Tag Archives: Anne Rice

A to Z Bookish Survey

29 Aug

I found this A to Z Bookish Survey on theprettybooks and thought I’d give it a try.

Author you’ve read the most books from
According to Goodreads it’s a tie between Louis Lowry (on account of her Anastasia Krupnik series and the brilliant dystopian masterpiece of YA fiction that is ‘The Giver’; C S Lewis, because of the Narnia chronicles and an unfulfilling reading of ‘Mere Christianity’; and Anne Rice, because I gorged myself on her vampire stories in high school. J K Rowling coming in closely behind these three, though! Having just ordered her secret new detective fiction into the bookshop, she might catch up pretty soon.

Best Sequel Ever
Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings trilogy has to be one of the best offerings to an already established fictional universe. Other than that, ‘The Vampire Lestat’ was a billion times better than ‘Interview With a Vampire’.

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Currently Reading
‘Fairytales for Wilde Girls’, ‘The Descent of Woman’, ‘On Writing’, ‘Ain’t I a Woman’ (not pictured), ‘Acorn’, ‘Family Likeness’, and the collected tales of Winnie-the-Pooh (not pictured).

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10 Manic Pixie Dream Girls From Film Adaptations of Novels

5 Jul
This post was inspired in part by Laurie Penny’s amazing article from the New Statesman earlier this week, and the equally thought-provoking response from Hazel of Freaky Trigger.

The MPDG is, by very definition, the girl of your dreams. She first became a trope thanks to Nathan Rabin’s review of Elizabethtown, in which he defined a Manic Pixie Dream Girl as “that bubbly, shallow cinematic creature that exists solely in the fevered imaginations of sensitive writer-directors to teach broodingly soulful young men to embrace life and its infinite mysteries and adventures” – but she has existed in one form or another long before he ever coined the phrase.

We saw her in the fifties, when she manifested herself as Grace Kelly in To Catch a Thief, and Marilyn Monroe in Some Like It Hot. In the sixties she was Jean Seberg in Breathless. As the decades roll on, see also: Maggie Gyllenhaal in Stranger than Fiction, Natalie Portman in Garden State, and every character Zooey Deschenal has ever played – ever. Kate Winslet’s character Clementine in Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind acknowledges the archetype and kind of rejects the label (“Too many guys think I’m a concept, or I complete them, or I’m gonna make them alive. But I’m just a fucked-up girl who’s lookin’ for my own peace of mind; don’t assign me yours“) – but ultimately, she’s MPDG incarnate.

If you want a better definition of what exactly a Manic Pixie Dream Girl’s role is, this Feminist Frequency video sums it up pretty succinctly:

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Why Do Vampires Suck Now?

21 Jun

I can’t be the only girl who spend her adolescence reading Anne Rice and Bram Stoker, equally lusting over Lestat and shuddering at Dracula. But the state of vampire fiction is a sad one indeed. I’ve read the first Twilight, and the eighth book from the Morganville Vampire Chronicles (it was for a review, I swear), but I don’t get it. I don’t see what’s happened. Vampires are supposed to be repulsive. They should smell like quicklime and soil and want your gross tampons. Failing that, they should be clever and handsome and look like Brad Pitt. They shouldn’t sparkle or eat tacos or take Math.

Here is what I think should be included in vampire fiction to make it engaging again:

  • A vampire who meets some avid Twilight fans (fanpires?) and cheerfully bites off their heads, because that’s what vampires do.
  • A vampire with OCD. In old myths, scattering small items like rice or salt into a vampire’s path caused him to spend hell of time counting the exact number before trying to eat you again. This is probably why Count von Count is so educational.
  • A vampire that can change into a mosquito or a leech THAT WAY YOU CAN SQUISH HIM.
  • A vampire that does not want to date a sixteen-year-old because frankly, you shouldn’t even date sixteen-year-olds outside of your teens so being 200-years-old it’s clearly out of the question.
  • A vampire that is corpulent. Why are they all so fit? They gorge on pints of blood every night.
  • A vampire who FIGHTS CRIME! Oh boy!
  • A vampire with an addiction to Italian food who cries every five pages because he can’t eat garlic bread.
  • A vampire who is thwarted by means of a sunbed. He is named Darque Tan, because children ran.

