Off the Shelf - "Bloodsucking Fiends"

by Marcus Pan

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Blood Sucking FiendsWith the part-romantic, part-horror Bloodsucking Fiends, Christopher Moore once again shows us his amazing ability to turn even the most complicated and satirical situations into common events through his use of prose and language. This one I liked even better than the previous work of his I read, Island of the Sequined Love Nun. Imbuing the strange and unusual with commonality is one of Moore's strongest suits.

Bloodsucking Fiends is indeed a love story, regardless of whether or not the subject lovers are human. Judging by the book's title, you should be able to easily make it out that it is a vampire novel, but if you're picking this one up expecting Anne Rice or Poppy Z. Brite you're in for a rude awakening. The darker and more macabre aspects are treated with a vitality that brightens the scenes and almost gives it a Harry Potter feel without the childishness.

Moore's a master at opening his stories. In Island of the Sequenied Love Nun we saw our hero, Tucker Case, crash a pink jet and rip his balls off within the first few paragraphs. He opens with outrageousness once again here…the opening scene involves pissing on a dumpster. From the get-go you're drawn into the silliness of the novel.

A quick synopsis, and I will try to give away as little as possible. A young woman is "turned" from human to vampire, and now has to deal with the ramifications of being a new creature. Luckily she meets a naïve country boy, Tommy, who becomes her lover, friend and confidante. As a human, he helps her arrange any during-the-day activities that are needed. Meanwhile, the one that turned Jody, is still around and terrorizing the duo. So not only does Jody and Tommy have to deal with her new life as a vampire, they have to deal with one who's been around a while and knows all the tricks. And then of course there are the detectives who are showing more than a passing interest in the blood drained bodies that are piling up.

Tommy enlists his friends at work, nicknamed The Animals, to hunt, find and destroy the older vampire and they also find help in the whizzing homeless Emperor. The patchwork crew discovers the old fiend, and the climactic ending is nothing short of pure adrenaline. Guns, spears, blood, gore and guts spill everywhere, flying everywhere, and any Die Hard fan would find merit in the final battle. It doesn't end here, however, as the closing chapter leads us into an unexpected twist. All done for love. Or at least something like it.

Overall it was a great read and a quick read. It will keep you interested from start to finish and close with a great ending, unlike Moore's Island of the Sequined Love Nun which ended leaving much to be desired. The dialogue is hilarious and the situations are ridiculous. I wouldn't say it was the best vampire novel I've ever read - but it sure was the most comical.

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"Bloodsucking Fiends" by Christopher Moore
Published by Simon and Schuster, Inc.
Copyright © 1995 by Christopher Moore
ISBN: 0-380-72813-3

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