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The Stupidest Angel
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About the Author

Christopher Moore is the author of the novels Secondhand Souls, Sacr Bleu, A Dirty Job, and Lamb. He lives in San Francisco, California.

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Moore's (Fluke) latest novel begins as a riff on A Christmas Carol, with Christmas itself cast in the role of Marley's ghost, oozing eggnog, reeking of pine scent, and "threatening festive doom like a cold sore under the mistletoe." In the role of Scrooge is Dale Pearson, a land developer in Pine Cove, CA. When dressed as Santa Dale gets dispatched with a shovel, in full view of a youngster, it's clear we're not in Dickens country any more. Of course, resurrection (of a sort) is possible, hence the zombies who infest the latter half of this brief novel. Moore fans will welcome the return of favorites like the angel Raziel from Lamb, fans of mindless humor will find much to enjoy, and literary types can pick out allusions like raisins (Malcolm Cowley is an antiquarian bookseller addicted to rotten flesh and IKEA furniture). A Christmas pudding of a book, offering something for everyone, short perhaps of those who tear up at the thought of yet another viewing of It's a Wonderful Life. This is the perfect complement to December book displays for most public libraries. [See Prepub Alert, LJ 8/04.]-Bob Lunn, Kansas City P.L., MO Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.

This audiobook starts off innocently enough-with a few minutes of bright, punchy Christmas music-but as we meet each resident of Pine Cove, Calif., the story bends, becoming as twisted as an image in a funhouse mirror. Lena Marquez is the sanest of the bunch, even if she does have a habit of wreaking violence on her ex-husband, known here as the "Evil Developer." Then there's Lena's best friend Molly, a former B-movie actress who hears voices, occasionally believes herself to be "The Warrior Babe of the Outland" and is married to the town constable, Theo, a former pot addict who's slipping off the wagon. To top that off, there's Tucker, a lonely pilot who has a Micronesian fruit bat for a pet, and a rather witless archangel named Raziel who comes to Earth to grant one boy's Christmas wish. It is that wish which turns this Christmas comedy into a holiday horror story. Roberts narrates the whole affair with skill, using his warm, hearty voice to great effect. His is the kind of voice that one would expect to hear in the audio version of A Christmas Carol or a children's storybook, which makes him the perfect reader for this book since it is, in part, a parody of the Christmas classics-albeit a gruesomely entertaining one. Whether crooning a few bars of the blues, personifying the dead or delivering one of the story's uplifting messages ("Life is messy. People generally suck"), Roberts's velvet voice rings with mirth, accentuating the humor and absurdity of each moment. Simultaneous release with the Morrow hardcover (Forecasts, Oct. 4). (Oct.) Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.

"You'll laugh your head off. Grade: A."--Rocky Mountain News

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