the stupidest angel, a book review

November 26, 2004

in Books, Movies, and Music

I admit it, I am having a lot of trouble getting into Neal Stephenson’s Quicksilver. So complex! So well researched! So ambitious! So …. Zzzzzzzz. I’m trying. Really I am. Part of the problem is that I look at it on the bedside table and I think, oh god, 600 pages of this, and then there are two more books. And I just know not a single one of these books will have an ending. Really, all I want from Neal Stephenson is an actual ending, but I don’t have much hope.

So anyhow, instead of digging myself further into that tome I read The Stupidest Angel (a heartwarming tale of christmas terror) instead. If you’ve read any Chris Moore (Bloodsucking Fiends, Practical Demonkeeping, etc), then this is basically Chris Moore writing in his sleep. Not that that is a bad thing. Not at all. This book is the distilled essence of Chris Moore (uh, that was intended to be a compliment, and not sound totally icky). This is pretty much Chris Moore doing what he does really really well, which is write hysterically funny, totally manic books with insane characters doing completely bizarre stuff. If you have read any of Chris Moore’s previous books, then at least some of this one will be familiar: this is like a giant reunion book. It takes place in Pine Cove, and its got a whole pile of characters from his previous books in it.

The plot goes like this: The angel Raziel (From Lamb) shows up in Pine Cove to grant a child a christmas wish. Except Raziel isn’t very bright (see the title), and picks the wrong child at the wrong time, just after the kid happens to witness Santa Claus being murdered via a shovel to the head. Chaos and hilarity ensues. Along the way there are also skewerings of women’s health clubs, O Henry short stories, 12 step programs (Molly Michon’s higher power is Nigoth, the worm god), wine snobs, and just about every zombie movie ever made.

Its a short book, and it reads fast. Its better than Fluke, but not as good as Lamb, but its funnier than Lamb. I must have laughed hysterically more than a dozen times. I loved it. I read it twice. Page-wise, that’s about 3/16 of Quicksilver, but I had much more fun with Chris Moore’s book. Go buy it, yay.

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