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Strange Candy Hardcover – 4 Feb 2008

4.7 out of 5 stars 3 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 257 pages
  • Publisher: Berkley Publishing Group; First Edition, First Printing edition (4 Feb. 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0425212017
  • ISBN-13: 978-0425212011
  • Product Dimensions: 16 x 2.5 x 24 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 122,316 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product description

About the Author

Laurell K. Hamilton is a full-time writer and mother. Her bestselling Anita Blake, Vampire Hunter novels include Narcissus in Chains, Obsidian Butterfly, Blue Moon, Burnt Offerings, The Killing Dance, Bloody Bones, The Lunatic Cafe, Circus of the Damned, The Laughing Corpse, and Guilty Pleasures. She is also the author of A Kiss of Shadows and A Caress of Twilight. She lives in a suburb of St. Louis with her family." --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Customer Reviews

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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Very interesting. Seeing another side to Laurell - to read some of her earlier stories, other areas her mind has taken her to. Yes, I felt it was a valuable read if only to see how her style has developed. I enjoyed it and was glad I bought it.
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Format: Paperback
I checked this book out of the library and thoroughly enjoyed reading it, from deviant cherubs, to semi-faithful swords (which I couldn't get enough of). I think it's got something for everyone, and the lighter stories are a breath of fresh air. I'm scouring Amazon at this very moment to purchase a copy of my own. Definitely worth reading twice.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) (May include reviews from Early Reviewer Rewards Program) 4.3 out of 5 stars 116 reviews
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Good stories that stand the test of time 29 Aug. 2016
By Terrence Walsh - Published on
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book is definitely FIVE stars. Arguably a few of the fourteen stories might not measure up to five full stars but the book satisfies. I first read Strange Candy in paperback when published in 2007. I liked most stories and LOVED several.

Now it's 2016. I recently was thinking of two of these short stories. That's right, nine years later. How many times have you recollected a short story you read NINE YEARS ago?? Endurance in the mind is a powerful test of a writer. Ms. Hamilton and Strange Candy clearly passed that test.

With that in mind I bought a Kindle version to replace the old paperback that I gave away, and reread every story. In case anyone's interested, here are my thoughts.

Many of us were poorly served in high school when subjected to the peculiar thing called a short story. Short stories are terrific for a high school English class because--guess what?--they are SHORT. Of the many, many thousands of short stories available, a tiny fraction get collected in the anthologies used in high schools. As one example, how many of us read "Clay," by James Joyce? First published in 1914, it is still a teacher's darling for the economical writing that makes every word count. Well done, Mr. Joyce. Dubliners (Illustrated)

But I'm no longer in high school. Short stories have other uses! Many writers use a short story to test a new character. There's no point in writing a novel if the hero can't jump off the page of a short story.

That said, a character's depth comes from living the longer life of a novel, or a series. The character's resonance with a reader is a combination of not just the intrinsic merit of the character and story, but also the reader's familiarity with the character. How many times will Robin Hood stride the silver screen? Many already, and more to come--because the audience already "knows" Robin. So familiarity with a character such as Anita Blake tugs us right in, whether in a novel or a short story. Perhaps we expect too much if the experiment of a character's first short story does not have the polish of that character's third (or twenty-third) novel. I enjoyed "Those Who Seek Forgiveness" as a good story.

One of a writer's challenges is naming the characters. In the contemporary world, resources like name dictionaries and telephone directories work well. For an historical story there are always graveyards with their interesting names. But in a fresh fantasy world, where is the social fabric from which naming conventions emerge? Some writers--including Ms. Blake in her Merry Gentry series--look to mythology. Others lean on languages with resonance in English, such as Latin or Celtic.

In a single short story fantasy the social fabric is gossamer at best. Character's names may seem strained. That's how several stories read to me. The names Bilbo, Frodo, and Gandalf might seem strained, too, if only encountered in a single short story. I'm inclined to think that a few of Ms. Blake's characters could change their names if hired for a novel. Meantime, their stage names are fine as they appear in Strange Candy.

