Much like SMeyer’s writing style, Forks Washington is an exercise in redundancy and overkill.
I meant to post more about how the town made me feel, but I forgot. Last night I was feeling sore all over and also literary, so I posted many words about my trip on another website (that’s right; sometimes I cheat on you). Because I am cold and lazy, I thought I would import the words over here, slap an image or two in the post, and call it a day. What? I fell down yesterday; I’m not your trained monkey!
I found Forks extremely depressing for a multitude of reasons; only some of which have to do with the actual Twilight stuff. I’m not a fan of very small towns or of places that aren’t on an ocean, and I don’t trust any place without a chain stores because I don’t know where my next Diet Coke will come from. Outside of the Twilight series, Forks is just a small logging town whose biggest claim to fame is some actress who’s been on Days of Our Lives for 28 years. It’s unremarkable in every way, and there are a thousand towns like it all across North America.
Then there’s the Twilight thing. Every single business, no matter how unrelated, sells Twilight merchandise. The town does a fantastic job of trying to bring the Twihards in – but once they do, they completely destroy any magic or fantasy that the story might have had. *Everything* is labeled for Twilight .. the drug store isn’t just a drug store, it’s “Bella’s First Aid Station”. The grocery store isn’t where you buy food, it’s “where Bella shops for Charlie’s dinner”. It’s like they’ve taken a great big ugly foam bat with “OMG TWILIGHT!!!!!!” written on the side, and are trying to force it down everyone’s throats .. and most of the public don’t seem to mind.
I’m not really doing a good job of explaining how the town made me feel (other than incredulous and depressed). Here’s an example: you’re a huge Harry Potter fan, and you’re in London. You go visit King’s Cross station, hoping to catch a glimpse of Platform 9 3/4, where the wizards catch the train to Hogwarts. You find the station, and between platforms 9 and 10, you see little nods to the Potter universe – a small sign; a cheeky prop. It makes you happy, and you get to think for a small second that maybe it’s all real after all.
Now let’s put that scenario in Forks. When you get to King’s Cross, instead of seeing a wizard robe in amongst the jackets hanging on the wall, you see a large neon sign that says “HARRY POTTER STOOD HERE”. You go to the bathroom, and another sign loudly tells you “HARRY POTTER PISSED HERE AND WASHED UP WITH IVORY SOAP (AVAILABLE AT THE GIFT SHOP)”. At the cafe, you stop for a coffee and the menu tells you “HERMIONE DRINKS THE HOT COCOA IN THE HARRY POTTER BOOKS”; “RON WEASLEY ATE A TUNA SANDWICH AND THOUGHT IT WAS JUST SMASHING”.
Forks lacks a certain subtlety, I guess. They could have easily been coy about the whole thing; entertaining curious fans with sly allusions to the Twilight books – but instead, they hit you over the head with it and ram it up your ass, and the whole thing just feels really sad. At King’s Cross, you could almost believe that Harry and Ron are just around the corner, on their way to Hogwarts for another year. In Forks, you’ll never see Bella walking down the street going to work, because the sports store has a huge sign outside reading “THIS IS WHERE BELLA WORKS IN THE TWILIGHT BOOKS”.
That’s a lot of words for something I am disdainful about, and I am aware of the delicious irony. I’ll stop talking about Twilight now, but I’ll offer up this confession: I read the new Twilight novella last night; the little one about the newbpire. It is terrible, and tries to get you to sympathize with the main character because she died going after THE ONE SHE LOVES .. that she met two days ago, and hung out with twice. It’s badly written and reeks of SMeyer’s assumption that people in love will happily die for the object of their affection; even if they just met and the relationship is based on somebody smelling good. The more I thought about the story, the angrier it made me – there were a bunch of inconsistencies that made it hard to follow; let alone swallow. At one point, she starts describing Edward as “the redhead”, after spending four books jamming his perfect incredible awesome sparkly sextastic bronze Adonis hair down our throats. Bronze =/= red. I had to go back and re-read three pages to figure out who the hell she was talking about, and I was already dizzy from all the eye rolling I did. Tiny book is fail. Do not like, but I knew that going in – I admit; I was curious to see if her writing skills had changed or improved at all.
They have not.