Monday, March 21, 2011

You shouldn't just kill a guy without asking. It's inconsiderate.

After reading Moore's Bloodsucking Fiends: A Love Story I had to continue through the series, so it was onto You Suck: A Love Story. I'm pretty sure I've said this 100 times so apologies for the repetition but I've read this one before. However, I didn't know who Christopher Moore was at the time or that this was the second in a series. I was drawn to the title and the description on the back cover, as well as the fact that it was in the clearance section of a bookstore and I was on vacation and out of books. I wasn't hindered by the fact that I hadn't read the first part of the story, but it was much funnier this second time around.

*You Suck picks up right where Bloodsucking Fiends left off, so if you haven't read that and are particularly worried about BF spoilers, you should probably just skip down to the quotes at the bottom of the post. Now that I think about it, there will probably be some spoilers about You Suck as well, so you're probably safest just ignoring this whole part. Why did I bother writing it then? Excellent question. Well, off we go then*

I was going to write the typical review of the book, but I thought that wouldn't be all that fun. I will, as way of intro, tell you I enjoyed this book even more than BF. It was published over 10 years later, and right between 2 other Moore books I love (A Dirty Job and Fool) and it feels like one of those latter works. The story is more focused on the characters and their development and less on the evil-vampire plot, which the first book focused on. The characters are really Moore's forte so instead of going on anymore about how much I enjoyed this, I figured I'd give you a description of the characters and let you decide if you think these guys would populate a book you would enjoy.

First, our returning cast
Jody - Our red-headed fledging vampire from the first book. She's learning to love her new sense of power, especially now that she can walk the streets at night without the fear she had grown so used to. Not only does she have someone to share the sound of shapes with, but she also has someone who figured out a way for her to get her (blood-laced) coffee.
C. Thomas Flood - The aspiring writer who has a lot more time to write now that Jody turned him into a fellow bloodsucker, with the body and mind of a nineteen year old. It's taking him some time to get used to his new condition, but he did find them a new minion using his knowledge of Byron, so that's something.
Elijah Ben Sapir - The vampire who originally turned Jody is encased in bronze as we last left him in BF and is making a killing both as the statue performance artist and of course, in the literal sense. Going from owning a million-plus dollar yacht to killing people for their track suits will make some people a bit annoyed.
The Animals - Tommy's old crew at the grocery store who helped catch Elijah in the first place. Stoners, slackers and in general good guys, though they don't have the best financial sense.
The Emperor and his men, Lazarus and Bummer - My favorite characters from the last book are back and helping to capture the vampires slowly taking over the Emperor's city of San Francisco. Unfortunately, these guys are not in the story nearly as much as BF but otherwise they're fun.
Rivera and Cavuto - The two detectives from the previous story are back to solve more suspicious murders happening around town as they watch their dreams of owning a rare bookstore and golf fly out the window. Why couldn't the vampires have just left the city?
Steve - A minor character in the first book, he shows up with more oomph this time. He's a biotech student that not only figures out a possible to solution to Tommy and Jody's condition, but also deduces a way to bring down the vampires, sun or no sun.

And our new editions
Blue - She's an escort the Animals picked up while in Vegas, spending the money that they got selling Elijah's extensive art collection. Why's she called Blue, you're asking? To distinguish herself from other hookers, she dyed her skin blue. Why'd the guys pick her up and give her the better part of $600k? Well, they decided they all wanted to bone a Smurf. She sees herself more as Snow White and now she just needs her seven dwarfs.
Abby Normal - Now that Tommy can no longer be Jody's bitch and do her daytime bidding (that whole bursting into flames when in sunlight is causing some trouble), the vampires have picked up a new minion. A goth teenager with regrettable moments of perkiness, her PoV make up chapters here and there. She would annoy the hell out of me in real life, but her chapters are hilarious.

*I kept that pretty You Suck spoiler free, so if you want to go back and read it, you're safe. Why didn't I just go back and amend what I wrote above? Another excellent question! Now onto some quotes to keep giving you the flavor of the book. I will keep these spoiler free!*

"I was going to be an awesome hunk of muscular man-meat."
"No, you weren't. You wanted to be a writer. You were going to have little stick arms and get winded when you hit the back-space key more than three times consecutively." (8)

"It turned out that superhuman strength came in handy when shaving a thirty-five pound cat." (29)

from the Abby Chonicles
"Even as I sit here at the Metreon Starbucks, writing this, the froth slaves seem to move like silver-eyed zombies and my nonfat, soy Amaretto Mochaccino has gone as bitter as snake bile. (Which is like the most bitterest bile you can get.)" (164)

"I am like the poor cabron in that book The Pearl, where by simply trying to take advantage of some good fortune, I have lost all that I care about. Okay, I did get drunk for a week and my pearl was a blue whore who fucked the chimichangas out of me, but still, pretty sad. He thought these things in Spanish, so they sounded infinitely more tragic and romantic." (208-209)

"unless Ninjas are also Japanese, in which case I will have to look some shit up for metaphors because the only thing Chinese I can think of right now is Dim Sum, and I believe it's disrespectful to refer to your soul mate in terms of finger food" (276)

I've already gone ahead and picked up the third book, Bite Me: A Love Story so this won't be the end of Moore's vampire tales.

Title quote from page 2

Moore, Christopher. You Suck: A Love Story. Harper, 2008.