This is the closing volume of the trilogy the author began with Bloodsucking Fiends: A Love Story in 1995 and followed up 12 years later with You Suck: A Love Story. Here, for the third and final time, Abby Normal, Tommy Flood, Jody Stroud and a miscellaneous cast of cops, layabouts and vampire cats come together in San Francisco for their last outrageous adventure. Unfortunately, this one holds neither the original punch or the sophomoric panache of the the first two tales.
Moore likes to create ongoing characters who appear in subsequent books. "It's fun for me" is how he describes
it, but if you've read the first of this trilogy over a dozen years ago, those characters and their personalities become a bit blurred.
Still, this is Christopher Moore, and on his worst day he's funnier and more engaging than most vampire writers at their best. Most of the funniest stuff comes from Abby Normal,
aka Alison Green, a Goth girl and someone with a real taste for blood. In fact, she becomes a vampire for a day or so in this one. She loves Tommy and Jody, the main vampires in this story, and will do anything to help them.
She writes about it in her computer diary, and that's where most of the funny stuff is.
"Do the condemned in hell know the suffering that is a whole day of mom-guilt heaped like steaming piles of bat guano upon my spiky magenta coif? (I went with magenta spikes with electric violet tips to express my outrage at being dragged from my home and imprisoned with the cruel Mombot and my crapacious little sister, Ronnie.) Evidently, Mother feels that we were too young to move in together only a week after meeting, and live in a stolen apartment with two of the undead and their stupid amounts of cash. Although she doesn't really know about the unead or the cash parts, but she made her point."
That's from a diary chapter entitled "Being the Chronicles of Abby Normal (a name Moore probably lifted from Mel Brooks's Young Frankenstein), in the Double-doomed Doghuse of Despair." Abby is funny indeed.
It's a fun romp with one of the most energized writers out there but this one just doesn't have the staying power or oomph of his earlier works. But that's the way Moore tends to run. His last novel, Fool, a takeoff on Will Shakespeare, was kind of flat, but You Suck before that was wonderful - and A Dirty Job before that was earth-shakingly funny, whereas The Stupidest Angel before that, well, kind of sucked.
Moore is a champion and, as with all thoroughbreds, you're always waiting for their next race.