A review of Laurell K. Hamilton’s ‘Cerulean Sins’ chapter two


Lindel Cemetery was one of those new modern affairs, where all the headstones are low to the ground, and you aren’t allowed to plant flowers.

Are you allowed to plant in American cemeteries? Because you can’t in the UK. Because, well, it’s not your land to plant on. The land belongs to the local parish. Anyway, Anita likes big fancy ostentatious cemeteries which makes sense because she was raised Catholic. They tend to be into more ostentation than Protestant churches. Anita’s here to raise a Mr Gordon Bennington from the grave to prove whether his death was suicidal or an accident – there’s a multimillion dollar insurance claim at stake. She parks up her new Jeep; her old one was destroyed in the ‘climax’ of the last book.

The insurance company hadn’t wanted to pay up on my claim. They didn’t believe that werehyenas had eaten the Country Squire.

Because they didn’t. They tore it apart. You committed insurance fraud!

Anita meets up with Arthur Conroy, the head of the lawyers for the insurance company (that holds Bennington’s claim – the insurance company isn’t here to take away Anita’s Jeep) and he’s surrounded by bodyguards. Of course he is, because this is a bizarro universe where everything is solved by violence.*

The dark-haired bodyguard, with shoulders nearly as broad as I was tall, smiled, though. “So you’re Anita Blake.”

Bad comma use and I don’t believe the guy has five foot broad shoulders.

“And you are?”

“Rex, Rex Canducci.”

I raised eyebrows at him. “Is Rex really your first name?”

He laughed, that surprised burst of laughter that is so masculine – and usually at a woman’s expense. “No.”

… of course, only men may laugh in surprise! And the only reason why they would laugh is to mock women!

I didn’t bother to ask what his real first name was, probably something embarrassing, like Florence, or Rosie.

Why would his name be Florence or Rosie? Actually, his name could be Florence, as it’s a unisex name. But unlike Shirley, or Meredith, or Ashley, Rosie has never been a unisex name. So I’m not sure why Anita thinks ‘Hey, this guy is probably called Rosie’. The other bodyguard is called ‘Balfour’ and Anita makes an unfunny crack about how he’s got one name ‘like Madonna or Cher’. For a start, how many people with just one name do YOU know, Anita? Secondly, those are both stage names. Madonna Ciccone and Cherilyn Sarkisan have professional stage names that they perform under.

Mrs Bennington then arrives. This is a source of conflict as the head lawyer and Mrs Bennington have physically fought each other at previous meetings. There are plain clothes officers around, and generally the impression is that the court should have appointed an official to witness this raising rather than two parties who HAVE BEEN ACTUALLY FIGHTING EACH OTHER.

I called her Mrs. Bennington at her insistence. When I’d referred to her as Ms. Bennington, she’d nearly bitten my head off. She was not one of your liberated women. She liked being a wife and mother. I was glad for her, it meant more freedom for the rest of us.

This is what happens when people who don’t understand feminism try to write feminist characters.

  • She has every right to insist on being called by her preferred title. After all, Anita, you bite people’s heads off when you don’t get called Ms.
  • My mother is a Mrs and I dare you to not call her a ‘liberated woman’. Calling her Mrs Smith is about respect. That’s her fucking title and you’re going to call her it.
  • You can be a ‘liberated woman’ and still be a wife. Unless you actually think all feminists believe that becoming a wife is like literally becoming someone else’s property.
  • It’s okay to be married! There is nothing wrong with being married! I don’t think I’d ever get married, but I don’t look down on women who do get married. Why would I?
  • It’s okay to be a wife and mother! Feminism is about making ALL women equal and respected. Making motherhood as respected in society as any other life choice or career path or anything a bloke might choose to do IS THE POINT OF FEMINISM. THE LITERAL POINT IS TO MAKE MEN AND WOMEN EQUAL, AND THINGS SEEN AS MASCULINE AND FEMININE EQUAL.
  • Mrs Bennington being married doesn’t increase the average level of equality experienced by all the other women in America.

Anita goes to talk to the police officer with Mrs Bennington. She just can’t talk to another woman, that’d be too feminist or something. Mrs Bennington yells at Anita, but I don’t blame her for that. She then goes berserk trying to attack Anita, almost attacks the cop, and is threatened with being thrown in the back of the cop car. Because we can’t have the other female character in this book so far act in a rational manner!

“I’ll have your badge if you touch me.”

“Striking a police officer is considered a crime, Mrs Bennington,” he said in that deep voice.

Even my moonlight you could see the astonishment on her face, as if somehow she hadn’t quite realized any of the rules applied to her. The realization seemed to take a lot of the wind out of her. She settled back and let her cadre of dark-suited lawyers lead her a little away from the nice police officer.

I was the only one close enough to hear him say, “If she’d been my wife, I’d have shot myself too.”

I laughed, I couldn’t help it.

The two then laugh about how Mrs Bennington is ‘such a crazy bitch’. In fact, the ‘nice police officer’ is considering shooting her.

– OUT OF CHEESE ERROR –

Ah, a good butt is always the solution to fighting such BLATANT AND UTTER MORONITY.

