Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Rawr is totally a thing...

Bite Me: A Love Story
by Christopher Moore

In my rave review of Moore’s last novel, Fool, I implied that his novels inspired by Shakespeare and the Bible are more substantive than his fluffier San Francisco/Pine Cove novels. This latest novel, Bite Me, has me rethinking that statement. Funny, it is. Fluffy, it is not. Bite Me is the third (and final?) novel in the Bloodsucking Fiends series. The first novel in a great series is always special because it’s our introduction to a new world. That said, this latest installment just might be the best. What I can tell you is this: I found it to be darker, scarier, more suspenseful, and at least as funny as the previous novels. And in addition to all of the above, it’s genuinely moving. These characters have been friends for more than a decade now. I’ve grown to care about them.

The novel opens pretty much in the immediate wake of You Suck. The opening chapter is the first of many that are narrated by the unforgettable Abby Normal, self-proclaimed "emergency back-up mistress of the greater Bay Area night." Abby begins by providing a dizzying (and helpful) recap of the first two novels, but I’d strongly suggest you read Bloodsucking Fiends and You Suck before tackling this one. She and Foo Dog still inhabit the “love lair.” Jody and Tommy are still encased in bronze. Chet, the huge shaved vampire cat is on the prowl. And all of our favorite San Franciscans are back: the Emperor, Bummer, and Lazarus; the Animals; cops Rivera and Cavuto; the folks from Asher’s Secondhand Store; and others. And Moore fans, a beloved past character who’s never shown up in San Francisco before makes a surprise appearance in a supporting role. Be careful what you read about this novel. It would be a shame to ruin the surprise!

I don’t want to summarize the plot. It’s too crazy, it lurches in all sorts of unexpected directions, and why should I ruin your fun? What I can tell you is that I was completely surprised by the novel’s ending. Earlier I said this novel is darker, scarier, and more suspenseful. (At this point I should admit that I’m a total wuss who’s afraid of horror movies and rollercoasters.) Still, characters are placed in real jeopardy. Not all will survive. And I was definitely on the edge of my seat for large stretches of the novel. That Moore can maintain this level of tension while being spit-milk-out-your-nose funny is astonishing. I didn’t actually spit any milk out of my nose. I read this novel while laid up with the flu. Every time I laughed out loud it started a coughing jag. I nearly coughed up a lung, but I just couldn’t put it down! If that’s not a recommendation, what is?

Despite aphorisms about old dogs and new tricks, I have to say it: I think Chris Moore is getting better. I’ve been a hardcore fan for years, and that is saying quite a bit.


  1. Hey Susan! I totally want to read this but I haven't read the first two, could you please fill me in? I looked online but he has written a bunch of books and I don't want to get the wrong one! :)

  2. Hi Sarah,

    Wow, you're right on top of my little blog--even after two months of silence! I'm really flattered that you've enjoyed my recommendations.

    Chris Moore is one of my favorite authors, and he's also a friend and editorial client. That's a really early review of Bite Me. It won't be in stores (or libraries) until March 23, 2010. Good thing you've got two other books to read before you can get to it. The first book in the series is Bloodsucking Fiends. The second is You Suck. Chris's work is really, really funny. A lot of people agree about that, because all of the books make the top 10 of the NYT bestseller list. However, humor is really subjective. Not everyone will appreciate the humor of his work, so you may or may not like these books. But it's definitely worth giving them a try, because if you do like them, you've got a lot of fun reading and laughter ahead of you.

    Thanks so much for reading the blog!


  3. Hi Susan! Just wanted to let you know that I read Bloodsucking Fiends and enjoyed it. I am looking forward to finding out what happens next. I am halfway through Catching Fire right now and am thrilled to learn that Susanne Collins is working on the third installment of that series...so far she is my absolute favorite of your recommendations!!!!!

  4. Hey Sarah,

    I'm glad to hear you enjoyed Bloodsucking Fiends. Just between you and me, I think the second book, You Suck, is the weakest of the trio, but it's still a lot of fun. As you have no doubt seen at the library, Chris has quite a few books to keep you giggling.

    As for Hunger Games and Catching Fire, I LOVED them both. I couldn't believe how great that sequel was! I'm waiting with bated breath for the third book. It should be out in early fall like the other two were.