In San Francisco, the souls of the dead are mysteriously disappearing — and you know that can't be good — in New York Times bestselling author Christopher Moore's delightfully funny sequel to A Dirty Job.
Something really strange is happening in the City by the Bay. People are dying, but their souls are not being collected. Someone — or something — is stealing them and no one knows where they are going, or why, but it has something to do with that big orange bridge. Death Merchant Charlie Asher is just as flummoxed as everyone else. He's trapped in the body of a fourteen-inch-tall "meat" waiting for his Buddhist nun girlfriend, Audrey, to find him a suitable new body to play host.
To get to the bottom of this abomination, a motley crew of heroes will band together: the seven-foot-tall death merchant Minty Fresh; retired policeman turned bookseller Alphonse Rivera; the Emperor of San Francisco and his dogs, Bummer and Lazarus; and Lily, the former Goth girl. Now if only they can get little Sophie to stop babbling about the coming battle for the very soul of humankind…
Christmas crept into Pine Cove like a creeping Christmas thing: dragging garland, ribbon, and sleigh bells, oozing eggnog, reeking of pine, and threatening festive doom like a cold sore under the mistletoe.
'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. It is the hap-hap-happiest time of the year, after all.
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.
Only Christopher Moore, the man who brought you the outrageous lost gospel and the hysterical fish tale could have devised a new holiday classic that tugs at the heartstrings and serves up a healthy slice of fruitcake to boot.
Move over, Charles Dickens — it's Christopher Moore time.
Autumn in the sleepy California town of Pine Cove is turned upside down by the arrival of a Mississippi Delta blues musician, a huge sea serpent drawn to the sound of the steel guitar, the explosion of a tanker truck at a gas station, and a mysterious trailer that shows up in the local trailer park.
A pilot for the Mary Jean Cosmetics Corporation — a hopeless geek trapped in a cool guy's body — Tucker Case's troubles begin one very drunk morning at the Seattle airport Holiday Inn Lounge. Surrendering to the strident will of a call girl who wants desperately to join the Mile High Club, he proceeds to crash his shocking pink jet on the runway — totaling the plane and seriously damaging the organ that got him into this mess in the first place. Now, with his flying license revoked, his job and manhood demolished, facing a possible prison term or, worse, the murderous wrath of Mary Jean Dobbins and her corporate goons, Tuck has to run for his life toward the only employment opportunity left for him: piloting a Lear jet for a shady medical missionary and a sexy, naturally blond High Priestess on the remotest of Micronesian island hells.
But first he has to get there, encountering spies, cannibals, journalists, and would-be bitch goddesses every step of the way. Traveling with his Filipino transvestite navigator and a fruit bat companion, Roberto, Tuck braves shark-infested waters and a typhoon before reaching the dark heart of a tropical paradise — all before his first day of work.
A delightfully offbeat look at cargo cults, religious zeal, and pyramid schemes, is Christopher Moore at his hilarious best.
"This is a bawdy tale. Herein you will find gratuitous shagging, murder, spanking, maiming, treason, and heretofore unexplored heights of vulgarity and profanity, as well as nontraditional grammar, split infinitives, and the odd wank… If that's the sort of thing you think you might enjoy, then you have happened upon the perfect story!"
Verily speaks Christopher Moore, much beloved scrivener and peerless literary jester, who hath writteneth much that is of grand wit and belly-busting mirth, including such laurelled bestsellers of the as , and (no offense). Now he takes on no less than the legendary Bard himself (with the utmost humility and respect) in a twisted and insanely funny tale of a moronic monarch and his deceitful daughters — a rousing story of plots, subplots, counterplots, betrayals, war, revenge, bared bosoms, unbridled lust… and a ghost (there's always a bloody ghost), as seen through the eyes of a man wearing a codpiece and bells on his head.
A man of infinite jest, Pocket has been Lear's cherished fool for years, from the time the king's grown daughters — selfish, scheming Goneril, sadistic (but erotic-fantasy-grade-hot) Regan, and sweet, loyal Cordelia — were mere girls. So naturally Pocket is at his brainless, elderly liege's side when Lear — at the insidious urging of Edmund, the bastard (in every way imaginable) son of the Earl of Gloucester — demands that his kids swear their undying love and devotion before a collection of assembled guests. Of course Goneril and Regan are only too happy to brownnose Dad. But Cordelia believes that her father's request is kind of… well… stupid, and her blunt honesty ends up costing her her rightful share of the kingdom and earns her a banishment to boot.
