A review of Laurell K. Hamilton’s ‘Burnt Offerings’ chapter seven


I’ve been playing Lego Harry Potter so long purple rings are surrounding everything I look at. I promised myself I would not buy the second one until I absolutely complete this one and now I have a lot of level grinding to get through as I’ve just reached 50% completion.

On the plus side, I get a break to review Anita Blake. For once, it is a plus.

Anita is going out for a date with JC. It’s difficult because he’s booked a table at a fancy restaurant and women’s ‘dress clothes’ (why do you keep using that phrase?) can’t conceal weapons.

Susan Sto Helit does not approve.

Anything form-fitting made it difficult. Tonight I was wearing a spaghetti-strap formal with slits so high on either side, I’d had to make sure that the hose were a matching off-black, and the underwear was lacy and black. I knew myself well enough to know what sometime during the evening I’d forget and flash the undies. And if I had to go for the gun, I’d certainly flash. So why wear it? Answer: I had a Firestar 9mm pistol tucked inside a bellyband.

What is with your obsessive attachment to guns? And tacky, tacky clothes? The slits are so high she is able to reach through them to grab the gun in her bellyband. I wish I was joking.

I wouldn’t wear something like that to eat. I’d be worrying so much about whether I was comfortable and that my stomach wasn’t bloating that I wouldn’t enjoy my meal, which is supposed to be the point. And that I was showing my bum off to everyone, and that’s not something people should have to see.

She then explains her bra in great detail, revealing in how she’s wearing lingerie (which is a catch-all term for any item of intimate clothing worn by women, so I guess she goes commando all the time) and that her heels are too high. It was that or hem the dress, but ‘I refuse to sew’.

I was going to take a picture with all my craft ephemera around me, but it’d take waaaay too long to set up. Here’s this instead:

Now aren’t you a pathetic mess.

I do consider sewing to be an essential life skill. When your t-shirt rips or your cuffs are half an inch too long, then boom, get a needle and some thread, and the job’s done. It’s not hard to do a good job. This is just another way for Anita to say something ‘feminine’ is beneath her contempt.

Then there are two pages of description of JC. Two. Pages. I do not want two pages of this rapist asshole in my face, fawning over little details that mean fucking nothing and add nothing. Here’s what JC is wearing in handy bullet points. Hope you’re paying attention – it has no relevance to anything.

  • JC’s hair is not curly, but straight tonight.
  • He has a feminine face, but not so you would ever think him a woman, because women are fucking useless and ugly trolls.
  • He is wearing blue and Anita goes into raptures about how she’s never seen him in this colour. Apart from the last book, you mean.
  • He is wearing a blue jacket and a blue frilly shirt.
  • He is sipping wine from a fancy crystal glass.
  • All the blue he is wearing makes his eyes extra blue and amazing.
  • He is wearing black form-fitting trousers that show everyone he is not wearing underwear. He’s flashing the imprint of his penis to everyone as that’s where all his self-worth lies.
  • He is wearing knee high boots.

There. Now we all know.

Anita strolls over in her heels, which gives us another colossal load of how sucky women are.

You had to sort of throw yourself into it, a sling-back, slouching, hip-swinging walk, or the dress wrapped around your legs and the heels twisted at your ankles. You had to walk like you knew you could wear it and look wonderful. If you doubted yourself, hesitated, you’d fall to the floor and turn into a pumpkin. After years of my not being able to wear heels and dress clothes, Jean-Claude had taught me in a month what my stepmother couldn’t teach me in twenty years.

Apart from the fact that she clearly did teach you, as you have worn heels in each of the past books. But, no, Judith is a woman so FUCK HER AND HER FUCKING FEMININE STUFF.

The sight of JC makes Anita feel like a big ugly hoebag and she huffs at him for looking handsome. They then talk about his hair. Anita then says that instead of this being something as nice and simple as taking his girlfriend out to dinner, this is actually all about JC using her mind to taste food.

In private he’d roll on his back like a cat, hands pressed to his mouth as if trying to drain every taste.

That’s because he’s just the servant of Puddykins. All hail Puddyinks.

They talk about his food fetish and how all this is making Anita gain weight, as JC is forcing her to eat more. That’s healthy. That’s very healthy. Anita bitches about how she’s gained four pounds and isn’t that dreadful.

The waiter then comes over and this happens.

“The petite cut,” I told the waiter.

