22 January 2007

You Suck by Christopher Moore

I always thought that after Bloodsucking Fiends, author Christopher Moore owed a great deal to Buffy The Vampire Slayer. His hero Jody, turned into a vampire by a bored 800 plus year-old monster, is a sarcastic, tough talking blonde, er, wait, red-head who is not so keen on killing people to survive, despite that fact that Elijah (the old vampire) informs here that they only kill people who are near death. Still, even before that 1995 novel, Moore had been cutting his teeth -with what would become his trademark - crafting genre novels set in the real world -mostly in the city of San Francisco (where the author lives).

Lamb, for me, remains his best work to date.

Anyway, Jody -and now undead former minion Tommy, who Jody has sired - returns in You Suck. The novel follows most of Moore’s now patented formula of relationships between men and women that usually gets screwed up (by the guy), snappy dialogue and a lot of self-referential comments.

Once again, Moore brings back previous characters from Fiends, like the cops Rivera and Cavuto and homeless crazy man The Emperor. And while this is more natural than his previous works, I did find one thing distracting. Its been 12 years since Fiends, yet this novel basically begins the next day. Those self-referential comments about emo boy Jared was not even around when Moore penned the first book in the early 1990's.

There was also a special guest appearance of Charlie Asher, from last years superior Dirty Job. The encounter between Charlie and Jody in You Suck, is the same that appeared in Job (plus, Tommy’s minion, the great Abby Normal, is friends with Lily, who works at Asher’s antique store).

The plot is thin, but that’s not important to the story. The real treasure lies in Moore’s characters, who find being a vampire not what all those stories thought they would be. Jody and Tommy are really just folks -or undead folks - trying to get by. Not so much like the living.

And, perhaps there is Abby, who handles the bulk of the later aspects of the book through her diary. And while at times this expressive style, it does, OMFG, get a little wearisome.

I’ve enjoyed all of Moore’s work, but will always site Lamb as his best, so sometimes my opinion is colored about his later works. But all of tomes are million times better than most humorous genre fiction.

Is there others?

1 comment:

Emile Walters said...

Hi David,
Thanks for your thoughtful and genuine comments on my little essay about brainwashing.