34. Sharp Objects – Gillian Flynn
Although I do feel that Gillian Flynn is contributing something very important with her unlikeable heroines, when I read Sharp Objects I started repeating the phrase “beautiful, but damaged” in my head. I felt like the main character could easily be reduced to just that phrase and I was very annoyed with that.
Sharp Objects is Flynn’s debut and perhaps the irritation I felt is a result of an overzealous editor reducing what she wanted to do to tropes, but, maybe not. Maybe she was just being cliché with her narrator in her first novel, it’s impossible to tell. And I have to say that she utilized the trope of returning to one’s hometown in a better way in Gone Girl, where she threw the out of place feelings onto the sociopathic outsider and bullshit hometown-heroed the townie husband.
Murderface is beautiful, but sleepy.
35. The Secret Bedroom – R.L. Stine
Every time I switch towns I eventually run into the same old story – there’s that creepy house where somebody got murdered. And you know, in Mississippi, it was my house. It was drugs. No unfinished business. Lea of The Secret Bedroom is not so lucky. I mean, it could’ve been drugs, but, it wasn’t mentioned specifically if drugs were involved in the 100 years ago murderage, so… Lea is not so lucky in many ways. She falls victim to the many tropes – she’s a new kid who spills on the prime bitch at school, then gets asked out as a joke but she doesn’t know until she gets stood up, in her wallowing she hears footsteps upstairs in the boarded up bedroom, the girls she ends up being friends with are either too popular to keep up getting to know her or they found a boyfriend and no longer cared (Friends!), AND her parents keep leaving her alone in their haunted house (Thanks, Lea’s parents.) and she would be okay with it – if it was being haunted by Patrick Swayze. Patrick Swayze, gateway ghost.
1. School – Nirvana
2. Misery Keeper – Electric Citizen
3. Zero – Smashing Pumpkins
4. Phone Call – The Faint
5. Mother Father – Swans
6. Sick, Sick, Sick – Queens of the Stone Age
7. My Dreams – Electric Six
8. I Only Said – My Bloody Valentine
9. Lost Boys and Girls Club – Dum Dum Girls
10. Your Sins Will Find You Out – Eli “Paperboy” Reed
11. Everybody Dies – Those Poor Bastards
12. I Dreamt – The Black Angels
13. Heaven Knows I’m Miserable Now – The Smiths
14. Love Can Destroy Everything – The Raveonettes
15. Noorus – Chelsea Wolfe
16. Ripe – Nine Inch Nails
Pammy and Thaddeus chomp down parsley in an attic bedroom. There’s no corpses in there or anything. Also no Swayze or Swayze-related materials. They’re like the wind.
49. Fathom – Cherie Priest
I’ve been intrigued by Priest’s work since I saw the cover of Boneshaker while shelving in Mississippi. I’m not particularly interested in steampunk – I respect it and appreciate it but it’s not my thing-, so I haven’t read Boneshaker yet and ever since I found out that she’d also decided to write her take on the Lizzie Borden story (Maplecroft) I thought maybe that would be a better starting place for someone of my tastes, which generally lead towards murder faster than steampunk… Anyway, I couldn’t get into Maplecroft, so I had to find another starting point. Fathom is the one I found while at the Madison Public Library. I hadn’t heard or read anything about it and I had recently finished Kraken by China Mieville when I picked it up, so, I figured maybe another sea monstery story would be all right. Well, this was not actually a good starting point either. There is a murder toward the beginning, and yet I wasn’t entirely on board with the trajectory of the two cousins turned immortals helping opposite sides of a world ending scheme. I think Priest had a lot of intriguing ideas but they didn’t coalesce as much as they needed to in the final product. And I couldn’t find my ground in it and had no one to relate to or root for. I wish I could have, because I’m going to get through Maplecroft at some point and all I have right now is some suspicion that relating to Lizzie Borden over a girl-turned-statue trying to stop the world ending is not going to be good either. Maybe there will be someone else in Maplecroft to ground the story, it does have a little reality in its origin, whereas if Fathom has some, I’m currently unaware of where it came from. Perhaps the depths.
