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The Laughing Corpse (Anita Blake, Vampire…
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The Laughing Corpse (Anita Blake, Vampire Hunter) (original 1994; edition 2005)

by Laurell K. Hamilton

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4,77054980 (3.88)61
Member:Nyxks
Title:The Laughing Corpse (Anita Blake, Vampire Hunter)
Authors:Laurell K. Hamilton
Info:Berkley Trade (2005), Paperback, 320 pages
Collections:Read and Own, Your library
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The Laughing Corpse by Laurell K. Hamilton (1994)

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English (53)  French (1)  All languages (54)
Showing 1-5 of 53 (next | show all)
Anita Blake is, or wants to be, deeply human. And as such, she is obsessively concerned with the protection of humans from the things that go bump in the night. To protect others, she is willing to put her very life on the line, but not her very soul, not unless that is the only way to protect others. As such, she can be irritating, infuriating, and a just plain pain-in-the-ass to the people (or creatures) who want to protect her.

The question of humanity in the first three books that I have read (I am on a mission to read every single Anita book, they are that good) is fascinating. Mostly in the question "What IS Humanity"? Is it only those persons whose DNA is 'pure' who are "human"? What defines "Humanity"? Humans are, first and foremost, basically animals. Homo Sapiens, a species of bipedal primates, characterized by a brain capacity averaging 1400 cc (85 cubic in.) and by dependence upon language and the creation and utilization of complex tools. OK. Werewolves can be defined in the same manner, as can vampires. Yes, vampires came back from the dead, but they were previously humans - and in this world, werewolves can be defined as a standard issue homo sapiens who has been affected by a disease, much as Proteus syndrome, or any other disease which causes genetic differential within the standard issue.

And what IS Anita Blake, herself? Patently something very different than a 'standard' human, as indicated by the obsessive need of Jean Claude to have her by his side, as well as that of the two newest master's in this work to capture and use her for their own ends. She is definitely different - and it will be interesting to see how Hamilton explores and expands that difference in her series.

Jean Claude's character is fascinating as well in the questions he puts forth regarding the definition of "humanity". ARE vampires all that different from humans? CAN vampires really love, or does his obsession for Anita equate merely to his plans for the city, and the abilities of Anita that will give him the power he craves? The thing is, I WANT to believe in Jean Claude, he is that sort of character. I want him to be good at his centre, to really care about Anita, about his people, and about what is right. Even though, at the same time, I see him as a monster, not for the fact that he is a vampire, but because he is calculating enough that he can see using Anita, and apparently uncaringly using the wolves, such as Anita's reporter friend, in such as way as to strike fear into their hearts and minds. What _does_ he get up to when Anita is not watching? It is creepy to think about it . . . (And if Richard is such a great guy, what is he doing, naked in bed, in a room containing both vampires and werewolves? Voyeurism? Group sex anyone? Creepy. And Anita never says a word about it. Kind of a misstep there, Ms. Hamilton? I can't see the somewhat prudish Anita letting that one slip by that easily.)

Yes, Jean Claude is very much a monster - but what Wall Street bully isn't also a monster? Humans can be monsters in ways that the most vicious of four-legged monsters would never be able to fathom. Murder and serial killing for pleasure, child rape, religious war, the list of human atrocities goes on and on. So . . . who ARE the monsters? Really?

It will be interesting to see How Hamilton continues to develop the characters. While some people decry the violence of the books, and would rarely turn the reviews of her books into studies of the human psyche as I have a tendency to, I applaud Ms. Hamilton on her unblinking view of the "reality" of this amazing world she has built, and cannot but draw correlations between this world, and ours. I see very many lost sleep hours as I journey further and further into Anita's world. ( )
  soireadthisbooktoday | May 4, 2014 |
I am listening to this series on audio while I am getting projects around the house done. It keeps me engaged and easy to listen to. ( )
  Ahnya | Jan 25, 2014 |
Loved this book. Anita rocks! I listened to this book on audiobook and it was fast paced and entertaining. the reader was really good so i hope she reads for all the books in this series. ( )
  twokidsnablanket | Nov 2, 2013 |
“The Laughing Corpse” is a well-done follow-up for “Guilty Pleasures”. Hamilton has created a gruesome, action-filled series with a strong independent female heroine.

