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Thursday Book News: “Twilight” Goes to College, “Pet Sematary” Rises from the Grave, and More

  • Broody Swooniness 121: The headline reads 'Twilight' Is Now Required College Reading, which sounds a little more extreme than the actual situation. It's not as if the book is being assigned in Lit 101 or Great Modern Writing. And yet...

    Mary Shelley is rolling over in her grave. Bram Stoker is probably clawing the way out of his. Why, you ask? Because Twilight is now being taught with their gothic classics (Frankenstein and Dracula) in a college literature class. And it’s not just any college literature class. It’s an honors fiction course at Ohio State University.

    Well, okay — I can see teaching the book in a remedial course, especially at a community college, where a beleaguered professor might toss it into the syllabus in a desperate attempt to get these kids to look up from their iDevices and pay attention to class for even a single, solid minute. An honors course, though, is pushing it.

    The blogger for The Stir goes on to rant:

    In what world does the drivel put forth by Stephenie Meyer even come close to being on the same level as the classic social commentary and innovation of writers like Mary Shelley?

    There's a lot more of that — sounding less like righteous indignation than a mildly desperate attempt to piss off Twilight fans and start an attention-getting flame war in the comments section — but you get the idea: what happened to standards, everything today is worse than it ever was, won't someone think of the children, etc.

  • Sematary Dance: Stephen King movies are apparently on the rise. First the Dark Tower series, then the recent announcement about a film of The Stand, and now... Pet Sematary is poised for a remake. (Did they learn nothing from the Timmy Baterman story?!)

    As someone who was a huge fan of the novel in adolescence and felt like the movie barely qualified as a Cliffs Notes version, this makes me sort of happy — but I'm still wary, because... well, to be honest, nobody explains it better than the Onion AV Club:

    [S]ome barriers are not meant to be crossed. The Indians knew that. They stopped making Pet Sematary movies after what happened with Edward Furlong. They knew it was an abomination. But the soil of a movie industry’s heart is stonier, and what it owns, always comes home to them. But sometimes, dead is better. (There, I think we got them all.)

    To get the exact flavor, you'll want to read the above passage aloud with a crusty New England ahccent, whilst rahckin' bahck and fahth on yah pahch, and muttering "Ayuh" periodically.

  • iStink: Mashable reviews the first newspaper made exclusively for the iPad, Rupert Murdoch's The Daily. The response is, uh, a lot like this:

    As it stands, the news section is extremely weak. The first edition contains precisely two real news articles, one of which (a story about Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak’s global address) had been thoroughly covered by all the major news outlets the previous day; the other, about the snow storm currently hitting the U.S., was borrowed from the AP. (The third and fourth listed news articles, one about a prison where convicted murders make kid toys, and another about a late-night doggie disco in Manhattan, fail to qualify as “real news,” in my opinion.)

    On the plus side, it isn't called Fox News Daily. So, there's that. (Via)

  • The Girl with the Jutting Ribcage: The U.S. movie version of The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo may or may not have actual nudity, but if director David (The Social Network) Fincher has his way, the poster absolutely will:

    [Fincher] takes out an iPad and clicks on a photo he's planning to use for the Dragon poster. It shows actor Daniel Craig half-hidden behind co-star Rooney Mara, who's looking directly into the camera. Her hair is spiky, her face pierced with rings, her body covered in tattoos. It's black and white and beautiful, but there's no way in hell any studio will ever let Fincher use it, as he knows.

    Because Mara is naked from the waist up.

    Which could be very sexy — unless Mara looks like this in the poster. Maybe she ate an actual meal before the photo shoot.

  • Liar Liar: Better check those Winston Churchill signed first editions you've got lying around — they may be forgeries. How appropriate for the man who famously said, "A lie gets halfway around the world before the truth has a chance to get its pants on."
  • Sowing the (Apple) Seeds: Apple is changing the rules for selling eBook apps, insisting that all developers must "route their sales through the Apple system." Which suggests Apple may be slowly turning into the very corporate monolith depicted in its legendary 1984 commercial.

÷ ÷ ÷

Chris Bolton co-created the all-ages webcomic Smash, which will soon be published by Candlewick Press, and created the comedy series Wage Slaves. His short story "The Red Room" was published in Portland Noir from Akashic Books.

Books mentioned in this post

  1. Portland Noir (Akashic Noir)
    Used Trade Paper $8.50
  2. Twilight (Twilight Saga #1)
    Used Trade Paper $6.50
  3. Frankenstein (Penguin Classics)
    Used Trade Paper $4.95
  4. Dracula (Bantam Classics)
    Used Mass Market $3.50
  5. The Stand
    Used Mass Market $3.95

  6. Pet Sematary
    Used Mass Market $5.50
  7. The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo (The...
    Used Mass Market $2.95

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