Chapter 16 – CARLISLE

As I sit here in the JFK International Airport with a layover to Buffalo on my way up to Ontario, Canada for Con-G, I realize that I’ve actually not written about a Twilight chapter in two months. Now seems like as good a time as any, considering I won’t exactly be going anywhere any time soon. Ugh… I rather wish I was in Canada already instead, though.

When last we saw our… ugh… “heroes”, they were on their way to visit with Carlisle, so that Bella could start learning a bit of vampire history. This is actually an intriguing idea to me. Carlisle continues to prove time and again that this story should REALLY be about him, and not about the young man who has fallen in love with his food.

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H4anFpVsbSw&w=560&h=315]

But Carlisle can’t stick around to tell his story. Oh. So much for THAT idea. Instead, he leaves the story-telling in Edward’s hands, since he apparently knows the story just as well as Carlisle does. Frankly, I’d have far preferred it if we had heard the history straight from Carlisle’s first-hand experience, but I guess at this point I’ll just have to take whatever I can get.

So Edward shows Bella a wall covered in photos and paintings from ages long past. London in the 1650’s. And frankly, the story is not nearly as deep as I was hoping (wait, what am I saying? Was I HOPING for something deep out of Twilight?). What I mean by that, though, is that Edward mostly repeats a fair hunk of information we already heard. Carlisle got turned into a vampire, and he hated it, so he became a doctor. I guess it’s somewhat interesting that in all of this we find out that Carlisle tried to kill himself a numerous abundance of times. Then he decided to eat deer. Oh. We’re back to this again. I already know this.

What’s “interesting” is the part where Carlisle decides to swim to France.

“He began to make better use of his time. He’d always been intelligent, eager to learn. Now he had unlimited time before him. He studied by night, planned by day. He swam to France and-”
“He swam to France?”
“People swim the Channel all the time, Bella,” he reminded me patiently.

Oh, yeah Edward, you say that like normal people DON’T have to undergo intense swimming training for an extended amount of time to be able to swim the 21 hours it takes to get from one side of the English Channel to the other. Oh, yes, it’s just a common occurrence. That’s why it’s considered an extremely challenging sport, right? Right.

That’s when some more information comes up.

“Swimming is easy for us-”
“Everything is easy for you,” I griped.
He waited, his expression amused.
“I won’t interrupt again, I promise.”
He chuckled darkly, and finished his sentence. “Because, technically, we don’t need to breathe.”

“You don’t have to breathe?” I demanded.
“No, it’s not necessary. Just a habit.” He shrugged.
“How long can you go… without breathing?”
“Indefinitely, I suppose; I don’t know. It gets a bit uncomfortable – being without a sense of smell.”

So, no breathing, not a big deal, just mildly uncomfortable. But aside from Bella’s temporary amazement, learning this still does not terribly shock or frighten her. Edward questions this, as well he should. He keeps revealing all kinds of crazy ridiculous stuff to her, and she isn’t even in the least bit phased. It’s stupid, really honestly stupid. Doesn’t Edward realize he’s dating an idiot? Maybe he does. Maybe he thinks she’s an easy lay, I don’t know. Oh, wait, nevermind, he’s celibate. Alright, she’s an easy food catch. That must be it.

So, back to the story of Carlisle, he apparently chilled out in Italy for a bit while he practiced getting kickass at human medical practice and shit. It also just so happens that he hung out with a real chill dude by the name of Francesco Solimena. You know, just this incredibly prolific Italian painter during the Baroque era.

Francesco Solimena

The dude apparently liked to paint not only Carlisle, but three other Italian vampire buddies of his. Aro, Marcus, and Caius. And you don’t know it yet, but these chaps are all members of the Volturi, the super secret special awesome band of vampires who hang out in Italy and run the way vampires work across the world. But that’s jumping ahead a book, so just pretend I didn’t say that. You guys totally don’t know that yet, and you have no further reason to care about any of these names. In fact, Carlisle can’t make them eat deer, and they can’t make him eat people, so the bros split up. Oh boy, any exciting information about any of the far cooler vampires won’t be anything we get to hear about any time soon.