The cheapest and smallest cut. That’s the slice on top of the gristle. Why would you ever order that? I may not eat steak any more (I refuse to eat beef until the British government abolish the badger cull) but I wouldn’t eat the shitty end of the steak that ends up in dog food.

“How would you like that prepared?”

“Half well-done, half rare.”

The waiter blinked at me. “Excuse me, madam?”

… do you even know how steak is cooked? Getting it half rare and half well-done is not only barbaric (it should be on the pinker side of things, over-cooked beef is awful) but really, really difficult. Do restaurants even allow this? I have never seen this as an option, probably because the steak would be ruined.

“It’s an eight ounce cut, right?”

He nodded.

“Cut it in half, and cook four ounces of it well-done, and four ounces of it rare.”

He frowned at me. “I don’t think we can do that.”

“At these prices you should bring the cow out and have a ritual sacrifice at the table. Just do it.” I handed him the menu.

EXCUSE YOU

there is no need to act like an imperious cow at the waiter because you ordered your skag end of meat to be prepared in a ludicrous way that the restaurant do not do. The waiter is not there as your fucking servant. He is not to be commanded around like that.

Ha. I used to work as a waitress. I know what’s really going to end up in her food. Heh heh heh.

The poor waiter then asks what JC wants. JC refuses to order, so the waiter asks him if he would like more wine.

“I do not drink – wine.”

YOU’RE SO WITTY

I THINK I DIED AND WENT TO HEAVEN FROM THE WIT

Anita laughs and JC laughs and they laugh until they cry and the waiter just leaves, presumably to add his contribution to Anita’s meal.

I hate Anita. I seriously hate Anita and her fucking attitude.

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22 thoughts on “A review of Laurell K. Hamilton’s ‘Burnt Offerings’ chapter seven

  1. JC is a public figure. Anita is a public figure. We had all that media – national media – being obsessed with them last book. Want to bet this will end up in the tabloids? Anita flashing her underwear and being verbally abusive to the waiter, and being too cheap to order a decent steak, but insisting on ridiculous preparation. You stay classy, Anita.

    Also, I really want to meet Judith. I have this really sad image of her trying to do makeup and teach Anita how to walk in heels for her prom as a bonding thing, and Anita not listening at all. And then blaming Judith when she falls on her face.

    • I have so much sympathy for Judith. There’s so much potential with Anita’s family, but LKH is so hostile to women it could never happen.

      The papers would have a field day with this.

  2. I guess LKH thinks lingerie specifically means the fancy sexy stuff

    Yeah, if you can’t afford a tailor, sewing is essential, gender regardless (the only reason I can’t do it is a disability that affects my fine motor skills, but I could still probably learn it if I really tried). It’s indeed Anita being too-good-for-girly-stuff even at the excuse of practicality.

    He is wearing black form-fitting trousers that show everyone he is not wearing underwear. Heโ€™s flashing the imprint of his penis to everyone as thatโ€™s where all his self-worth lies. <— JC you are so tacky what are you even doing

    Feminine stuff is only okay if a man teaches it to you! And men can do girly stuff even better than women when they deign too because WOMEN SUCK

    She's in love with the word petite, that's why that cut. Seriously I just hate that word now because of her, at least whenever it appears in the AB books (which it does ad nauseum, though usually in reference to Anita and not her odd bite of food). I pretty much only use it myself now to describe my rat Sam, who is 1/2-2/3 the size of a normal adult rat. She just stopped growing! She has the hind feet of a full-size adult though so she's this tiny baby in big clown shoes basically โค

    What is the badger cull and what does it have to do with beef? *looks it up on own* Oh. I learned something today!

    PEOPLE WHO ARE MEAN TO THE WAITER ARE THE WORST PEOPLE

    LIKE I THINK IT'S A SOCIAL RULE OR SOMETHING THAT IF YOUR DATE IS MEAN TO THE WAITER, DON'T DATE THEM

    ugggh JC did you really just use that line seriously for real uuugggh

    • This was just a nasty and tacky chapter all round. They are the loud couple who disturb your meal by talking about their sex life loudly and bothering the waiter.

      It is a social rule that you should not date someone who is mean to waiters. You also should not date someone who flashes their junk in public!

      The badger cull is abhorrent and disgusting. It’s a cheap ploy to bring back hunting and to instil trust in the beef industry. It’s *a very, very long rant about the poor science and cruelty used to kill a species, when a vaccine could be developed which could stop the problem without killing wildlife and damaging the infrastructure of the ecosystem in the British countryside*.

