The Literate Kitty has given The Opposite of Life a wonderful review: Werewolves in London? Try bloodsuckers Down Under. It starts with a discussion of the four Noble Truths of Bhuddism, works through a fantastic precis of Lissa’s background and ends with “Life may be hard and cold… but it still has the ability to surprise and delight, as Lissa finally realizes. It’s up to her (and each of us) to make that be enough.” It’s a really neat review. 🙂
Lissa: It’s for your collection. Look! POP-UP CEMETARY!! (pops the cemetary up in his face)
Gary: Yes, I can see that.
Lissa: Come on, it’s hilarious.
Gary: It’s kind of weird.
Lissa: I know! Look at this! POP-UP GIANT DOG! (pops the giant dog up in his face)
Gary: Actually, that was scarier in the novel.
Lissa: Well, the novel is several hundred pages long, and this is about a dozen pages of images and text and POP-UP DRACULA! (pops Dracula up in his face)
Gary: Would you stop doing that?!
Lissa: (contrite) Sorry.
Gary: It’s okay. I just don’t want to tear it or anything.
Lissa: By reacting with that extreme fright you’ve been displaying?
Gary: Seriously, who thought of this? It’s completely unsuitable for kids.
Lissa: I don’t think it’s meant for kids.
Gary: When I was a kid, pop-up books were for kids.
Lissa: I think they’ve become a kind of nostalgia thing for grown ups, these days.
Gary: I had a pop-up book about trains. It was great. Until it…. um… broke.
Lissa: My brother Paul would have loved a Dracula pop-up book. Actually, Belinda would have loved it too. Look at this… (considers, and very carefully opens and moves the book) you can repeatedly stake the Count in the last chapter, if you really want to.
Gary: I like the little pop-up bits on the half pages you fold out from the sides. The ship’s log has all these pages, and there’s pop-up ocean swell. And… (takes the book and stares closely)… I wonder how they folded that bit in…
Lissa: You just want to know how it works.
Gary: I sort of know how it works.
Lissa: You took apart that train book when you were a kid to see how it they did the pop-up stuff, didn’t you?
Gary: Um. Yeah.
Lissa: How much stuff did you destroy as a kid trying to figure out how it worked?
Gary: … a fair bit.
Lissa: How on earth did you resist pulling apart your computer when you got it?
Gary: I didnt, for the first one. After I replaced it I left it alone. I can’t afford to keep doing that sort of thing.
Lissa: I wish I could have seen that.
Gary: I’ve got something you can see.
Lissa: What’s that?
Gary: POP-UP VAMPIRE! (bares his fangs and waggles his hands in her face, pop-up Dracula style)
Gary: Ooh. Shit. Sorry.
Lissa: Jesus Gary, you … you…. (starts to laugh, then folds up giggling)
Gary: No, really, sorry. I didn’t meant to scare you.
Lissa: No, it’s cool. I deserved that. (folds up laughing again) Pop-up vampire!!!! Hey, hey look at this! POP-UP LIBRARIAN! (jumps up in his face) YOU HAVE AN OVERDUE BOOK!!!
Gary: (blinks) You’re definitely scarier than pop-up Dracula.
Lissa: That’s my mysterious librarian powers working their mojo.
Gary: Thank you for the book, Lissa.
Lissa: You are very welcome, Gary.
*For newcomers, the GaryView is a review of books/films/TV/entertainment carried out as a conversation between Lissa Wilson (librarian) and Gary Hooper (vampire) , characters from my book ‘The Opposite of Life’.
Gary: I don’t know, really. They’re all interesting.
Lissa: That is not an acceptable answer, Gary. You’ve got to have a favourite.
Lissa: … I don’t know why.
Gary: Well, who’s your favourite character?
Lissa: As if you couldn’t guess.
Lissa: It’s Will, you dope. WILL!
Gary: And why would I guess that?
Lissa: Because he’s a book guy! He keeps diaries about vampires! He’s an adorable little nerdy guy!
Gary: Okay, I see why you like him. Book guy. Yeah.
Gary: Though I don’t know what the grin is for.
