countess crystal

D: (some weeks back)
I’m reading Tempt the Devil for Shitty Book Club. I’m only on chapter 3, but: oh man I hope there's a gay subplot. And aristocratic allusions and then piracy? THIS IS PIRATES OF PENZANCE SLASHFIC, INNIT?

A Lady: You are going to be really disappointed.

D: Dammit. Not that I really know Pirates of Penzance all that well, but I figured singing pirates could go homoerotic really easily.
Even the Foreign Swarthy Silent Bodyguard isn't gay?

A Lady: I know! Or a eunuch! But no.

D has finished the book and has lost a significant number of brain cells as a direct result.

A Lady: Dude, the opening sentence is: "It was a terrible day to die--was there ever a good one?"
It was a terrible day for punctuation.

D: Things this pirate will not harm: ladies, the innocent. Things he will massacre: grammar, punctuation.

A Lady: The pirate isn't actually so awful at it; I blame the narrative voice.

D: Well yes, because he is Secretly Posh, which must be how he acquired a taste for expensive silk pirate shirts and all those sashes.

A Lady: So many sashes! If you're that well-to-do, wouldn't you own some belts?

D: Doesn't that seem like an impractical thing to wear on a boat? I mean, the loose ends would always be blowing around and getting in the way.

A Lady: Belts were definitely around by then.

D: They are not particularly HARD TO MAKE.

A Lady: LET’S GET TO THE NAMES. OUR HEROINE’S NAME IS DEVON. Devon is definitely a lady's name in the, um…
Ah right, we're in 1715, which is a very specific year. In 1715, Devon is a shire, not a name.

D: And there’s a photograph in 1715.

A Lady: RIGHT, the photograph of Devon's mother. Because this novel also includes a time-traveling daguerreotyper? Or, I guess, photographer, since it's not even as archaic as a daguerreotype.

D: (I am trying REALLY HARD not to make a time-travel Doctor Who joke here. I am sparing you)

A Lady: (Oh god, thank you. You know my feelings about Doctor Which.)

D: (I almost bought a Doctor Who novelization last night. BUT I DIDN'T. And I'm not gonna make you read one for shitty book club, either.)

A Lady: (Which Doctor)

D: (Seventh, I think)

A Lady: (No, I mean that's his new name. The Which Doctor. Because whenever I see him on TV I feel my head shrink.)

So when Our Heroine Devon is on the boat and all these clothes magically fit her: did they raid an atelier? Is Devon a fit model?

A Lady: Yeah, I'm thinking someone doesn't understand how dressmaking worked in the early 18th century. Of course, someone also doesn't understand that photography wasn't invented until the 19th century.

D: Stretch jersey? Lycra?

A Lady: She is on a boat. And sailors wore wool jersey, so, um… no.

D: How many times did they do that jaunt from London to the Caribbean? Seven or so?

A Lady: Back and forth like it's no big.

D: Frequent flier miles: invented in 1715, just for them.
"BRB, gotta go check on the house halfway across the world.”
“BRB gotta break off my London engagement!”

A Lady: Sailor miles! I'm amazed they didn't have smart phones.

D: Also, apparently boats never need maintenance. Pirate ships are built to be lower-upkeep than my 2005 Honda Civic!
Anyway, where were we?  Names?  Our Pirate Hero’s name is KIT. I can totally see why he gave himself a pirate moniker.  Diablo > Kit.

A Lady: Kit I can let fly historically, on the grounds of Christopher Marlowe. But: "Kit the Pirate"?

D: No one fears Pirate Kit. They assume he's 9 years old.
Also, let’s not neglect Pirate Kyle.  The fact that a pirate is named KYLE is killing me.

A Lady: I know, I knowwww. Kyle is just such a piratey name.

D: The fierce, bloodthirsty... Kyle.

A Lady: First Mate Chad

A Lady: Deckhand... Rick

D: Deckhand Trip


D: Pirate Buddy! (I totally knew a kid named Buddy. It was his GIVEN NAME.)

A Lady: No you did not.

D: I TOTES DID. We went to elementary school together.

A Lady: Pirate Buddy definitely sounds like a toy from the 80s.  Also: First Lieutenant Chip!

D: Second Lieutenant Bryan!

A Lady: Omg omg Seaman JARED


A Lady: Bless the 90s.
Er, the 80s.
I am in denial about my age, clearly.

D: We totally escaped the 80s w decent names, thank god.

A Lady: Just barely.



D: Lady Mindy

D: Wasn't the fey fiancé Winston?

A Lady: Winnie!

D: This is basically the cast of Fresh Prince with slightly different names.

A Lady: What was the piratess's name? Scarlett?

D: Yessssss. I love her. Because 1) weapons 2) good hair 3) DOESN'T GET KNOCKED UP.

A Lady: That's definitely the slashfic way I was hoping it would be headed. I was really disappointed she didn't seduce Devon.

D: Oh Devon would be shocked, SHOCKED.

A Lady: And confused.

D: (Hopefully in a hot way.)

A Lady: Duh.
I'm sick of these spineless women and the men who abuse them but make them like it. This seems to be a trend in Connie Mason novels, which always involve a woman betraying a woman. The men lose their temper or are stupid; the women are also stupid.
Having now skimmed five of her novels, I've decided I have no patience for Connie Mason.

D: Five. Really.
Your patience/masochism astounds me.
"Bad boy! Nice lady! Struggle! Love! Everyone gets married! Even the angry vaguely-ethnic dude, because we found an ethnic lady to pair him off with!"
Fuck that shit. Let's give all the romance "heroines" some Judith Butler, a knife, and a vibrator.

A Lady: It's not even that; it's "Bad man! Spoiled lady! Easily explained misunderstandings that are never explained! Lies kept for no reason!" etc. And the endorsement of/desire for a tiny lady/huge man dynamic is (for obvious reasons?) so bizarre and creepy to me.

D: The tiny lady/huge dude immediately makes me think of a doberman and a miniature dauschund.

A Lady: So can I just tell fans of bodice rippers that there are plenty more and insanely better books where that one didn't come from?

D: Yes! Recommendations for bodice-rippery that will not induce head-smackery!

A Lady: Seriously, Julia Quinn's novels, which are hilarious and witty and way sexier.
Also, Lisa Kleypas and Stephanie Laurens.  End of discussion.

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