Book Beginnings on Fridays & The Friday 56

I am enamored of books and want to blog more about them, so what better way to get started than to jump right in, I found a thorough list of memes for book blogs. It being Friday I decided to start out with Book Beginnings and Friday 56. Book Beginnings on Fridays was started by Rose City Reader and it consists of sharing the first line (or two) of the book you are currently reading on your blog or in the comments section making sure to include the title and author. The blog I found this tidbit on also suggests making note of your first impression based on that first line and whether or not you did or did not like the sentence.


1st line from Bloodlust: Conversations with real Vampires by Carol Page (1991):

The average American child doesn’t get very far in life without meeting a vampire.

Thoughts-I think of fun cartoon vampires presented in animated form,as toys and on cereal boxes  but then I remember what a vampire is in essence, a predatory parasitic being, it grows darker the more I reflect upon that first sentence. I did not like the first sentence because children are not the focus of this book which deals with mature subject matter. I do suppose however that I  get why she included it, to show that vampires are a very popular staple of  mass media that Americans are introduced to from an early age .

1st line from Cannibal: The True Story Behind the Maneater of Rotenburg by Lois Jones (2005):

The sun shone down on the half-timbered farmhouse , nestling in the rolling hills of central Germany.

Thoughts- The idyllic and lush green setting as the opening line in no way belies the dark and gruesome truths which are to be unearthed further in the book. If you didn’t know the “meat” of this story, you could easily be reading a fairy tale’s first sentence. I like the first sentence for the false sense of scenic safety it lulls you in with.

Friday 56 is another book meme, this one sponsored by Freda’s voice  where you pick  any book and turn to page 56 and share a sentence that grabs you. I found these bookish memes explained at My Reader’s Block blog.

From page 56 of Horror Noire: Blacks in American Horror Films from the 1890s to the Present  by Robin R. Means Coleman (2011) :  Blacks found themselves forever associated with Voodoo, black magic sorcery , and zombies , in the horror genre.


Inspired by a fake story

Sometimes truth can be stranger than fiction and other times it is that very fiction which inspires all too real dastardly deeds. You may be familiar with films inspired by true crime such as Cannibal (2006) which was about German internet cannibal and killer Armin Meiwes and Karla (2006) which focused on the tawdry and terrible crimes of serial killers Karla Homolka and her husband at the time Paul Bernardo, but what about films that actual true criminals like? This list highlights crimes inspired by film as well as films favored by murderers.

*Matamoros NarcoSatanicos- The Believers (1987) The creepy flick with African based sorcery at its core starring Martin Sheen and Jimmy Smits was reportedly screened for potential recruits of the cult by an enthusiastic believer herself, Sara “La Madrina” Aldrete . The cult, led by Adolfo “El Padrino” Constanzo, went on to torture and sacrificially murder 13 people. Aldrete, who resides in a Mexican prison has since gone on to write a bestselling book about her time in the cult and make art. Constanzo ordered a loyal follower, Alvaro “El Duby” de Leon to execute he and Martin Quintana, a lover/loyal follower as authorities closed in on his Mexican hide out.

* Richard Ramirez- The deceased serial killer, rapist and burglar was very much a fan of the skin suit making, woman in a well keeping, dancing while tucked serial killer “Buffalo Bill”(played by Ted Levine) from Silence of the Lambs (1990). During an interview with a popular newspaper the serial killer admitted;”That guy on the show “Monk”, I really liked him in “Silence of the Lambs” and also stated just months before his death that he was particularly fond of one infamous scene from the film; ‘That scene where he says, “It rubs the lotion on its skin,” I really like [it].”

* Sarah Edmonson & Ben Darras- The drugged out teenage couple repeatedly watched Natural Born Killers (1994) before taking off on a Southern fried crime spree that left Bill Savage dead in Mississippi and Patsy Byers paralyzed in Louisiana. In 2010 after serving 11 years on a 30 year prison term, Edmonson, the daughter of an Oklahoma supreme court justice and niece of the state attorney general has been released from the Louisiana women’s prison where she was being held and ordered to serve her parole in Oklahoma. Her partner in crime, Darras, who is not from a politically connected family still remains in a Mississippi prison.

* Allan Menzies- The Scottish murderer watched Queen of the Damned(2002) more than 100 times and was convinced that Akasha (played by the late Aaliyah) ordered him to kill. He brutally murdered his best friend Thomas McKendrick and drank two cups of his blood and ate a fragment of his skull after Mckendrick (who actually loaned the film to him) insulted his belief in vampires and made a tasteless sexual comment about Aaliyah. Menzies told his lawyer, “He should never have insulted my bird.”

*Lee Boyd Malvo- The surviving half of The Beltway Snipers serial killer duo, was obsessed with The Matrix (1999). He and father figure serial killer John Allen Mohammed (who has since been executed) claimed ten lives. In hundreds of drawings and notes Malvo wrote about “Freeing yourself from The Matrix”. Malvo even told officers that if they wanted to understand him they should watch The Matrix. In jail, dialogue from the movie written on pieces of paper were found in his cell.

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