A review of Laurell K. Hamilton’s ‘The Lunatic Cafe’ chapter four


Jean-Claude was dressed in a shiny black tux, complete with tails. A white vest with minute black dots bordered the gleaming whiteness of his shirt. The collar was high and stiff, with a cravat of soft black cloth tied around it and tucked into the vest as if ties had never been invented.

All you needed to say was that JC the asshole is wearing a cravat. People still wear them. You do not have to add a caveat of an alternate universe where the tie has not been invented.

The stickpin in his vest was made of silver-and-black onyx.  His shoes had spats on them, like the ones Fred Astaire used to wear though I suspected the entire outfit was of a much older style.

Well done for noticing that a Victorian suit is Victorian.

His hair was fashionably long, the nearly black curls edging the white collar. I knew what colour his eyes were, but I didn’t look at them now. They were midnight blue, the colour of a really good sapphire.

Well, a really good blue sapphire. Green, yellow and pink ones are very common too. On an aside, I am fed up of novelists describing eye colour as being like a particular gemstone. It’s just rather trite and boring. I would describe his eyes as being ‘synthetic blue, the colour of a really good blue raspberry Slush Puppie’.

Now, isn’t that romantic and alluring?

Anita, noticing that the theatre is empty, walks up to him and criticises him for wearing only black and white all the time. JC responds by twirling around to show off the outfit. He then asks Richard about the musical and about how quiet he is. Richard says about how wonderful the evening was until JC showed up like a massive dick. Because he is a dick. He showed up just to spoil their lukewarm date. The two men bitch at each other over who wants to bone Anita the most until her pager goes off, breaking the moment most fortuitously. While she finds a phone, she chastises Richard for not carrying a cross with him because, apparently, in St Louis at night it’s a fucking free-for-all for vampires and you never know when your time is up. She offers him a silver cross because, after all, she’s an expert in all things supernatural – sorry, preternatural.

“Have you seen her bedroom, Richard? Her collection of toy penguins?”

You are an unpleasant man JC.

JC then talks about how much Richard doubts Anita and that he can totes control him with his magic wolf-voice. Oh, and Richard’s pack leader wants him dead and whoops, he lets slip that Richard’s in the middle of a battle of succession.

LOOK AT THIS ASSHOLE. AND TO COMPOUND HIS AWFUL PERSONALITY, HE IS WEARING LEATHER TROUSERS AND LEATHER THIGH HIGH BOOTS. DEAR GOD.

LOOK AT THIS ASSHOLE. AND TO COMPOUND HIS AWFUL PERSONALITY, HE IS WEARING LEATHER TROUSERS AND LEATHER THIGH HIGH BOOTS. DEAR GOD.

JC is just a horrendous character, made worse by a complete and utter lack of personality or any nice traits. At all. While Richard doesn’t want to talk about it because it’s not the sort of thing you say on a pleasant date in the theatre, JC drones on and on about how Marcus – pack leader – wants Anita to be involved and how Richard is a ‘master’ werewolf. Oh, and that Marcus wants Richard dead.

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JC is seriously fucked up. If he becomes a major romantic lead, I will not be pleased.

And… all the giggling and evilness is sort of reminding me of Him from The Powerpuff Girls. And not in the ‘shit my pants way’ but in the ‘mincing and giggling and being completely ineffective’ way.

Anita immediately demands to know what Richard’s business is because DAMNIT SHE’S ANITA BLAKE THERE ARE NO SECRETS TO BE KEPT FROM HER.

Jean-Claude laughed again. This time the sound wrapped me around like flannel, warm and comforting, thick and soft next to naked skin.

Um…. sexy? I mean, what’s more romantic than rubbing your face with a towel.

Anyway, Anita is ANGREH at both men because HOW DARE RICHARD NOT TELL HER EVERYTHING IMMEDIATELY. SHE’S ANITA FUCKING BLAKE GOD DAMN IT!

“Fuck you both,” I said.

What a catch. I can see why you’re both so desperate to date her.

She tells JC that she hates him and that she’ll kill him if he hurts Richard. Then she flounces off into the night. Because she’s ANITA FUCKING BLAKE.

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6 thoughts on “A review of Laurell K. Hamilton’s ‘The Lunatic Cafe’ chapter four

  1. “If he becomes a major romantic lead, I will not be pleased.”

    Oh dear. I don’t quite know how to explain the magnitude of how un-pleased you are surely going to be, then.

  2. I can kinda, sorta, if I squint see where Anita is coming from on the battle of succession thing. If you’re in the middle of something that pretty much has to end in death, it’s something you should probably mention to your significant other. “Hey babe, so there’s a good chance I’ll die some time soon. Either that, or I’m going to have to murder someone. Just thought I’d bring up those very real possibilities.”
    That said, this early in the relationship, it may be a little early to bring that shit up. Although if you know you’re in the middle of something that can very easily end in your death, don’t start dating right then. Deal with your business, then start dating.

  3. Slightly off topic, but it relates to JC. So I had always pictured JC as an 80’s Pete Burns, and I remember telling other AB fans this, whom would then go wild about how wrong I was since Pete Burns was much too feminine to be portray. I would always be left a little confounded and thinking, “Are we reading the same books?”

    • There is no one too feminine to be JC. It’s strange how much ingrained misogyny is in these books, but the feminine is only celebrated if it is a male displaying these attributes.

      Pete Burns is a good fit. When JC first turned up, I pictured him as Dave Vanian but…. no. DV’s fine baritone would not suit JC.

      • I remember. It made me smile as I am a huge Vanian fan (sadly, few of my friends know who The Damned are 😦 ). Now, don’t get me wrong. I love Pete Burns, but yeah, both he and JC have this prissy and bitchy sort of attitude. Dave has too much punk for JC.

        And ugh… the sexism in the books. They only get worse. I mean, I have said sexist things in my life; it’s bound to happen. Luckily, I have an awesome room mate who will call me out on it. It doesn’t happen too often so yes, I give myself a gold star. Still need to work on that narcissism though… But yes, LKH is horribly sexist and pretty homophobic as well (and not just with lesbians). Like the only time men are with men in Anita Blake is, well, so Anita can get her kicks really. Then, later, Hamilton has the gall to turn 99% of the men who were bi to heteroflexible. Yes, I realise that is a real sexual preference, but the way Hamilton writes it sickens me as it seems pretty obvious she is using the term because bisexuality is such an icky term.

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