‘Twilight’ fans search for magic in a small town

Nov. 15, 2008 | 5:46 p.m.

Forks_city_hall

Here’s an excerpt from a great story by Susan Carpenter on today’s front page of the Los Angeles Times. She went to Forks, Wash., to write about the impact of "Twilight"-mania on the old logging community that author Stephenie Meyer used as her setting in the wildly popular books series. The film adaptation is due in theaters on Nov. 21.

When the timber economy that had sustained this wet and distant place for its first hundred years came crashing to earth like an old-growth Douglas fir, people exhausted themselves trying to figure out what the future would hold. What would happen to the little town clinging to the western slope of the rain forest on the Olympic Peninsula with its single grocery store, one traffic light and 3,100 residents?

Nobody guessed anything like this:

Sydney Conway and two of her teenage friends, on a school holiday, got into a minivan and drove four hours — to stare at the nondescript brick building that is Forks High School. There’s a weathered wooden sign announcing it as "the home of the Spartans," but otherwise it looks like most other high schools in the country.

Sydney, Alexis Miller and Rebekah Hamilton got out of their van, stood in front of the school — oblivious to the cool mist that was frizzing their hair and chilling their pedicured, flip-flopped feet — and screamed, "Twilight!"

The Twilight Saga, as just about any teen girl could tell you, is the name of a mega-selling series of books by Stephenie Meyer set in a mythical version of Forks. The books chronicle the complicated love triangle of a human, a vampire and a werewolf. To say they are huge is like calling Harry Potter just a boy.

     

More from Susan Carpenter’s article:

Specifically, the young-adult books are about Bella Swan, a teenager who moves to Forks to live with her dad. Attending the local high school, she meets a pretty boy named Edward Cullen, who, it turns out, is a vampire; he is powerfully attracted to Bella, but to act on his instinct would mean injuring, possibly even killing her.

Over the course of 2,000 pages, Edward avoids, falls in love with and leaves Bella, which makes room for a werewolf named Jacob to vie for her affections. Jacob and Edward spar, Bella chooses Edward, and 17 million book sales later, the Twilight Saga is a major cultural force, inspiring such adoring fandom that this tiny town is now a tourist destination for giggling, screaming teenagers (and some women) whose love for the Twilight books is so strong that they want to live in its make-believe world. So far this year, more than 7,000 Twilighters have visited.

Forks High School is often besieged with Twilighters, who pose for pictures in front of the Spartans sign or scan the parking lot for Edward’s car, a silver Volvo sedan. Some have even wandered inside to seek out the fictional characters. Still others have requested to be transferred to the school.

As Sydney and her friends mugged for the camera, a man in a pickup drove by and smiled at them with a pair of white plastic fangs.

"We probably wouldn’t do this for another book," said Sydney, 17, who lives in Redmond. "Maybe Harry Potter, but that’s a little too far away."

Again, it’s a great article, and you can continue reading here.

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Credit: Photo of Forks City Hall by Brian Vander Brug\Los Angeles Times. You can see his photo gallery here.      

More in: Uncategorized, Stephenie Meyer, Twilight

Comments


3 Responses to ‘Twilight’ fans search for magic in a small town

  1. Antoinette says:

    I've gone there last month too. I went to Forks and La Push, it was awesome. I like how the whole town play a part in Twilight. Went to the visit all the sites they told us to see, it was great. They were celebrating Edward's birthday in the park the weekend I went there. Seen the Bella bulletin at the store by La Push. It was a great experience. I liked the sign between Forks and La Push that says 'No Vampires beyond this point'. It was funny. The town plays their parts well.

  2. ali jaffer says:

    i have seen alot of vampire movies but this story have,i dont know what to say i can find the words for it because it amazed me so much.I couldnt read the novel because it is avaiable in Pakistan but i have seen the movie & i wish that if some day i get a chance i will definately vist the rainy little town of forks.

  3. sulamita says:

    i`m from brazil end i don`t speak english i`m sorry
    amei esse site amo robert amo forks amo isso tudo e sou louca para conhecer se traduzirem essa pagina oi se por acaso ja sabem portugues podem me ajudar a chagar ai e realizar my dream .
    obrigada pela atençao se pensaren com carinho aqui esta meu telefone :99585535
    por favor me preucurem

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