Bloodsucking Fiends: A Love Story

Moore, Christopher. Bloodsucking Fiends: A Love Story (2008 ed.) 290 Pages. Simon & Schuster. $14.00

I am not allowed to read Christopher Moore in public. I’ll be discreet, I promise myself, I won’t be awkward, I won’t seem like a maniac. I promise myself anything, just get the book out of your ugly purse and start reading, it will make the trip so much more bearable, I think. And for a few minutes, I’ll keep my promise. It will start with a smirk, which will then turn into a silent snicker, which grows into a soft giggle. This is where things get really tough, as I’ll realize that I’m breaking my promise, and will attempt to be serious. So what eventually escapes is a strangled snort, which may or may not develop into full blown idiotic laughter. Soon, the seats beside me are vacant. Eventually, even on an incredibly crowded commuter train full of people with their own books, strangers will edge away ever so slightly. Because as the unwritten rules of the train say– you may read, but only quietly. Laughing aloud and making a scene of yourself, being seen enjoying your book is forbidden. When I let myself read Christopher Moore, I inevitably break that unwritten rule, which is why I am not allowed to read his books in public.

Despite all the public awkwardness and the sideways glances, I am endorsing his books, most especially Bloodsucking Fiends. It was brilliant, and had me laughing loudly and crazily on public transit, and managed to get me laughing just as hard the second time I read it.*

To start with the beginning:

Sundown painted purple across the great Pyramid while the Emperor enjoyed a steaming whiz against a dumpster in the alley below. A low fog worked its way up from the bay, snaked around columns and over concrete lions to wash against the towers where the West’s money was moved. The financial district: an hour ago it ran with rivers of men in gray wool and women in heels; now the streets, built on sunken ships and gold-rush garbage, were deserted–quiet except for a foghorn that lowed across the bay like a lonesome cow. (page 1)

I’ve had problems with books which were “set in” the Bay Area in the past, most notably geographic and cultural annoyances. This book manages to avoid all those pitfalls completely; the neighborhoods (Chinatown, Northbeach, SOMA, etc.) are all represented, and there were no imaginary streets. There were a couple locations which I cannot be sure existed, but it was nothing too major. I even forgave him The Emperor of San Francisco and Protector of Mexico — a not-entirely-imagined character who shows up in A Dirty Job as well– because The Emperor adds an awful lot to the story, and does actually remind me of several San Francisco transients who do exist.

I suppose I really should say something about the contents and storyline, so I’ll give you a quick synopsis. One night after working late, Jody is accosted. She wakes up beneath a dumpster, her hand badly burned, and her senses strangely heightened. Her jerk of a boyfriend proves to be rather worse than she ever realized, and she finds herself in need of help. Tommy is our other protagonist– a farm boy fresh from the midwest, overwhelmed by the city– who finds himself helping Jody before he even gets to know her. Things get complicated as a string of murders seem destined to lead the police to their doorstep. Of course, their entire story is told with excellent wit.

In Conclusion:

I am not allowed to read Christopher Moore in public. Regardless, you should definitely pick this one up and give it a read. Then read its sequel You Suck followed by Bite Me, which both seem rather promising. It gets a 5/5 for being brilliant and funny and just altogether awesome.

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* For some reason, my boyfriend kept looking askance and shaking his head at me as I sat on my couch and devoured the book.

5 Comments

Filed under Adult Fiction, Book Review, Contemporary Romance, Horror, Humor, Mystery & Suspense, Paranormal, Paranormal Romance, Urban Fantasy

5 responses to “Bloodsucking Fiends: A Love Story

  1. The reason he probably wrote San Francisco well is because I think Moore lives in the Bay Area. My friend has been to his signings twice, and he usually either starts or ends his book tours there.
    I have heard much about Christopher Moore and have yet to read him. I think I’ll start with a stand alone first though.

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    • I wish you still lived with me, because I have his book Fool which is about Shakespeare’s Fool (specifically from Macbeth, I think), and it’s likely very funny. (I haven’t had a chance to read it yet)

      Though, both you and Billy would get a kick out of A Dirty Job, which is the other San Francisco book.

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      • Yea, I’ve seen Fool it looks interesting. It’s so funny because after I made this comment, I happened to pick up Lamb the other day and read a few pages. I’ve heard mixed reviews about it, so I didn’t think I would care for it. But now I kind of want to finish it. haha.
        I have seen Fool. That one definitely interests me.
        I wish I at least lived closer to you.🙂

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        • Mom liked Lamb, so it’s probably not horrible. I haven’t read any reviews of it though.

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        • Oceans

          Well, actually I love almost all of Christoper Moore’s books. The first one (Lust Lizard of Melancholy Cove) I read in one sitting, and was hooked on his humor, and writing style.

          He’s one of those authors that made me run back to the book store the next day for another (Island of the Sequined Love Nun). Got to love a story that includes a talking fruit bat named Roberto, cannibals, mad scientists, ninjas and a cargo cult.

          LOL, maybe that’s why we ended up with all his books!!

          I would also recommend the audio version of A Dirty Job. That his books can be so easily transitioned into unabridged audio is a mark of how well he tells his story.

          Warning, he is very addictive. Those who read him tend to read all of his books. We have 3 generations in our family who are all fans, and all of us refrain from reading them in public. At least it’s easy to ignore the stares because you are so into the story. It is impossible to not giggle, snort and at times break into laughter.

          The only book I did not care for was Fluke.

          You Suck is another one with a San Francisco setting.

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