Well, now the bangers and mash have really hit the fan. The whole damn country's about to go to hell in a handbasket because of a stubborn old fart's wounded pride. And the only person who can possibly make things right… is Pocket, a small and slight clown with a biting sense of humor. He's already managed to sidestep catastrophe (and the vengeful blades of many an offended nobleman) on numerous occasions, using his razor-sharp mind, rapier wit… and the equally well-honed daggers he keeps conveniently hidden behind his back. Now he's going to have to do some very fancy maneuvering — cast some spells, incite a few assassinations, start a war or two (the usual stuff) — to get Cordelia back into Daddy Lear's good graces, to derail the fiendish power plays of Cordelia's twisted sisters, to rescue his gigantic, gigantically dim, and always randy friend and apprentice fool, Drool, from repeated beatings… and to shag every lusciously shaggable wench who's amenable to shagging along the way.
Pocket may be a fool… but he's definitely not an idiot.
After reverently lambasting the most cherished rites and credos of virtually every one of the world's major religions in his transcendently hilarious novel the one and only Christopher Moore returns with a wild look at interspecies communication, adventure on the high seas, and an eons-old mystery.
Marine behavioral biologist Nate Quinn is in love — with the salt air and sun-drenched waters off Maui… and especially with the majestic ocean-dwelling behemoths that have been bleeping and hooting their haunting music for more than twenty million years. But just why do the humpback whales sing? That's the question that has Nate and his crew poking, charting, recording, and photographing any large marine mammal that crosses their path. Until the extraordinary day when a whale lifts its tail into the air to display a cryptic message spelled out in foot-high letters:
No one on Nate's team has ever seen such a thing; not his longtime partner, photographer Clay Demodocus, not their saucy young research assistant, Amy. Not even spliff-puffing white-boy Rastaman, Kona (the former Preston Applebaum of New Jersey), could boast such a sighting in one of his dope-induced hallucinations. And when a roll of film returns from the lab missing the crucial tail shot — and their research facility is summarily trashed — Nate realizes that something very fishy indeed is going on.
This, apparently, is big, involving dangerously interested other parties — competitive researchers, the cutthroat tourist industry, perhaps even the military. The weirdness only gets weirder when a call comes in from Nate's big-bucks benefactor saying that a whale has made contact — by phone. And it's asking for a hot pastrami and Swiss on rye. Suddenly the answer to the question that has daunted and driven Nate throughout his adult life is within his reach. But it's waiting for him in the form of an amazing adventure beneath the waves, 623 feet down, somewhere off the coast of Chile. And it's not what anyone would think.
It must be said: Christopher Moore's is a whale of a novel.
"You bitch, you killed me. You suck!"
Being dead sucks. Make that being undead sucks.
Literally. Just ask Thomas C. Flood. Waking up after a fantastic night unlike anything he's ever experienced, he discovers that his girlfriend, Jody—the woman of his dreams—is a vampire. And surprise! Now he's one, too.
For some couples, the whole biting-and-blood thing would have been a deal breaker. But Tommy and Jody are in love, and they vow to work through their issues. Like how much Jody should teach Tommy about his new superpowers (and how much he needs to learn on his own). Plus there's Tommy's cute new minion, sixteen-year-old goth girl Abby Normal. (Well, someone has to run errands during daylight hours!)
Making the relationship work, however, is the least of Jody and Tommy's problems. Word has it that the vampire who nibbled on Jody wasn't supposed to be recruiting any new members into the club. Even worse, Tommy's erstwhile turkey-bowling pals are out to get him, at the urging of a blue-dyed Las Vegas call girl named (duh) Blue.
Jody never asked to become a vampire. But when she wakes up under an alley dumpster with a badly burned arm, an aching neck, superhuman strength, and a distinctly Nosferatuan thirst, she realizes the decision has been made for her. Making the transition from the nine-to-five grind to an eternity of nocturnal prowlings is going to take some doing, however, and that's where C. Thomas Flood fits in. A would-be Kerouac from Incontinence, Indiana, Tommy (to his friends) is biding his time night-clerking and frozen turkey bowling in a San Francisco Safeway. But all that changes when a beautiful, undead redhead walks through the door… and proceeds to rock Tommy's life — and afterlife — in ways he never imagined possible.
