Review: The Stupidest Angel by Christopher Moore

WARNING: NOT REALLY FOR KIDS. IN ADDITION, THIS REVIEW CONTAINS A BAD WORD AND SOME ADULT CONTENT.

Rating: 5 out of 5 stars, Genre: Fiction/Humor/ Zombies, Pages: 320 (but they are small pages), Level: Easy

“No one knows why, but second only to eating the brains of the living, the dead love affordable prefab furniture” (IKEA)- something I bet you all didn’t know about zombies.

Book Description from Barnes & Noble:

“Twas the night (okay, more like the week) before Christmas, and all through the tiny community of Pine Cove, California, people are busy buying, wrapping, packing, and generally getting into the holiday spirit.

But not everybody is feeling the joy. Little Joshua Barker is in desperate need of a holiday miracle. No, he’s not on his deathbed; no, his dog hasn’t run away from home. But Josh is sure that he saw Santa take a shovel to the head, and now the seven-year-old has only one prayer: Please, Santa, come back from the dead.

But hold on! There’s an angel waiting in the wings. (Wings, get it?) It’s none other than the Archangel Raziel come to Earth seeking a small child with a wish that needs granting. Unfortunately, our angel’s not sporting the brightest halo in the bunch, and before you can say “Kris Kringle,” he’s botched his sacred mission and sent the residents of Pine Cove headlong into Christmas chaos, culminating in the most hilarious and horrifying holiday party the town has ever seen.

Move over, Charles Dickens- it’s Christopher Moore time.”

A little boy witnesses the murder of Santa Claus and prays for God to bring him back. So God sends the stupidest angel to fix things. Santa definitely comes back from the dead, as a zombie, and brings all others from the cemetery with him. And the town has made things significantly easier for the zombies by attending a Christmas party. Will they become Christmas Eve dinner?

This book is hilarious. It is not quite as funny as Lamb, but it is full of great quotes. My favorite, and one of my favorite quotes of all time, is:

“Your puny worm god weapons are useless against my superior Christmas Kung Fu.”

Okay, so that is not quite a quote, but rather the title of a chapter. Close enough.

The characters are just crazy enough to actually exist, or maybe crazy enough that you wish they existed- a recovering pot smoking constable who is married to a former B movie actress who made Xena-like movies and is on anti-psychotics to make her personal narrator in her head go away, a DEA helicopter pilot who walks around with a Micronesian fruit bat that wears sunglasses (the bat wears the glasses, not the man), a heart-broken scientist who attaches electrodes to a sensitive part of his body and zaps himself when he sees a woman in an attempt to condition himself not to want another relationship, and many, many more.

The situations they get into are just outrageously funny. Honestly, I cannot possibly do this book justice here. I remember originally wondering why The Stupidest Angel received such low ratings, but this time around, when I checked the ratings, they are really high. So either I remember the previous low ratings incorrectly, or more people have picked this up since I last read it and enjoyed it as much as I did. Both are equally plausible.

Now to the zombies… Yes, ultimately, this is a zombie book. However, the zombies don’t actually appear until the last third of the book, although there are talking dead people here and there throughout the book. And by the way, don’t reveal any secrets while in a cemetery. They are listening and if they ever rise from the dead, zombies will not hesitate to use those secrets against you. Just FYI. Also, one particular angel likes marshmallows, but I digress.

As I was saying, the zombies only appear in the last third of the book. The first two thirds are basically comprised of character development and setting the stage for the zombie attack. For example, when the Xena character goes off her meds and is attempting to get rid of the narrator inside her head, she uses her husband’s Narcotics Anonymous program:

“Then she noticed that the book recommended making a list of resentments. She wasn’t exactly sure what she was supposed to do with them, but in fifteen minutes she had filled three pages with all variety of resentments, including both parents, the IRS, algebra, premature ejaculators, good housekeepers, French automobiles, Italian luggage, lawyers, CD packaging, IQ tests, and the fucktard who wrote the “Caution, pastry may be hot when heated” warning on the Pop-Tarts box.”

If you decide to read this book, this is the kind of stuff you’ll be getting yourself into. And did you know there is such a thing as Christmas Amnesty? You’ll have to read the book to find out about that one. It’s a pretty sweet loophole.

I do feel obligated to insert some warnings at this point: This book contains sex as well as talk of sex, sometimes weird, demented sex. This book is sacrilegious at times. This book has a lot of bad language. This book has drug use. And this book is absolutely, positively NOT politically correct. If any of the above bother you, maybe you should just pass this one by.

The events of The Stupidest Angel begin five days before Christmas. The book is so good, I have decided to create my own Christmas tradition, and read this book every year beginning five days before Christmas. How better to celebrate the birth of Christ than with Christmas zombies? Merry Christmas 2012!

Reviewed by Christina

UPDATE- CHRISTMAS 2013

Merry Christmas! Here’s to the second year of my Christmas tradition!

Seriously, I know I love this book, but I am amazed that each time I pick it up, I feel as if I have forgotten how much I love it. This is my third reading… or fourth? I can’t remember. I’m surprised I haven’t memorized the whole thing yet, or can’t tell you exactly what page a quote is on. Anyway, so for Christmas 2013, I’ll add a couple more quotes.

Politically Incorrect

You can’t just say ‘retarded in public like that- people take offense because, you know, many of them are. p53

Just EW

“Fine,” Mavis said. “But get your buddy off his blues jag. He’s embarrassing me. And I once blew a burro in a nightclub and wasn’t embarrassed, so that’s saying something.”

“Jeez, Mavis,” Theo said, trying to shake the picture from his mind.

“What? I didn’t have my glasses on. I thought he was a hirsute insurance salesman with talent.”

Another impressive quality of the book is that Moore switches viewpoint sometimes, and quickly at that. This happens with Gabe’s dog. It’s such a smooth and fast transition that you hardly notice. Like I said, quite impressive.

UPDATE- CHRISTMAS 2014

Huh, not sure why I didn’t update this for 2014.

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