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.


  1. I was just thinking about your blog. I am super glad you're coming back. Take your time, I want it to be good for you and not too much work.


    Dark Angel is actually one of my favorite books of all time. At least til the end when she runs off. But up to that point, it's pretty awesome. I read that and then Fallen Shadows or whatever it was and it was totally obvious that the ghost writer had taken over. So sad.

    Anyway, I'm looking forward to you posting again. :)

  2. Dark Angel was awesome until Heaven suddenly went wildly out of character and tried--unsuccessfully--to turn into Cathy Dollanganger, down to the blonde hair and the need for revenge. I have a sneaking suspicion that the point you're referring to, where Heaven ran off, was exactly where the ghostwriter took over. The whole style and tone of the book got weird right around that part.

    And the third book was "Fallen Hearts," which I don't blame you for forgetting because that is such a horrible, generic title.

  3. I am strangely jealous of your VC Andrews stash. Does this make you want to recap more of them besides the "canon" books?

    *please say yes because I really want to read your recaps of the Cutler series. I really think Dawn was "spechul". Some of the things she would believe made me think she needed to be placed in a home.

  4. Linedancer: It does it does indeed! I've already thought ahead, in a vagueish way, to life after the Canon Novels and doing some of the later series is a possibility! I thought about the Landry Saga, but there's someone already doing a really bang-up job of recapping those right now, and I've never actually read the Cutlers, so it would be need to go into it completely unprepared--um, I mean unbiased.

  5. Glad you're back. I am loving your take on these, ahem, classic novels.

    And, wanna share a link to that one about the Landrys? I'd love to check it out too.

  6. @Michelle: for all your Landry needs! Featuring appearances by Swamp Thing!

    1. This is the only place I could find on my crappy work computer, but is it bad that I just stumbled on to your site and had a mini orgasm? Seriously...Flowers in the Attic has been my favorite movie since before I could legibly write my name. and in 6th some Yale kid gave my mom a bunch of VCA book and I'm just now retrieving them from her house. BTW I have Garden of Shadows but not Petals on the wind. I am SO jealous of this collection and I'm going home to bookmark this blog!

  7. umm, not to be mean or anything, but don't you have libraries where you live? I'm sure a library has copies of the books. But I'm glad you found them, or almost all of them.

    You have to do Garden of Shadows. That book made me turn a complete 180 on a character. Don't want to say who due to spoilers.