Can you believe it’s been a month and a half since I finished a regular book? After clipping out a whole mess of books in March, I kind of got derailed in April. I was peopling. It’s ok. I’m mostly not peopling now.
I have been reading since you last saw me. I’ve just not been reading quickly. I’ll probably have another review up in a day or two because I was doing that thing where I was reading more than one book at once.
But today? Today, we have Bloodsucking Fiends by Christopher Moore. This is almost the second book of his I bought.
The way I found Christopher Moore is indicative of my sense of humor and also indicative of the state of bookstores in the country in the late ’00s.
Back, home, we had Waldenbooks. It wasn’t a big store, but it was a bookstore. Sometimes that’s all you really need. It then became a Borders, and then it closed shortly thereafter.
In a smallish town, this was the only bookstore. Your next best option was Walmart. In other words, you next best option was really Amazon or make trips to the city.
In the closing process, they had to get rid of stock, so books when on sale. It was an interesting process. Depending on the book, they all went on sale for say 50% off, but when they kept dropping the prices, some books would be shipped to other stores and some would stay. I got a decent haul in this event.
The first perusal, with the vast majority of books still on the shelves, I was just wandering through the back wall where the fiction was kept to see if anything caught me eye. I remember grabbing Lonesome Dove, which I would never end up reading and just regifted to my dad a few years later. And then I saw a book that said A Dirty Job. Well that’s interesting. I pulled the book out and there was a picture of Death pushing a baby Death in a stroller. Ok, you have my attention. The back of the book explained the plot (a guy becomes death while also being a single father). It seemed either great or awful. The reviews on it called it funny. I took a chance.
A Dirty Job was phenomenal and is one my favorite books ever, so I went back and grabbed the other Moore books available. One was Fluke, which is still my least favorite of his books. The other was You Suck. When I got ready to read You Suck, I realized I’d grabbed a sequel.
So that one had to sit for a while until I could procure a copy of Bloodsucking Fiends.
Bloodsucking Fiends is the story of a girl who meets a boy, and they fall in love. It’s just the girl’s a vampire, and the boy is from Indiana.
Do I have your attention?
Like all of Moore’s books, you have a mix of serious with comedy. Even as he deals with existential crises, he wants to point out the ludicrous nature of reality, so there’s always a risk you could laugh and cry a page apart.
Bloodsucking Fiends is one of his lighter books though. Where others deal with creation, life and death, this one, at the end of the day, is really just a love story. There just happen to be vampires.
You know, like the Twilight Saga, except intentionally funny.
I can’t really go into the story much more without giving away plot points (though, in fairness, Moore’s books are less about plot than they are about people, kind of like Gilmore Girls). I’ll try to hit the high notes.
The good things about this book are the same for all of his books. You’ve got great jokes. You’ve got these takes on day-to-day monotony that throw in the humor of the stupid things we do as we take ourselves too seriously. He also throws in some supernatural twist, and you get to see regular people dealing with weird events. This is kind of cool. And they’re quick reads. You’re not going to dig out a dictionary to understand what he’s saying, but it has an understated intelligence to it.
Ok, now for the not as good. This is one of his earlier books, so the writing’s not as clean as he would become (though I will say his earlier books are probably funnier than his later books, so give and take). Another thing is the copyediting is weaker in his earlier books, so you find mistakes. It’s not a big deal, but it’s more than you would expect from a book from a legit publisher. And the story’s always seem to get wrapped up fairly abruptly. Again, you don’t read his books for plot. That’s not his strength. His strength is making scenes and dealing with the human (vampire?) condition.
This is the first of three in a series. This is the best one, and the others follow the trajectory that his books do. Writing cleans up but not quite as funny. Still worth reading all three (and I’m still reading all of his books as soon as he publishes them, so you can see where I’m at).
With that, I’m calling it a night. Maybe, just maybe, I’ll have another review for you tomorrow.
Peace, book nerds.