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


This chapter starts with Anita actually being at work. I know! I’m surprised too. It’s a woman called Elvira Drew. She’s got blonde hair and Anita is fascinated by her dress, which is a blue-green colour.

Amazing.

Anita reacts like a moth to a bright candle at this colour, and I advise you all to remember this when the revolution comes. We can use it to destroy her.

For cloth to have that shimmer, almost a life of its own like fur, it had to be expensive.

I don’t think Hamilton has ever seen real fur. I own a fur wrap and I can assure you that it does not shimmer or appear alive. It’s just… furry.

She smiled, and the smile was all it should have been. She smiled like she knew the effect it had on most people. I was almost afraid to see her near a man.

That just bugs me on principle. I hate to see pseudo-feminist writings where it’s implied that men are thoughtless and have no ability for self-control with temptation. Saying that Drew had an attractive smile or that she’d look appealing to men is fine; saying that she’s somehow a threat by her very appearance pisses me off.

Drew says that she’s writing a book about shapeshifters. Surprise, surprise. She wants to write an academic look at the entire species, with chapters and histories of all major types.

She blinked gorgeous eyes at me and looked puzzled. She was good at looking puzzled. I’d seen the intelligence in her eyes a moment ago. The dumb-blonde routine was an act. Would it have worked if I were a man? I hoped not.

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I GET IT. YOU HATE WOMEN WITH BLONDE HAIR. I’M SORRY.

Just what was the point of that? Drew had no need to fake being stupid. She came to Anita to ask for her help on a academic text. How could it possible benefit her to appear stupid and helpless? The only benefit is to Anita, who looks better because she doesn’t have to do such bullshit to get by in life.

Drew asks for help getting her an interview with a wererat, as Bert told her Anita would help. At the suggestion of helping someone, Anita throws a strop.

She rushes through to see Bert, even though he’s with a client, because she’s a PROFESSIONAL and HOW DARE PEOPLE ASK HER TO DO THINGS.

Bert is with Kaspar Gunderson.

He was dressed all in white today, and it emphasized everything. How could I have ever looked at him and thought him human was beyond me.

These things are not the same.

Hamilton, your phraseology sucks. Each time you talk of shapeshifters and their otherness which sets them apart from humans, it sounds as if they look inhuman. If you mean that Anita’s mystical special snowflake necromancer powers can tell that they’re shapeshifters, then tell me that. Make it clear. Because it reads as if they look somewhere between human and animal, and I’m wondering how fucking stupid everyone is for not realising that a bunch of people with swan faces are wondering around.

Kaspar acts as if they don’t know each other and Anita demands to talk to Bert, like, right now. She’s going to win an Olympic gold medal in the field of ‘terrible employee’. Kaspar is polite and offers to leave the room. When he leaves, Bert immediately starts to berate Anita for her attitude and manners.

He should have known better than to try and intimidate me with size. I’ve been the smallest kid on the block for as long as I can remember. Size hasn’t been impressive for a very long time.

I GET IT. WE ALL GET IT. YOU’RE SHORT. GET OVER IT. FUCK OFF.

Anita swears and bitches and whines to her boss about her job, a sure-fire cocktail for getting anyone else in the world fired with no reference. Bert doesn’t address the issue, just asks her if she’ll help Elvira Drew. I’m glad I don’t have a boss as impotent as Bert. I really like my boss. I am not saying this because he has access to my twitter and facebook fan page. Not at all.

Anita responds to her calm inaction by complaining more.

“I don’t like sitting down across from clients and not knowing what the hell they want. No more surprises. You clear clients with me first.”

waaa waaa waaa maybe he’d do it if you weren’t such an awful person. Grow up, do your job, and stop acting like you’re the centre of the universe.

Bert cuts in with the fact that Kaspar wants an ancestor raised from the dead for an exorbitant fee. Anita swears at him some more. You’re so mature and well-reasoned a woman, aren’t you?

“Is there anything you wouldn’t schedule in as a client, Bert?”

Well, thanks for describing a person with lycanthropy as a ‘thing’ Anita, I was worried you might start being tolerant or some shit.

Bert asks Anita to take her gun off, because it makes clients nervous. Anita refuses. Taking it off would imply she cares about the feelings of others. Bert threatens to fire her but she’s the great and all powerful Anita Blake, you cannot hurt her for her bitchiness is like a shield of steel. Threats merely bounce off.

I smiled sweetly. “Fuck you, Bert.” So much for a graceful exit.

I despise you.

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

  1. I was going to ask how Anita has managed not to get fired yet, and possibly imply that she’s either sleeping with and/or blackmailing her boss. Then I realized that those rely on a universe that runs on things like logic.

    The real answer is simple – Anita is LKH’s self-insert, and thus nothing bad can happen to her unless it’s to cause drama. And getting fired and needing to find a new job just isn’t dramatic enough for Anita/Hamilton.

    I have to wonder if stuff like this is why Hamilton fired her editor. Maybe they just got sick of all the inconsistencies and bitchiness.

    • I think so. Her husband edits her work now, and seeing as he’s a Troo Fan I know exactly why she got rid of a professional editor.

      Anita can’t get fired! She has Sue Immunity! No matter how much of a conniving bitch she is, her job is always there for her.

  2. This reminds me of LKH and her professionalism. Apparently, one of LKH’s first jobs was a secretary of some sort. She answered phones for the boss, at least. Anyway, she ended up not liking said boss, because *le gasp* the boss wanted LKH to do her job so LKH started doing “sexy” voices whenever she answered the phone.

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