Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Recap Wednesday--Guilty Pleasures, Ch. 1

It's hard to know where to start with Guilty Pleasures. I'm inclined to be lenient, because I know how the rest of the books turn out. When I look at it from that viewpoint, the first chapter of GP isn't all that bad.

And then I remember LKH's attitude toward readers--"If you don't love me, you suck"--and all lenincy goes out the window. With that in mind, may God have mercy on our souls.

The first two paragraphs establish only three things, despite having 14 sentences between the two .
1) Willie McCoy is dead (5 sentences)
2) Willie McCoy is slime (4 sentences)
3) Willie McCoy has horrible fashion sense (5 sentences)

As a matter of fact, all five of those sentences about Willie's fashion sense are in the first paragraph. Call me picky, but when you spend more time establishing someone who is obviously not the main character, we're off to an...interesting start.

Okay, one of the things I'm going to keep a running tab on is the number of specific colors mentioned. You're going to think this is crazy, but I've got a feeling about this. On the first page alone, we've got four:

primary Crayola green
black
powder blue
brown

We may end up turning this into a drinking game. We'll see. I don't want to damage anyone's liver, especially my own.

The other thing we're going to keep count of: the number of times our still unnamed narrator talks about avoiding eyes. Because as everyone knows, that's the most dangerous part about being around a vampire. Meeting their eyes. Me, I'd be more worried about, you know, the dangerous fangs or the inhuman strength. But hey, to each their own.

(Side note: as I'm writing this, somebody just drove a horse trailer through my apartment building parking lot. With a horse in it. The temptation to find out what the hell is going on is almost overwhelming.)


Moving on: there's a lot of beating around the bush. Seriously. I'm all for suspense, but I still don't know who the main character is, I don't know why the hell Willie is there, I know nothing. This is irritating from a reader's viewpoint. Quite frankly, if I were the narrator, I'd be asking a helluva lot more, "Why the fuck are you here?" and less internal "I'm scared. Oops, I'm scared again. Crap, still scared."

But I'm bitchy and not ashamed of that fact in the least.

Ooh, we got a first name. Her--I'm assuming--first name is Anita. I'm making that assumption because I'm not seeing this like Johnny Cash's "Boy Named Sue". Based on the constant repitition LKH has shown so far, I'm guessing she's not one for little jokes.

The rest of the chapter is much of the same. "Why won't you help?" "Oh, I'm afraid." Willie McCoy, Willie McCoy, Willie McCoy. Seriously, Anita says his name so many times, it's imprinted in my brain. And from what I'm gathering, this is just a minor character. God help us when we get the major ones.

By chapter's end, we manage to find out Willie is nothing but a front for some bigger guns. Guns who will not be happy to be told no, because all Anita says is, "I don't work for vampires." There's no stated reason why. Just no. Considering the fact that she talks about raising the dead with a sort of shocking casualness, I like to think of this as splitting hairs.

We also get three new colors--gold, silver, and "almost colorless". I'm counting it as a color. I'm not counting the repeat of black and gold, just because.

One of the WTF moments, at least for me, came with this sentence.

I gave him my best professional smile, empty of meaning as a light bulb, but dazzling.

Correct me if I'm wrong, but doesn't a light bulb actually have meaning? It's not just there for shits and giggles. It's there to give off light. That's a meaning, yes? And I want to know what wattage she's using to get dazzling light. It must be pretty damn high. Just saying.

Final color count: 7
Times Anita avoids eye contact: 3.5
Times Anita has some sort of fear-induced physical reaction: 7 definites

All this in only 6 pages. If I were here, I'd find a new line of work. Just saying.

That's all for this week. Depending on my mood and schedule, I may do another chapter on Saturday or so. Prepare for randomness tomorrow!

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