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

At 10:30 that night I was down in the vampire district. Dark blue polo shirt, jeans, red windbreaker. The windbreaker hid the shoulder holster and the Browning Hi-Power. Sweat was pooling in the bends of my arms but it beat the hell out of not having it.

Guns just make everything better. I mean, that’s why America has the lowest crime rates in the world. Anita thinks about her almost kidnapping and that her face really hurts. She could have gone to the police but no, she’s got to meet JC at ‘The Laughing Corpse’ which turns out to be a comedy club. I like to think that vampires are only interested in the comedy stylings of the time they were alive, and it’s all sex jokes and Elizabeth I and Marie Antoinette.

Anita goes straight to the front of the queue because she’s meeting JC and that means she’s more important than everyone else. Everyone is pissed off at her, rightfully so, but she gets in first. Everyone keeps bothering for a ticket and it’s such a drag, but Willie from Guilty Pleasures gets her on through because he’s the manager. And didn’t think to tell any of his staff about a woman who was going to be coming for an appointment so they should let her in. Real good management skills there.

I nodded. I did know. I could bitch and complain about Jean-Claude all I wanted, but compared to most Masters of the City, he was a pussycat. A big, dangerous, carnivorous pussycat, but still, it was an improvement.

I was right! JC’s pet cat Puddykins IS THE REAL VAMPIRE MASTER OF THE CITY. AHAHAAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAAHA i had no idea that was going to happen, i didn’t read ahead, it just came true.

Anita is led to a reserved table by the stage and we all get to revel in vampire and undead comedians. Oh god. The first act we see is a guy whose entire routine is to make jokes about his zombie roommate. With a zombie on stage. Hilarious. The zombie shares my feelings exactly and lurches across the stage to strangle the comedian. I pray for this to happen to Adam Sandler one day.

Willie rushes across the room to stop everyone witnessing a horrible murder but of course, the Great and Powerful Anita Blake steps forward to help so graciously. Simply by telling the zombie to let her go, he does.

I don’t know why everyone can’t speak and have zombies obey them. It doesn’t even feel like magic to me. There is no tingle of the skin, no breath of power. I speak and the zombies listen.

I know why they listen. It’s because you’re our super-speshul main character and you have to be special. Then Anita pesters Willie about being scared of zombies, because being scared of things that rip people limb from limb is just dumb, isn’t it.

We were leaning almost face-to-face now. The gentle brush of his breath smelled like breath mints. Almost all vampires smell like breath mints. I don’t know what they did before mints were invented. Had stinky breath, I guess.

I just… oh god the stupid it hurts. it’s not witty or clever, it just sounds dumb.

Anyway, Willie talks about how powerful and special JC is and how he tortures people and yet he’s so kind… the cat runs SPECTRE and JC just runs around putting cups on coasters. The new comic on stage is a vampire, who is mindraping every customer to laugh at his awful jokes. Gosh, isn’t it so great that vampires are equal members of society, isn’t it?

Charles comes in but I have no idea who he is. Really. If he’s been mentioned before, I’ve forgotten entirely. He berates the club for having a zombie in the kitchen and then Anita talks about how she has to find a prostitute.

‘Caroline is not going to like this.’

‘Don’t tell her,’ I said.

‘You know Caroline and I don’t like to lie to each other, about anything.’

I fought to keep my face neutral. If Charles had to explain his every move to his wife, that was his choice. He didn’t have to let Caroline control him. He chose to do it. But it grated on me like having your teeth cleaned.

‘Just tell her that you had extra animator business. She won’t ask details.’ Caroline thought that our job was gross. Beheading chickens, raising zombies, how uncouth.

Dottie list time!

  1. I like the fact that Charles and Caroline make an effort to be honest with each other. Communication is crucial to any relationship.
  2. What the fuck does it have to do with you Anita? Are you in a relationship with Caroline?
  3. Since when does ‘not wanting to lie to your wife about trawling through the red light district’ mean ‘she’s a controlling harpy’?
  4. Why does it bother you, Anita? Does it stop your amazing life?
  5. Having your teeth cleaned is not a big deal. Does your dentist use a pneumatic drill to clean your teeth?
  6. He just said he doesn’t like lying to his wife.
  7. All of the animator’s wives seem to hate their husband’s jobs. It makes Anita seem all the more badass for actually doing that uncouth stuff.
  8. If she has such a problem with it, why did she marry him?

Willie comes up and lets Anita through to see JC. Charles says he can be her backup, but not too late as he has to get home.

I understood. He was on a short leash. His own fault, but it seemed to bother me more than it bothered Charles. Maybe it was one of the reasons I’m not married. I’m not big on compromise.

Another list

  1. Why is being home at a reasonable time a sign of ‘being on a short leash’?
  3. oh, and relationships don’t involve compromise?
  4. Why are you obsessed with talking about marriage? What is your deal with marriage?
  5. why did meeting JC have to be split into another chapter. I wanted to make fun of how he looks in the comics. FUCK IT, I’LL DO IT ANYWAY




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

  1. – I have no idea who Charles is either, and I usually have a good memory for even the bit characters

    – Anita hates other women SO much. Which would be excellent as a character flaw, but LKH doesn’t see it that way. Anita is actually always 100% right about other women, who always suck in comparison to her.

    – Ahahha, I had forgotten how she just happens to come on the night when a zombie gets loose so she can be a big damn hero

    – Not only is Anita special among humans, but among animators too. I’ve gotten to Flirt (comes after Skin Trade) and have learned that she is one of the best, possibly THE best, and can do things even other animators can’t do (raise zombies that look human, zombies that don’t realize they’re dead, can raise bodies not intact enough for other animators to raise, etc.) and it costs a boatload of money just to TALK to her about getting her to raise one, whether she agrees to or not.


    -LKH has some very strange ideas of what is sexy and/or stylish. Jean-Claude wears a leather tuxedo at one point. Seriously.

    • I feel sorry for the cows in the LKH universe. Being killed for such awful clothing… it’s how Puddykins controls them all. Oh, and by unleashing zombies in front of Anita for no good reason.

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