BOOK & BLOG
June 10, 2010
Books of the Week:
Before I talk about these books, let me point out that Kill the Dead will not be available until October and The Passage will be released later this month in England, and has just hit the shelves here in the US.
Richard Kadrey’s second Sandman Slim novel is more of the first fast, violent, incredibly noir. Kadrey, in addition to being a writer, is a photographer of the weird and fetishist. All of his art is dark, disturbing, and skilled. In this second novel, Sandman Slim (who prefers being called Stark) is working both sides of the street as an investigator/enforcer for the Vigil and as a bodyguard for Lucifer. Talk about your conflicts. Stark’s friends are as bizarre and colorful as Stark himself; the bodyless Kasabian is still living with Stark, and Stark’s outfitted the head (all that remains of Kasabian) with a sort of octopod that can carry him around. If you liked Sandman Slim you’ll like Kill the Dead, but I truly recommend reading Sandman first.
Gail Carriger’s Changeless is the second book in her parasol protectorate series. (Blameless will be available in September.) Alexia, Lady Woolsey, now married to the werewolf Lord Maccan, has a secret post with Queen Victoria in this steampunk world. Alexia is a treat, reminiscent of Amelia Peabody in the wonderful Elizabeth Peters books. She is blunt but well-mannered, in love with her husband but unable to let him have the last word, and she is extremely intelligent. Her friend Miss Hisselpenny is back, as well as one of Alexia’s exasperating half-sisters. Poor Alexia! After many satisfying adventures she has a sad setback in the book, and we’ll have to wait until September to find out how she fares.
I was lucky enough to get an advance copy of The Passage, which is the next big book. I’m not kidding, either. The film rights have gone to Ridley Scott, the book’s gotten reviewed everywhere, and the book itself weighs more than Under the Dome, which almost required a back brace for this reader. Unfortunately, I didn’t realize that I had such an important book until I went through my huge TBR stack yesterday and discovered it, having already ordered a copy. I was really miffed with myself. I’ve started lugging Cronin’s book around and I’ve made considerable inroads. So far, it’s living up to the hype. It IS a great book. So far, I’ve got scientists in the jungle who are getting killed off, an abandoned child in a nunnery, and a convicted killer who’s about to released for medical testing.
I just got home from Las Angeles minus my luggage where I attended the premiere of “True Blood.” Now that I’m a little accustomed to the glitz and the glamour, I was chiefly excited about seeing the first two episodes of the show.
Let me tell you, it knocked my socks off. This is going to be an amazing season. I can’t remember when I’ve been so excited about something. The writing was funnier than ever, and the wardrobe (which is fantastic anyway) was right on the money.
Adina Porter, who play’s Tara’s addled mother Lettie Mae, is a very lovely woman in person.
Rutina Wesley (Tara) looked absolutely beautiful. She was wearing a pale pink sleeveless dress with very high heels, and she looked spectacular. I am always glad to see Rutina, and I got to meet her husband.
People I saw in the room but never got to talk to: Sam Trammell, Chris Bauer, Jim Parrack, Brit Morgan (Debbie Pelt), and several others.
Dale Raoul, who plays Hoyt’s mother Maxine, is so much fun and looked very good in lavender. I think she had a good time, though we agreed we would have enjoyed the evening more if we’d been the age of some of the actors . . . that is, much younger.
Anna was wearing dark blue, and Stephen was his usual warm self. Always good to talk to them, and to Alexander, too. I don’t know if he and Jim Parrack and Joe Manganiello got in a line who would be tallest; they are all lofty. It was a pleasure to meet Joe, who was very happy about playing Alcide.
Nelsan was wearing a hat, as usual.
I got to have a chat with Michael Millian (Steve Newlin), which was an unexpected pleasure; also Michael Emerson (Lost) who is the husband of the beautiful Carrie Preston (Arlene). Michael Emerson had not known I was a Lostie, so it was a genuine thrill to meet him.
I’ll tell you who else looked absolutely fabulous: Kristin Bauer, now Kristin Bauer van Straten, who was wearing the best-cut black dress I’ve ever seen, with red piping. Her husband Abri van Straten was with her, looking splendid himself.
Now, that’s my Hollywood gossip column! Next week, we’ll return to our regularly scheduled humdrum writerly stuff. Glamor over! Back to work.
© 2010 Charlaine Harris