I recently completed reading four of Christopher Moore’s novels.
A Dirty Job, Bloodsucking Fiends, You Suck, and Bite Me.
If you can’t tell from the titles they involve sucking, biting, dirtiness, jobs, you, me, fiends and vampires. I can’t say that I’m on the vampire band wagon that’s sprung up in recent years with respect to media (see – Twilight, True Blood, etc.) but these books read more as character study rather than any gothic/cajun tales of lust and bloodsucking. They are written in a basic( in a good way) prose that’s focused on telling a story about people who happen to either become vampires and they think, “now what?”, or people who come into contact with vampires and they also think, “now what?”.
Jody is the central character who becomes a vampire at the beginning of the first book, Bloodsucking Fiends, and she has no idea what happened, what her powers are and what the hell is going on. She finds, over the course of the trilogy (You Suck and Bite Me), that she enjoys the power of being a vampire, something she felt she never had as a single girl in the city of San Francisco.
The subtitle for all three books is “A Love Story” and as someone who’s down with stories about love and stuff what I fell in love with was the fact that the love story was central throughout the trilogy but not the whole point of it. Basically, Jody meets Tommy, a new arrival to San Francisco and she realizes she needs a “minion” to do stuff for her during the day because she conks out a sunrise and doesn’t “wake up” until sunset. Jody and Tommy fall in love and that’s it. Simple. To the point. Done and done. Okay, well, it’s not that simple but you get the point I hope – the love story doesn’t take up more of the book/plot/story than it should. They fall in love and with the help of Tommy’s friends, The Animals, and the lovable, homeless Emperor of San Francisco, the group take on the alpha vampire Elijah – the guy who turned Jody because he was bored and wanted a fledgling to play with.
Moore writes like I like to read – he doesn’t spend too much time describing setting or what colour the wall was, or if Jody ran like a gazelle, because telling me that Jody ran somewhere was good enough. He tells a story, not a travelogue for people who care about wallpaper and how people drink their tea.
A Dirty Job follows Charlie Asher who falls into the job of being Death. Like the Grim Reaper Death. This book seems like somewhat of a spin-off to the Jody-Tommy trilogy as they both share characters, time/space, San Francisco and even, in You Suck, the same scene when Jody enters Charlie’s store to drop off a soul vessel (i.e. I’m not telling you what it is because you should read the book, it’s epic).
I thoroughly enjoyed reading Moore’s stuff. It’s truly clever and funny, beautifully but not overly simple and fast paced.
Ultimately, the man, can and does, just tell(s) a story(ies).