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Spotlight: A Close-Up Look at the Artistry and Meaning of Stephenie Meyer's Twilight Saga
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Spotlight: A Close-Up Look at the Artistry and Meaning of Stephenie Meyer's Twilight Saga

3.83 of 5 stars 3.83  ·  rating details  ·  40 ratings  ·  12 reviews
Stephenie Meyer's Twilight Saga has taken the world by storm. The four novels that tell the paranormal romance of Bella Swan and Edward Cullen are international bestsellers that readers everywhere are discussing and re-reading again and again. But WHY are the books so popular? Critics have dismissed them as "Harlequin trash" and "literary junk food" but book lovers obvious ...more
Paperback, 296 pages
Published January 1st 2010 by Zossima Press
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In this book Mr. Granger uses Plato's cave allegory to explain why we like certain books...Twilight included. Very enlightening! :smile:

Mr. Granger then explains about the four layers of interpretation:
Surface, Moral, Allegorical, and Anagogical.

Quote from pg 21: Do you blush when you talk about reading Twilight? You don't need to. The folks looking down their noses at Young Romance fiction have missed the substantial meaning at the surface, moral, allegorical and anagogical layers that Mrs. Mey
With my final project at University looking at teen sensations and their portrayal/traits of heroines, and a few surrounding issues, I knew the Twilight saga was going to be a big part of that. But, I decided to be as balanced as possible, and felt this was the way to do it.

And now I'm done, I can only concede a few things to his book. First, I would broadly say that Meyer couldn't write strong female characters to save herself, but my mind has been changed by this:

Look at the three Cullen women
This books offers a critical reading of the Twilight series, and in so doing sheds some light on the meaning and artistry buried in the surface story, but quite often it also reads like the academic blithering of a narcissistic intellectual.

Granger offers an interesting lens through which we can tease out hidden meaning from Twilight. He suggests we critique it using iconological criticism, something he associates with how medieval texts are interpreted, which were primarily religious. He choose
Linda C.
I first discovered John Granger due to his analyses of the Harry Potter series. He has a shrewd and learned eye regarding literature and delves deeper into underlying symbolic meanings better than anyone else I know. He has now taken his formidable talents and trained them upon the Twilight saga.

He describes how conscience and free choice is the underlying theme of the series. He not only uses his own arguments in analyzing the text to come up with that conclusion, but he includes excerpts of in
Sep 28, 2010 Aimee rated it 3 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Caius Volturi Moms--and anyone else who thinks there is more to Twilight than cute sparkly boys
To those who think Twilight is just paranormal/YA trash: neener, neener. Granger takes readers through the many different layers of Twilight and shows that there is much more in them than sparkly, cute boys. Literary alchemy, anyone? Very cool stuff.

My only difficulty with the book is in the second half where Granger shows how Stephenie Meyer's religious beliefs influence her writing. I agree with most (though not all) of his conclusions, but what left me disappointed was the obvious lack of res
Harold Smithson (Suicide punishable by Death)
I once managed to "interpret" Twilight as a Greek tragedy in which good loses and the devil himself walks the Earth, cackling in triumph. I managed to turn Edward from a hopeless lover into a magnificent bastard. And I did this all simply by knowing the original Dracula mythos and applying it to these books.

The point is that it is very easy to take something and make it seem more noble than it actually is. Themes can be decoded from virtually nothing if one searches hard enough. (Did I ever tel
Louise Freeman
I am a big fan of John Granger's Harry Potter writings; frankly, this book was the only reason I bothered with Twilight. While I am not sure that the case for explicit Christian imagery is as strong as for Harry Potter or even Hunger Games, seeing the connections to Mormon theology (and also the X-men!) was interesting. If you've read Twilight, you should read this companion book.
Liz Cooper
It was ok, it heavily focused on the Mormon aspect and their are plenty of other books that do that.
I mostly read it out of curiosity. Twilight gets mostly criticism from "intellectual" sources these days. I didn't really buy into it, but the books had some very interesting insights.
May 24, 2012 D.H. marked it as to-read
I've forgotten how "heady" JOhn is...this will take me a while to read through. Thanks, John ;-)
Danijela Jelicic
Interesting and informative. A bit too many repetitions.
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
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