This second novel, introduced us to the world of voodoo and the dangers of powerful magic. Anita Blake must confront a voodoo priestess while coming to terms with a change of relationship with the new master vampire of the city.

Hamilton’s writing is as descriptive as ever with antidotes of sarcasm mixed in. The details of the murders that she must help solve and of the creatures is incredible and provide a level of realism to a world of pure fiction. The short chapters make for easy reading and it is a book that quickly becomes absorbing.
( )
  JEB5 | Oct 30, 2013 |
There are a new series of gruesome murders in the city and Anita, on retainer with the Spook Squad, has been called out to investigate some of the most blood saturated, brutal, violent crimes she’s ever had the displeasure to see.

And she sees a flesh-eating zombie – whether out of control or wilfully set on people by an animator, voodoo priest or necromancer. Either way, people are dying and being eaten and Anita needs to get some answers before she sees more bodies. Except investigating requires crossing some of the most powerful and dangerous magical practitioners in the US – enemies who are happy to send a murderous zombie through your door at night.

Then there’s the added problem of Harold Gaynor. Extremely wealthy man and an extremely ruthless, dangerous man who wants a zombie raised – a zombie that’s so old that only Anita can reliably raise it. But it’s also so old that a human sacrifice will be required – a line Anita will not cross. Of course, Harold doesn’t take no for an answer and is more than willing to use any methods he can to persuade Anita

And then there’s Jean-Claude, Vampire Master of the City to whom Anita is bound with 2 marks. He wants her to play his human servant, her defiance is weakening his political power – but she wants nothing to do with the vampire.


We have another intriguing mystery here that, again, didn’t come together until the end of the book. The clues were there, repeatedly and variously throughout the book, but it was only at the end that you could see how they all fit and how they were all interconnected – even the seemingly two separate, parallel plot lines coming together to be part of the same mystery. I often forget reading the later books just how elegant and interesting these early books where and how well done the detection was. I was confused, but never bored, curious but never lost.

And I like the world, especially given the age of the book. The diversity of beings, the complete integration into the world and the fact that they have always been integrated – there has never been a hidden conspiracy of supernatural – is well done and interesting. It ensures there is always something more to learn and something more to see.

I like Anita’s voice. Yes she does over-describe things a lot and it can be repetitive. But it can also be funny, snarky and informative, her internal monologue being a way to expound upon the world around her. I think it’s very easy to bog a book down with this kind of writing – and we’ve certainly seen it as a problem in other books – but this flows. It’s not overdone, or not consistently so and if it does incline itself occasionally to being overly descriptive or unnecessarily purple, it’s not in a bad way.

Read More ( )
  FangsfortheFantasy | Sep 20, 2013 |
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Laurell K. Hamiltonprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
White, CraigCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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To Ricia Mainhardt, my agent: beautiful, intelligent, confident, and honest. What more could any writer ask for?
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Harold Gaynor's house sat in the middle of intense green lawn and the graceful sweep of trees.
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Book description
wikipedia.com- The Laughing Corpse continues the adventures of Anita Blake, as she attempts to solve a particularly grisly set of murders, while simultaneously avoiding two potential threats to her life from people interested in using her talents as a zombie animator. Meanwhile, Anita continues to attempt to come to grips with her powers and her relationship with Jean-Claude, the vampire master of St. Louis and Anita's would be lover/master.
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Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0515134449, Mass Market Paperback)

Harold Gaynor offers Anita Blake a million dollars to raise a 300-year-old zombie. Knowing it means a human sacrifice will be necessary, Anita turns him down. But when dead bodies start turning up, she realizes that someone else has raised Harold's zombie--and that the zombie is a killer. Anita pits her power against the zombie and the voodoo priestess who controls it. Notice to Hollywood: forget Buffy the Vampire Slayer; Anita Blake is the real thing.

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:50:41 -0400)

(see all 6 descriptions)

Anita Blake, a woman who has the power to reanimate dead bodies, refuses an offer of a million dollars to bring a three-hundred-year-old corpse back to life because the effort would require a human sacrifice, but when a less ethical animator takes the job, it is up to Anita to stop the resulting carnage.… (more)

(summary from another edition)

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