Monday, January 6, 2020

Bloodsucking Fiends by Christopher Moore

Title: Bloodsucking Fiends
Series: A Love Story #1
Author: Christopher Moore
Format: Paperback, 300 pages
Pub. Date: June 1st 2004
Source: Goodwill

Book Description:

Jody never asked to become a vampire. But when she wakes up under an alley dumpster with a badly burned arm, an aching neck, superhuman strength, and a distinctly Nosferatuan thirst, she realizes the decision has been made for her.

Making the transition from the nine-to-five grind to an eternity of nocturnal prowlings is going to take some doing, however, and that's where C. Thomas Flood fits in. A would-be Kerouac from Incontinence, Indiana, Tommy (to his friends) is biding his time night-clerking and frozen-turkey bowling in a San Francisco Safeway. But all that changes when a beautiful undead redhead walks through the door ... and proceeds to rock Tommy's life -- and afterlife -- in ways he never imagined possible.



This isn't the first book by Christopher Moore that I've enjoyed, and I got exactly what I expected out of Bloodsucking Fiends: something irreverent, hilarious, quirky, and somehow immature in a mature way. This book helped me get out of a reading rut, and for that I am grateful.

One thing that I absolutely adored about this book was all the characters. They're all distinct, so even though there's quite a big and colorful cast of characters, I was never confused or left wondering who was who. The lead character, Jody, was my kind of person. A little bit of an ass kicker, a little bit bossy, but a little bit afraid and vulnerable. I was rooting for her. And then there's her minion of sorts Tommy, who was such a boy but in the best way. She's trying to figure out the meaning of her new life as a vampire, and all he can think about is sex and how cool it would be if she could turn into a bat. It sounded pretty realistic, as far as imaginary conversations about vampirism go. All of his co-workers are quirky, one is a liar, one is a holy man, one is a lady's man, one homeless man has the respect of the entire city. They get into all sorts of shenanigans at the night shift at the grocery store, and even those scenes are pretty funny, despite not having much to do with the main plot. I appreciated that the smaller arcs and storylines got their due.

The way that Moore wrote his vampires was interesting too. Everyone knows that every author who writes about vampires will have their own version of what "vampire" means or will put some twist on what their characters can do (like sparkles, regrettably). Moore's version was pretty standard. They can die, but also it's not that easy for them too, they can see auras around people and have heightened senses. What I liked about how vampires are treated in this book is that Jody and Tommy have no freakin' idea what's going on. They check out all the books that they can find about vampires and make a check list to see what she can and can't do when compared to other vampires (can't: turn into a bat, can: survive being locked in a freezer).

One thing that was a little bothersome for me was the assumed familiarity with San Francisco. I've never been there, I've no idea what most of the buildings or neighborhoods there are called, and apart from a few that everyone knows (the bridge, Chinatown, the house from Full House, you know the important stuff), I've got nothin'. Sometimes I had to double check some things with a quick google to get a sense of what they were talking about, like the Pyramid.

I recommend this to fans of Moore's other works, to people who want a vampire book that isn't about two teenagers in forbidden romance, and people who can appreciate jokes on topics like murder and necrophilia. If that sort of comedy isn't for you, than neither is this book. I look forward to reading the next book in this series to see what misadventures Tommy and Jody get into.


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