Jennifer's Reviews > Bloodsucking Fiends

Bloodsucking Fiends by Christopher Moore
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May 14, 2010

really liked it
bookshelves: favorite, humor
Read in April, 2010

2 Words that describe the book: Vampire comedy

3 Settings where it took place or characters you met:

* Setting: Modern-day San Francisco

* Jody—A fledgling vampire who had her new lifestyle thrust upon her with no warning or choice, Jody is trying her best to make sense of her new undead lifestyle. But getting used to a life lived solely at night can make things a little tricky, so Jody needs a minion to do her bidding, which is where...

* C. Thomas Flood comes in. A wannabe writer from Incontinence, Indiana, Tommy is new in town and having a hard time getting adjusted to life in the Big City ... until he meets the new love of his life, a certain undead redhead. Although Jody can be a little tricky and high-maintenance with her vampire lifestyle, Tommy is in love (he thinks). As Jody and Tommy settle into together, things take a turn for the worse when the vampire who created Jody starts causing trouble for them.

4 Things you liked and/or disliked about it:

* I like Christopher Moore. This is the first book of his vampire trilogy (though I accidentally read You Suck first because I didn't realize it was a series). But Moore's vampires aren't brooding, sparkly, or particularly scary. Jody is just like you and me ... except with superhuman strength, a thirst for blood and heightened senses. Moore has fun with the whole vampire thing, which brings me to another thing I liked about the book.

* I liked how Moore has Tommy test various vampire legends and stories on Jody to see what is true or not. Once Tommy finds out Jody's little secret, he cannot resist getting every book on vampires out of the library and checking to see what is true and untrue about vampires. These little experiments include having Tommy sneaking around touching Jody with crucifixes, trying to drown her in a bathtub, having her try to climb walls like Dracula, and rubbing her with garlic while she sleeps. And I liked Moore's shout-out to the Vampire Lestat by Anne Rice.

* I liked how the book is just stuffed with Moore's hilarious throwaway lines. You'll be reading along and then Moore will write something so silly or goofy or unexpected that you just have to laugh out loud. Consider this thought from Jody:

She thought, My closet is starting to look like an ostrich hatchery. I've either got to start throwing out L'eggs eggs or get a tan on my legs and quit wearing nylons.

This cracked me up because I so remember having all those eggs! Do they even make those any more? It has been AGES since I wore pantyhose.

* I disliked the overly serious Reading Group Guide at the back of my book. This is a book that is written to be funny and read for enjoyment. In my opinion, it doesn't cry out for book club discussions or deep thought. Yet there is a Reading Group Guide at the back with discussion questions like this:

Everyone has been exposed to vampire lore, either through books, movies or television. How does Jody's transformation into a vampire differ from how you always thought someone became a vampire? In what ways is it similar?

The books touches upon the idea of euthanasia--the practice of ending the life of a terminally ill person in a painless or minimally painful way in order to limit suffering--in that Elijah Ben Sapir, the vampire who creates Jody, only kills those who are about to die or whose lives are limited in some way. What are your feelings about "mercy killings"? Do vampires have an ethical standard?

Though I would totally want to join a book club that chose to read Bloodsucking Fiends, I can't imagine having a big old serious discussion on vampire lore and euthanasia as a result! But maybe that is just me.

5 Stars or less for your rating?

I'm giving the book 4 stars. I actually liked You Suck a bit better, but you can't go wrong with Moore. He's a fun, irreverent, creative writer whose sense of humor comes through on every page. Even if you don't like vampire books, you can have fun with this one. (You won't be scared, I promise. The only scary thing is how compelled you'll be to read more Christopher Moore.)
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