A quick post in a new category I’m going to call, Good Lord; What the Hell? Mainly because when I read the annotation, I said, out loud, “good lord–what the hell?” From the NLS Annotation:
When Amy brings her ventriloquist dummy out to entertain her family on Sharing Night, its head falls off. Amy’s father finds another dummy in a pawn shop. But Amy soon realizes why the new dummy is called Slappy when it hits her father! As Slappy gets meaner and meaner, Amy’s family refuses to believe she is not responsible. For grades 4-7.
Some things are just not okay to write novels about. R.L. Stine’s Night of the Living Dummy II probably illustrates this rule completely. I have not read the book, having given up R.L. Stine books about 23 years ago.
For some reason (probably mild hysteria) I’m reading the exclamation point at the end of “…when it hits her father!” as comedic, as in LOL! that dummy just came to life! But that is just not possible as ventriloquist dummies are anything BUT funny, and are, in fact, the most terrifying subject that anyone could possibly come up with. Except maybe skittering babies. Okay, skittering babies are actually my number one fear in terms of the statistic possiblility of occurance. If a ventriloquist dummy tried to attack me I would do one of the following (preferably all):
- throw it into a fire
- kick it in the head and/or
- stomp on it
- separate its head from body, and then its limbs from said body, thus rendering it physically neutral
- dispose of it by sealing it in concrete
Now, let’s say that a skittering baby (SB) is coming right for you. First of all, it’s likely that you won’t even realize it because babies are very short and therefore very sneaky. Also, the lighting will probably be very dim or low because SBs tend to move faster in the dark. I think that when put in direct light, an SB will make a brief attempt at looking and acting “normal” in an attempt to lull you into a false sense of confidence. However, turning the lights on bright will only get you so far because as soon as you change your focus, an SB will attack. It’s proven. Any way. What can you do to survive a skittering baby attack? YOU CAN DO NOTHING!! Because they’re BABIES for goodness sake! What the hell! You can’t kick them, throw them into a fire, shoot them, stab them. You’re basically f*cked. The SB is going to bite the crap out of your feet, ankles, and calves and all you can do is just hop from foot to foot and try to stay upright. And, God help you if they are hunting in a pack. Wild Kingdom anyone?
Back to R.L. Stine’s masterpiece. According to Slappy the Dummy’s Wikipedia article, this evil doll makes appearances in NINE books for kids. You know, in my day, we didn’t need to go to the well 9 times before we knew that shit was poison. We watched the Twilight Zone’s season 5, episode 29 Caeser and Me ONCE and that was enough. Nine books of Slappy getting meaner and meaner? Good lord, what the hell?
Book 16 in Suzanne Brockmann’s Troubleshooters series is on it’s way to an NLS library near you! What does this mean? I have no idea. I’ve never even read any of these books. But, I feel comfortable telling you what I already know I don’t like about them. Too much! As in, there are just too many things going on in the annotation for Breaking the Rules. As in, Suzanne Brockmann has too many letters in her name! As in, naming a series the Troubleshooters series is also, just, TOO MUCH. Too many letters! Too long of a word. Too ridiculous. From the NLS annotation:
Izzy Zanella helps fellow navy SEAL Danny Gillman and Danny’s sister Eden–Izzy’s estranged wife–rescue their gay brother Ben from their abusive stepfather. Ben’s new friend, sixteen-year-old Neesha, also needs their aid after escaping kidnappers and eight years of forced prostitution. Violence, strong language, and explicit descriptions of sex.
Is this for real? So, according to above 50 words, Breaking the Rules, in 528 pages (too many pages!), covers the following concepts:
- Navy SEALS
- marital problems
- teenagers (am I right?)
Obviously that is TOO many bullet points for one novel!
So, Izzy Zanella is a boy? I just pictured him as a her until I read about “Danny’s sister Eden–Izzy’s estranged wife–” and I was like, wha-huh? And this is book 16 in the series. So these two Navy SEALS have been running around in these convoluted suspense novels 15 other times?
Now, I’m not sexist (yes, I am) but I’m a bit dubious of a woman writing a book about Navy SEALS and not having it be a romance. This is mostly why I assumed that “Izzy” was a girl. For those of you not in the know romance novels in which good looking, dashing, daring, Navy SEALS get the girl have a HUGE following. So, when I see a Navy SEALS novel about two SEALS in a sweaty adventury suspense novel with no romance, I’m going to assume gay subtext. But then when I see that a woman has written the many adventures of this dynamic duo, I’ve got to pause. Either there IS gay subtext (I believe they call it “slash” in the fanfic world), or Suzzaanne Brockkmaann is just writing crappy “suspense” novels that are really just romance vehicles.
Somebody who has read this series about
Batman Izzy and Robin Danny comment here and let me know? Romance? Honest suspense? Overly convoluted story lines? Gratuitous sex, violence, and strong language? Inquiring minds want to know…