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Review: 'Nightlight,' by Harvard Lampoon, deliciously parodies 'Twilight'

Strange things happen when a book series sells 70 million copies. Fan sites are built, only to crash with onslaughts of visitors. Movies are made, drawing unruly mobs of screaming fans. Entire towns are invaded by giggling teenage girls.

As New Moon, the second film based on Stephenie Meyer's bestselling Twilight saga, hits theaters, Nightlight has landed in bookstores. It's a parody written by the Harvard Lampoon, an ever-changing group of Ivy League undergrads who have been skewering literature since 1876.

Penned by four Harvard students — two sophomore women and two senior men — Nightlight is a sendup of the 544-page tome that has grown into a cultural phenomenon. Its 154 pages follow the Twilight template but tweak details, from the glossy black cover with a chewed-to-the core apple to the come-hither copy on the back jacket, which reads: "About three things I was absolutely certain. First, Edwart was most likely my soul mate, maybe."

A computer geek with an awful name and worse affliction — nosebleeds — Edwart Mullen is not a vampire, much as his classmate and wanna-be love interest wants to believe he is.

The U-Haul-driving Belle Goose is a recent transplant to the incredibly soggy Oregon town of Switchblade. An epic klutz who regularly knocks over her classmates like bowling pins and believes everyone from the mailman to the IRS agent to the entire male population of Switchblade High is in love with her, Belle is nevertheless "in the deepest love that has ever occurred in the history of the world" with Edwart.

The freckled and red-haired Edwart, she is convinced, is irresistibly attracted to the scent of her blood, which she describes as "grapefruit." And Belle is fatefully drawn to Edwart, whose reckless driving poses an extreme danger should the two become romantically involved. While hard-core Twilight fans may not appreciate Harvard Lampoon humor, anyone who has enjoyed the books but questioned their cult status is likely to be entertained. Can New Spoons be far behind?

Nightlight: A Parody

By the Harvard Lampoon

Vintage, 160 pages, $13.95

Review: 'Nightlight,' by Harvard Lampoon, deliciously parodies 'Twilight' 11/20/09 [Last modified: Friday, November 20, 2009 11:58am]
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