Saturday, June 7, 2008

I am a naughty girl

Well, more a naughty blogger. Partly because I've had writer's block that is the equivalent of the Writer's Block-Wall-of-China, and partly because I've been reading bad books.

"Bad books?" You may be asking yourself, "How can a book be bad?" Then, the philosophy of an ex-boyfriend's brother comes in, "You'll learn something, even from the worst book. Where's the bad."

Laurell K. Hamilton
. That's where the bad is. Her books used to be really good. (Keep it in context, people. She writes paranormal fiction. Not high literature.) Anita Blake was a character I could connect with- a petite, curly, ethnic, ass-kicking, wise-cracking necromancer/vampire executioner. While I may be some of those things, the rest I found inspiring. Especially as a 14 year-old girl, when I started reading her stuff.

Anita had a set of black-and-white values that she constantly struggled with, but she managed to work out that gray areas exist, too, and still manage to be a decent person. Until.

Narcissus in Chains
. Anita becomes (in her own words) SlutGirl. A person does not go from being a "sex is for love and marriage" to a "sex with strangers is fun" person overnight. While I do not like the socio political nature of any word that judges a woman based on promiscuity (which is also a gender-based loaded word of dooooooom), I call a spade a spade, and a ho a ho.

The books went from being about fighting amorphous evil and raising the dead to ... paranomal porn. This is disappointing at BEST.

I can't even call it paranormal erotica, because it lacks the intimacy that characterizes erotica. It's just straight-up, written porn. (This is why I couldn't get into the Merry Gentry series that she wrote. Evidently, it has bled over into the Anita Blake universe.)

Worse than the written-porn-lack-of-plot-ness of it, I just feel like she's pandering to masses of desperate fans. Because, let's face it: you're in at least one of the camps that believes she should be sleeping with Jean-Claude, Richard, Asher, Jason, Nathaniel, or any of the other characters that Ms. Hamilton has developed throughout the series.

(In case you're wondering, I'm in the Richard camp. What's not to love about a werewolf who attends musical theater? I'm also a big fan of his naive ideals about democracy in a pack environment. Just not the long hair. I like my men clean-cut. Seriously, what is with LKH and long-haired men? Sounds like a Samson complex, of sorts.)

So, after all this ranting about how terrible the books have gotten, you ask, "Why are you still reading them?"

I'm still reading them because I keep hoping, deep in my heart, that someone will slap some sense into Anita and she'll go back to kicking ass and taking names. LKH and I have an abusive relationship. She'll write a bad book, and I'll finish reading it and feel devastated (and possibly, a little violated), and then I'll see the next book out, and say, "Well, it'll be better next time." It's a vicious cycle.

Oh, and the spoilers for the next book have PROMISED that Anita is going to get her act together. So I have to get caught up.

(I'm four books behind.) I think, one of the worst changes, was the shift from a detective-story looking cover to the current covers. Which have LOADS of nudity.

It's one thing to read dreck. It's a whole other thing to advertise that you're reading dreck. A girl has got to have standards, you know?


  1. Well, if you want to read a new "feminist" novel that pushes and breaks the limits of good taste, I heard about a book that's got Germans all atwitter. You can read the NYT article about it
    here. I figure the article makes a decent substitution for actually reading it; I wouldn't have the stomach for it.

  2. Hmmm ... lycanthropy ... who would have thought. LOL ... You are so full of surprises Miss Jasmin.


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