Lissa: Given your usual misgivings about how vampire books are nothing like actual vampires, what’s the verdict
Gary: It was okay.
Lissa: I really liked Pandora English. She’s smart, capable, funny and I liked that she wanted to be an investigative journalist, not just write fluff pieces about fashion. Her Aunt Celia was a good character, and I liked her friendly Civil War ghost. Luke was a sweetie.
Gary: The ghost was okay.
Lissa: It was pretty funny in parts, and the mystery was good. It’s that Hitchcockian theory of suspense, when you know more that the protagonist.
Gary: I suppose that was okay.
Lissa: The writing style flowed really nicely too. It was fun and easy to read, which I like sometimes.
Gary: It was a fast read, yes.
Lissa: …You didn’t really like it, did you?
Gary: It was fine, for a light read. I did like the writing style, really. It’s very cinematic. It’s easy to see how it would look as a film.
Lissa: What didn’t you like about it?
Gary: I didn’t not like it. It just… had a lot in it about clothes. And shoes. What’s a Mary Jane shoe anyway?
Lissa: Sort of like what I’m wearing now, but with a chunkier heel.
Gary: And that’s what Pandora was excited about?
Lissa: Mary Janes are comfortable but still pretty.
Lissa: Actually, the scenes with the vintage fashion dress-ups were some of my favourites! It would be nice to have an exotic former designer of a great-aunt giving me tips and nice shoes to make my way in New York.
Gary: You would?
Lissa: Yeah. That Chanel outfit sounded nice. The black pants suit.
Gary: I didn’t think you were very interested in clothes.
Lissa: I’m not obsessive about them…
Gary: Yeah, that’s what I thought.
Lissa: What do you mean?
Gary: I mean that I didn’t think you were into shoes and stuff that much.
Lissa: Just because I don’t go on and on about fashion, it doesn’t mean I don’t like nice things. I like nice clothes. I have my own style.
Gary: (nods vigorously, like he’s understood) Yes. Your librarian style.
Lisa: What’s that supposed to mean?
Gary: (uncertain) Ah….
Lissa: Sartorial criticism coming from a man who wears the Hawaiian shirts his mother bought for him in a job lot at a fire sale in the early 80s isn’t really my idea of expert comment.
Gary: I’ve said something wrong and I don’t know what it is.
Lissa: What does ‘librarian style’ even mean?
Gary: I just meant… you’re a librarian and… that’s how… you dress…? Should I have said Lissa style? You dress like you. Is that… how is that a bad thing?
Lissa: It’s…ah… not.
Gary: Would it help if I said sorry?
Lissa: You don’t know what you’re apologising for, do you?
Gary: … no…
Lissa: (sighs) Don’t worry. It’s nothing. It’s just… someone at work yesterday said I dressed like a hippy.
Gary: I knew hippies at uni in the 1960s. You don’t dress like them. Anyway, I like what you wear. I like the colours.
Lissa: You don’t think it’s too… old fashioned?
Gary: I think you look nice.
Lissa: Oh. Well. Thank you.
Gary: You’re welcome. (pause) What’s wrong with my Hawaiian shirts?
*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’.