Assuming that you've read past the title, you'll know that this
isn't your typical anything --- not a typical Christmas story, or
even a typical novel. It's written by Christopher Moore, after all,
the man who wrote LAMB: THE GOSPEL ACCORDING TO BIFF, CHRIST'S
CHILDHOOD PAL. So please be warned, okay?
Within the first 40 pages, we encounter, among other things, a guy
taking his fruit bat for a walk --- a fly? --- so that should set
the tone if nothing else does. And I have to admit that I really am
glad that the angel, Raziel, isn't the major player in this story.
For one thing, he really is pretty stupid. Considering he spends
lots of time watching soap operas and other television programs,
you'd think he would learn some basics. But he still can’t
discern between fiction and real life, so he gets in trouble rather
easily. He doesn't think things through and seldom learns from his
mistakes --- he’s just not the brightest of the heavenly
guys. (Those who read LAMB will recognize this blockhead.)
So we're in Pine Cove, California, and Christmas is looming,
"threatening festive doom like a cold sore under the mistletoe," as
we're informed on the very first page of this silly book. We follow
along as Theo Crowe, the constable of this beautiful tourist mecca,
tries to keep law and order (which, given that he has a humongous
marijuana patch growing, isn't exactly too easy). There's Molly,
aka Kendra, the Warrior Babe of the Outland, who is the love of
Theo's life. When she's on her meds, she does pretty well. She has
a difficult time, though, since her former life as a movie scream
queen was so much more interesting, and the voices interfere.
Then there's Tucker Case, who is currently employed by the DEA,
flying around trying to spot lovely green marijuana farms (oops)
and falling for Lena Marquez. He meets Lena in less than ideal
circumstances: she has just sort of creamed her ex-husband, the
evil developer Dale Pearson, with a shovel and he's sort of dead.
But he did sort of pull a gun on her and he was a real, um, piece
of work. So Tuck is willing to overlook all of this and invites
Lena to dinner. He really doesn't want to be alone on Christmas,
and he does have some charm, although we're not quite sure about
the fruit bat. Oh, by the way, that's "Roberto" the Fruit Bat. He
doesn't have much to say, but he's important to Tuck and,
ultimately, to the story of Pine Cove and Christmas.
Usually Theo just has to deal with the dopey tourists, but things
get complicated when Raziel (sigh) gets in trouble almost as soon
as he hits town. Soon Theo is called out on a "two-oh-seven."
What's a two-oh-seven? asks Molly. Well, Theo can't quite remember:
it's either an attempted kidnapping "or a possum with handgun." Oh,
life in California.
So Raziel, as usual, messes up, and instead of carefully raising
Dale from the dead, all these other dead folks rise from the grave,
hungry for brains. After they feast on the group gathered for the
church supper, they'd like to go to Ikea please.
THE STUPIDEST ANGEL is a totally goofy read, and I hope it makes
you run out and buy all of Christopher Moore's books. Silliness
like this --- on a par with the talents of Terry Pratchett and
Jasper Fforde --- really should be encouraged. And besides, those
guys are British; we need our own American homegrown Official Nutty
Reviewed by Andi Shechter (email@example.com) on January 23, 2011
The Stupidest Angel: A Heartwarming Tale of Christmas Terror