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J.A.A. Purves

Christopher Moore

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Years ago, I became a big Christopher Moore fan. Every once in a while it's relaxing to just read a comedy, especially if it is on the literary side and well-written. Besides Kurt Vonnegut, Clyde Edgerton or Christopher Buckley, I can't think of a better modern comedy writer.

His books so far include:

Practical Demonkeeping (1992) - This is essentially a fairy tale, and just so everyone's clear, Theo Crowe is Jeff Bridges.

Coyote Blue (1994) - Favorite excerpt: "... he had hoped it would all go away and he would find himself the victim of a childhood superstition. Religion was supposed to be a matter of faith. Gods were not supposed to jump on your desk and snarl at you. They weren't supposed to sit in your office smoking cigarettes. Gods didn't do anything. They were supposed to ignore you and let you suffer and die having never known whether your religion was a waste of time. Faith."

Bloodsucking Fiends: A Love Story (1995) - Ten years before Stephenie Meyer started writing her crap, the first book in the best modern day vampire series was already written. Also the "King of San Francisco" is Bill Murray and Elijah Ben Sapir is Christopher Walken.

Island of the Sequined Love Nun (1997) - A Comedy except Tucker Case is the equivalent of Hamlet, Zoophilia is the equivalent of Ophelia, and the talking bat is ... well ... the analogy has to break down somewhere.

The Lust Lizard of Melancholy Cove (1999) - the second in the Pine Cove series featuring the Lebowski-like pot-smoking police officer Crowe, also featuring, at least in my own head, Samuel L. Jackson and Lucy Lawless

Lamb: The Gospel According to Biff, Christ's Childhood Pal (2002) - This is the only Christopher Moore book I haven't yet read, and the only book of his we have an A&F thread on. I guess I'm just afraid of reading a book from Moore that I might dislike, and if I dislike one, this might be the one.

Fluke, or, I Know Why the Winged Whale Sings (2003) - Favorite excerpt:"I'm sorry, but I can't believe that this ship, [these creatures], the whole perfection of the way they work, could possibly be products of natural selection. There had to be a design. Someone made all this."

Cielle nodded, smiling. "I've known a number of scientists in my lifetime, Nate, but I'm sure this is the first time I've heard one arguing in favor of a grand designer. What's that called, the 'watchmaker argument'?"

She was right, of course. It was an accepted premise that intelligent design in nature was not necessarily a product of intelligence, but merely the mechanism of natural selection of traits for survival and really, really long periods of time for the selections to assert themselves. Nate's life's work had been built on that assumption, but now he was giving Darwin the old heave-ho simply because his - Nate's - mind was too small to adapt to the idea of this craft. Well, yes, damn it. Screw Darwin. This was too strange.

The Stupidest Angel: A Heartwarming Tale of Christmas Terror (2004) - Perhaps my favorite Christopher Moore novel. Begins with a young child witnessing the murder of Santa Claus. Also the third in the Pine Cove series, with a second appearance from Tucker and his talking bat.

A Dirty Job (2006) - Tim Burton eat your heart out.

You Suck: A Love Story (2007) - The second, and probably the best of Moore's vampire trilogy.

Fool (2009) - Still not sure what I think of this one. Maybe a little too on the bawdy side, but then it's a parody so ... Favorite excerpt: "And so," said Thalia, "that is the story of how St. Rufus of Pipewrench was licked to death by marmots."

"That sounds a most horrible martyring," said I.

"Aye, said the anchoress, "for marmot spit is the most noxious of all substances, and that is why St. Rufus is the patron saint of saliva and halitosis unto this day."

Bite Me: A Love Story (2010) - Maybe the most violent of bloody of Moore's comedies. I laughed long and loud after reading one particular battle scene with the attack of the vampire cats.

Anyone have any favorites?

Edited by Persiflage

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I have read a couple of Moore's books: The Lust Lizard of Melancholy Cove and The Stupidest Angel, and enjoyed them. He's good to go to when I'm looking for intelligent amusement, like I go to Terry Pratchett, Tom Holt, or Carl Hiassen.

Edited by Crow

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Since Sacre Blue: A Comedy d'Art arrives in bookstores on April 3, Christopher Moore has the first few chapters available online, the first two sentences of which read:

On the day he was to be murdered, Vincent Van Gogh encountered a Gypsy on the cobbles outside the inn where he’s just eaten lunch.

“Big hat,” said the Gypsy ...


In July 1890, Vincent van Gogh went into a cornfield and shot himself. Or did he? Why would an artist at the height of his creative powers attempt to take his own life . . . and then walk a mile to a doctor's house for help? Who was the crooked little "color man" Vincent had claimed was stalking him across France? And why had the painter recently become deathly afraid of a certain shade of blue? These are just a few of the questions confronting Vincent's friends—baker-turned-painter Lucien Lessard and bon vivant Henri Toulouse-Lautrec—who vow to discover the truth about van Gogh's untimely death. Their quest will lead them on a surreal odyssey and brothel-crawl deep into the art world of late nineteenth-century Paris.

Edited by Persiflage

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