People Who Eat Darkness

Note to Self:  Don’t read true crime on Mondays.

Mondays are hard enough to get through in one piece anyway, and then I added one of the darkest books in recent memory to my it. Good job, Haley. National Day of Laziness, what?

I could give you a trigger warning list, here, but it would be really really long. Suffice it to say–if you are easily triggered…don’t read this book. Seriously, just don’t.

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21 year old Lucie Blackman–tall, blonde, beautiful–travels to Japan with her best friend Louise. The girls are looking to earn quick, easy money to pay off debts, so they take jobs as foreign “hostesses”–a type of waitress that lure wealthy businessmen in to clubs. These clubs charge exorbitant fees by the hour (not to mention the hefty bottle fees too), so the more friendly and captivating a hostess is, the better her bonus. Sounds like great money to the two outgoing girls, but the trip turns dark when Lucie goes on a dohan (a sort of sponsored date with one of the clientele) and does not return.

Richard Lloyd Parry tells the story of Lucie’s terrifying case–the search conducted by her friend and family, the frustration with a foreign police force, a profile on the suspect, and the resulting trial.

I found People Who Eat Darkness intriguing. I had found this book a while back on a “If you like Hannibal” shelf, and while I don’t normally read true crime (mostly because it can sometimes read like a report instead of a story), this one was very well written. Parry keeps a plot-like story line going throughout, so it doesn’t get too mundane. As I mentioned at the beginning, though, it is EXTREMELY dark, and it never recovers. There is no happy ending. I had to take breaks every chapter to read brown girl dreaming just so it did not consume me.

My other major note on this book is that there does seem to be a pretty heavy bias against Japanese culture, and not just against the rapist. I am unsure if Parry is just trying to convey the disdain that the family had against the situation Lucie was in, or if it was an overall bias against the culture itself. But the whole time I was reading, I almost felt like there was a nose-crinkling subtext. To be fair, Lucie was not in a great neighborhood or situation, maybe that’s all it was. She herself called her living situation “The Shithole.” The narration just felt a little off to me, that’s all.

While I am critical of that last part, and while the book was very dark, it was a captivating story. I can’t call the people characters, because they are real. However, Parry has given us such a illuminating picture of each that we almost know them. Even some of the “good guys” aren’t all that good, but the bad guy, you will need a shower after meeting him. He positively drips with slime.

I will agree with the bookstore–if you are a fan of Hannibal, add this one to your list. Just proceed with caution. And maybe have something a little mellow standing by that you can easily pick up between chapters. Or maybe Tumblr. It’s easy to get caught up turning pages here, but you will need a break. Otherwise, the darkness might just eat you, instead.

 

Buy it Here:

Late Night Thoughts on Fanfiction

The thing I love about fanfiction isn’t the smut.

Ok.

It’s a little bit the smut.

But mostly, it’s that we as readers are never satisfied with THE END. Even after reading the most briliantly written book–maybe even more in that case–we always want more. What happens after the war is over and the rubble is swept away? The mystery is solved, so Sherlock and Watson just go back to smoking their pipes?!

NO! Of course not!

These characters are real to us. They are family, it’s personal. We may not have invented them, but we are invested and they must continue on with their lives as we do.

Most of us have our devoted ships, and we will go down to the depths with them. For me, it’s Johnlock and Drarry. And Hannigram. GODDAMN YOU BRYAN FULLER WHAT THE HELL?! I am amused by a few others, but those are the two I read the most.

Don’t come near me with your Sherlolly and Dramione. Get it away from me! *Shudder*

But I digress.

The world of fanfic is comprised of countless writers and artists who create amazing works for their OTP. The theories and stories range from almost cannon and totally plausible, to completely off the wall and nonsensical. Everyone has their niche. There are some seriously talented people out there. The stories are beautiful, funny…and yes, many are gloriously dirty. And really, they can’t even be called stories, as some are longer than the books they are about. The art is just as gorgeous, some based stricly off the canon characters, modeled after someone’s fanfic, or the artist completely creates their own interpretation of the fictional world. I cannot reblog it all fast enough.

Reading Drarry before bed has become my “guilty pleasure.” Except I don’t feel guilty about it. What better way to unwind at the end of a stressful day of fighting fires at work and filling my brain with new information, than to dive into my favorite place of all–The Wizarding World of Harry Potter–with a few fun twists thrown in? I especially like the ones from after the war–8th year or later, when they adults, trying to find their way. A little hate, a little lust, a little love. It’s all great fun.

What kind of fic are you drawn to? Who are your OTPs?

Swerve

Last night was a blast, ya’ll! One of the area neighborhoods, Deep Ellum,  has a monthly Wine Walk that they put on in the summer. A bunch of shops and galleries serve in the back, and then everyone just kind of mingles around for a few hours. What a great way to get in our Fitbit steps, and check out some local shopping! We’ll definitely do it again.

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I ended up surprising myself–because we went out last night, I didn’t think I was going to have a chance to read and finish a new book in time for today’s blog. But hey, you know me. I can’t leave you guys hanging!

Actually, I just picked one that I hoped would be a quickie. It also turned out to be REALLY good.

With Hannibal starting back up, I am craving thrillers. That show just charges me up for that surge of electricity I get from reading terrifying, twisted stories. (Does it say something about me that I like reading about psychopaths and broken people? Maybe…but I am a broken person too.)

