Monday, November 14, 2011

Where the F**k did the Trunchbull bury Cory's picnic basket in Flowers in the Attic

I have recently learned the joys of my stat box. This is how I tell how you--yes, you! there! in front of the computer!--found this blog.

Here, then, are the top five burning searches that lead people to the blog-o-rama:

The Trunchbull/pictures of the Trunchbull: The Trunchbull is this blog's common name for the grandmother from Flowers in the Attic.  Alas, this blog does not discuss Matilda or any other work by Roald Dahl (even though Matilda is one of my favorite books and Roald Dahl is one of my favorite authors).  Cathy later changes her stage name to Dahl, but I'm sure that's unrelated.

what the fuck am I reading?  Brother, we've all been asking ourselves that one.

cory buried flowers attic:   It is never explicitly stated what became of Cory's body.  In Flowers, Corrine claims to have had him buried under a false name.  Later, adult!Cathy goes searching through records to find where Cory might have been buried, but finds that there weren't even any records of any male children Cory's age who died on that particular day in the state.  When Cathy confronts her mother, Corrine admits that Cory died before reaching the hospital and that she disposed of his body in a ravine. 

But then, the mysterious and confusing part kicks in (and it's part of one of Andrews's irritating habits that I'll explicate more fully when the actual scene happens): Cathy claims to have discovered a mysterious room in the attic, a room with a strong odor of decay and death.  The implication, obviously, is that Corrine hid her son's body up there and zOMG, Cory never left the attic!  The irksome thing is that we never actually see this scene happen, so it's ambiguous as to whether or not Cathy's telling the truth.  However, the accusation causes Corrine to have a full-on psychotic break, implying that there's at least a grain of truth to it.

Still a lot of questions there.  Did Cory die en route to the hospital, as Corrine claimed, and she hid him in the attic where she knew his body would never be found?  Or--and a lot of people seem to think this--did she never even bother with the hospital, simply abandoning her son in a locked, hidden room in the attic, essentially burying him alive?

Short version: we never find out what became of Cory's body, but there is a good 80% chance it was stowed in the attic of Foxworth Hall and ultimately consumed by fire when the house burned down.

case-of-the-keyhole-covers:  This search hit particularly pleases me, because it means that someone is deliberately and purposefully Googling for something that I wrote.  It's right here if anyone wants it.  I hope you're not in marketing; I say some pretty mean things about you guys in that post.

Bart Winslow flowers in the attic: Bart is Corrine's virile strapping moustachio'd sex-bomb attorney of a second husband (represented here by Magnum PI* himself, Burt Reynolds).  He will make his first real appearance later in the Petals recaps.  I have feelings about Bart.  They are not sexy feelings.

My feelings about Burt Reynolds are completely sexy.  I am not ashamed of that.

Recap of Part Three is 3/4ths done! I'm just having trouble finding some gifs that sufficiently express my trauma over the upcoming sex scene.

ETA, 2/5/2012: I edited the title to this entry, not due to any squeamishness about dropping the f-bomb in the title, but because, ironically, I was getting hits for weird and potentially illegal porn.

*Gehayi pointed out in comments that Tom Selleck played Magnum P.I.  Apparently I got my moustaches mixed up.

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Petals on the Wind: The Covers

Once upon a time, when I was a mere slip of a lass, there used to be advertisements in the back of the original first-edition V.C. Andrews paperbacks from which you could, if you were so inclined, order poster-sized prints of the covers of the first three books in the Dollanganger series.  Suitable for framing and hanging over the fireplace.  I swear, this happened.

The artist for the original four Dollanganger (and My Sweet Audrina) covers was Gillian Hills, a woman whose face and life both resemble a V.C. Andrews heroine's: she was a stunning, globe-trotting blonde debutante whose C.V. includes starring roles in several reputable but mostly forgotten films (including a blink-of-the-eye cameo in A Clockwork Orange) and a career as a chanteuse.  Her music was typical girl-pop for the time, but her voice was surprisingly sweet and sultry, with a lot of emotional depth--even beyond the "everything sounds awesome in French" aspect.

