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


I has a major sad. Being Human is over.

To try and cheer myself up, I went on the Mary Sue Litmus Test to see what Anita would be, based only on the three and a bit books I have read thus far.

She came to 94, on a test where a score of over fifty presumes that you did not understand the test.

If you are still willing to argue that the first books are good, I am not sure where your argument comes from.

Anita goes around at work and then in an awkward time shift, she’s at Edward’s hotel room. I hate Edward. I really do. Well, there’s not much to hate as he doesn’t really have that much of a character, but I hate that he’s an egotistical, stalking asshole who doesn’t care who he kills. I think I might hate him because he’s Anita with a penis.

I was wearing a white Christmas sweatshirt that had Maxine from the Shoebox Hallmark commercials on it. She was drinking coffee with a candy cane in hand, saying, “This is as jolly as I get.” Bert had asked us to wear Christmassy-type things for the month.

And again, I ask why Bert makes his employees dress up for major holidays. Does a novelty jumper or Halloween costume scream out ‘we are respectful and caring when dealing with raising your murdered teenage daughter from the grave’? It sure as hell doesn’t to me. I would go out of my way to not use a company that thought singing Christmas trees the height of sophisticated style. Anita washes off blood from raising zombies, merrily laughing as to how Edward will explain this to the maids. I don’t know, he cut himself shaving?

She is struck with the sudden realisation that she is engaged. We hear a little about Mr. Wanted Her Pants Before – namely, that he was so ‘white bread’ that even the dreaded Judith liked him. I’m surprised that Anita didn’t dump him first; isn’t most of her life a childish rebellion against her stepmother?

Edward and Anita sit down to eat room service together.

He hit the remote control, and the TV screen flickered, jumping from a game show to a bedroom.

A woman with long brown hair lay on her back in a round bed. She was nude, or at least what I could see of her was nude. Below the waist she was hidden behind the furiously pumping buttocks of a dark-haired man.

“This is pornography.” I didn’t even try to keep the disbelief from my voice.

“It certainly is.”

[…]

But I was still in a man’s hotel room watching a porno movie, and good girls just didn’t do that.

What is this sudden obsession with what good girls are allowed to do or not do? And I’m sorry, but Anita sounds like the most sheltered girl. This was published in 1996 and yet she doesn’t appear to masturbate and is stunned at the idea of pornography. It reads like the attitudes of a decade or two earlier – y’know, Hamilton’s own youth.

Anyway, luckily the pornography has something to do with the plot. Alfred, he recently murdered by Anita, is in the film.

The images on the screen moved at a furious pace, doing intimate things that would have been obscene at any speed. At fast forward it seemed sadder. Ridiculous as well as degrading.

Of course, as a straw feminist Anita hates this nasty pornography. It’s awful and obscene! … although the two stars are only doing the missionary position. In the grand scheme of porn films, that hardly qualifies as ‘obscene’. And frankly, calling sex ‘obscene’ is a bit stupid. Especially considering Anita’s future.

And then Alfred comes and goes, and a man with a mask changes into a leopard and fucks the woman.

I AM NEVER READY FOR SUDDEN BESTIALITY. GOD, WHEN HAMILTON TALKS ABOUT HOW HER BOOKS ARE SO ‘DARK’ AND ‘UNCOMFORTABLE’ I LAUGHED. BUT NO, THERE IS BESTIALITY. AND THE WOMAN ENJOYS IT AND ALFRED JOINS IN AND I DON’T KNOW WHAT TO DO. HE TURNS INTO A WOLF AND IT IS A HUMAN-WOLF-LEOPARD THREESOME.

He seemed very excited to see her.

HOW FUCKING OLD ARE YOU ANITA? HE HAD A HARD ON. JUST SAY THE WORDS. YOU’RE CALM ABOUT THE WHOLE ANIMAL-WOMAN THREESOME BUT YOU’RE BEING COY ABOUT A MAN’S ERECTION? WHAT THE FUCK. WHAT THE ACTUAL FUCK.

SAVE ME TOM HIDDLESTON. SAVE ME FROM THE BESTIALITY.

