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Guilty Pleasures (Anita Blake, Vampire…
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Guilty Pleasures (Anita Blake, Vampire Hunter: Book 1) (original 1993; edition 2002)

by Laurell K. Hamilton

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7,457189711 (3.8)105
Member:wlfcries
Title:Guilty Pleasures (Anita Blake, Vampire Hunter: Book 1)
Authors:Laurell K. Hamilton
Info:Jove (2002), Mass Market Paperback, 272 pages
Collections:Your library
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Work details

Guilty Pleasures by Laurell K. Hamilton (1993)

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» See also 105 mentions

English (182)  French (3)  German (2)  Dutch (1)  Italian (1)  Czech (1)  All languages (190)
Showing 1-5 of 182 (next | show all)
Vampirism is legal in St. Louis, but when vampires fail to behave, Anita Blake is licensed to deal with them as the state’s vampire executioner. Tough as nails and with an affinity for stuffed penguins, she solves supernatural mysteries and raises zombies for a living. After being coerced into her friend’s impromptu bachelorette party at a vampire strip club, Anita is blackmailed by the city’s most powerful vampire to investigate a series of vampire killings.

I’m going to come right out and say it: paranormal romance can be irritating. The genre has the habit of adhering to conventional (and often disempowering or alienating) gender roles and sexuality. So when I began Hamilton’s vampire series, I was hardly expecting an independent female vampire hunter with snarky dialogue and a gun. Amidst the Twilight-esque paranormal escapism that dominates young-adult bookshelves, Hamilton’s debut novel feels fresh and transgressive, despite being published in 1993.

What I liked:

No damsel in distress here.
Anita is a tough, sarcastic, no-nonsense protagonist with a strong stomach. She isn’t discouraged by the male-dominated field of law enforcement, and her physicality is nearly superhuman. Her primary — yes, there are many — love interest, Jean-Claude, is arguably more feminine than she is. He’s bedazzled in frills, and has long curly hair. Their attraction to each other is hardly conventional.

Lightning-paced plot.
The action is nonstop. The words jump from the page. One minute we’re in a vampire club, and the next, we’re underground in a sewer tunnel with a bunch of were-rats. Where is Jean-Claude? Another dead body? Run, Anita, run!

Wonderful characterization.
The dialogue in Guilty Pleasures is a welcome relief from the gore and foreboding that saturates the narrative. Anita’s sarcasm — “gag me with a spoon” and “bully for me” are some of her tag lines — are some examples. We don’t have to take the horror too seriously. Amidst the viscera and whizzing bullets, we’re supposed to have fun. The novel’s other characters are well thought out as well. Nikolaos, the child-vampire, is creepy, Jean-Claude is smoldering, and we root for Philip, the human vampire junkie (yes, you read that right. He likes getting bitten).

What I didn't like:

Anita can be a little much.
There’s a little bit of snark-overload, here. Some readers might find her tiresome after hearing her constant jibes of “point for me,” or “point for her.” We don’t need to laugh at the joke more than once.

It’s okay to feel emotions.
Anita can sometimes be unlikeable, due to her tough exterior. She’s completely unable to express herself emotionally. Being emotional isn’t a sign of weakness, like she thinks it is, and so in this context, the narrative contradicts its transgressive trajectory.

Despite being published more than two decades ago, Hamilton’s novel challenges heteronormative idealizations of the contemporary vampire. These challenges make the traditional, fleshed-out vampire narrative more interesting; I would much rather read about Anita’s battle scars than Edward Cullen’s diamond-infused skin. I hope that there is a chance that contemporary narratives will look back to Hamilton for some advice on female empowerment, but until then, I can’t wait to sink my teeth into the series’ next installment. ( )
  lhofer | Sep 26, 2018 |
Trashy but oddly fun. ( )
  wirehead | Sep 3, 2018 |
We follow Anita Blake, Vampire Hunter and smartass extraordinaire when she get an unusual assignment to hunt down a vampire hunter for some powerful vampires.

I restarted this after stopping a third of the way through it and actually got through it the second time. It took me a while to get into the story and I am unsure if it was the writing style or the story. Some of the sentence structure didn't seem to flow easily for me and the there were a few times I had to reread pages and passages to make sure I understood what just happened.

I did, however, enjoy the action and characters and will likely continue on with the series. This is a fun urban horror/mystery that read quickly and draws you in with the quirky and unusual main character. ( )
  christianeyoungberg | Aug 30, 2018 |
Found this very uninteresting. Nothing about Anita Blake's character appealed to me-she was whiny, weak, and uninspiring. ( )
  SevenAcreBooks | Jul 11, 2018 |
First in the Anita Blake Vampire Hunter series. Anita is a full time animator, read zombie maker, and part time vampire hunter. She is coerced into investigating local vampire murders in St. Louis. She meets the local vampire leader who's over a thousand years old and as well as being very powerful is very sadistic. She befriends a "freak," in other stories would be called a vampire or vampire lover. She meets various vampires and freaks along the way. Helps to raise a zombie. Finds out that someone is practicing voodoo. Wererats, not werewolves but were rats. Sorry this review doesn't really tell much in regards to the plot but the series has lots of possibilities. Also lots of back story to be explored book kept eluding to her past. ( )
  ChrisWeir | Apr 22, 2018 |
Showing 1-5 of 182 (next | show all)
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» Add other authors (21 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Hamilton, Laurell K.primary authorall editionsconfirmed
Alexis, KimberlyNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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To Gary W. Hamilton, who doesn't like scary things, but who read this book anyway.
To Gary W. Hamilton, my husband, who doesn't like scary things, but who read this book anyway.
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Willie McCoy had been a jerk before he died. His being dead hadn't changed that.
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Wikipedia in English (2)

Book description
"I DON'T DATE VAMPIRES. I KILL THEM."

My name is Anita Blake. Vampires call me The Executioner. What I call them isn't repeatable.

Ever since the Supreme Court granted the undead equal rights, most people think vampires are just ordinary folks with fangs. I know better. I've seen their victims. I carry the scars...

But now a serial killer is murdering vampires--and the most powerful bloodsucker in town wants me to find the killer...
Haiku summary

Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 051513449X, Mass Market Paperback)

Anita Blake may be small and young, but vampires call her the Executioner. Anita is a necromancer and vampire hunter in a time when vampires are protected by law--as long as they don't get too nasty. Now someone's killing innocent vampires and Anita agrees--with a bit of vampiric arm-twisting--to help figure out who and why.

Trust is a luxury Anita can't afford when her allies aren't human. The city's most powerful vampire, Nikolaos, is 1,000 years old and looks like a 10-year-old girl. The second most powerful vampire, Jean-Claude, is interested in more than just Anita's professional talents, but the feisty necromancer isn't playing along--yet. This popular series has a wild energy and humor, and some very appealing characters--both dead and alive.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:19:59 -0400)

(see all 6 descriptions)

Vampire hunter Anita Blake must shift her attention from catching vampires to helping them when she is hired to stop a serial killer from murdering any more vampires.

(summary from another edition)

» see all 6 descriptions

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