Book: Bloodsucking Fiends by Christopher Moore
Date Read: Various
Rating: 5 (of 5) stars
So I’m doing it again. It has been quite some time since I’ve read this book, but have come back to it several times. So, I will start with a story.
I discovered Christopher Moore when I was in college. There was a Borders Books near campus, which was where I often spent my long breaks between afternoon and evening classes, browsing and adding to my to read list rather than working on homework or reading for class. Borders liked to do these weekly table sales: buy 2 get one free, or buy one get one half off. It was like I had to find more than one to add to my ongoing collection. (Incidentally, I consider this a primary contributing factor to my now out-of-control to read list of 260+ books.) Anyways: it was on one of these tables that I found “You Suck: A Love Story.” I’m not generally a big fan of romance novels, so I was obviously intrigued. Upon discovering it was the follow up to a novel called “Bloodsucking Fiends” (also a love story), I knew I had to read them both.
Within a few pages, I knew I was hooked on Christopher Moore. His novels are well thought out, a bit ridiculous, and hurt your stomach laughing out loud funny. I love that he takes on subjects and characters that are well known, but then makes them his own. These are not the same vampires you know from Bram Stoker and Anne Rice, but that doesn’t stop them from researching themselves in the source materials.
Speaking of research, despite the zaniness of it all, it is clear the Moore does his homework before embarking on a novel. He shows a clear understanding of the material from which his characters grow, and masterfully guides them into new life. That’s right, I just described a guy who incorporates fart and penis jokes into all his writing as “masterful.” Really though, how else can you describe someone who can perfectly meld pure ridiculous with well known mythology? Somehow, you end up with a novel that makes you think, but also makes you laugh.
As a final comment on Christopher Moore, I think it’s important to note that he does not just draw on classic material, but also on his own. Although I would not consider them to be in any way a series, his novels all take place in the same world. This ranges from brief cameos to full on character borrowing. It’s not unusual to suddenly realize that a character is familiar because they were introduced through a minor part in a previously read book. While I suppose some might find annoying, I appreciate that Moore is able to make this feel natural. I have not yet encountered an issue with story continuity, nor have I felt that I didn’t get “enough” about a character in an individual novel.
Boris’s thoughts: “You know you’re never going to finish that to read list if you keep rereading books. Whatever. 3 paws.”