Wednesday, 21 November 2007
‘The Stupidest Angel’ – Christopher Moore (Orbit Books)
It’s not often that I get to sit at my desk and read a book when I should be working. In fact I never get to do this at all! However, a power cut that has lasted most of the day meant that I could take it easy and finish off ‘The Stupidest Angel’ (a book that I started on the train last night).
I’ve read a few books by Christopher Moore and have to say that I never really got the joke, until now that is. I’ve just spent the last few hours, at my desk, trying not to laugh out loud at brain eating zombies, a psychotic ex-film star and a seven year old child with an interesting way of describing wine. This is a book that I’ll be reading every Christmas!
The yuletide season has arrived in the sleepy town of Pine Cove but a little boy (who thinks he has just seen Santa being killed) is about to inadvertently condemn the town to a night of terror. His wish, for Santa to come back to life, is picked up by the Archangel Raziel who (not being the brightest Angel in the heavenly choir) completely misunderstands what is being asked for. Cue the zombies…
‘The Stupidest Angel’ is only a couple of hundred pages long so this isn’t going to be a particularly long review! Suffice it to say that there weren’t very many pages where I didn’t find something that made me chuckle at least. The surreal humour is very much along the lines of Robert Rankin and the situational ‘comedy of errors’ reminded me (a little bit) of P.G Wodehouse. The ‘seasonal relationship breakup syndrome’, which was prevalent throughout, also lent the proceedings a touch of pathos which offset the comedy nicely but also made me want to invest a little more time getting to know the characters (rather than just reading a story). The characters themselves can be found in many of Moore’s other works, making ‘The Stupidest Angel’ either a great place to get reacquainted with old friends or a good point to start reading these books. I mentioned before that some of the situational stuff was sublime, I particularly enjoyed the meeting between Theo and Tuck (cannabis growing policeman and accessory to murder) while the drug induced demons that Molly and Theo faced (just to buy each other the perfect Christmas present) were funny yet strangely touching at the same time.
There were moments where the jokes didn’t quite work but I’d say that was more down to my taste in humour than any failing on Moore’s part.
On the whole, I really enjoyed ‘The Stupidest Angel’. Any book that can carry off the line “No-one knows why, but second only to eating the brains of the living, the dead love affordable prefab furniture” (and this book does) will sit comfortably on my bookshelf!
’The Stupidest Angel’ is a fun, fast read that pretty much hot the spot for me laughter wise, a nice little stocking filler for any fan of the genre.
Eight and a Half out of Ten