You Suck: A Love Story. By Christopher Moore. Morrow. $21.95.
A Dirty Job. By Christopher Moore. Harper. $13.95.
Christopher Moore is an amazing writer, whose impossible characters seem real and whose impossible situations seem as if maybe they are real, too. But…
He has a style that combines elements of others’ sensibilities yet is like no one else’s, and includes the ability to invent some new and very creative curse words, which is no mean feat. But…
There has never before been reason to include a “but” in writing about
But with his two latest books,
Here’s the thing: In A Dirty Job (originally published last year and now available in a handsome paperback edition with a delightful glow-in-the-dark cover whose illustration, for better or worse, reveals an important plot point) and You Suck (published this year in hardcover), Moore revisits characters he has used before, causes some of their lives to intersect with the lives of newly created characters, and turns San Francisco, where both books are set and which is already a mighty strange city, into a metropolis of the absurd, the dark and the utterly inhumane. Well, and the humane, too.
This is great stuff. BUT…A Dirty Job, which involves human beings becoming sort of assistants to Death, is a touch derivative – Piers Anthony’s seven-book Incarnations of Immortality had a series of analogous plots, although treated at much greater length and with less madcap humor. And A Dirty Job involves cameo and more-than-cameo appearances by characters from Moore’s wonderful 1995 novel, Bloodsucking Fiends: A Love Story, including a comment by a police detective that makes sense only if you know the earlier book – and an appearance by Jody, the gorgeous vampire heroine of the earlier book, in a scene that is then repeated (from a different viewpoint) in You Suck, a young-vampires-in-love-and-trouble tale that is an out-and-out reader-requested sequel to Bloodsucking Fiends, which remains Moore’s best book.
Make no mistake, though: these books are a delight to read.