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Vicki Pettersson’s new book Swerve releases just after the July 4th holiday and it fills that thriller need perfectly. Kristine is on a trip with her fiance to visit his mother, when the couple is abducted by a psychopath. The mystery trucker leaders her down a terrifying road of destruction in order to save her fiance.

This book reminded me a lot of Red Dragon–even though we never got a look out from the perspective of the killer, we do hear a lot about what is going on in his head and what lead him to this point. The precision and escalation to the moments in the book, the “hot” point of the serial killer instinct, it’s all very similar to how Dolerhyde escalates.

I highly recommend this for you thriller freaks out there like me. Pick this up on July 7 and be prepared for your summer to sizzle!

 

NetGalley provided this ARC for an unbiased review.

WWW Wednesday 6/10/2015

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What are you currently reading?

Hannibal by Thomas Harris (Reread since it is Fannibal Season!)

For Study:  The Ramayana by Ramesh Menon

 

What did you just finish reading?

 

Joseph Andrews by Henry Fielding (Review Tomorrow!)

Fanchon the Cricket by George Sand

The Truth According to Us by Annie Barrows

 

What do you think you’ll read next?

Airplane Rides by Jake Alexander

North and South by Elizabeth Gaskell

Desperation by Stephen King

 

Thriller Thriller Night

I LOVE Thrillers.

They are the books that keep me up at night, not just because they are scary, but because they keep me turning the pages until I get to the end. I have to know what is next. I think, “Just one more chapter.” But at the end of every one, a cliffhanger.

The characters are always fascinating, brilliantly written, and often bat shit crazy.

These are just the few that I’ve read that I own. We have so many more Kings that I haven’t gotten through yet, and that needs to change soon. I totally plan on reading IT this month.

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Favorite Series

Series are becoming more and more popular these days, both with publishers and readers. We get to see our beloved characters continue on, and the publishers make boukou bucks from returning fans. It’s the same reason movie houses try to stretch one book into a trilogy (cough cough Hobbit cough cough).

Not that I am not completely onboard with book series…I love most of them! Unfortunately I just don’t OWN many of them! Sigh…

So, for this picture challenge, while my favorite series is probably Harry Potter or Kingkiller. I went with what I own.

Thomas Harris gets left out of the series list often these days…probably because his books are older, and they definitely aren’t for everyone. But man are they sooooooo good. Brilliant, really. I’m probably due for a reread of at least Red Dragon before Hannibal starts back up again this fall, since the show is catching up to the start of that book. Hmmmmm…need to fit that in somewhere soon.

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If you like thrillers, freaky deaky stuff, or interesting people with fascinating brains–you really need to check these books out. I’ve never read anything like them.

Flowers

I’m quickly coming to the conclusion with this challenge that I just need to buy more books. Yesterday I needed The Great Gatsby, today I need Flowers for Algernon. And I don’t have the book I want for tomorrow either! I don’t think I’ll ever be satisfied with the size of my library.

Books about flowers…books with flowers…I scanned my shelves last night and OH! A book with flowers on the spine! Perfect! And then…I pulled the book off the shelf and laughed.

I give you, “The Book with Flowers on the Spine”:

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I reeeeeeeeeeeally want to read this now, just to find out what in the WORLD it is about. It’s very Hannibalistic, is it not? Looks like a scene out of NBC’s finale.

UGH. We are NOT talking about that finale.

 

Favorite Last Line

It was really good to spend some time with my book collection on Saturday. And yes, I really did go through every single one to find my favorite First Line, Dedication, and Last Line. I even reorganized my shelves to make room for the new ones I’ve recently acquired. I pulled out the books I haven’t read yet  and gave those a shelf of their own. I did leave the multitudes of John Grisham, Tom Clancy, and Stephen King, along with several sports and political books, that belong to my husband. Those may get read eventually, but they are not high on my To Read list for now. OK…I do want to read the Stephen Kings. But those pretty much have a shelf of their own as it is!

I had a few contenders to this category at first. And then I got to Thomas Harris. And he just wins everything. When it comes to shock factor, creep factor, and just down right leaving an impression, you really just can’t beat Thomas Harris.

And that’s really the whole point of a last line, right? Especially when there’s going to be another book. Look at this. *shudder*

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After I read that, all the other pictures I had taken of last lines got deleted. If watching Hannibal hadn’t made me want to go back and reread the trilogy…that last line did. Man, oh, Man, Mr. Harris. You give me nightmares, in the absolute best way possible. (Is that weird? That might be a bit weird…)

 

Favorite Thriller/Mystery

There was a very close second to my Favorite Character to Actor Depiction post the other day, and that is this guy:

(Source:  lecterings)

I had seen Silence of the Lambs a long time ago, but after my husband and I watched the first episode of NBC’s Hannibal last year, I immediately grabbed his copies of Thomas Harris’s trilogy of the shelf and dove in. And I was not disappointed. These books are brilliant. I’m not sure any other book compares to the mastering of pure mania and psychological thrill. The way he just twists every character is just perfection. I have always been fascinated by the madness of the brain, so Hannibal and his “friends” are a wonderful group of people for me to read about. I love that Hannibal isn’t even the villain, he’s just kind of the puppet master in all of this. Dohlerhyde, Mason, Bill. Those guys are just incredibly written.

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And of course, I told you I was always intrigued by the bad guys…this series is no exception.

I’m so glad they are continuing with the show. They just renewed it for a third season, and I cannot wait to see where Bryan Fuller takes it.