Thursday, December 24, 2009
Cannonball Read Entry #11: The Stupidest Angel -
For all my ragging and petty criticism, I actually am, in fact, a huge fan of Christopher Moore. Love him. I have every single one of his books, read them all through and through, and despite my criticism, loved every single one of them. That being said, the absolute worst thing you can do is pretend that nothing's wrong when obviously, something is. If anything, the measure of a good book is one you enjoy reading despite it's flaws. It's about making what you love about it worth more than what you dislike, and Christopher Moore has that down to a science.
The Stupidest Angel takes place in the town of Pine Cove, California, the setting of both Moore's previous novels Practical Demonkeeping and The Lust Lizard of Melancholy, making this the most paranormally fucked town since Sunnydale. Anyway, the story starts off with Lena accidentally killing her douchebag ex-husband with a shovel while the fat fuck is dressed as Santa. While former pilot Tucker Case helps her hide the body, the entire sordid mess is witnessed by a young boy, who after wishing upon an angel sent down from heaven for Santa to come back to life, incites a yuletide zombie apocalypse. Ho ho ho.
Despite the fact that Christmas specials are usually little more than holiday cash-outs, The Stupidest Angel marks Moore at his best: Rather than drowning the narrative in winks and nudges and oh-so-clever asides, Moore let's the story speak for itself, pacing the jokes out enough to keep them from being overbearing while still keeping with the absurdist humour he's known for.
The only real problem I had with is was that the overall pacing of the plot was off. If the big seller for your novel is that there's a gigantic holiday zombie massacre, briefly hype it up, rather than spending over half the book building up to it with story lines that just sort of peter out on the way to the climax.
Anyhoo, if you're looking for a respite from Christmas special featuring adorable little kids, jolly break-in artists and elves who want to be dentists, you honestly can't get much better than The Stupidest Angel, which injects a fresh dose of zombie into the overtly cheerful season.