I am always in the market for a good vampire novel, so if you think I am being too harsh and that good contemporary vampy fic still exists, recommend me some in the comments! [If you’re just gonna recommend My Immortal, though, I’ve already read it and clearly Tara Gilesbie is an unrivaled genius of prose]

Top 5 Fictional Fathers in Literature

19 Jun

Happy Fathers’ Day! To mark the occasion, I have compiled a list of five of the greatest fathers in literature. Here they are, in no particular order. [May contain spoilers]

1.Myron Krupnik – Anastasia Krupnik series, Lois Lowry

Myron is a bearded poet and professor who likes nothing better than a New York Times crossword or conducting classical music in his living room with his eyes closed. He keeps his manuscripts in the fridge (so they won’t burn down if the house does), and if that’s not bad-ass then I don’t know what is. He is an excellent father to his children Anastasia and Sam, and a loving husband to artist Katherine.

2.Atticus Finch – To Kill a Mockingbird, Harper Lee

Atticus is incapable of acting against his convictions, and conducts himself with a quiet dignity while imparting important moral lessons to his children Jem and Scout. When his sister wants to fashion tomboy Scout into a ‘proper young woman,’ Atticus reassures her that “he didn’t mind [her] much the way [she] was” and proceeds to buy her an air rifle for Christmas. What a dude.

3.Saetan SaDiablo – Black Jewels Trilogy, Anne Bishop

For a father, Saetan SaDiablo is one sexy mutha. In Bishop’s Black Jewels Trilogy, which many of you may be unfamiliar with but which I cannot recommend enough, he is the High Lord of Hell, High Priest of the Hourglass, and Warlord Prince of Dhemlan. One hell of a CV, amirite? Saeten is Jaenelle’s spiritual and adoptive father, teaching her in earnest, and is also Daemon and Lucivar’s dad. Though he is one of the most powerful men in the novels, Saetan is happy to serve in his daughter’s court.

4.Calvin’s dad – Calvin & Hobbes, Bill Watterson

Initially criticised for being too sarcastic, Calvin’s father evolved to become somewhat more demonstrative of his love for his son as the strip progressed over the years. Because after all, in his own words, “Being a parent means wanting to hug and strangle your kid at the same time.”

I love Calvin’s dad for his ability to explain away every harrowing experience as ‘character building,’ and for his outlandish answers to his son’s simple questions — like why babies come from (Sears, obviously), or where the sun goes when it sets.

5.Lestat de Lioncourt and Louis de Pointe du Lac – The Vampire Chronicles, Anne Rice

Like many couples who find themselves in a failing relationship, vampires Lestat and Louis decide to have a child to stay together. Lestat ‘fathers’ young Claudia, which in Anne Rice world means ‘biting her neck til she dead.’ They play happy families for about 60 years, which isn’t really bad at all… but then little Claudia tries to kill him, which is kind of an ungrateful trade considering he bestowed her with eternal life and all.

Perhaps these two are not as moral and upstanding as the rest of this list, but they are Brad Pitt and Tom Cruise so who really cares?

And here are some dads that didn’t quite make the cut:

  • The Comedian, Watchmen. ‘Cause Laurie’s father’s a dick.
  • King Hamlet, Hamlet. Don’t tell your son to avenge your death, that boy has no clue what he’s doing and he’s going to go to the Elephant Graveyard anyway beside.
  • Lucius Malfoy, Harry Potter series. Give the elf a fuggin sock already.
  • James Piper, Fall on Your Knees. Not cool to father your own granddaughter, James. Noooot coool.
  • Nathan Price, The Poisonwood Bible. “oh hai let’s all move to the Belgian Congo and be missionaries lol”

Have I missed anyone? Let me know in the comments section!