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1. Ju Ju continues to thrive, in her own surly way. She still hates her ruff, but the fur is growing back on her ears (they were shaved for her operation) and she looks SO cute and truly bear-like. She thanks you all for your kind wishes! Well, actually, she doesn't, but I do.

2. Patsington's album launch gig is tomorrow night! Come one, come all! It kicks off at about eight at Crawdaddy.

3. I am reading Gordon Dahlquist's The Glass Books of the Dream Eaters, which Penguin kindly sent me in the ten installments which are being sent out on a weekly basis to a limited number of subscribers prior to its proper publication in January. Except as I am a journalist not a subscriber, I got sent them all together. For free. Heh heh. Anyway, as you can see from the link, it is a sort of fantastical gothic Victorian melodrama, which is of course just the sort of thing I like. And for the first 40 pages or so, it was pretty good. However. It is swiftly turning into an object lesson in "not writing things about which you know nothing" and also in "not using your novels to express your slightly dodgy-sounding sexual fantasies". It's set in Victorian England, but I guessed after the first few pages that the author was actually American, and I was right. Jesus, if the people who post at hp_britglish can check to see whether English people say "trousers" instead of "pants" and "clothes" instead of "clothing", so can you, Dahlquist. And let's not start on the way in which the heroine Miss Temple sees a big mansion and thinks things like, "a Lord must live here".

But what has really started to turn me off is the increasingly p0rny tone the story is taking. And by that I don't mean erotic or explicit, I mean kind of icky. It's all fine at first, as our daring heroine follows the man who recently jilted her to a mysterious mansion where a masked ball is in progress. But then she's mistaken for a lady of the evening and given some skimpy garb to change into. And then it gets ickier, because when she's left alone to change, instead of figuring out a way to escape, she just can't resist trying on the sexy silk crotchfree underwear (which is described, by the way, in terms which imply the author doesn't actually know what items of underwear are actually called - Victorian women's underwear did not include anything called "breeches") and posing in front of a mirror. It's all written in a borderline fetishistic way which is both creepy and profoundly unsexy. I have absolutely no problem with sexually explicit writing, but not this sort of "oh, I'm just so sensual, I can't help putting on these crotchless pants even though I am stuck in a creepy castle in the arse end of nowhere where God knows what is going to happen to me and I might be better employed in actually getting out as fast as I can." Give me good clean filth! Later the heroine defends herself against a would-be rapist - the attempted assault scene isn't written in a would-be erotic way (thank God), but after she's defeated her assailant and faces another one there's a frankly unpleasant reference to the fact that her clothes are shredded bloodstained and she "might as well be naked". Ick, ick, ick. I'm disappointed because I would really like to read a big entertaining steampunk sort of novel, but I can't be dealing with all this cloying, creepy Anne Rice shite.


( 12 comments — Leave a comment )
Oct. 23rd, 2006 10:40 am (UTC)
Re: 3, my novel's an American-goes-to-Oxford thing, and while obviously the protagonist wouldn't know the colloquialisms, the British characters do, and I'm worried about getting them right. Problem is, it's tough to know when they're wrong, and what I should check on (I had no idea about clothes/clothing, for instance). And I just realised that one of my two British readers dropped out because she isn't keen on Oxford novels. Eeek. Oh well, I'm hoping to sell it in America, and THEY won't notice....
Oct. 23rd, 2006 10:51 am (UTC)
But then they'll have the all-to-frequent idea that we talk just like them only with quaint Cockney accents reinforced! But anyway, before publication surely someone British will read it?
Oct. 23rd, 2006 10:55 am (UTC)
You mean you DON'T?

Well, only one of my volunteer readers atm is British, and if I pitch it to an American agent to be published by an American publisher, which I intend to do...I'll probably ask aitkendrum to read it, at least.
Oct. 23rd, 2006 10:51 am (UTC)
I thought crotchless underwear was the norm in the Victorian era? (In which case, were drawers with a closed crotch regarded as the Ann SUmmers equivalent?) Thanks for the warning - one to avoid, I think.
Oct. 23rd, 2006 10:57 am (UTC)
It seems to be set in the 1890s, by which time women's bloomers were closed at the crotch (although I think they could button open, but I may be wrong). These pants are definitely meant to be very Ann Summers!
Oct. 23rd, 2006 11:12 am (UTC)
Except the author would probably say "Victoria's Secret" or some such.
Oct. 23rd, 2006 11:56 am (UTC)
So unlike the home life of our own dear Queen.
Oct. 23rd, 2006 11:09 am (UTC)
I imagine that, if Ju Ju were aware of the large crowd of Internet well-wishers, she would have a particularly fierce scowl for the lot of us. But I'm glad that she's getting better. How much longer does she have to keep the ruff on for?

Thanks for warning us about the book. Yuk.
Oct. 23rd, 2006 12:26 pm (UTC)
Yay! I'm glad Ju Ju's little furry bear ears are healing nicely. Look forward to many more photos of the ears and the scowl.
Oct. 23rd, 2006 03:53 pm (UTC)
Just tell Miss Ju Ju that the ruff makes her look more like the Queen she truly is! It worked with Nepher... a little.

I am glad to hear that she is thriving.
Oct. 23rd, 2006 08:57 pm (UTC)
I'm glad she's doing better. I vote for more photos of her little bear-like ears.

Thanks for the warning about the book. With a title like that, I probably would have picked it up.
Oct. 24th, 2006 03:50 am (UTC)
Glad to hear that JuJu is on the mend... however grumpy she might be about it, poor thing. (Sorry I missed earlier posts about this, I'm catching up a bit over here.)

Yeay for the Patsington album launch! whoo! Will it be available for purchase online anywhere?

Thanks for the warning on the book; the whole "let's try on the underwear" scene would probably make me throw it across the room. Not because of the pervy content (which sounds non-sexy and icky), but because it makes me CRAZY when characters do something so patently stupid. "Oh I'm in such terrible terrible danger... I think I'll try on these underwear!" Gah!
( 12 comments — Leave a comment )


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