Yes.  That is the woman who painted the original V.C. Andrews covers.  As much as I was surprised to be able to find any information about her at all, to find that she was such an impressive, multi-talented woman was incredible.

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Petals on the Wind, Part Two: Rockin' Around the Christmas Tree

So . . . where were we?

I seem to have covered most of Part One, which is basically establishing the kids with Dr. Paul.  Other than that, nothing of dire importance happened in that section.  I mean, there was a shopping montage, and it was pretty great, and Chris tried to bone his sister, which happens roughly seven hundred times in this book, and Cathy flits around in skimpy underwear a lot, which also happens about seven hundred times.

Part One, thank goodness, is fairly short.  Part Two is where we finally get our pot a-boiling.  Once more into the breech, dear friends!

Friday, November 4, 2011

The Show Must Go On

While I promised myself that this blog would be a space for pure scholarly reflection/snarking, and that I would not let my Real Life make any inroads into the snark, Real Life continues to happen to me.  But this time, in a good way!  And after such a long absence, I feel you deserve the fun anecdote version:

Upshot is that there were three major reasons the blog went on hiatus.  One was the tornado.  Not only did I lose access to my notes and computer for about a month's time, Your Humble Annotator kind of had more of a breakdown than she wanted to.  I really couldn't write anything for a while after that.  I was completely out of funny.

Two was my school work, plus the addition of a new job, which made more of a strain on my time than anticipated.  At least I was writing again, but my writing involved the influence of blackface minstrelsy on the commercialization of early jazz records and the patterns of reversals of fortune versus morality in Defoe's Moll Flanders. Again, not much funny to be had there.

The third problem: I, um, don't actually own the books.

I had in my possession three VCA books: Flowers in the Attic, Heaven, and My Sweet Audrina.  The rest of the series came in the form of an enormous, dubiously legal PDF of the Complete Works of V.C. Andrews, which had an alarming tendency to veer off into Cyrillic characters.  By the time I broke off the recapping, I was not so much reading as translating, piecing together sentences that were, at best, two-thirds English.  It was tedious and frustrating and may be the reason why the first second of the Petals recap had that feeling of being rushed.

So this is where I was last week, when I finally heeded my elderly mother's call to visit her.  She had just had a largely unsuccessful yard sale.  What she really wanted, of course, was for me to take some of this junk off her hands before she called the Salvation Army for the rest of it.  I ended up digging through ancient and disintegrating Avon boxes (remember those?), trying to hunt down my first-generation My Little Ponies so that I could show my Brony husband what his fandom evolved from.

Then I came to a dead halt.

In another Avon box, tucked way in the back of a closet so that they would not leak their scent of shame on the rest of the items, I found these:

Not featured: Avon box.

There's a few pretty major omissions in this set: I'm missing the final FitA book, Garden of Shadows, for one, which is sad because not only do I think that book may well be the final one touched by the pen of V.C. herself, I actually thought it was pretty okay.  Also missing is Dark Angel, the second book of the Casteel series, which features an extensive foray into one of finest Andrews tropes, the Boarding School from Hell.  Hidden by the unavoidable glare (it's a really foil-laiden cover) is Rain, in which we are treated to the Tragic Mulatto of the Andrews world, since they were running out of offensive stereotypes by that point.  Seriously, there are series here that I was only marginally aware existed (who the fuck are the DeBeers?)  I do, however, now own all the Landry series, which I originally was not going to even touch, but they are stuffed with such wacky twin-swapping shenanigans that I am nearly convinced they are genius on a level too high for me to comprehend.

I also somehow ended up with two Audrinas.  JUST LIKE IN THE BOOK!

Basically, I now I have no excuses.  I have to finish this thing.  You can thank my mother.  Actually you can thank her by taking some yard-sale goods off her hands.  She's got a pretty cool vintage console TV for only $25, if anyone's interested.