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Twilight and Philosophy: Vampires, Vegetarians, and the Pursuit of Immortality Paperback – September 22, 2009

3.9 out of 5 stars 30 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From the Back Cover

What can vampires tell us about the meaning of life?

Is Edward a romantic hero or a dangerous stalker?

Is Bella a feminist? Is Stephenie Meyer?

How does Stephenie Meyer's Mormonism fit into the fantastical world of Twilight?

Is Jacob "better" for Bella than Edward?

The answers to these philosophical questions and more can be found inside Twilight and Philosophy: Vampires, Vegetarians, and the Pursuit of Immortality. With everything from Taoism to mind reading to the place of God in a world of vampires, this book offers some very tasty philosophy for both the living and the undead to sink their teeth into. Whether you're on Team Edward or Team Jacob, whether you loved or hated Breaking Dawn, this book is for you!

About the Author

Rebecca Housel coedited X-Men and Philosophy. A former professor of English and popular culture in western New York, she now serves on editorial advisory boards for the Journal of Popular Culture and the Journal of American Culture. Also an author of middle-grade fiction, she is currently working on a new young adult novel.

J. Jeremy Wisnewski is an assistant professor of philosophy at Hartwick College, the coeditor of X-Men and Philosophy, and the editor of Family Guy and Philosophy and The Office and Philosophy.

William Irwin is a professor of philosophy at King's College. He originated the philosophy and popular culture genre of books as coeditor of the bestselling The Simpsons and Philosophy and has overseen recent titles, including Batman and Philosophy, House and Philosophy, and Watchmen and Philosophy.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 272 pages
  • Publisher: Wiley; 1 edition (September 22, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0470484233
  • ISBN-13: 978-0470484234
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.7 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 13.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (30 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #435,967 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

A Kid's Review on October 7, 2009
Format: Paperback
As a fan of 'Twilight' and of Blackwell's 'Pop Culture and Philosophy' series, I decided to give this volume a try. My review of the book: not as good as the others. While not actively bad nor mediocre, 'Twilight and philosophy' is much more uneven than other books in the series. Some of the essays are perceptive, in depth discussions, others are rambling, incoherent polemics. One of the things that I like about volumes in the Blackwell series is that the authors clearly love the pop culture subject that they are discussing, but I see no such enthusiasm here. Some of the authors appear to be fans, but a couple of the authors can barely keep their contempt for both their subject matter and their readers in check. The undercurrent through these essays is pretty clear: Twilight is stupid; people who read it are stupid; this is why they are stupid, and this is what we need to do to reprogram them so that they become less stupid. They are entitled to their opinions, but why should I pony up $18 to be told I'm stupid? I can get that from a message board for free.

Some of the gems in the collection:

'The Tao of Jacob': talks about Jacob Black and the way of the werewolf from the Taoist perspective. Fascinating, lovingly crafted, and contains some beautiful prose. The philosophical implications are studied in depth, the author clearly knows the books and the essay is plain fun to read

'Carlisle: more compassionate than a speeding bullet': I did not approach this one with high hopes. I thought the title was silly and had no idea what the author was aiming for.
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Format: Paperback
This thought-provoking book of philosophical essays indeed cast new light upon my favorite YA series. Aside from what I consider digressive essays on vegetarianism, each essay's thesis is worth thoughtful consideration, whether one agrees or not with the argument. The essays are rather graphic regarding abusive relationships. The intended audience is teens & adults. Consider pre-reading this book before handing it to a young or an immature teen.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Although I'm probably a little older than the typical Twilight fan demographic, I found this compilation of essays interesting and helpful for thinking about the characters and especially for exploring other vampire/werewolf lore, literature, and philosophy that fell through the cracks in college. Essays in this book give you concise background on writers (like the Brontes, Lord Byron)in a easy and conversational style. I actually found the footnotes good for tracking down other books, biographies, and videos which I have checked out at the library or (of course!)ordered on amazon.com. Literature and philosophy courses in college would probably be more engaging if professors lectured like the contributors to this book write.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This book was very difficult to read - not due to the writing style, but the reasoning. Many of their arguments were made in convoluted, over-complicated ways when they could have been stated simply and succinctly. There was also a fair bit of repetition between chapters. I was left with the impression that the authors were trying to stretch a short essay into a full book so as to make some money. If you really want to read this book, try to locate a lend-able copy. Don't spend your own dollars on it.
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Format: Paperback
This will be short: I'm a big Twilight fan so was interested to see what this book was all about. I found it to be worthwhile, although a bit overanalytic. I mean really--delving into the name of "Forks" because it is a sharp, pointed object? Puh-leeze. I enjoyed the Twilight series because it's a good story with characters that seemed real to me...not because I wanted to spend time pondering whether or not Bella epitomizes modern feminism.
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Format: Kindle Edition
Twilight and Philosophy: Vampires, Vegetarians, and the Pursuit of Immortality (The Blackwell Philosophy and Pop Culture Series)this book is really good i love it better than the film so if you loved the film you love this. my all time fav. i got it for wife but she hasnt had the chance to read it cos i cant put it down that good
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Long winded prose about how Bella, like Sarah Plain, is not a true feminist. (yawn)

Continual references to the fact that Bella and Edward serve as models only for those who are heterosexual (few and far between as they are) (weird)

I did appreciate her arguments on how Twilight both does away with the need for God AND (paradoxically) is a reflection of Stephanie Meyer's LDS faith. (keen observation)

Generally reads like a feminist, anti-religious blog. So, if that's what your into... maybe you'll be one of the few who thought the book was worth the money.
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Format: Paperback
"It must be good, it's Twilight" seems to be what is considered a valid argument if you're one of the many that has been swept along on the wave of runaway success the Twilight franchise has become.
As for me, I wanted to read something different connected to the stories, and thought a philosophical approach might be interesting.
And interesting it is (if you're one of the aforementioned teenagers) otherwise, it's a money spinning exercise.
Freud would be spinning in his grave if he read this pap, seriously.

We are not talking about ontology or metaphysics here, we're talking about milking the Twilight cash cow.
Not to mention the fact that this "guide" is interpreting the subjective nuances of the story, subjective as in different for each viewer.
Having a book that tells you that when Edward does this it means.......... and when Bella said this it means.......... shows no respect for reader or viewer. That's the magic of a good story, you formulate your own opinions.

When I think about the factual books that could have been written (and maybe are somewhere?) on the real social commentary of films like Clockwork Orange, and One flew over the Cuckoos nest, I can't think about a film about teenage vampires in the same league, sorry.

Then again, it's Twilight, so it must be good.
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