I need hugs. I need someone to tell me that it’s okay and that I never have to deal with bestiality again. Unfortunately, I don’t think the bestiality is going to stop in this book series.

I’m haunted.

The wolf and the leopard then eat the woman. Guess that makes it okay that Anita shot Alfred then. The father of the woman in the tape hired Edward to find and kill the men who ate her alive. Well, Anita’s already done half the work at least.

“I’m not an assassin, Edward.”

No, you’re a murderer with no remorse.

Edward asks for her help, so Anita phones up Richard at the Lunatic Cafe double quick. She threatens the woman who answers because she’s Anita fucking Blake and doesn’t know that manners don’t cost a penny. Richard answers and is all coy (shucks, do you just want to see me?) and says he’ll come over – once she’s apologised to the woman she’d threatened.

I did not want Anita finally giving an apology to be countered with bestiality and a woman being devoured alive. I am not happy. Not at all.

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

  1. I took it for her at Skin Trade, and by then she’s a 120. Not only is that way over 50, it’s also more than she weighs. Mary Sue tests aren’t always the most reliable, since a lot of what makes a Mary Sue is the execution of traits, not said traits themselves, but I think it was spot-on in this case.

    LKH cannot say erection, penis, vagina, or any normal euphemism there-of such as cunt, pussy, dick, cock, hard-on, etc. She can’t. The words never appear even when she’s writing the porn itself of Anita getting fucked. It leads to some truly odd phrases like “the front of his body swelled” which sounds more like an oncoming chest-burster scenario to me than anything else.

    And yes, of course Anita finding out AFTER she killed Alfred means that it was okay when she killed him and had no idea about it. That makes loads of sense. You’ll find that Anita ends up ‘justified’ in everything she does, or at least according to the narrative. That, for me, is a big Mary Sue execution–no matter how imperfect their actions actually are, they will be sold to the reader as perfect. Anita could be the exact same person and do the exact same things and I would have no problem with it if only it was clear I wasn’t supposed to like and approve of her.

    • Anita is one of the biggest Mary Sues I have ever read. She’s worse than Bella freaking Swan, who was more of a Mcguffin than a character. Everything she does is right and justified and everyone who dislikes her ends up being proved wrong or dying.

      The porn was painful. It was not only vile in terms of subject matter, but in writing style.

      “Yeah, I know how to make love – insert, rotate sixty degrees.” Dear lord LKH, I find reading smut – even enjoyable smut – uncomfortable but even I could write it better than she could.

    • I agree on the annoying thing of not just saying the correct body part, and considering, I sometimes I think I’m a prude in that area… yeah.

      I just want to scream,” just say that damn word. Not the top of her, or the middle of anything else.” I don’t need for it to be used a lot in every sentence but enough to know what Anita is actually playing wtih, so I don’t have to go…oh, you must be touching his dick. Right…I think. 😉

  2. I actually kinda like Edward. Now hear me out. Admittedly, all I know of him is from these recaps, but I get the impression that, unlike Anita, he doesn’t have any illusions about what he is. Yes, he’s an asshole and probably a bit of a sociopath, but at least he doesn’t deny it. I imagine him as being a bit like Jayne Cobb from Firefly – I wouldn’t turn my back on him, but I’d rather have him in my corner than against me.

    That’s my head-canon from now on – Edward is Jayne Cobb, Vampire Slayer. Then again, I kinda like anti-heroes who are heavy on the “anti-“.

    Also, when I read this:

    “I’m not an assassin, Edward.”

    My immediate thought was, “Of course you’re not – assassins kill people for money; you kill people for no good reason.”

    • I don’t like Edward because I hated Guilty Pleasures anyway, and he just seemed like an immense knob. He’s got a lot of fans among the anti crowd, and I can see why. He’s not a hypocrite like Anita is, and gets the job done.

      I still really, really hate him though. I can only see him as Anita with a dick and GOD DAMN, I HATE ANITA SO MUCH.

  3. So I just found this blog a couple of days ago and I’ve been reading your commentary on the Anita Blake series like crazy. I’ve been enjoying it immensely and realize what an idiot ten years younger me was for liking this series.

    Hurray for being older and wise!

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