GaryView: The Blood Countess by Tara Moss

Gary and LissaLissa: Given your usual misgivings about how vampire books are nothing like actual vampires, what’s the verdict

Gary: It was okay.

Lissa: I really liked Pandora English. She’s smart, capable, funny and I liked that she wanted to be an investigative journalist, not just write fluff pieces about fashion. Her Aunt Celia was a good character, and I liked her friendly Civil War ghost. Luke was a sweetie.

Gary: The ghost was okay.

Lissa: It was pretty funny in parts, and the mystery was good. It’s that Hitchcockian theory of suspense, when you know more that the protagonist.

Gary: I suppose that was okay.

Lissa: The writing style flowed really nicely too. It was fun and easy to read, which I like sometimes.

Gary: It was a fast read, yes.

Lissa: …You didn’t really like it, did you?

Gary: It was fine, for a light read. I did like the writing style, really. It’s very cinematic. It’s easy to see how it would look as a film.

Lissa: What didn’t you like about it?

Gary: I didn’t not like it. It just… had a lot in it about clothes. And shoes. What’s a Mary Jane shoe anyway?

Lissa: Sort of like what I’m wearing now, but with a chunkier heel.

Gary: And that’s what Pandora was excited about?

Lissa: Mary Janes are comfortable but still pretty.

Gary: …oooookay.

Lissa: Actually, the scenes with the vintage fashion dress-ups were some of my favourites! It would be nice to have an exotic former designer of a great-aunt giving me tips and nice shoes to make my way in New York.

Gary: You would?

Lissa: Yeah. That Chanel outfit sounded nice. The black pants suit.

Gary: I didn’t think you were very interested in clothes.

Lissa: I’m not obsessive about them…

Gary: Yeah, that’s what I thought.

Lissa: What do you mean?

Gary: I mean that I didn’t think you were into shoes and stuff that much.

Lissa: Why?

Gary: Well…

Lissa: Just because I don’t go on and on about fashion, it doesn’t mean I don’t like nice things.  I like nice clothes. I have my own style.

Gary: (nods vigorously, like he’s understood) Yes. Your librarian style.

Lisa: What’s that supposed to mean?

Gary: (uncertain) Ah….

Lissa: Sartorial criticism coming from a man who wears the Hawaiian shirts his mother bought for him in a job lot at a fire sale in the early 80s isn’t really my idea of expert comment.

Gary: I’ve said something wrong and I don’t know what it is.

Lissa: What does ‘librarian style’ even mean?

Gary: I just meant… you’re a librarian and… that’s how… you dress…? Should I have said Lissa style? You dress like you. Is that… how is that a bad thing?

Lissa: It’s…ah… not.

Gary: Would it help if I said sorry?

Lissa: You don’t know what you’re apologising for, do you?

Gary: … no…

Lissa: (sighs) Don’t worry. It’s nothing. It’s just… someone at work yesterday said I dressed like a hippy.

Gary: I knew hippies at uni in the 1960s. You don’t dress like them. Anyway, I like what you wear. I like the colours.

Lissa: You don’t think it’s too… old fashioned?

Gary: I think you look nice.

Lissa: Oh. Well. Thank you.

Gary: You’re welcome. (pause) What’s wrong with my Hawaiian shirts?

*For newcomers, the GaryView is a review of books/films/TV/entertainment carried out as a conversation between Lissa Wilson (librarian) and Gary Hooper (vampire) , characters from my book ‘The Opposite of Life’. Visit my website for more information.