They complain some more about how Mrs Bennington is such a pain in the ass because she’s got connections with top brass and money and I don’t care because your misogyny means I am fully on her side. They continue to laugh at Mrs B and he says how funny Anita is and she says most people don’t find her funny at all probably because she’s trying to kill them. He says that all the cops in the whole city would take Anita as their back up for some ungodly reason and Anita is all I AM TOTES BLUSHING. They laugh at how Zerbrowski is a piece of crap who somehow ended up with a sitcom style hot wife. Then the zombie raisins can begin and Anita goes to get her stuff.

Now, I’m going to go unwind on the Steve Rogers tag. For research.

I like vests.

PS. My play is up on facebook, I’d love some support. We’re having – hopefully – a question and answer sesh, so please send us some questions.

*As I say that, I realise that the current solution to several world problems at the moment is violence. We need to exorcise the Anita Blake books.

Advertisements

9 thoughts on “A review of Laurell K. Hamilton’s ‘Cerulean Sins’ chapter two

  1. I still don’t get how her “more freedom for the rest of us” comment works at all, it’s not like freedom is a limited resource that each person can only be given so much of or we’ll run out. It’s not a cake, you don’t get two slices because someone else doesn’t want some.

    • Well, when you get married – to anyone, because Anita hates all marriage and doesn’t acknowledge that any other genders might want to be in a partnership – your vote is instantly taken away because married women aren’t allowed opinions. Trufax.

  2. Hi, sorry I haven’t commented on here in a while. The final third of NiC made the writer in me want to curl into a ball and die. I know I promised to write a Loki crossover-fic, but things have gotten in the way (a uni appeal, LKH replacing Richard – who has a key role in the fic – with Micah, finishing NiC, and health issues) that essentially mean I’ve had to put it on hold until now.

    Anyway, onto the latest serving of LKH’s river of excrement:

    “you could see the astonishment on her face, as if somehow she hand’t quite realised any of the rules applied to her”

    I’m surprised Anita wasn’t crushed under the weight of the irony in that sentence. And I’m sorry, but if you’re going to make a point about someone not using their real name, you have to at least give some reason why. e.g. they’re a PI investigating a case using a fake ID, or an ex-con not wanting to become an immediate suspect in a crime. Then again, that would constitute decent writing and this is LKH we’re talking about, so I’m probably wasting my breath.

  3. “Are you allowed to plant in American cemeteries?”

    I’m not sure, but probably. Those kinds of gravestones do usually have a vase attached for flowers and stuff, though.

    “I called her Mrs. Bennington at her insistence. When I’d referred to her as Ms. Bennington, she’d nearly bitten my head off. She was not one of your liberated women. She liked being a wife and mother. I was glad for her, it meant more freedom for the rest of us.”

    Ah, now I’m remembering this book. And seriously, Anita – wtf is wrong with you? And Hamilton – that is *not* how feminism works. I kinda have to wonder if this was written after her divorce but before marrying John, her husband, John.

    “Even my moonlight you could see the astonishment on her face, as if somehow she hadn’t quite realized any of the rules applied to her. The realization seemed to take a lot of the wind out of her.”

    Gonna have to agree with Owen Lewis on this one – the sheer amount of irony in these two sentences is staggering. It’s almost enough to convince me that LKH is just trolling her fanbase. Almost.

    “I was the only one close enough to hear him say, “If she’d been my wife, I’d have shot myself too.””

    Okay, I’ve made some off-color jokes in the past. And I can understand police officers and other people who regularly deal with really nasty stuff using really dark humor to cope with the situation. But this is not the time nor the proper scenario to be making cracks like this.

    “He says that all the cops in the whole city would take Anita as their back up”

    Yeah, gonna have to call bullshit on that. Anita might be a good shot and all, but she’s also a trigger-happy psycho, which is exactly the kind of person you *don’t* want backing you up.

    “They laugh at how Zerbrowski is a piece of crap who somehow ended up with a sitcom style hot wife.”

    Wait, what did Zerbrowski do to deserve this kind of treatment? Other than maybe not bend over and kiss Anita’s ass at every opportunity and instead acting like – you know – a FUCKING COP.

    • The graveyard where my family are buried has vases and spaces for flowers but we haven’t been allowed to plant anything on the graves. It’s not our property to go digging up.

      The book is dedicated to Jon, who apparently named the book. I think they were a couple by this point.

      I have no problem with off-colour jokes but I object to people laughing about shooting women. I dunno, some kind of personal issue about violence directed at women in works by misogynists.

      Because Zerbrowski is an ugly guy with a hot wife! You’re meant to laugh at people like that! They break societal expectations! Ha ha ha ha ha!

  4. Seems to depend on the cemetery. Some I think do want you to plant something, or at least allow you to (because it looks prettier to the living than flat green grass and big honkin’ stones), others have little vases to put flowers in to die. If I remember right, the military cemetery my grandfather is at has the latter. I, personally, want to be cremated and used to fertilize a rose bush when I go, so I’m not a strong source of info despite the handful of funerals I’ve had to attend over the years.

  5. The cemetery where most of my family has been buried since they came to the US (circa 1840) does allow you to plant at the grave; however, you have to take care of it. For example we planted azalea bushes on either side of my mom’s grave stone. Eventually we ended up cutting it down because the cousin who was supposed periodically prune it wasn’t reliable. If you don’t take care of plantings the cemetery staff will dig them up. They don’t have time to be pruning shubbery at every grave.

  6. Oh, NOW LKH remembers about existence of the laws?!! Not when numerous people were kidnapped, tortured, raped or even killed, noooo! According to LKH logic that’s not what police is for! It’s to fight women in grief!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s