A review of Laurell K. Hamilton’s ‘The Laughing Corpse’ chapter eleven


Whoa, my Anita Blake reviews have gotten seriously popular over the last two weeks. Maybe I should release them on an e-book and spread my anger across the internet even more MWAHAHAHAHA.

What was more important than bagging the critter that had eviscerated an entire family? Nothing, absolutely nothing. But it was a while until full dark, and I had other problems.

So basically, yes, there is something more important than bagging the critter that has eviscerated an entire family. Anita wants to sort out that problem of that pesky bodyguard who is trying to murder her… by going to a journalist and not the police. Yes, this was truly a clever and informed decision.

Irving is a werewolf but SHHHH you mustn’t tell anyone. You see, lycanthropy is a disease – like AIDS! – and you can’t discriminate against them legally. But people do so he can’t tell anyone. Not only did Hamilton compare changing into an animal for a few nights a month to AIDS, which is massively insensitive, but she’s also indicating that you shouldn’t tell anyone you have a bad disease because they will JUDGE YOU and nothing is worse than people JUDGING YOU.

Never bring up AIDS again Hamilton until you learn how to write with sensitivity.

She asks Irving whether he has any information about Gaynor. In return, she’ll take him to places where they use zombies (BECAUSE ENFORCED THEME) and they can take lots of exploitative pictures and sell a lot of pictures.

‘I’ll see if Harold Gaynor’s in the computer,’ Irving said at last.

I smiled at him. ‘Remembered the name after me mentioning it just once, pretty good.’

You… you just told him who you wanted the information on. It’d make sense if you mentioned it once like a month ago, but talking about Harold Gaynor five minutes before Irving starts looking for information on the said Harold Gaynor doesn’t make remembering the name of Harold Gaynor impressive at all. I do not get these books. I do not get how stupid these people are.

Anyway, there’s a huge add file on Gaynor, probably because he goes around threatening to murder people who tell him no, and Irving offers to give Anita the juiciest parts in a meeting in the Vampire District. You see, Irving is a journalist, so a month after Little Miss Nikky was deposed he’s finally worked out there’s a new master vampire in town.

I think I’m physically in pain.

I feel a lot better. Thank the lord for tumblr fangirls.

Irving is trying to get an interview with the master vampire. OH I SEE WHAT YOU’RE DOING HAMILTON it sucks. The master vampire is our old friend JC and I can’t remember if it was mentioned in the last book. I just remember him giving out roses and being like Tuxedo Mask.

The chapter ends with not much else happening. EUGH. I really, really despise how Hamilton writes guise. I don’t know how I’m going to get through this book, let alone another three. EUGH.

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5 thoughts on “A review of Laurell K. Hamilton’s ‘The Laughing Corpse’ chapter eleven

  1. Ugggh I always hated the AIDS comparison, or comparing it to any other disease someone shouldn’t be discriminated against (but AIDS, seriously?) because while therianthropy (I haaaate how it’s lycantrhopy regardless of species in these) may technically be a virus in strictly scientific terms, it’s really NOT the same as any other disease in terms of how people should be reasonably expected to react to it. Why? With AIDS and other diseases, the person suffering it becomes weaker. There may be a danger they can spread it in some way, but they themselves are not a danger. A person in this world/series who is a wereanimal gains enhanced strength, speed, and senses even while in human form, gets bloodlust and killer instincts and an inner beast and all the usual ‘fighting the animal inside’ stuff as is typical of modern werewolves in media, and that’s not even counting the ‘turns into a giant animal’ (the wolves are the size of ponies!) at will or when they lose control. There’s no way around the fact that even the nicest of them is a potential threat in a big way.

    That’s what always bothers me about the modern trend of depicting vamps and weres as analogue for racial minorities and/or being LGBT. It just doesn’t work. Vampires and werebeasts are fundamentally different from the rest of humanity, and are by nature a danger to it, and are compensated with powers/advantaged over humanity. Being black? Will not get you special abilities like telepathy or wall-crawling to make up for the bias you face in society. Transgender women? Do not suck their estrogen injections out of cisgender women. Unless the goal is to say that racial and sexual minorities are predators and parasites and Other by nature (as with, say, Dracula), it’s just a terrible idea. Don’t remember if it comes up in AB, but I think it does.

    • I don’t see how authors like Hamilton see that it’s so offensive to compare being an animal for three days to having a disease that, while controllable, is a really shitty deal to have and fucks you up. I just… argh! It’s a serious lack of tact that is unacceptable!

      And the whole vampires/LGBT thing – I completely agree, it doesn’t fit at all. Yes, you can play the oppressed minorities card, but it’s pretty hard to write convincingly when you realise that it’s sensible to hate vampires. Reasons for hating LGBT people are ridiculous. They are not going to kill your relatives and make them come back to eat children. (This is why as much as I like X Men, I am kind of on the side of mutant registration because yeah, it’s not a Nazi/Holocaust thing when there are children who can blast faces off with their eyes.) It’s because they have to make the vampires deep and sympathetic characters by making them blameless – while performing evil acts because they can’t help it. Vampires are not woobies – well, unless they are Louis and he was meant to be whiny. You can have us thinking OH NO THEY’RE SO OPPRESSED and THEY MURDER PEOPLE AND ARE AWESOME.

      Dracula works because he lacks sympathy and is intensely alien, playing into British fears of infringement into their imperial ideas and the uncontrollable nature of sexual desire. Modern female authors tend to focus on the sexual desire thing, and ignore looking at vampires in a deep way.

      And have them being all oppressed and shit.

      • Yes, exactly! The metaphor works with Dracula because portraying him negatively was the aim. He’s all about the fear of non-English foreigners as the Other and sexuality as negative, etc. Which, yes, is racist and wrong as heck, but at least it was deliberate. It’s not accidental Unfortunate Implications like with modern authors who do it with the intent of doing the reverse, which I personally find more frustrating.

        I agree completely. I’m a huge X-Men fan, but I’m also a lesbian, and I don’t like the direct, deliberate, etc comparison of LGBT folks to mutants and the bigotry both fact either for those reasons. There is no reasonable reason, as you say, for people to fear gay folks.There actually is reason to be concerned about people walking around with super-powers. It’s not the same. Plus homophobia is ingrained in society, there’s a long history of it, it’s something people are taught, etc. Anti-mutant bias is NEW, it’s a reaction to a new event, it’s not an institutionalized oppression handed down through generations, etc. Ditto for comparing mutants to POC or the disabled or whatever other oppressed group is in vogue to champion without understanding right now. I for real wish they’d show some people ‘against’ mutants who aren’t single-minded senseless bigots whose every iota burns with blind hatred, but maybe just some regular folks who are concerned about, say, how powers tend to manifest at puberty and are my kids going to be in danger at high school if someone suddenly develops a power to make people explode during history class and can’t control it?

        So, uh, clearly I could talk about this a looong time but instead, I’ll just leave this little tidbit for you. Tl;dr is that LKH clearly didn’t understand Dracula, and probably didn’t even read it:
        http://satireknight.wikispaces.com/Dracula+-+The+Ballet

      • It’s a shame she hasn’t, because I love Dracula. Got it in my children’s golden library when I was a kid and it terrified me so much I hid it under the bed for a few years. Oh scary vampires, where did you go?

      • They’re still out there, they just aren’t in literature anymore. For example, movies like 30 Days of Night, or manga/anime like Hellsing.

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