Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Review: Bloodsucking Fiends

Bloodsucking Fiends: a love story by Christopher Moore

4.5 stars

Summary (from the back cover): Jody never asked to become a vampire. But when she wakes up under an alleyDumpster with a badly burned arm, an aching neck, superhuman strength, and a distinctly Nosferatuan thirst, she realizes the decision has been made for her. Making the transition from the nine-to-five grind to an eternity of nocturnal prowlings is going to take some doing, however, and that's where C. Thomas Flood fits in. A would-be Kerouac from Incontinence, Indiana, Tommy (to his friends) is biding his time night-clerking and frozen-turkey bowling in a San Francisco Safeway. But that all changes when a beautiful undead redhead walks through the door. . .
First line: "Sundown painted purple across the great Pyramid while the Emperor enjoyed a steaming whiz against a dumpster in the alley below."

My thoughts: I read You Suck, the sequel to this book, last year, without knowing it was the second book. I loved it, anyway, but it makes a lot more sense now that I've read Bloodsucking Fiends. And I found it as wonderfully bizarre and hilarious as You Suck!

There are just so many funny things in this book. Tommy trying to learn about women by reading Cosmo stands out - every answer in the Cosmo quiz on trying to get your boyfriend to please you in bed involves hitting him on the head with a your bedside lamp. His research on vampires by reading everything from Bram Stoker to Anne Rice leads him to conduct all kinds of unfortunate tests on Jody (no amount of standing on a chair and trying to imagine herself with wings will turn her into a bat, for example). The Emperor is actually a homeless man with two dogs who is actually well-respected by most people in the City and believes he is indeed its Emperor (and also the Protector of Mexico). He's most likely crazy, but he's also very wise. The Animals - Tommy's night clerk buddies - get up to all kinds of antics at the Safeway after midnight.

There's also a crime story element, which I didn't work quite as well for me. Two detectives suspect Jody and Tommy of killing people when it's actually the ancient vampire who turned Jody (well, most of the time). That part didn't really grab me in the second book, either. But there had to be some conflict, of course, it wouldn't be much of a story if Jody just stayed safe in their trendy loft all day and did good works at night.

I would definitely recommend reading these 2 in order for anyone who likes an offbeat laugh. I plan to read a lot more Moore, myself.


Anonymous said...

I keep seeing one of his other books, Dirty Jobs (I think it refers to the grim reaper) in the bookstore but haven't yet picked up a copy. I'll have to do that soon.

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