A wildly original story of romance, lust, bloodlust, and blood loss — from the author of and
"Goofy grotesqueries… wonderful… delicious… bloody funny… like a hip and youthful 'Abbott and Costello Meet the Lugosis. " —
"Delightful… highly recommended… filled with oddball characters, clever dialogue and hilarious situations." —
"Moore's storytelling style is reminiscent of Vonnegut and Douglas Adams." —
"A series of bizarre misadventures that take place at breakneck speed in a variety of interesting locales. The dialogue is sharp and from the hip, the pace frenetic, and the situations tinged with a healthy dose of the supernatural… Moore is one of those rare writers who is laugh-out-loud funny." —
Charlie Asher is a pretty normal guy. A little hapless, somewhat neurotic, sort of a hypochondriac. He's what's known as a Beta Male: the kind of fellow who makes his way through life by being careful and constant — you know, the one who's always there to pick up the pieces when the girl gets dumped by the bigger/taller/stronger Alpha Male.
But Charlie's been lucky. He owns a building in the heart of San Francisco, and runs a secondhand store with the help of a couple of loyal, if marginally insane, employees. He's married to a bright and pretty woman who actually loves him for his normalcy. And she, Rachel, is about to have their first child.
Yes, Charlie's doing okay for a Beta. That is, until the day his daughter, Sophie, is born. Just as Charlie — exhausted from the birth — turns to go home, he sees a strange man in mint-green golf wear at Rachel's hospital bedside, a man who claims that no one should be able to see him. But see him Charlie does, and from here on out, things get really weird...
People start dropping dead around him, giant ravens perch on his building, and it seems that everywhere he goes, a dark presence whispers to him from under the streets. Strange names start appearing on his nightstand notepad, and before he knows it, those people end up dead, too. Yup, it seems that Charlie Asher has been recruited for a new job, an unpleasant but utterly necessary one: Death. It's a dirty job. But hey, somebody's gotta do it.
Christopher Moore, the man whose Lamb served up Jesus' "missing years" (with the funny parts left in), and whose Fluke found the deep humor in whale researchers' lives, now shines his comic light on the undiscovered country we all eventually explore — death and dying — and the results are hilarious, heartwarming, and a hell of a lot of fun.
The birth of Jesus has been well chronicled, as have his glorious teachings, acts, and divine sacrifice after his thirtieth birthday. But no one knows about the early life of the Son of God, the missing years — except Biff.
Ever since the day when he came upon six-year-old Joshua of Nazareth resurrecting lizards in the village square, Levi bar Alphaeus, called "Biff," had the distinction of being the Messiah's best bud. That's why the angel Raziel has resurrected Biff from the dust of Jerusalem and brought him to America to write a new gospel, one that tells the real, untold story. Meanwhile, Raziel will order pizza, watch the WWF on TV, and aspire to become Spider-Man.
Verily, the story Biff has to tell is a miraculous one, filled with remarkable journeys, magic, healings, kung-fu, corpse reanimations, demons, and hot babes — whose considerable charms fall to Biff to sample, since Josh is forbidden the pleasures of the flesh. (There are worse things than having a best friend who is chaste and a chick magnet!) And, of course, there is danger at every turn, since a young man struggling to understand his godhood, who is incapable of violence or telling anything less than the truth, is certain to piss some people off. Luckily Biff is a whiz at lying and cheating — which helps get his divine pal and him out of more than one jam. And while Josh's great deeds and mission of peace will ultimately change the world, Biff is no slouch himself, blessing humanity with enduring contributions of his own, like sarcasm and café latte. Even the considerable wiles and devotion of the Savior's pal may not be enough to divert Joshua from his tragic destiny. But there's no one who loves Josh more — except maybe "Maggie," Mary of Magdala — and Biff isn't about to let his extraordinary pal suffer and ascend without a fight.
Lamb is the crowning achievement of Christopher Moore's storied career: fresh, wild, audacious, divinely hilarious, yet heartfelt, poignant, and alive, with a surprising reverence. Let there be rejoicing unto the world! Christopher Moore is come — to bring truth, light, and big yuks to fans old and new with the Greatest Story Never Told!