Christopher Moore is one of my all time favorite authors. I started with A Dirty Job, then read all three of the Bloodsucking Fiends trilogy, and pretty much set out to read as many of his books as I could possibly get my hands on.
Admittedly, Moore is… Not for everybody. Especially in recent years, with stories like Sacre Blue, and Lamb: The Gospel According to Biff. These are pretty avant gard, considering the guy had made a living telling humorous stories about either a fictional town out in the middle of nowhere, or in a fictional San Fransisco that reminds me of Kevin Smith’s Jerseyverse. Or Askewniverse. Or whatever we’re calling the Jay and Silent Bob movies nowadays. The Jay-And-Silent-Bobiverse?
Also, if nothing came from the 2010s, my fascination with film noir happened in this very decade. All you bitches feeling nostalgic for the neon-colored nightmare of shoulder pads, toy commercial cartoons, and Reaganomics don’t know nothing about nostalgia. I was going back to the days when movies weren’t even in color! I was going back to the days communism actually seemed like a legit threat to anybody! I was going back to the day when a high budget movie was around six figures at absolute most! You want to talk nostalgic? You don’t know.
I forgot where I was going with this.
Oh right, Christopher Moore wrote a noir book! My favorite author? Writing one of my recent favorite genres? I literally commented on his blog: “SHUT UP AND TAKE MY MONEY!”. No really. Look for the sample chapter for Noir on his blog (if it’s still there). You’ll find my comment right there!
I really had high hopes for this book. And… Not going to lie… It’s not one of his better books. Yeah, I’m starting to think I might have jumped the gun on that one. It’s fucking No Man’s Sky all over again.
It’s not a bad story by any means. Comedy wise, “the kid” was probably the funniest thing about the entire story. I mean yeah, the fact the main female character is named after a variety of British cheese is KINDA funny I guess, but a lot of the humor… I don’t really want to say it fell flat, but considering I read Christopher Moore books frequently, I’m kind of familiar with his pacing, and his style of joke telling. It’s like watching a new episode of a long-running sitcom that hasn’t managed to hit seasonal rot yet: the jokes are there, and you know they’re funny, but they aren’t really gut-busting hilarious.
The very beginning of the book is basically a fucking trigger warning to all the delicate little snowflakes out there that this book takes place in the 1940s, and therefore may use some slurs that were acceptable then, but aren’t now. Although I got to say, I was expecting a lot worse than what I got. Sure, he used the word “colored” a few times, and a few slurs for Chinese people. I don’t know, maybe having friends who masterbate to Trump and praise “the glory of Kekistan” have desensitised me to the point I feel nothing anymore when I hear racist remarks. Or maybe I don’t offend nearly as easily as this current generation of weak-willed pussies. I’ll honestly believe either one.
Get past the trigger warning, and you get a story that is… Okay.
Really, my only real gripe with the book is that there’s two narrators, and the second narrator waits till way into the book to introduce himself. The epic reveal… Honestly, I can’t decide if it’s funny, or dumb. Possibly both, but maybe leaning more towards dumb. It’s one of those choices that, on paper, probably sounded funnier. And at the moment of the reveal, it DID kinda give me a chuckle. But prior to the reveal, I found myself constantly wondering why it went from first person to third person every other chapter.
The audiobook is read by Johnny Heller. Heller is a man of about two or three voices at absolute best, and they all have a bit of a Marlon Brando quality to them. However, it’s a reader that fits the theme of the book just fine, so I give it a pass.
Overall, it’s not the worst book I’ve ever read. It’s not even the worst Christopher Moore book I’ve ever read. Really, though, I’d recommend some of his other titles before recommending this one.