Friday, March 25, 2011
Book #13: Practical Demonkeeping
This bizarre novel takes place in Pine Cove, which is a fictional city set up by Moore that shows up time and time again in his books. (Practical Demonkeeping is its first appearance.) Pine Cove is full of strange characters, but the strangest are certainly Travis and Catch -- drifters who roll in to town and stir up a whole mess of trouble. Catch is a demon, hence the title of the book, and Travis is his "keeper," I guess you could say. A tiny man named Gian Hen Gian shows up in Pine Cove around the same time as Travis and Catch, and as it turns out, he and Catch have quite a long history. A long, loooong, long history. Several centuries' worth. Some of the good, unassuming folks of Pine Cove find themselves with quite a task -- sending Catch back to Hell before he eats them all.
Yeah, the plot's a bit odd, but as I said to the book club, I was pretty impressed that Moore managed to keep it from getting too zany. It's Moore, it's supposed to be, uh, off-beat, shall we say? But he walks a wonderfully fine line between intriguing and just dumb. There are a great many characters introduced in this book, some of them major, some of them only appearing for a chapter or two, but each one is special. The characterization of the people of Pine Cove was one of my favorite things about the book. I can see why Moore returns to the city in his books... If I had crafted a town full of all those interestingly weird people, I'd want to talk about it as much as possible, too.
Moore is known for his humor, and I certainly found myself laughing out loud several times. I wish there was a way I could describe his style, but I don't want to give anyone the wrong impression. How about I just say, "Go read a Christopher Moore book!" and be done with it?
Read from March 1, 2011 to March 7, 2011