Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Bloodsucking Fiends - Christopher Moore

1995; 290 pages. Full Title : Bloodsucking Fiends - A Love Story. Genre : Vampire Satire. Overall Rating : A.

    At last a vampire story I can sink my teeth into. It's set in San Francisco, and look, it's even got the words "A Love Story" on the cover!

Jody is a newly-turned vampire, but somebody forgot to give her an instruction manual. Some things she learns quickly - like stay out of sunlight and go to sleep at dawn. Those hours make doing certain chores - like getting her impounded car back and picking up her severance check from her former place of employment - nigh near impossible. She is looking for love, willing blood donors, and a gofer.

Tommy (more literarily formal C. Thomas Smith) is a 17-year-old wannabee writer newly-arrived from the midwest. He is looking for a money, a job, and wild sex. You can figure out the romance plot-line from there.

What's To Like...
    I found this to be a laugh-out-loud book with some great characters. In addition to our romantic duo, there's a street-person who calls himself The Emperor of San Francisco and Protector of Mexico. His two armor-wearing dogs, Lazarus and Bummer (great names for dogs, eh?) are as street-wise as he is. There's a gay cop/straight cop team investigating the blood-draining slayings. And seven socially-inept co-workers of Tommy's who call themselves The Animals.
There are copper-plated snapping turtles; a frozen cadaver in a living room freezer; the great sport of turkey-bowling; and some outrageously funny Lestat-spawned research into what parts of Vampire Lore are true and what parts are myths.

.A word of caution - there is some profanity, and the sex scenes can be somewhat lurid. Attempted (but failed) necrophilia, anyone? So this isn't a book for the kiddies. And there is a sequel to this ("You Suck - A Love Story"), so there are some loose ends.

.Still, I personally thought it had a good ending. I give Bloodsucking Fiends an "A", because it was a delight to read. Will you find it funny? Well, the best description I can give of the humor here is "one part Charles Bukowski, one part Tim Burton, and two parts Kurt Vonnegut". Highly recommended. I suspect I'm about to go on a Christoper Moore reading kick.

An Excerpt...
She had fifteen minutes before she was supposed to meet Tommy at Enrico's. Allowing for another bus ride and a short walk, she had about seven minutes to find an outfit. She walked into the Gap on the corner of Van Ness and Vallejo with a stack of hundred-dollar bills in her hand and announced, "I need help. Now!"
Ten salespeople, all young, all dressed in generic cotton casual, looked up from their conversations, spotted the money in her hand, and simultaneously stopped breathing - their brains shutting down bodily functions and rerouting the needed energy to calculate the projected commissions contained in Jody's cash. One by one they resumed breathing and marched toward her, a look of dazed hunger in their eyes : a pack of zombies from the perky, youthful version of
The Night Of The Living Dead.
"'I wear a size four and I've got a date in fifteen minutes," Jody said. "Dress me."
They descended on her like an evil khaki wave.

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