Thursday, February 15, 2007

Review: You Suck by Christopher Moore

I'm kind of cheating with the first official entry to the blog, but I have a lot going on right now. So here is my review of You Suck: A Love Story by Christopher Moore.

Christopher Moore is a funny guy. His books range anywhere in subject from a fictional setting of the late youth of Jesus to encounters with creatures normally reserved for the Saturday night B-Feature on a cable station. "You Suck: A Love Story" is Moore's latest attempt to bring his scattered sense of humor to the realm of vampires.

A continuation of 1995's "Bloodsucking Fiends", "You Suck" opens with C. Thomas Flood discovering that his vampire girlfriend, Jodi, has turned him into a vampire without even asking him first. Tommy's friends, known as The Animals, recently came into quite a bit of money from selling the artwork collection of an ancient vampire they confronted. This money is used to hire a solid blue call-girl on a break-out trip to Las Vegas named Blue. In the meantime, Jodi, Tommy, and the now bronze-encased elder vampire have to get out of San Francisco as part of a deal with the police officers who caught up with the vampires. With the help of a young goth girl, self-declared Abby Normal, Jodi and Tommy have to effectively appease everyone who has ever known them to ensure their continued safety as children of the night.

Sound confusing? And that's not even half the characters that play integral parts in the novel. Christopher Moore is very talented at taking a concept and spreading it out as far as he can to make a simple gag - couple fighting over girl turning boy into vampire - into an epic comedy of Hollywood action film proportions. But the problem in "You Suck: A Love Story" is that there are far too many characters to keep track of. As the plot twists and turns, with significant information about the exact situation everyone is in spread out thinly and evenly throughout the work. a reader can easily lose sight of what is happening, who all these people are, and why does everyone seem to talk to animals in one capacity or another.

The book succeeds as a very easy read - it contains no challenging language, and, outside of a few disturbing visuals, doesn't contain any potentially offensive material. In fact, it is when the Moore tries to present a simplified version of the story - through the diary entries of Abby Normal - that the book reaches its highest points. A reader can understand exactly what is happening and laugh till they cry at the same time. The book doesn't just have a few shifts in perspectives. Every new chapter marks a new person's story, and sometimes this most significant character shifts during the chapters themselves.

If you are looking for a very funny quick read, you could do far worse than "You Suck: A Love Story." But Christopher Moore has, and can, do far better than what he presented in his latest novel.

Varb For Me