The Starving Bulls**t Artist

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Mme Bitters’s Book of the Week: The Dress Lodger March 13, 2009

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I’ve decided to add a new segment to my blog, The Starving Bulls**t Artist. It will be a weekly posting about a book that I like. After much thought I decided to name this new segment Mme. Bitters’s Book of the Week.

Clever, huh?

Catchy? You betcha!

I’d like to take this opportunity to thank one of my frequent blog contributors, eksith. In addition to being a decent, gracious  and intelligent man (as well as  a snappy dresser, probably) he had this idea first. Even though the segment on eksith’s blog is Movie of the Week, I still feel that giving props is in order.

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So, in the words of  the great scribe 50 cent : “I love you like a fat kid loves cake.” *

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Beautiful words from a homely man. Now let’s do this thang, shall we?

This week’s book is The Dress Lodger, by Sheri Holman.


Cover ImageIt takes place in 1831 in Sunderland, England during a cholera quarantine. The two main characters are Gustine and Henry.

Gustine is the 15 year old “dress lodger”. This is a certain kind of prostitute that wears a dress that a lady of nobility might wear in order to attract a higher class clientele. Her landlord/pimp rents her the dress. To be sure she doesn’t run off with it, he has her followed by another of his tenants, a mysterious one-eyed old woman who never speaks

Henry is a grave robbing doctor who is disgraced and is forced to move to Sunderland to start over. He rob graves and he uses the corpses he steals to teach anatomy to medical students.

The two work out partnership where Gustine finds a body and alerts Henry so he can snatch it before it’s found and buried. Sunderland is a port city and in combination with the  cholera outbreak, bodies are plentiful

Gustine has a very unique reason to help the disgraced Henry steal corpses.  Gustine is a young mother whose infant son has an unusual, life threatening deformity. Her hope is the more corpses Henry disects and studies, the greater chance he’ll be able to save her child

Wanna know more? Then read the damn book, already!
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*This line is from the song ’21 Questions,’ as rapped by 50 cent.


11 Responses to “Mme Bitters’s Book of the Week: The Dress Lodger”

  1. eksith Says:

    Why, thank you!

    “…as well as a snappy dresser, probably”
    Most definitely!

  2. jesusbudda Says:

    “Snappy Dresser”?
    She means you wear mouse traps instead of underwear, Eksith.

    Madame, i never heard of this book.
    Story sounds good. Kinda Burke & Hare style.

    I’ll wait for it to be made into a movie.
    Any pictures in the book?
    A pop-up book?

    Not many pop-up prostitute/murder books out there, is there?

    Maybe there are?

  3. eksith Says:

    “Not many pop-up prostitute/murder books out there, is there?”
    That’s a dangerous path for a cult leader. Next thing you know, you’ll be carving a swastika on your forhead. And that’s so 70’s! Very unfashionable.

  4. missfierce Says:

    Don’t listen to eskith! Swastikas are ALWAYS in style

    I’m joking, of course. I’m not a Nazi bitch. Just the regular kind.

    It really is a good book. I left a lot out because I didn’t want to give too much away. It’s a macabre, somewhat unsettling story.

    As for the pop-up book, I’ll put it on my ideas list. Right below my pop-up Bible idea

  5. eksith Says:

    “Right below my pop-up Bible idea”
    …Now with moving thunderbolt action!

  6. jesusbudda Says:

    Ever get the feeling that we’re all gonna burn in hell for our blasphemy?

    No, me neither!

  7. eksith Says:

    “we’re all gonna burn in hell for our blasphemy?”
    In my case, it may not be hell, but I’m going to end up being burned anyway. Cremation is a common custom.

    But I’m fairly certain, they will prod me with sticks or whatnot to make absolutely certain I’m well dead before.

  8. missfierce Says:

    JB: The thought crosses my mind occasionaly. Then I realize I’ll probably wind up in hell for much worse reasons, so I think to myself “why not?”

    Eksith: Creamation is a good choice. My plan is to be cryogenically frozen. Like Frye on Futurama

  9. jesusbudda Says:

    I’m not sure about cremation.
    It’s nice and clean compared to burial, but it really messes up police investigations if I was murdered and they needed to recheck my body.
    I just wouldn’t be comfortable with that when I’m a ghost looking down on everyone from my magical Holy Giant Shoe temple cloud.

    Cryogenics is a bit crappy at the moment. Ever see the places they keep the bodies in?
    Real cheap and tacky!
    It’s basically a few metal containers of liquid nitrogen hooked up to refrigerators.

    But to be honest, I think we’re all gonna be fine.
    Our combination of bizarre religious/non-religious/stupid beliefs should ensure our safety from damnation.

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