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Laurell K. Hamilton's Guilty Pleasures

Read Guilty Pleasures today, the first novel in Laurell K. Hamilton's "Anita Blake" series, and it was much more fun than I'd expected, mostly because of the sense of humor, all full of sarcasm and irony. It was also interesting to see a very different take on vampires than Joss Whedon's or Bram Stoker's.

Oh, for those who are unfamiliar with the series, it's set in St. Louis (Shannon's birthplace) in a world in which vampires have been legally declared to be people, with rights, and they therefore interact openly in society, owning diners and vampire strip clubs, living in apartments with human lovers, going to parties, etc. There's even a church of vampirism -- called "The Church of Eternal Life" -- in which they recruit human converts.

Not only vampires but also lycanthropes of various types (werewolves, wererats, etc.), zombies, and ghouls roam the streets and shadows. Some openly and some not so much.

The main character is Anita Blake, who is a talented professional "animator" (someone who raises zombies, for such purposes as clarifying wills, testifying in court, and whatnot) and vampire hunter. She's sort of a private investigator, I guess, working closely with the police and reporters, as well as various people to get information, etc. In the first novel, a vampire hires her to find out who has been murdering the city's oldest, most powerful vampires, and so the novel is a chronicle of her work on that case.

Anyway, I've never been much of a one for mysteries, police stories, or detective novels, so I was surprised by how much I enjoyed this. As I mentioned, that was largely due to the narrative voice, which made me laugh out loud more than once. For example, the first part that made me snicker was when Anita found herself in a dungeon:
A rat scurried against the far wall. Another peered around the edge of the steps, whiskers twitching. I guess you can't have a dungeon without rats, but I would have been willing to give it a try.

I also found that I actually came to care about a few of the characters, which I hadn't expected from what appeared at first glance to be a pure pulp novel.

And, as I said, it was interesting to see a different take on vampires and the supernatural than I'd seen on "Buffy" and "Angel". I loved the everydayness of the supernatural in Guilty Pleasures. It's grittier. Neat to see a world in which the supernatural has become commonplace, and yet it's still otherwise the same as the world we live in every day. People do the same things we do, but there's this whole additional element that has been incorporated. Neat.

PS - The cat is sleeping on the other side of the room as I write this, snoring her head off. Perhaps I need to get her one of those nose guard things. Sheesh.

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( 11 comments — Leave a comment )
alycekat
Jan. 12th, 2004 01:51 am (UTC)
>PS - The cat is sleeping on the other side of the room as I write >this, snoring her head off. Perhaps I need to get her one of those >nose guard things. Sheesh.

Giggle. I'm suddenly struck by the image of a cat, waking to find a nose guard thingie adhered to it's snout. I have no doubt that the expression on the cat's face would be noteworthy. In my house, though, the next nose needing a band-aid like device would likely be mine, I'm afraid. My one cat who snores is a huge polydactyl Tom, and I cant imagine he'd be amused. (I just wake him up & snuggle him. Half the time, he's also 'talking' in his sleep - and often, I can tell he's having a nightmare, because he's growling. He doesnt seem to mind having his sleep interrupted, regardless.)

Thanks for the book recommendation, too. I have very little time left before my semester starts again, so I probably wont get to it any time soon, but it's nice to have a recommendation for decent pulp/fluff. I have so little time to read anything for pure pleasure, I want to make sure it's going to be fun when I do.

I've been wondering something (and this is a personal question, so I hope you're not offended). You mentioned how great you felt about making icons & being productive the other day. Have you considered a part time job? Given the quality of the icons you make, and the many skills that implies, it seems like you could find some work here locally in Berkeley that you might enjoy. (Or for that matter, you could probably find work in an independent book store, which seems like something you might enjoy, also.)

I was just thinking maybe that would help with the insomnia & staying on a regular schedule. I know my problems in that area (which are similar to yours, as we've discussed before) benefit greatly from external time structuring. Anyway, I just happened to wonder, in passing, if you'd thought of getting paid for your obvious skills.

Also, (and this is way personal) what's up with the "campaign for orgasms"?? Is this related to the meds? (they give me problems in that area, sometimes, so that possibility crossed my mind) I'm always entertained by those posts, but I did chance to wonder how the campaign happened to get started. (like I said, that one's awfully personal, so I really hope you're not offended)

Also, just speaking for myself, I dont think I could find an hour a day to devote to achieving an orgasm, just as a scheduling issue. And in any case, every other day - on average - is about all my body can manage, at this age. I mean, it varies by phase of the moon cycle, of course. But on average, I need 36-48 hours to restore my energy level. (for partner sex, anyway)

For solo, I guess I could manage once a day, maybe 50-65 % of the month. But I'm not entirely sure about that, I must admit. Anyway, I thought the daily orgasm thing sounded like a fairly ambitious campaign, especially if they take an hour apiece to obtain. However, it's most certainly a noble goal! So hey, if you can manage it, I say more power to you. And keep us all posted, by all means. You give the rest of us a little nudge to keep our own activity level up, if nothing else. And sometimes, a little bit of trying to 'keep up with the Joneses' can be good for us all, I think - so long as the particular Jones family we choose to emulate is setting a worthwhile standard, anyway :-)
kimberly_a
Jan. 12th, 2004 01:27 pm (UTC)
I've been wondering something (and this is a personal question, so I hope you're not offended).

