Free Culture Book Club — Life Blood, chapters 4 – 5

Hi! You might want to know that this post continues ideas from the following.

This week, our Free Culture Book Club continues reading Life Blood, a novel by Thomas Hoover.

The book's cover, featuring an abstract woman's face pointing up

To give this series some sense of organization, check out some basic facts without much in the way of context.

This should go without saying—even though I plan to repeat it with every Book Club installment—but Content Advisories do not suggest any sort of judgment on my part, only topics that come up in the work that I noticed and might benefit from a particular mood or head space for certain audiences. I provide it to help you make a decision, rather than a decision in and of itself.

Life Blood

The “back cover” teases the adventure as follows.

It lies hidden deep in the mist-shrouded rain forest of Central America.

A place where a brilliant doctor fulfills dreams for some — and creates chilling nightmares for others.

Now, filmmaker Morgan James is about to journey straight into the heart of a dark conspiracy.

Where a bizarre human experiment comes at a terrible price, and where she may be the next to pay with her…Life Blood.

Checking out Hoover’s website, he originally published these books through traditional channels over decades. More recently, he reclaimed his publishing rights to the majority of his work, and has released it under Creative Commons licenses. As such, it represents another compromise on the parameters of this book club…but I don’t have many works left, so I have more willingness to compromise. More on that at the end of the post.

What Works Well?

The description of the Children of Light facility at least suggests some potential to the story, though we don’t see any of it manifest, here.

What Works…Less Well?

These chapters have sections in them that feel like somebody wrote them in the 1950s, as they debate and reiterate the value of a woman wearing cosmetics, how to land her man, and assuring us that every woman really wants babies, no matter what she thinks that she wants.

In fact, it does this—and getting in its jabs about the value of “beautiful Caucasian babies” and making sure that we know the ethnicities (and questionability) of people who we never meet—so frequently, that it feels like this section of the book has lost track of the plot. Where we previously had bizarre mysteries that seemed to threaten all sorts of danger, we now have an unimpressive threat of violence, dry business models, and mild arguments over who knows more about mythology.

Opportunities

I don’t see anything. Hoover has made his books available free on most major platforms, and doesn’t seem interested in forming a community around them.

What’s Adaptable?

I don’t see much more than former Carmelite convent Quetzal Manor in the Bronx, and Alex Goddard. The section drops a variety of other names, but many will recognize them from the real world, rather than fiction.

Next

In a week, we’ll continue reading Life Blood, chapters 6 through 9.

As mentioned above, by the way, the list of potential works to discuss after this book has run low, so I need to ask for help, again. If you know of any works—or want to create them—that fit these posts (fictional, narrative, Free Culture, available to the public, and not by creators who we’ve already discussed), please tell me about them. Every person who points me to at least one appropriate work with an explanation will receive a free membership on my ☕ Buy Me a Coffee page.

Anyway, while we wait for that, what did everybody else think about the book so far?


Credits: The header image is the book’s cover, made available under the same terms as the book itself.


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 Tags:   freeculture   bookclub

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