      Your rat sound soooo cute!

  3. I cannot express the ire I have toward people who order meat well done. And people who think the juice in pink meat is “blood” and squeal and refuse to eat it. I could go on but I’m actually making myself angry.

    Also people who are rude to waiters are not worthy of food.

    • I have to confess, I like my meat well done. I’ve had it pink before, and it’s ok, and I don’t mind the pink juice, I just prefer the texture of well done meat. Just weird like that. However, treating the waiter like that is inexcusable no matter what you order. I would love it if another diner overheard and complained, and they got kicked out.

  4. Anita strikes me as the sort of person who thinks the meat is raw, but orders it rare anyway to show how tough and manly she is.

      • I’ve never met anyone who really enjoys their meat both well done and rare. Not to say there aren’t people, but most have a definite preference. which suggests that JC is making her eat a cut of meat she dislikes, because he wants to taste it, and she’s pissy about it and taking it out on the waiter. And buying the cheap cut so JC can’t find out what decent steak tastes like.

  5. Why… why does Laurell K. Hamilton think that dressing like a cheap hooker you might find outside a 7-11 is sexy? This is not the first time and it won’t be the last that she has her characters go around flashing their junk at a location that really calls for a little more class. Did she grow up on the set of a porn and has come to think that is the normal social standard? That all men go to five-star restaurants in skintight pants with no underwear, or woman go to anywhere but work at a strip club wearing dresses slit up to their belly?

    At least I get to be secure in the knowledge that back in the kitchen, Anita’s steak is experiencing things no steak ever should.

  6. I’ve never waitressed in my life, but 99% of my jobs have been in customer service, plus plenty of my relatives have had to waitress, so it’s a major peeve of mine when people are dicks to the staff. The people who have to deal with food, and the people who eat it, have to work in a special sort of hell. Minimum wage? In the state I live in, waiters earn $2.33. An hour. That’s *their* minimum cash wage before tips. So when people don’t tip whining that “They’re earning minimum wage” (which is federally $7.25), I want to slowly peel their eyeballs out for being dicks. So yes; I too take a special joy in knowing the cooks are likely enjoying themselves with cheap ass’s steak before it ends up on the plate.

    Anita (and LKH) is just a horrible person who can’t dress herself.

      • I’ve worked in waitressing at a Steak N Shake for about 9 years here in Missouri ๐Ÿ˜‰ I remember when we got some raise to make it the 3.675 thing even ๐Ÿ˜‰ The way it worked for us, was, if we made less in tips than minimum wage, the boss was supposed to fill in that gap. The boss told/ encouraged us to always claim enough tips to cover that gap, even if it was very slow and we didn’t make the difference. In return, she ignored all of the people who claimed less tips than they made, or at least, that is what she kept telling us ๐Ÿ˜‰

  7. Why does Anita feel the need to be armed at all times? Even when there’s no logical reason to be? Do you honestly expect to need a gun while out on a date?

    What am I saying, this an Anita Blake novel. If she doesn’t get threatened, she’ll end up threatening someone for no good reason.

    • You never know when the ‘monsters’ are out to get you. Although, if I were a vampire or a werewolf, I would not attack people in the middle of cities for fear of being caught or executed.

      That said, I never hear of any legal ways for vampires or werewolves to exist. They exist, but there are no laws protecting their welfare or providing them with safe ways to act out what they naturally are. There is no ‘donor’ culture for AB vamps, or a system that gives them an option other than hunting down and killing people.

      If LKH gave a damn about worldbuilding, she would explore the implications of this world where legal discrimination is very much in place.

      • That would be nice, but that would require LKH to focus on something other than how awesome Anita is or how hot some guy is.

        Also, I just used a bit of google fu to look up the steak Anita ordered, and apparently it’s not a bad cut. Much as I hate to give LKH any credit, I guess I have to here.

        Although, you’d think she’d maybe explore JC’s weird food fetish some more. Like, tonight he has Anita eat steak, and then on their next date she has a hot dog from a street vendor; you know, really experience the variety out there. But I just know it’s always going to be the most decadent and expensive stuff imaginable, because nothing else is worthy of the All Powerful Anita.

      • Really? All the information I found said it was kinda fatty. That said, I do like fatty meat so I should find out for myself!

        Decadent food is good. Junky food is good. Street food is amazing. I don’t understand people who don’t like experimenting with food.

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