Until finally Carlisle comes to America. And then Edward happens. Really, that story wasn’t all that great. Edward DOES, however, reveal some freaky information about this one time when he became a rebellious vampire teenager and wanted to eat people.

“…I wasn’t sold on his life of abstinence, and I resented him for curbing my appetite. So I went off on my own for a time.
“Really?” I was intrigued, rather than frightened, as I perhaps should have been.
…”That doesn’t repulse you?”
“No.”
“Why not?
“I guess… it sounds reasonable.”
…”…If I followed a murderer down a dark alley where he stalked a young girl – if I saved her, then surely I wasn’t so terrible.”

And Bella isn’t scared. She isn’t upset and angry that she’s dating a man who has killed numerous people in his lifetime. Screw the fact that he has to eat, unlike his “dad”, he has indeed KILLED PEOPLE. And Bella is a PEOPLE. At least, she thinks she’s people. Why are you too stupid to be afraid?

We’d come to a stop in front of the last door in the hall.
“My room,” he informed me, opening it and pulling me through.

AND NOW YOU’RE LETTING THE MURDERER EASILY WHISK YOU AWAY TO HIS ROOM! WHAT ARE YOU DOING, YOU SILLY STUPID FOOL!?

So, there they chill and listen to smooth jazz and giggle and snuggle, when Jasper and Alice walk in and invite them to go play baseball because the weather is just right – thunder-stormy. They apparently can only play the great American past-time when there’s thunder out. I already know the reason why that is, but we don’t get to find out until the following chapter. And so you will wait for me to get there!

This chapter… ALMOST dipped into some interesting information. But, once again, it managed to pass it right on by. And Edward reveals his history as a murderer of human flesh to Bella, and she doesn’t bat an eyelash like the dumb, vapid fool she is. This is just getting repetative and angering. You know, like it wasn’t at all angering before this chapter.

Coming up next is Chapter 17, The Game!

(No, I don’t play “The Game”. Nobody lost. You’re probably actually playing The Game completely wrong. Get over it.)

  • Well this chapter was an outright bore.

    Why does Stephanie Meyer have these moments of “wait this could get interesting” and then decides nah?

    • WarxePB

      That’s pretty common in romance novels, really. I can’t remember the name for the life of me, but I once read a novel about a cop in the future in a world that was recovering from World War III, but rather than actually fleshing out the world, it just focused on her investigating (and romancing) a jerk-ass billionaire. And she was a bitchy Mary Sue, too.

      I’ve read the original Twilight, and I kind of got the impression that half of this chapter was added in after the rest was written in to provide artificial foreshadowing for the sequels. But that’s just me.

  • Amber

    Now I can’t get out of my head the guy marrying his bacon cheeseburger! lol

  • yay another chapter…….. i shouldn’t be so excited about this.

  • HEY, DON’T COMPARE BELLA TO A CHEESEBERGER! THAT’S TOTALLY UNFAIR…to the burger. ;D

  • Mersadeon

    These books, man. They make me angry. Because of all the wasted potential! I mean seriously! A vampire in Old London! A Civil War vampire! A vampire war DURING the Civil War! Every vampire has a special X-Men Power! A vampire organisation enforcing laws (just like the Camerilla in Vampire: The Masquerade, I guess)!
    How does she manage to throw away EVERY interesting idea?! GRRRHHHH.

  • OWSR

    I’d just like to point out that Edward isn’t a murderer. He isn’t human, and humans are his food. Just like there is nothing wrong with me eating a cow, there is nothing wrong with a vampire eating a human. It still stands that its weird for a vampire and his food source to be going out but, the attitude that vampires and other supernatural creatures are automatically evil just because their food happens to come from humans is stupid. Humans are not special, we are part of the food chain just like everything else, and if we can eat other things then other things can eat us. I’ve always hated how is so many vampire fiction stories, even outside of Twilight, if there is a “good” vampire they’re good because they refuse to drink blood, and fight against the “evil” vampires who are only evil because they actually eat what they’re supposed to.