Saturday, January 16, 2010


Guilty Pleasures by Laurell K. Hamilton

Finished this yesterday. Don't like to rate in terms of ABC, 1-10 or number of stars, so I'm just going to say it's good. Reeeaaaally good.

Personal taste, so not everyone will share my opinion.

Reasons I enjoyed this novel:

1) it's extremely fast-paced

2) very exciting

3) lots of fascinating characters ( not an easy feat considering my high threshold for such things )

4) the last couple of chapters are downright chilling

5) Hamilton has a let's-get-down-to-business style of writing which suits the story well, though she does tend to repeat herself on occasion, and thinks a vampire hunter who collects stuffed penguin toys is supposed to be cute. ( Errr, no. )

In short, Anita Blake is a vampire hunter / animator - the second is a term used for those who literally raise the dead.
In Guilty Pleasures, Anita is recruited by the city's vampire clan to investigate a series of gruesome vampire murders which have left the local police flummoxed.
She's an unwilling party, of course, but compelled to agree through various methods, one of which endangers her best friend's life.

Along the way, we meet the rest of the motley crew of colourful characters, from a fellow animator who harbours a shocking secret, to a mercenary vampire hunter nicknamed Death, to a vampire junkie / stripper - it gets better - to the terrifying Nikolaos, and Anita's mysterious love interest, the French bloodsucker Jean-Claude.

Oh, and don't forget the crazy ghouls who remind me of demonic hyenas, and lycanthropes who transform not into wolves but - wait for it - giant rats.

Everybody, say "wooooooo". :)

There was initial word that a U.S. network had picked this up for a TV movie / series, boasting no less than X-Files guru Glen Morgan as an executive producer. Sadly that is not to be. But I can't say I'm disappointed either. The novel is just too amazing for words, and there's a high chance the final product would've disappointed fans severely. Each character is infused with so much personality and physical detail that casting the wrong actor / actress, especially in the most pivotal roles, would result in disaster.

And all those breath-taking sequences - from the erotic stage performances at the Guilty Pleasures nightclub, to the sinful Circus Of The Damned, to the horrifying ghoul chase at the cemetery, and the climactic showdown between Anita and Nikolaos - how could they translate onto the small screen given the budget constraints? No cheesy special effects please!

HBO did a great job with True Blood, but Anita Blake is a much more kick-ass type of woman.

As luck would have it, I found Book 2, The Laughing Corpse, at the library yesterday, so it's sitting on my shelf while I quickly read Dexter In The Dark, hopefully within a week, if I sleep less, haha.


Didn't realize this movie received so many bad reviews. I actually kinda like it. Maybe 'cos I'm wired the right ( or maybe wrong ) way. :)

First, I love Peter Sarsgaard, so renting this DVD was a no-brainer.

Second, I enjoyed it from the get-go. Very atmospheric, builds up the story and tension well, with a terrific cast to complete the whole production.

Young Isabelle Fuhrman, who plays the psychotic Esther, delivers a breakout performance. The creepy costumes and pigtails definitely help!

Tiny Aryana Engineer, who's hearing-impaired in real life, almost steals the show from her older co-stars, with her giant doe eyes and genuinely petrified stares.

The plot twist in the last half hour caused my hair to stand on end. Not merely because the revelation itself was mind-boggling, but because Esther's bizarre behaviour finally made sense, and made your skin crawl big-time.

If you don't care what the critics say, then listen to me and watch this film.

Can't wait for An Education to be released!

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