"There was still a thread of light in the sky, like a slender golden ribbon, glowing against the push of dark, dark clouds..."
You know how die hard LKH fans accuse us of being jealous haters? It's not so much jealousy as PURE OUTRAGE that someone who can't even manage the bare basics of her craft is swimming through a pile of cash like Scrooge McDuck. That sentence is a magician's illusion box stuck through with comma swords, except the lovely story inside is surely dead instead of safely spirited away below the floor.
Repeating a descriptor doesn't make it more poignant.
Hey, they're going to Circus of the Damned. Anita informs us that the front of this place is "like a carnival" which is both the laziest description ever and REALLY FUCKING OBVIOUS considering Circus is in the fucking name.
Somehow they've managed to cram this entire dysfunctional family in to one vehicle. Anita, Nathaniel, Cherry, Zane, Caleb, Merle, Micah and Gil. Even for a van that's a lot of people. Of course we're not told what kind of vehicle Anita is driving because that would be too relevant to the situation. It's like LKH believes that if she keeps everything muddy and 'mysterious' maybe we won't realize that she is the definition of hack.
Wait, they're in a Jeep? I'm blind. I don't drive. But I have a hard time imagining a Jeep with eight people in it. Can anyone tell me if this is as ridiculous as I suspect it is?
Anita is a judge-y ass about how other animators raise zombies for money. She is pure, you see, and doesn't believe in using "God-given gifts" for such lowly purposes. Caleb quite rightly points out that she gets paid for her services too and she lectures him about how she only takes money from the worthy. Anita-Christ will be here all evening, healing the sick and giving sermons on various mounts.
Merle calls her "deeply moral" and goes on about Anita's supposed ethics. You know one thing I really hate in these books? The people just exist to revolve around Anita. Their primary purpose is to explore what passes for her psyche. They huddle around fighting each other for the chance to stroke her dick, figuratively of course because real dick stroking would actually be kind of exciting after all the clean filth I've been forced to endure.
A big paragraph about Micah's "brown velvet" curls. And here I thought the protagonist of NDT had a preoccupation with his hair. Now is apparently the right time to tell us that Merle is wearing the same outfit he always wears. Also Micah's outfit, which is fancy. Great. It makes his skin look "even darker" but not so dark that Anita won't touch him.
Oh, only now do we know what the purpose of this whole joyless exercise is: they're taking Micah to meet J.C.
"Damn it, I had enough to worry about without having to juggle male egos."
Because men are just idiots right? They're barely a step above cave men, what with their massive boners and jealous rages and the objectification lasers shooting from their kitty-cat eyes. I think I finally figured this out today: LKH perceives men as holding all the power. She desperately wants that power. She wants to sit at the big kid's table. But just like an insecure child, she senses that she is not welcome. She can't handle rejection and exclusion, so to cope she twists all the men in her stories until they're caricatures of the worst cishet male traits, and yet they're also beautiful sex dolls for her author avatar who are controlled by Anita's perfect pussy. She derides and devalues everything female because she wants that brass ring--to be considered in essence a man--but because she can't have it she wields objectification as her weapon of choice and ends up treating everyone like shit.
By the way in case you were wondering about LKH's hatred of women, check out some quotes from a recent convention panel:
"The rule is if you can't take the attention, don't wear it. I'm going to stamp the card of every man that has ever been on the receiving end of a woman– dressed scantily – who got mad at them because they couldn't take their eyes off their breasts. Or whatever was showing. I'm sorry...they're men. And if they're heterosexual men, or actually, I even have friends that are gay, saying breasts are lovely. If you're gonna dress that way, you can't punish the men for being men. Looking's okay. That's it. Just so we don't all get carried away."
These goddamn rats are fucking idiots because despite valuing muscle LKH also seems to think people who radiate "bodyguard badass" are complete fools. Anita is trying to explain to them that there may be a lot of posturing to come and that they shouldn't overreact and one of them says "so tonight isn't real." HOW CAN YOU BE THIS DUMB? The guy is a fucking wererat. All the shifters have done this whole book is fucking posture. How can they not understand the difference between posturing and a situation where Anita is in real danger? They're the worst bodyguards ever. Maybe Rafael is trying to get her killed. I can dream.
The hokiest line in all the land happens when Bobby Lee says: "We're supposed to protect her body, not her heart."