Practical Demonkeeping is just like that old TV show, I Dream of Jeanie. Except instead of a cute genie, you have an ugly, scaly, demon named Catch. Who eats humans, but hey, a fella's gotta eat, right? His "master" is a youthful-looking 100-year-old named Travis O'Hearn. Who Catch sometimes obeys, and sometimes doesn't.
Travis and Catch would both like to sever the relationship. Which brings them to Pine Cove, a quiet, geezery California hamlet. Bad luck for yooze, Pine Covians.
What's To Like...
This is Christopher Moore's debut novel, and his writing talent and sense of humor are immediately evident. The pacing is good and the plethora of plotlines and characters are skillfully tied up at the end of the book. The final resolution is a bit clichéd, but that feels appropriate here. The laughs are abundant, and you will catch yourself chortling as you turn the pages.
Kewlest New Word...
Mingy : mean and stingy.
The Breeze could smoke all night, polish off a bottle of tequila, maintain well enough to drive the forty miles back to Pine Cove without arousing the suspicion of a single cop, and be on the beach by nine the next morning acting as if the term hangover were too abstract to be considered. On Billy Winston's private list of personal heroes The Breeze ranked second only to David Bowie. (pgs. 3-4)
"Be quiet. People are looking."
"You're trying to be tricky. What's morality?"
"It's the difference between what is right and what you can rationalize."
"Must be a human thing."
"Exactly." (pg. 73)
Gian Hen Gian stepped forward and shook a knotted brown finger in Travis's face. "Tell us where the Seal of Solomon is hidden or we will have your genitals in a nine-speed reverse action blender with a five-year guarantee before you can say shazam!"
Brine raised an eyebrow toward the Djinn. "You found the Sears catalog in the bathroom."
The Djinn nodded. "It is filled with many fine instruments of torture." (pg. 185)
May the IRS find that you deduct your pet sheep as an entertainment expense. (pg. 40)
The worst I can say about Practical Demonkeeping is that I wish it was longer. Christopher Moore immediately took care of that. His next two books, Coyote Blue (1994) and Bloodsucking Fiends (1995), are 294 and 290 pages long, respectively.
It can also be said that he got better as an author as he went along, although that's hardly something to hold against Practical Demonkeeping.
All-in-all, this was a pleasant, light read that was over all too quickly. But that's okay, cuz there are still three Christopher Moore books sitting on my TBR shelf. 9 Stars.