A Book Review

April 1, 2009 at 5:31 pm (Writing) (, , , )

Have you ever picked up a book and started reading it, and half-way through, you start wondering why the hell you do this to yourself? Yeah. This is precisely what I experienced with this one in particular. I brought it with me after I found it in our house in England, hoping to kill the few days of boredom during my stay here in D.C. back in December. When I read books, I usually tend to finish them out of some sad sense of obligation. I believe this stems from the fact that I would really like people to finish my own damn stories.

I really, really wish I hadn’t done it with this time. It’s a waste of paper, time and brainpower.

delilah-street The book I speak of is called Brimestone Kiss (vom) by Carole Nelson Douglas. It is, apparently, the second installment in a series. I have not, I repeat NOT, read the first book. Perhaps this would have enhanced my understanding of the general writing.

The story follows Delilah Street, an orphan who hails from Kansas and used to be a TV reporter, then moved to Las Vegas after she got fired from that gig. Street claims she wanted to follow a trail regarding her heritage – there’s a TV show that involves live autopsies and solving said crimes, one of the corpses on that table was a carbon copy of her, down to the “blue gemstone twinkling in my left nostril.”

Delilah Street is, much like our favorite literary heroine Bella, a self-insert Mary Sue. She has “issues,” is anything but eloquent, yet somehow every male lusts after her. She keeps talking about how fat she feels at 5’9” (or something) and being “curvy,” yet somehow she still fits into vintage gowns. (Remember, vintage clothing runs small!) Waahh, wahh, wahh. She also seems to harbor mysterious powers that she deems herself a “mercury medium,” because she has an affinity for silver and black and white movies or whatnot.

Naturally, because she is so hot, Street has a boyfriend from the previous book. Said boyfriend is a Mexican macho man who thinks that his sex is as magical as Jon Lajoie’s sex moves, which means she will automatically be cured of any and all potential rape trauma she may or may not have. While he may not be the Hulk Hogan of slamming muff (OR IS HE?), he seems to do the trick for Street despite a decided lack of chemistry. Reading any of those scenes is flat-out boring. Good thing you have a warning sign – the second you start seeing something Italicized, the likelihood is that it will be Spanish, meaning that the characters are “whispering sweet Spanish nothings to each other.” (Cue projectile vomit.)

Next to being an overprivileged twatwaffle who somehow does not have to pay rent because she’s so pretty (and her landlord wants to bang her, natch), Street moonlights as a paranormal investigator. There is no investigative work involved in this book. All that happens is the following: Delilah has an idea. Delilah goes to talk to someone. Delilah is sexually harassed by random supernatural person. Delilah sulks and mopes about how hard it is to be “large” and “ungainly.” Delilah has sex with Ric, Ric make wounded ego all better. Wash, rinse, repeat. A series of entirely random, unconnected events somehow leads to a lair of Egyptian vampires who are trying to resurrect someone or another. And I do mean random events. Even after the revelation of who her enemy is, the events do not make sense. They never connect with each other at all, it is never clear why on Earth they’re targeting Delilah when they’re really going after Ric. Delilah has little to no combat skills, she just has protectors (a silver “familiar” and a wolf-dog-thing) who make sure her arse is not grass. She also happens to have something of a voice inside her head that she’s dubbed Irma, which seems to be the voice of a sex-starved Sex and The City star.

In short, seriously. Do not pick up this book. It was an awful waste of money and I will hurt my mother for ever buying it in the first place. It reads like a rough first draft and, if you want me to be honest, the first draft of my own nonsensical novel reads better than this steaming pile of shit.

An excerpt:

“And this neat white blouse that buttons down the front under the jacket you left in the car. Surely you didn’t want me to rip it open, ruin it, just to see your breasts. Just to see the full tops of your breasts inside those push-up bras you wear.” Buttons flew as he bared me.

“I don’t wear push-up bras,” I said indignantly. I didn’t need them. Oh. His hands were underneath the satin cups, pushing me mostly out.

Before I could react, he reached down to pull my tight linen skirt up to my hips until it was a cummerbund.

“And you don’t wear hose in the heat, of course, but, what, no panties, not even a shred?”

I murmured mindlessly in self-defense, because I did indeed wear a brand-new thong and it still felt darn uncomfortable up my back crack. So much for Irma’s lingerie advice. His finger found that narrow bridge of silky fabric and teased it aside.

His hands ran up my bare arms to my secured wrists, linked fingers with me as his body leaned hard against my mostly naked parts.

“You like this vertical, I know, Delilah. And I’m very vertical at the moment. I think you can tell.”

The more intimate Ric got with my body, the more he used my formal name. I moaned. “Por favor, por favor,” I murmured, knowing how much Spanish from my mouth pleased him.

Like, really? I know a lot of ESL people and NO ONE ever opens their mouth to birth something as cheesy as what Ric utters.


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Living Stereotype

April 1, 2009 at 5:07 pm (Fun) (, )

Today, as I walked home from the bus stop, I ran across the following image:

Two squad cars, the street patrol type, are parked literally in front of the entrance of the local Dunkin Donuts. As I try and cross the street, this tall blond cop with a remarkable paunch walks out, a box of donuts and coffee in hand. I can’t help standing in place, nearly getting myself run over in the process, and start giggling like a madwoman.

When I talked to Mo once I got home, it occurred to me I should have yelled “CHIEF WIGGUM!” Alas, it did not occur to me at the time. I guess the lesson learned is that even stereotypes have a root in true fact.


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