Lissa: Oh, never mind. This book was incredible. I loved Will and Lily’s story.
Gary: I liked it but I thought it was a bit…. it made me… a bit… sad, I guess.
Lissa: It is sad. Parts of it are so terrible and heartbreaking. But it’s so hopeful, too. After everything that happens to them, everything that they do to each other, and they can still find something to hang on to afterwards. I like that they can find… I don’t know… diamonds in the ashes or something.
Gary: Oh. Um. I meant, about Bikini Kill.
Lissa:…. but nothing bad happens to the kitten.
Gary: I just meant that cats don’t actually like real vampires. Neither do dogs. Animals react very badly to real vampires. Like they know we’re… wrong.
Lissa: You’re not wrong.
Gary: Tell that to my dog.
Lissa: You had a dog?
Gary: Yeah. But after I… you know. We had to give him away. He kept biting me.
Gary: (wistful sigh) I like dogs.
Lissa: I’m sorry mine keeps trying to bite you too.
Gary: That’s okay. He’s just doing what he’s supposed to do and looking out for you. I guess.
Lissa: Can you have any other pets? Like goldfish?
Gary: No. They all jumped out of the bowl when I tried to feed them, when Mum and I tried it this one time.
Gary: (shrugs) Oh, that’s something else. About Will. I used to wear glasses too. I haven’t needed them since I became a vampire, but I wore them for reading.
Lissa: So you are finally making the connection that I like Will because he reminds me of you.
Gary: He reminds me of me too.
Lissa: Does Lily remind you of anyone?
Gary: No, but I bet Cora and Magdalene would get on well. Or try to stake each other.
Lissa: Yeah, that one could go either way.
Wolf House Book 2: Roads and Crosses as an e-book at Amazon.com
Lissa: Out of a whole range of very dumb vampire films, this one has got to be one of the worst.
Gary: You remember Vampires Anonymous, don’t you?
Lissa: Vampires Anonymous had Michael Madsen in it. What does Blood Angels have?
Gary: Lorenzo Lamas.
Gary: Okay, that’s a fair point… I don’t remember him being so awful in the 80s. He was in this show about surfers and cars I used to watch. Then he was in Falcon Crest. I watched that with Mum a bit, to keep her company.
Lissa: Didn’t he end up in some other soap opera?
Gary: I don’t know. I never watched them after Mum died.
Lissa: But you’re always saying you’ve got all that time to kill.
Gary: Yeah, but I don’t need to spend it watching soap operas. I’m a vampire, not a zombie. Besides, there are still lots of books I haven’t read.
Lissa: I wish I’d read one instead of watching this. I mean to say, scantily clad half-vampire women kept prisoner in what looks like a minimalist art exhibition space, until they collectively and literally chew through the ankles of one to escape from the manacles.
Gary: I suppose it made a kind of sense.
Lissa: Slightly more sense than their business plan of running raves, seducing guys then drinking their blood through their penises.
Gary: That was… that was really weird. And gross.
Lissa: And all that “Oh we don’t kill them, and they say they like it!”
Gary: Actually, Magdalene says that some guys at the club…
Lissa: Oh, please, Gary, do not finish that sentence! And there was that really horrible scene where the fanged worms burst out of one girl’s breasts.
Gary: I closed my eyes for some of that bit.
Lissa: I should have known it would end badly when it started with that cheesy voiceover.
Gary: Yeah. I think doom-laden voiceovers about demons and ancient evil shouldn’t sound like it got copied from Scooby Doo.
Lissa: I think I missed something at the end, too. Several somethings. I’m not sure what Lorenzo Lamas was playing at, with the whole ‘I let you escape and now I recapture you’ thing. What purpose did that serve, apart from filling up most of the hour of the plot?
Gary: I’m not sure if they explained what the ritual of Belial was meant to really be about either. Or maybe I stopped paying attention.
Lissa: We don’t even need to discuss the relative accuracy of the vampire stuff in this one, do we?
Gary: Not when it can be summed up as ‘non-existant’.
Lissa: Can we read another one of those Wolf House books next then?
Gary: Yes please.
Blood Angels from Amazon.com.