Written by: Christopher Moore
Hardcover: 306 pages
Publisher: William Morrow
November 2005, $15.99
‘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 of 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.
I am not a huge fan of the holidays. Personally I think that we should go from Halloween straight to New Years, but this is probably due to a broken wrist, lock of money (I absolutely love to buy people presents), my family being very far away, and the fact that it is Winter in Montana. This year I have admittedly been in a bit of a funk. So I decided to pick up Christopher Moore. He makes me laugh and it was Tis the Season so the Stupidest Angel it was. Plus anything with the subtitle of A Heartwarming Tale of Christmas Terror is kind of an immediate read. Its kind of like watching the horrible film Santa Slay with James Caan and Chris Cattan (anyone who has seen it late night during the Christmas season understands this). Plus zombies make everything better especially if it is Santa zombie (who was totally at the Zombie Walk this year). I am also a big fan of Christopher Moore, my favorite book being Lamb: The Gospel according to Biff, Christ’s Childhood Pal. Moore has the irreverent and the bizarre down pat. In a way he reminds me of Terry Pratchett, whom I like a bit better, which is saying some thing.
The Stupidest Angel takes place during the festive Holiday season in the peaceful little town of Pine Cove where the constable has a pot crop out back, his wife is a former Xena like actress with mental health issues, and oh yeah Santa Claus just got murdered as far as little Josh is concerned. Not exactly the way to start Christmas, so Josh prays for Santa not to be dead. Sadly, the angel who hears his little prayer doesn't have the brightest halo of the bunch and so because he isn't sure where Santa was buried raises a small army of the undead who are fed up with the living just in time to crash the Town Christmas Party.
Things I loved: I loved seeing all of my favorite characters from previous Moore novels (Roberto the Fruit bat, Raziel, Theo and more most notably from Lamb, Practical Demonkeeping, Island of the Sequined Lovenun and The Lust Lizard of Melancholy Cove) especially Roberto. What can I say he is the cutest little fruit bat ever. With Raybans.
Just then the doors flew open, the wind whipped into the room carrying with it a horrid stench. Standing there, framed in the cathedral doorway, stood Santa Claus, holding Brian Henderson in his red Star Trek shirt, by the throat. A group of dark figures were moving behind them, moaning something about IKEA, as Santa pressed a .38 snub-nose revolver to Brian's temple and pulled the trigger. Blood spattered across the front wall and Santa threw the body back to Marty in the Morning, who began to suck the brains of out dead Brian's exit wound.
"Merry Christmas, you doomed sons' a bitches!" said Santa.
See that is why I liked the book. Between that and the first chapter when it described the town decorating for the holidays as being tarted up like a prom queen. Anything that describes Christmas as "threatening festive doom like a cold sore under the mistletoe," kind of makes me love it. You cannot help but like the utter wackiness of Moore’s books. They are absurd but completely hilarious in all the right ways.
Some of my favorite scenes were the high speed chase of a Christmas tree, the dialogue between the deceased before they started craving brains, mentions of Star Trek red shirts, digs at a lot of stores and industries, and the gifts that Theo and Molly give one another. There are not many books that can make me laugh out loud and this one completely uplifted my holiday spirits. Anything that can do that deserves a shiny gold star.
Things I didn't love so much: Sometimes all of the jokes don’t work, but the same can be said for Saturday Night Live. And you have to be in the right mood to read something like this. But I think I am always in the mood.
Buy or Borrow: Borrow.
Part of: A Standalone. Though it does incorporate many characters from previous novels, you wont have to have read them to enjoy this.
Also Recommended: The films Zombieland and Shaun of the Dead. For more humor please try Lamb also by Moore, anything by Terry Pratchett though it is more on the fantasy side and authors like David Sedaris.
3.5 out of 4 happy bibliosnark bookmarks
The Soundtrack for this Post: Daughter by Pearl Jam, Generosity by MIrah, For You by Nerf Herder and My Favorite Game by the Cardigans (this is what I get for Itunes DJ mixes)