Then there are characters with perfect names. Leech. I love Leech, the thirsty-for-blood sword with a mind of his own. Leech appears in two stories, "The Curse Maker," and "Stealing Souls." Leech is one of the two reasons I remember Strange Candy, even nine years after reading this book.

The other story that survived all those years in my head? "Selling Houses." It enriches Anita's world even though she never appears. It's just a very human story that happens to include some not-quite-human (or formerly human) characters. Brava!

Whilst rereading Strange Candy I re-encountered "Geese." I enjoyed this story. It parallels the European fairy tale tradition without being beholden. A few more like this could make another book. It's hard to find good, American fairy tales. L. Frank Baum did it with American Fairy Tales. I feel "A Lust of Cupids" is in the same vein. Perhaps Ms. Blake will find a few more. I hope so.

I'm posting this review because, clearly, I liked Strange Candy. I hope you find it helpful.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Insight Into the Creation of the Anita Blake World 1 Aug. 2015
By The Ribbon Marker - Published on
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
For the purposes of my Anita Blake Book Challenge, I only reviewed the three Anita Blake related short stories that are part of this collection.

Strange Candy gives us three brief glimpses into the wonderful world of the Anita Blake, Vampire Hunter series. The introductions that accompany each of the chapters gave us a glimpse into Laurell K. Hamilton’s creative process. We get to understand what inspired her to write about Anita and the many different directions she has taken the series.

The first story, Those Who Seek Forgiveness, showed the birth of the Anita Blake character: a mere animator (zombie raiser). I love the story because it showed how simple Anita’s life would've been had she not been seduced by Jean Claude. I would use the term “normal”, but as the story shows, Anita’s job as an animator comes with its own inherent risks. In someway, the story actually acts as an introduction to how Anita met the Regional Preternatural Investigation Team squad. I could just see Dolph and Zebrowski coming to interview her on what happened in the cemetery, and then asking her, “Hey since you’re so good with the weird, can you help us with this case?” I love how Laurell K. Hamilton has kept shots of pure animator-Anita throughout the series. We get to see Anita dealing with clients who lie about their true motivations for having a zombie raised, or the different reasons for having zombies raised.

See the rest of this review at:
5.0 out of 5 stars Well worth your time 30 July 2016
By Amazon Customer - Published on
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Favorite author. I've been reading her books for years now, and she never fails to satisfy my love for this subject matter.I love everything she writes-and I live near St. Louis. Cool seeing places I know named in her books. I love books on this subject and several other authors, too, but Hamilton is the best. She packs a lot in a short time frame! Very detailed descriptions of activities and what is going on in the thoughts of the characters. I could do with less sex and violence most of the time, but love the books, anyway as the stories are so good. The variety in Strange Candy was very exciting to read and I hope she does more of this in the future. Some of the characters I had never seen before, so seeing something new from her was really nice. Short stories are a nice change.
5.0 out of 5 stars Thoroughly fascinating and mostly fun! 2 Sept. 2016
By Alisha A. Henri - Published on
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
When I discovered this book was a compilation of Laurell K. Hamilton's stories mostly other than from Anita Blake's world, I was interested. By the time I finished the first my mind was happily engaged. I'd already read the final story, which was an Anita story (and one that I still found good reading a second time), but I truly enjoyed every story especially the two with Leech. The story about Jasmine was a little too dark for me, but still good reading. A very worthwhile purchase that displays Ms. Hamilton's talented writing and wonderfully weird imagination.
5.0 out of 5 stars The woman can write, too bad we don't see more 1 Mar. 2016
By Cacey Kennedy - Published on
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
One I'm a fan of both LKH's series. I caught the Anita Blake series early on, before sex was ever an issue. And I don't really care that they've gone the direction they have. I do care about the balance between crime/police work, supernatural world, relationships, and sex.
I like the Merry series too.

But this book shows you how good a writer LKH actually is, and it's a side we never get to see, which is our loss, and I think to her detriment.
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