A reivew of Laurell K. Hamilton’s ‘The Laughing Corpse’ chapter thirty six


Anita is tied to a chair. Dominga hovers around, clipping her nails and some hair for the compulsion spell.

I had been tied up before, and I always have this Houdini fantasy that this time I’ll have enough slack to wriggle free. It never works that way. Once you’re tied up, you stay tied up until someone lets you go.

It’s rare that Anita is witty when it is not at the expense of someone else, so I did enjoy that paragraph. Bruno brings in an unconscious Wanda and she’s in pretty bad shape. It’s motivation for Anita to raise the zombie, since apparently Dominga is in actual fact absolutely horrendous at magic. Also Wanda’s going to be the human sacrifice. Gaynor is very pro recycling.

I stared down at Wanda. She lay on her side without moving. She was wearing another long multicoloured skirt. A white blouse with a wide lace collar was half-ripped from one shoulder. The bra she wore was the color of plums. I bet there had been panties to match before Tommy got hold of her.

Nice. Implications of rape. Because a urban fantasy book with a female heroine cannot possibly be printed with out at least one mention of rape.

Wanda is awake and Anita demands that she drag her legs across the floor and free her from the chair. Wanda refuses because she can’t walk and she’s been tortured horribly.

It was almost as if panic were a drug, and Wanda was fighting off the influence. Or maybe it was Harold Gaynor who was the drug. Yeah, that made sense.

No, it doesn’t.

She was a junkie. A Harold Gaynor junkie. Every junkie is willing to die for one more fix. But I wasn’t.

Yes, I’m sure Wanda is desperate to help the man who skinned her legs for kicks and abandoned her to be a street walker. It hasn’t got anything to do with the fact she has been tortured, possibly raped, and cannot walk. Despite this, because everyone is unworthy compared to the Great and Powerful Anita Blake, Wanda frees the ropes a little until Not Nice Tommy comes back into the room, twirling a knife. He asks if Anita wants to raise the zombie. She says no.

‘Because he sent me in here to persuade you.’

I stared at the glittering knife, I couldn’t help myself. ‘With a knife?’

‘With something else long and hard, but not so cold,’ he said.

‘Rape?’ I asked. The word sort of hung there in the hot, still air.

He nodded, grinning like a damn Chesire cat.

I hate it when rape is used in books like these. Female authors, male authors, whatever, they both use rape as a generic catch-all horror that happens to women and I am sick of it appearing. Rape is something to be used with a great delicacy, because it’s an awful awful awful awful thing that is still far too common. Throwing it into a plot as something that is used as a weapon against women will always make me dislike what you are writing. Anita being raped has no real purpose. It was out in for shock value and that sickens me.

Tommy settles down into the act of raping Anita and I am not going to recap it because it is horrible to read a first-person narrative account of rape when it is being used purely to inspire shock in the reader. Rape makes me feel sick, because there’s a one in four chance it will happen to me in my lifetime and I really don’t want to read a graphic account of how Tommy is getting hard and Anita doesn’t like it.

For once Anita and I agree on something, for she plunges her thumb into Tommy’s eye and makes it explode.

black widow

That got a deserved Black Widow badass seal of approval.

Wanda drags him to the ground and Anita beats him to death with a chair leg, recreating the death of Yellow Bastard from Sin City. Cripes.

I’d never beaten someone to death before. It had felt good.

….

just going to leave that there.

Wanda and Anita leave the room in search of escape and I am going to try and wash this all from my mind.

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4 thoughts on “A reivew of Laurell K. Hamilton’s ‘The Laughing Corpse’ chapter thirty six

  1. Seriously, what IS it with threat-of-rape-against heroine in, well, everything, but also UF in particular?

    And oh, so this is the first time Anita kills a human. I thought it was…later. Well, that’s fucked up. Because if she could beat him to death, then she at some point before he was dead had beat him to the point he would not be getting up again soon and was thus no longer going to be a threat against her and Wanda. She had no reason to kill him. I have no love for rapists at all, and if it had been me, I admit I might have done the same just as a reaction to that threat, but it doesn’t come off to me, from the excerpt you put, like that was the case. Wow, that makes Anita’s descent murder-wise in the later books seem a lot more in-character now.

    • Agreed. It comes off as very egregious to kill him. He was a awful 2D character, but beating someone’s head into mush takes time – time they could have used to make their escape.

      And ugh, don’t get me started on how often rape is used because it’s a crime supposedly targeted at women. The Sookie Stackhouse books had it happen at least once a book, and it only happened because SHE IS A WOMAN WHO IS PRETTY MEN MUST WANT TO RAPE HER! Honestly, unless it happens for a well thought out and sensible reason, rape must never happen so flippantly in books.

      • Ugh, agreed on both counts.

        Oh, and the chimera zombie that showed up last chapter? With all the parts stuck together? That’s the awesome monster I told you was gonna be in this. I didn’t remember the foot still having a shoe, that’s kinda goofy to say the least, but the concept of all these dead bodies molded together en masse is JUST SO COOL for me horror-wise. Unfortunately, I don’t really remember it doing anything much. I’m hoping my memory is wrong, though.

      • The idea is good; the presentation is sadly lacking. I think that’s just my personal niggle with Hamilton’s writing – that things show up, but there’s little impact.

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