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


Symbolic dream time!

I was small in the dream. A child. The car was crushed in front where it had been broadsided by another car. It looked like it was made of shiny paper that had been crushed by hand. The door was open. I crawled inside on the familiar upholstery, so pale it was almost white. There was a dark liquid stain on the seat. It wasn’t all that large. I touched it, tentatively.

My fingers came away smeared with crimson. It was the first blood I’d ever seen.

I’m guessing this is how Dearly Departed Mexican Mother died. Anita wakes up when she realises there’s a smell of rotten flesh in the room, because Anita has magical sleep that lets you wake up instantly and not feel groggy or anything – she’s perfectly alert. Guess this is why I’m not a vampire killer – I sleep through earthquakes. (Seriously)

There’s a zombie wading through her stuffed penguin collection. As you do.

It was [Dominga Salvador’s] zombie. I couldn’t turn it. I couldn’t order it to do anything until it fulfilled Dominga’s orders. Once it killed me, it would be [as] docile as a dead baby. Once it killed me.

What does Dominga gain by killing Anita? Seriously, can someone explain it. It seems like she’s killed her for the sake of being evil, with no real motivation. Well, unless she brings Anita back as a zombie for her zombie brothel business.

Anita luckily keeps a gun attached to her headboard and shoots at it until a leg comes off and it falls onto the carpet. She walks over to it and she shoots its hands off. She walks away and… I think another zombie jumps her? That has to be it. The narrative gets very muddy and confusing, and it’s hard to tell what exactly is going on. It bites her and she shoots it in the shoulder.  It charges at her and she fires at it (how many bullets does she have?) and they fall to the ground in a big stinky pile. She shoots it in the head and the head explodes. That one is taken care of at least, but then the first one comes at her like a Hungry, Hungry Hippo.

And then the police show up. That’s lucky. As they burst in, Anita scores a headshot on Hungry Hippo zombie. The police help her up and just shoot endlessly into the zombies, who roll around the floor being all dead and not dead.

Here’s a horrifying thought: the people below Anita’s apartment heard gunshots and have no idea what’s going on. Bullets are now raining down through the ceiling into their apartment. They could die.

Anita gets fed up with the police trying to get her out of her home and just endlessly shooting into the two flailing bodies on the floor. She points out she works with RPIT. She begins to shoot endlessly into the zombies. She finally runs out of bullets, but seeing as the two zombies are just wriggly pieces by now (and the neighbours are dead) it seems rather redundant. The zombies won’t stop until they’re incinerated so they’ll be like dying worms all the way through the forensic tests they’re now being taken to do. Fun.

I realized for the first time that I was wearing nothing but an oversize T-shirt and panties.

Important.

Dominga Salvador had meant to kill me. Why make such a damned serious attempt to kill me?

Don’t ask me, I’m asking the same question!

Anita convinces herself that Dominga screwed up and accidentally raised the mutant killer zombie that’s running rampant. Hmm. I don’t think so somehow.

Glazer Safety Rounds didn’t go through walls. It was another reason I liked them. My neighbours didn’t get shot up. The police bullets had pierced the bedroom walls. Neat round holes were everywhere.

Okay, two things.

  1. If the safety rounds don’t go through walls, then how are they able to cleave through bone? This is a genuine question on my part. Knowing nothing about guns, I’d be interested to know whether safe rounds can go through bones but not through walls.
  2. Anita, the zombies were crawling around on the floor. The police weren’t shooting at the walls. And their bullets did go through masonry.

In short:

A paramedic comes in and tries to get Anita out of her apartment for some medical help. With Anita out of the way, they can look at the bodies in the apartment underneath where several people are injured because everyone in law enforcement was very silly. Anita refuses. She is the Great and Powerful Anita Blake, she needs no help!

They did not take into account that they are dealing with a tough-as-nails vampire slayer and corpse raiser.

Anita, you did a shitty – wait, hang on. Did you change tenses in that sentence? Did you change from past to present?

WRITER BAD.

Tears trickling down my cheeks. I wasn’t crying, my eyes were running. My eyes were running because there were pieces of zombie all over my toys. Jesus.

Uh, oh no, you’re feeling emotion over things you love. Oh no.

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

  1. I guess Dominga is worried Anita will have an attack of common sense and think ‘hey, this woman knows I must have committed murder to do what I did with these zombies/Manny told me she committed murder, I should go to the police’ and wants to stop that from happening? Albeit in a way that very obviously points to her…

    LKH’s mother interestingly happened to die the exact same way Anita’s mom did, when LKH was about the same age as Anita was. She also claims that she climbed into the car as a kid and touched the bloodstains too but I’m not sure if I believe it.

    I miss her penguin collection. It’s all gone now, much like everything else that was ever good about the books.

  2. Pingback: Dottie Smith's Verbal Menagerie

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