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

I was totally rocking at a pub quiz last night. I won sweet, sweet chocolate. Not so good was that a Anita Blake radio drama was on Radio 4. RADIO. 4. THE BASTION OF CULTURE.

She was rude, condescending, the mythology flip-flopped and she got an innocent woman killed. Christ, not even the short stories are nice.

In today’s chapter, it opens up with Anita being embarrassed at how the woman she threatened is glad she said sorry. Bearing in mind that the woman she threatened saw Anita kill two people in front of her, I understand her fear.

“How did you come to be the terror of good little werewolves everywhere?”

By murdering their friends in front of them, Edward.

“I don’t think they’re used to people shooting and killing them. At least not on first acquaintance.”

shut up shut up shut up shut up shut up shut up you are not clever or funny you are nasty you are mean you are cruel.

Anita then realises that Edward might be behind the missing werewolves and asks him.

*slaps her with her copy of Wolf Hall* What is wrong with you? People hire you to solve crimes? Your mind seems to work at half the rate of a normal brain.

Edward laughs like a cut-rate Victorian villain and says he’s been in town a week but he could be lying. He just loooooooovvvvvessss to lie to her! Or he might be challenging her. He loves to challenge her too.

Anita pulls out her gun because why change that habit now? Edward laughs again and the moment is broken by a lock at the door. It’s Richard, come to stop this little party. Anita hugs him and then realises ‘I couldn’t pull a gun very fast clasped to Richard’s body’.

Your priorities are fucked up Anita.

Edward is all like ‘Richard? How unexpected! Let me talk like JC even though we should have entirely different character voices’ and asks if he can eat his steak as it’s ‘getting ice cold’. Fuck it, it IS JC inhabiting someone else’s body.

By the way, he ordered the steaks to see if Anita could stomach eating them. I hate this dick. I hate them all.

He sat down on the edge of the bed and started cutting meat. The meat was red. Blood oozed out of it.

Blood does not come out of cooked steaks, even rare ones. It’s myoglobin. Well, unless Edward is actually eating a lump of raw meat. I don’t think hotels serve raw lumps of flesh that often.

Anita tells Richard about the film, laughs hysterically, and then goes on and on about how handsome and wonderful Richard is.

I certainly didn’t want to sit in the same room with the man I might marry and watch him watch a porno film.

Yeah, the fact the tape has a woman being eaten alive and bestiality isn’t a problem. It’s the evil, wickedness of pornography. *rolls eyes* Anyway, Richard already knows what’s on the tape. Apparently Raina, who is the Evil Bitch for this book, talked everyone into making them because… shut up. Anita says it’s a snuff film – apparently, the bestiality is okay. She also brings up that his dead friend is in it; ‘honey, it’s okay I shot your friend because he was a bad man anyway!’.

Anita then wonders whether their sex life will involve bestiality. Gosh, this is coming up at the best possible time.

Richard watches the film and sort of … rolls onto the floor in a ball of anger. Both Edward and Anita leap up with their guns at this. No one’s going to do the foetal position around here! Richard’s rolled his way into the toilet and Anita tries to comfort him. Richard behaves like Howard Hughes and entirely freaks out at her presence, begging her not to touch him.

The real problem is not that he’s horrified by what he saw but that he really, really, really wants to put his peen in her special place. He crawls over to her and sighs into her ear. They huff at each other and talk about how hot sex would be right now.

I wish to remind you all that he saw a woman be eaten alive after some vanilla sex. I mean, after that, who wouldn’t be turned on?

I can understand a werewolf getting off on this, perhaps, if a discussion had been brought up of a closer link between their human and primal sides. There hasn’t been so far. Anita has been judging shapeshifters but those we’ve seen have been controlled and above all, human when they were in human form. So this feels incredibly random and rather unwanted. Especially as Richard then goes on about how inhuman he is. Mate, you turn into a wolf one night out of every twenty eight. How does that make you oh-so inhuman when you are human? Honestly, I turn into a furious bitch with a massive fever and in so much pain I double up and can’t walk for four days out of every month but I don’t judge myself for the whole of the time based on those four days.

You are a wolf for a some total of six days a year, Richard. So don’t start bitching about what a monster you are when you have shown perfect control of yourself in all other situations – situations which have been a lot worse than this.

tl;dr – if you’re setting up a moral quandary, don’t spring it up out of nowhere because it adds drama. Show it from the beginning.

Richard runs out and Edward goes ‘Lol what a pussy’. Anita is vibrating like an antenna at Richard’s power. I want to hurt people.

So, not much has changed in all.


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

  1. I wonder about the effects of the wolf at times when they are not in wolf form. I know some stories have the person effected all the time with issues of wanting to eat random people or maybe just any person they see. Others don’t have problems of the wolf at all except at that time of changing.

    The wolves in my game have the wolf at all time, but the spirit is usually sleeping when it’s not so close to the full moon time. It can be woken with extreme emotions, but mostly it doesn’t bother the human that much at all. 😉 And I think Richard might just have issues…even if he didn’t happen to get furry once in a a while 😉

    And it’s amazing how much badness I didn’t recall reading the 1st time around. I’m still stunned I didn’t get the Voodoo origin thing being all wrong. Maybe that’s why she never does it now really. She can’t go back and fix the books after 15 years or however, so LKH just avoids the whole issue and they have sex. 😉

    • I think Richard is issued up the wazoo. Who wants to get married after fifty six days?

      On the whole, werewolf characters who have problems with the inner wolf between full moons can be really great characters – Oz from Buffy, George from Being Human. My only problem here is that it’s never been brought up in any of the books before; the main werewolf characters so far are Marcus, Irving and Richard, who all have well-paid, professional and prolific jobs. If the inner wolf is a problem, then why does it appear to have no impact on their lives? There’s no talk of fighting adversity or the beast inside until it becomes convenient to the plot of a book.

      • “There’s no talk of fighting adversity or the beast inside until it becomes convenient to the plot of a book.”

        Basically. The ‘beast inside’ thing shows itself in later books to be this really difficult to control thing when Anita gets eight of her own (wolf, lion, leopard, and five different-colored tigers, all without actually becoming a shifter herself) yet she still manages to hold her job as an animator and RPIT consultant with no interference from it, and yet when these beasts demand for her to have loads of sex, she’s powerless.

  2. I read somewhere that Richard is based on LKH’s first husband. I’m not sure if it’s true or not but it makes sense.

  3. That would be him! Him and Nathaniel, really. They seem to take it as a joint job. Between them, they’ve almost got half the personality of human being! Well, a quarter maybe…

    • Yeah Nathaniel was gonna be my next guess. I love how Micah tragic back story is that he is very well endowed. That’s pretty much it. He has a huge cock and all the other ladies can’t handle it. I’m sorry but I find this hilarious.

      • forgot to add that I completely agree with Micah and Nathaniel having very little personality.

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