Murderface and Duncan know that guinea pigs’ hierarchical issues would be cause enough for some immortal sea monster fights. It’s a good thing they don’t have access to the sea.
38. The Last Victim – Hannah Kuraoka
Okay, so, one reason not to flip houses would be the Black Christmas/The Last Victim problem. Some nutbar who previously lived there or nearby could either still be in the attic slash still able to access the house and kidnap and/or murder any young girls who just happens to live there. Always check for secret passageways, loose floorboards holding important pieces of evidence, and burn that sage to keep the evil spirits out. I also have house blessing powder. But I don’t flip houses. Or murder people. I guess I could start doing either at any time. At any time. To be fair, I’m so allergic to dust and fumes that I really couldn’t do any remodeling without accidentally killing myself, so, maybe I could do both at once in a fashion. Ominous noise.
When Pickles and Belvedere face off, there are no victims, only clashes of guinea pig power the likes of which will never be seen again outside of Pighalla.
1. “Message in a Bottle” – The Police
2. “Young Ones” – Witches
3. “Noisy Summer” – The Raveonettes
4. “Ode to Clarissa” – Queens of the Stone Age
5. “Blood Like Cream” – Red Fang
6. “Follow You Home” – The Creeps
7. “Kicking” – Torche
8. “Stalker Song” – Danzig
9. “So Many People in the Neighborhood” – Ween
10. “Blood Red Moon” – The XX
11. “Night Comes Out” – The Raveonettes
12. “Cul de Sac” – Tomahawk
13. “Tyler” – Toadies
14. “I’m Here to Kill You” – Uncle Acid and the Deadbeats
15. “Black Grease” – The Black Angels
16. “In the Pines” – Widowspeak
17. “Melvin” – The Belles
39. Overdue – Richie Tankersley Cusick
This book is seventeen years old. That means I’m old. Dude. I mean, I knew I was old mentally with my luddite tendencies when it comes to television, phones, cassette players, and the stone wheels on my horse cart, but still. Because this book is technically a mystery it doesn’t seem appropriate to let anyone in on who the killer is without saying “Spoiler Alert,” but really this book is old enough that I shouldn’t have to. It’s a dilemma that took up a whole paragraph.
Anyway, the killer is my favorite part because, as one might guess from the title, this book is about a library (sort of) and finally, finally, the librarian is the killer! And really she only killed one employee and some girl who wasn’t very nice to begin with and maimed or injured several others. I did take issue with her reasoning – an unrequited love from like forever ago with narrator Kathleen’s father. Kathleen also happens to be a library employee who never should have been trusted with minding the library while the killer librarian was “gone” but still in town setting up elaborate maiming scenarios that she marked with copies of Anna Karenina and The Phantom of the Opera.
Kathleen is a traditional Richie Tankersley Cusick heroine, she and Martha from Trick or Treat could be best friends who scream and fly into histrionics every time something happens in the shadows or they lose track of the male who is supposed to be in the same building. Kathleen spent an awful lot of time not doing anything library related while in the library. She wandered around scaring herself, she didn’t shelve anything, she barely checked out any books, she went to the hospital and let a non-employee mind the building, she had no concept of time, she let some random college student behind the counter, and she never had the keys to the door. Frankly, the librarian could have murdered her for being a terrible employee alone. I was honestly surprised that the maiming and murder was not part of an elaborate attempt to get Kathleen to quit. I’ve watched a lot of Deadly Women, it wouldn’t surprise me; but Miss Finch, librarian, was not given much of a personality and then she walked into the library after she set it on fire. Nobody respects libraries enough.
Pammy’s got a book! Run! Or if you’re Kathleen the protagonist, scream and flail and refuse to calm down! Seriously though, people should not tell people to calm down, it does not work.
Filed under Books, Review