By Steve Jenner
I’M QUITE CERTAIN that I am going to die today. If I were a betting man, I’d let it all ride on red—blood red—that I’ll get ripped limb from limb in just a few minutes.
But let’s face it—I’ve been dying a slow death living in this godforsaken hellhole of a town these past several months. I gave up Phoenix with its eternal sunshine, palm trees, and strip malls for this? Do I have regrets? Hell, yeah!
For a brief shining moment, I have to stop and think of how my life has changed by coming to Sporks. How my hopes and dreams have been fulfilled beyond anything I could possibly have imagined. How, you ask? Well, I just saved a bunch of money on my truck insurance by switching to Geico. I kid, I kid.
Back to what’s happening here. Standing before me is a
particularly disturbing guy with long, pointy fangs who invited me over
for lunch, and I’m the main course. I sure hope he fills up on
Playlist - Music I listened to while I wrote this masterpiece:
I Think I Love You - Keith Partridge
Sometimes When We Touch - Dan Hill
Havin' My Baby - Paul Anka
Don't Give Up On Us, Baby - David Soul
I Need Your Sex - George Michael
Let's Get it On - Marvin Gaye
At Seventeen - Janis Ian
YMCA - Village People
Last week, we let you know that the first published parody of Stephenie Meyer’s Twilight was being released for sale. Stephen Jenner, who claims to have “a Ph.D. in a field not related to writing parody novels,” has written Twilite, which is, indeed, a parody novel (unauthorized, of course).
Having just set the 165 page book on its back, this review is approached with endless trepidation.
Initially flustered by competing urges to either slap Jenner in the face or to award him some sort of medal for hilarity, a few lingering reminiscent laughs have led me to the resounding conclusion that Twilite is, indeed, quite a good read for fans of Meyer’s series (that is, those with an elastic imagination and a daft sense of humor).
The first few pages, to say the least, are disorienting. Twilite submerges the reader, without pause, into the zany world that is Sporks, Washington – a droll place, for sure. Propelling the characters into virtually unrecognizable beings, at times, Twilite takes the Twilight fan out of his or her zone of comfort and thrusts him or her into the life and mindset of the less-than-stellar Stella Crow as she pursues the very weird Edweird. The plot mirrors the story in Twilight (albeit loosely), but the Twilite journey is quite distinct. Once past the initial shock of the cataclysmic distinction between, say, the Cullens and the Sullens, the book is a snort-wrenching laugh-fest.
Vapid, at times, and completely intellectual at others, Jenner’s humor in Twilite is a cross between the slap-stick Scary Movie amusement and a Family Guy/South Park style diatribe (for lack of a better reference). Claiming to draw influence from prior parodies such as The Ditches of Edison County and Bored of the Rings, Jenner’s story is clearly a culmination of various absurdities through the ages (as evidenced by his opening epithet from the nonsensical Lewis Carroll “poem” “Jabberwocky”).
Drawing humor from all sources of popular culture (punning references ranging anywhere from the Brady Bunch to Miss Cleo) and coupling that polemic wit with bizarre anecdotes that are semi-nostalgic of a Twilight we once knew, Jenner’s facetiousness is far from opaque. Nay, perhaps one of the more rich aspects of the burlesque Twilite is the ability to make “lite” of various trivialities Jenner has found in Twilight (I cite continued and unmistakable repetition of certain choice vocabulary words as an example - as I “glower”).
Sealing the deal is Jenner’s ability to make light of the nature of his beast. As indicated by the cover image, and as accepted and mocked with rampant self-deprecation throughout, the book is clearly and unapologetically intent upon drawing the wide audience that the underlying work received. All in all (slapping and/or medal reserved for a later time), a virtual high-five to Stephen Jenner for Twilite. For what it may or may not be worth, I give a hearty recommendation of this hysterical work.