . Bella’s, perhaps premature, willingness to accept becoming a vampire is almost certainly related to a sense of foreshortened identity that was formed in response to having to take on a parental role with her mother and the repetition of this role with her father upon relocation to Forks. In short, becoming a vampire is a short sighted risky solution to what seems to be an empty life of a teen who has yet to experience the freedom, choices and exploration inherent to forming a true sense of identity. Bella is a mid-life crisis in the making. It would have been nice to see at least some of these deeper questions addressed.
Any additional comments?
Overall, there are some critical areas that remain unaddressed by Twilight and Philosophy. I can live with this as I know that one novel cannot and should not address every area of inquiry but I do wish a few additional key areas would have been included. What is truly troublesome for me is that the exploration of many of the chosen topics seems a bit superficial such that there is a lack of sufficient exploration and the development of arguments. I suppose if the novel is aimed at tweens it’s a good starting point for exploration but for others its leaves much to be desired.
6 of 9 people found this review helpful
I loved the Twilight series but didnt really like this analysis of the characters. I listened as an audio book. Probably would not have finished it if I had been reading the paper version.
2 of 3 people found this review helpful