The Laughing Corpse by Laurell K. Hamilton

The Laughing Corpse, Laurell K. Hamilton, 1994

My favorite quote: “People say I’m a feminist, but in truth, I am an equalist. I believe that everyone, male and female, should be free to be whom and what they are. Not to fit into some tight cultural box.” Oh, and also, “Hope is a lying bitch.”

Notable characters: Anita Blake, vampire hunter; Bert, her boss; Harold Gaynor, the client; Jean-Claude, the master vamp of St. Louis; Dominga Salvador, a badass vaudun priestess to end all badass vaudun priestesses

Most memorable scene: Near the end of the book, in the cemetery. I’m not sure how much I should say. It’s just … awesome. And f*cking terrifying (read this and tell me it’s not some of the horror-iest horror out there. I’ll wait …)

Greatest strengths: Description. Laurell K. Hamilton has always been a hero of mine in the description department and this book brims with reasons why. You feel what her characters feel, see what they see, and taste what they taste. Few authors are able to deliver this caliber of sensory experience 

Standout achievements: If you read this fast like I did, it will actually leave you a little breathless. I’d call that an achievement 

Fun Facts: It’s been ten years so I can talk about it now: I called in sick to work to finish this book. I seriously just-one-more-chaptered it all night long, and into the morning. I’ve just-one-more-chaptered it before but never like this. So yeah, if my former boss is reading this — sorry, Becky. In my defense, it was a really, really good book … and I DID have vacation days to cover my time …  

Other media: The Laughing Corpse is part of the graphic novel series, Anita Blake, Vampire Hunter

What it taught me: To never go easy on your main character. Seriously. Just when you think things can’t get any worse for poor Anita, BAM! — another layer of hurt. Cruel? Maybe — but it keeps the characters growing and the readers reading

How it inspired me: This series doesn’t just bend genre, it transcends it, and these are the books I was reading when I realized I didn’t necessarily have to follow all the “rules” in my own writing. **Disclaimer: There is a place for rules. It’s just that there’s a way to break them, too — and this series is a fine example of how to do it well

Additional thoughts: I’m (slowly) working my way through this series for the 4th (or is it the 5th?) time, and I gotta say: it holds up

Haunt me:

Published by Alistair Cross

Alistair Cross grew up on horror novels and scary movies, and by the age of eight, began writing his own stories. First published in 2012, he has since co-authored The Cliffhouse Haunting and Mother with Tamara Thorne and is working on several other projects. His debut solo novel, The Crimson Corset, was an Amazon bestseller. The Black Wasp, book 3 in The Vampires of Crimson Cove series is on its way. Find out more about him at: ********************************************************************************************* In collaboration, Thorne and Cross are currently writing several novels, including the next volume in the continuing gothic series, The Ravencrest Saga. Their first novel, The Cliffhouse Haunting, was an immediate bestseller. Together, they hosted the horror-themed radio show Thorne & Cross: Haunted Nights LIVE! which featured such guests as Anne Rice of The Vampire Chronicles, Charlaine Harris of the Southern Vampire Mysteries and basis of the HBO series True Blood, Jeff Lindsay, author of the Dexter novels, Jay Bonansinga of The Walking Dead series, Laurell K. Hamilton of the Anita Blake novels, Peter Atkins, screenwriter of Hellraiser 2, 3, and 4, worldwide bestseller V.C. Andrews, Kim Harrison of the Hollows series, and New York Times best sellers Preston & Child, Christopher Rice, and Christopher Moore. ********************************************************************************************** Currently, Thorne & Cross are hosts of Thorne & Cross: Carnival Macabre, where listeners can discover all manner of demented delights, unearth terrifying treasures, and explore the dark side of the arts.

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