Twilight #17 PDF Print E-mail
Written by Douglas Wilson   
Wednesday, 12 May 2010 11:24

In the next, the good vampires are executing Bella’s plan for escaping to Phoenix, and they are headed back to her house to get her stuff. They are being tracked by the, you know, the tracker, the bad vampire named James. When he was a little vampire, all the other little vampires called him Jimmy, and made signs of the cross at him when the recess vampire lady wasn’t looking. This made him grow up into the meanest, leanest tracker of girls named Bella ever. Actually, I made part of this up. But not all of it.

Because they are on the run from James, Bella has to tell Charlie, her dad, that she is leaving, and has to do it in a way that enables her to actually go. So she pretends that she is running from Edward, whom she loves, because her roots are starting to go down in Forks, the town where they are, which she hates, and she makes a point of repeating, in anger, the same words her mother said to this poor sap when she left him, and Forks, for the sunny climes of Phoenix. She knows she is being cruel in doing this, but it is the only way. The way to true freedom is to strike at your father, who has done you no wrong, and . . . wait a minute. On the cover is a red apple, extended invitingly. Why not? Everything worked out so well for us when we tried it.

Another feature of this extended daydream that comes into focus in this chapter is the superhero motif. The vampires here are not ghoulish undead types hu vant to dreenk yer bluuud. They are Superman, Flash, Spiderman, Telepathic Girl, et al. with a few off-the-beaten-path culinary tastes. Bella is carried around like she was a sack of Styrofoam packing peanuts, and she is being protected from a super-strong threat (named James, or “Jimmy” if you really want to get him going).

This chapter creates a sense of heightened danger, so that forward motion can, in theory, be maintained by the fellow who intends to read the next four chapters and epilogue. As I intend to. But it is not a big deal. Styrofoam packing peanuts are not harder to read than they are to carry.

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