I'm never offended if someone asks a respectful question (i.e., not sarcastic or mocking) about something I've written here. If I was unwilling to answer questions about something, I would make the entry private. I pretty much never do that.

Have you considered a part time job?

Yep. Every time I start doing better. The problem is that thus far I haven't been "doing better" enough for longer than 2 weeks at a stretch. I do as much as I'm able (messing about in Photoshop, writing in my journal, occasionally helping Shannon analyze a game for one of his reviews, etc.), but I still have a lot of problems with complicated reading or writing. I still have a lot of problems understanding fairly simple instructions, such as rules for a children's board game. I still have a lot of problems (i.e., pretty much can't do it) with multi-tasking. I still have a lot of problems with complex thinking. I still have little control over my emotions most of the time, and so become easily frustrated, angry, or tearful.

Basically, until my moods have been stable for more than a couple weeks at a stretch, and until I'm finding it considerably easier to understand and follow instructions, I don't think it would be responsible of me to make a commitment to an employer that I will behave professionally. I don't think it would be responsible of me to get a job and quit (or get fired) a couple weeks later because I'm unstable.

And I'm still pretty sensitive about all of these problems, as well, such that if I had a problem with them in public, I would feel utterly humiliated. I'm not going to sign up for that until I can at least manage to do laundry and shower reliably.

Also, (and this is way personal) what's up with the "campaign for orgasms"??

I first wrote about this
[Error: Irreparable invalid markup ('<a [...] blank">') in entry. Owner must fix manually. Raw contents below.]

<i>I've been wondering something (and this is a personal question, so I hope you're not offended).</i>

I'm never offended if someone asks a respectful question (i.e., not sarcastic or mocking) about something I've written here. If I was unwilling to answer questions about something, I would make the entry private. I pretty much never do that.

<i>Have you considered a part time job?</i>

Yep. Every time I start doing better. The problem is that thus far I haven't been "doing better" enough for longer than 2 weeks at a stretch. I do as much as I'm able (messing about in Photoshop, writing in my journal, occasionally helping Shannon analyze a game for one of his reviews, etc.), but I still have a lot of problems with complicated reading or writing. I still have a lot of problems understanding fairly simple instructions, such as rules for a children's board game. I still have a lot of problems (i.e., pretty much can't do it) with multi-tasking. I still have a lot of problems with complex thinking. I still have little control over my emotions most of the time, and so become easily frustrated, angry, or tearful.

Basically, until my moods have been stable for more than a couple weeks at a stretch, and until I'm finding it considerably easier to understand and follow instructions, I don't think it would be responsible of me to make a commitment to an employer that I will behave professionally. I don't think it would be responsible of me to get a job and quit (or get fired) a couple weeks later because I'm unstable.

And I'm still pretty sensitive about all of these problems, as well, such that if I had a problem with them in public, I would feel utterly humiliated. I'm not going to sign up for that until I can at least manage to do laundry and shower reliably.

<i>Also, (and this is way personal) what's up with the "campaign for orgasms"??</i>

I first wrote about this <a href="http://www.livejournal.com/users/kimberly_a/37322.html target="blank">here</a>, which should explain pretty well what I've been talking about.
kimberly_a
Jan. 12th, 2004 01:30 pm (UTC)
Hmm. The link didn't work. Let's try again. I first wrote about the orgasmi issue here
daev
Jan. 12th, 2004 08:35 pm (UTC)
Origasmi: the Japanese art of paper folndling.
webmacher
Jan. 13th, 2004 01:13 pm (UTC)
The funniest part is that there is something called kokigami, which is the art of EROTIC paper folding. Not making it up -- TenSpeed Press published it several years ago!
(Deleted comment)
hils
Jan. 12th, 2004 11:04 am (UTC)
Hehe. What until you get to the later books where it turns into pure porn
firecat
Jan. 12th, 2004 11:40 am (UTC)
If you've just started Anita Blake, you have lots of enjoyable reading to look forward to!
leona_roja
Jan. 12th, 2004 09:02 pm (UTC)
I love the anita blake series. I adore jean-claude!!

And of course, I love that they are set where i live. It makes everything more familiar somehow.

You have lots of great books ahead of you....

Enjoy them.

Tanya
kimberly_a
Jan. 13th, 2004 01:46 am (UTC)
I love Jean-Claude, too.

Shannon and I were discussing today that (to put it in a Buffy context) Jean-Claude is to Spike as Richard is to Riley. If, that is, Riley became a werewolf who could angst alongside Angel about how horrible it was to be a monster.

No wonder Richard bores me silly. I've never been a Riley or Angel fan. I'm a Spike gal. I like the dangerously sexy and unrepentant fictional bad boys. I'd go for Jean-Claude in a second.
leona_roja
Jan. 13th, 2004 04:43 pm (UTC)
I agree completely. Though there are some interesting dynamics concerning Richard coming up....but I don't want to spoil anything for you. :)
( 11 comments — Leave a comment )

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