Monday, February 28, 2011

It was as if vampirism carried with it a crampless case of rattlesnake PMS

It's been awhile since I read some Christopher Moore. OK, well that's not entirely true, since the last Moore book I read was Fool back in August. But that was a re-read. Before that...well, that wasn't that long ago either. I read Coyote Blue back in June. What can I say, I need a regular fix of the guy. So to feed that fix* I read Bloodsucking Fiends: A Love Story.

I had a couple reasons for picking up this particular book: I hadn't picked up any new Moore in awhile and I've read the sequel already. You Suck was actually the first Moore book I read and I didn't realize it was a sequel until I mentioned reading it in front of another Moore fan who was surprised (and I think a bit annoyed**) that I hadn't read the first book in the trilogy. Moore wrote this back in '95 but I like reading it now, during the Twilight frenzy, to see a new way vampires can be represented. Moore mostly sticks to traditional vampire lore (they can't go in the sunlight, can turn to mist) but the story is told with his expected humor.

The plot itself is fairly straight forward and predictable: a girl is transformed into a vampire and begins to learn the ropes of her new condition. She meets a human boy to help her out since she can't go out during the day (no sparkling!) and the 2 enter into a relationship. The vampire who turned her has been killing people around San Francisco and frames the murders on the couple. Evil must be vanquished, love prevails, etc, etc. The plot isn't the important part, the characters are. And they're wonderful. Jody, the newly turned vampire, is sweet, confused, cunning and vain. C. Thomas Flood, the aspiring author from Indiana as her boy toy is witty,  lovelorn and loyal. The Animals, the group Flood works with stocking groceries at a local market, are a riot. Cavuto and Rivera are the cops assigned to the string of murders who end up trying to figure out how to make sense of the supernatural things around them. (Open a rare book store and take up golfing are a couple options.) And of course there's my favorite character the "Emperor of San Francisco and Protector of Mexico". He's a homeless man who, along with his trusty Crusaders, Lazarus the golden retriever and Bummer the Boston terrier, who is truly concerned with the well-being of "his subjects" and is actually respected among many of the city's citizens.

Moore's humor is absurd, subversive, witty, sarcastic and dark, and if you're anything like me you got more excited with each adjective I listed out there. This isn't my favorite Moore book, it lacks some of the deeper themes that are present in some of his other books (Lamb, A Dirty Job, Fool), but it is a lot of fun. I plan on picking up a new copy of You Suck very soon and the third part of the trilogy Bite Me. This may not be my favorite of his works but I really want to see where the rest of the story goes. I don't remember much of You Suck but knowing there was a sequel meant I already knew how a lot of this book was going to turn out, which hurt some of the thrill in reading the ending. The story was still fantastic but I didn't spend the last chapters on the end of my seat wondering what was going to happen. So if you do read the series you may as well read it in order.   

Title quote from page 104

*Get it? Feed, fix, vampires. I slay me. Oh hey, there's another pun. I'm on a roll
**His annoyance was forgiven once he recommend Moore's Island of the Sequined Love Nun, which I will inevitably re-read and post on.

Moore, Christopher. Bloodsucking Fiends. Simon & Schuster Paperbacks, 1995.