Saturday, October 6, 2007

Lust Lizard of Melancholy Cove

By Christopher Moore

Val Riordan, psychiatrist in Pine Cove, California, has just been going through the motions, handing out prescriptions to her patients without really treating their emotional issues. When one her patients commits suicide, she freaks out, switches all of her patients' antidepressants to placebos and tries in earnest to get down with some real therapy. Unfortunately an enormous ancient sea monster has taken residence in the town that, by a bizarre evolutionary twist, hunts depressed animals. The monster can't yet return to sea as it was injured trying to screw a fuel truck. The truck responded to the amorous attention by blowing up. When taking refuge in the local trailer park, the monster is befriended and named Steve by local crazy lady and ex B-movie queen, Molly Michon. As townsfolk start disappearing and general weirdness descends upon Pine Cove, Theo Crowe, the pot fueled town constable is left to sort out the madness and figure out what the hell is going on.
The characters in this book are total trip. They're funny, flawed and weird yet very three-dimensional. Moore writes with great humor and humanity. Once the initial set up has taken place, this multi-character narrative never slows, it just zooms head long until the conclusion. You can check out his others books and his blog at

Wednesday, October 3, 2007

Island of the Sequined Love Nun

By Christopher Moore

After drunkenly crashing his employer's jet while getting busy with a woman of questionable morals, pilot Tucker Chase has little hope for future employment. With impending litigation hanging over his head, he jumps at an offer to fly a jet for a Micronesian missionary. Though it turns out be a trip full of peril, he eventually makes it the island. The island is the home of the Shark people. The religion of the Shark people is a cargo cult. They worship a long departed WWII pilot and the half naked women painted on the side of his plain. The missionaries, a husband and wife team, aren't attempting to spread their religion to the native people but are instead using the cargo cult religion to control the Shark people, the wife occasionally dressing like the woman on the side of the plane. Eventually, Tucker figures out that there is a nefarious purpose behind the healthcare the missionaries are providing the native people.
In his signature style, Moore puts an everyday-type man in insane circumstances. His writing is funny, bizarre, slightly twisted but as always, warm and human. "Island of the Sequined Love Nun" is Moore's 4th novel but it was the first one I read. I picked it up solely because of its title. How could that title not stop you in your tracks? I'm glad it stopped me in mine. You can check out his others books and his blog at

Monday, October 1, 2007

The Da Vinci Code

By Dan Brown

Robert Langdon, Professor of Religious Symbology at Harvard, is called upon to investigate the murder of Jacques Saunière, curator of the Lourve in Paris. In his last moments, with his life draining away, Saunière positions his own dying body in such a manner to give clues pointing to Da Vinci's works. In order to sort out the mystery, many puzzles and brain teasers, many of which are in the art of Da Vinci, must be sorted out. It all seems connected to the search for the Holy Grail. Several story lines run simultaneously through book before coming together in the end.
I was surprised to discover that "The Da Vinci Code" was little more than an action/adventure book. With all the hype surrounding it, I was expecting something much more cerebral. It also seemed somewhat deficient in research. I'm not a religious scholar by any means and even I was aware of some very strong evidence that Mary Magdalene was Jesus's wife that Brown did not use, actually he left out some of the biggest clues. "The Da Vinci Code" isn't a bad or boring read, it merely a fairly basic action story. That and it has a few major plot holes you can drive a truck through. You check out Brown's homepage at