David Katzman's Reviews > Bite Me

Bite Me by Christopher Moore
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's review
Jul 16, 2010

really liked it
Read in July, 2010

For Halloween this year, I went as a bad standup-comedian vampire. I wrote some jokes that followed typical standup subject matter but entirely without punch lines. My style was Steven Wright minus the payoff. I dressed as a vampire, wore realistic fangs, too, and performed the routine at two parties with a plant in the audience each time directed to shout, after four jokes, “You suck!!!”

I killed.

Hahahah. Well, I kill me, anyway.

So a while back a friend loaned me the novel, You Suck because he said it was hilarious. When I realized it was part two of a trilogy, the OCD completist in me couldn’t read it without buying part one Bloodsucking Fiends and part three Bite Me . This review will cover all three installments.

All three books have a delightfully whimsical, campy quality. Occasionally, there are moments of pseudo-profound introspection, but these are some of the least satisfying elements in the books. The Vampire Trilogy, as Moore calls it, at its finest puts a few hilarious characters in embarrassing situations. And he’s got some brilliant lines sprinkled throughout to season the meal.

Bloodsucking Fiends is by far the least funny and least satisfying of the three. I would describe it as fun without being all that funny. There were several plot twists, especially toward the end, that were quite unconvincing. I also found one of the two main characters, the 19-year old writer wannabe, to be rather annoying and far too naïve-country-boy-comes-to-big-city while the other main character was a bit too bland. Nonetheless, Moore sustained my interest through a barreling plot and amusing characters. I was definitely a bit disappointed and almost didn’t continue, but the OCD side took control, and I’m glad it did.

You Suck upped the hilarity quotient exceedingly through the introduction of two characters of comedic brilliance, the sick-and-twisted, uber-snarky goth girl Abby Normal (I wonder if Moore stole that name from Young Frankenstein. Or more accurately, did the character steal it because her “real” name is Allison Green while Abigail von Normal is her goth name) and her gay goth bff Jared. Apparently, Abby has a small role in one of Moore’s other novels, but she becomes much more significant in You Suck , and Bite Me is really more of her novel than the two hero vampires, Tommy and Jody. Good call, I say. because she is way damn funnier and smarter than either of them. She really steals the show with her wit and attitude. I could read Abby Normal all day.

I wouldn’t be surprised to see these novels as movies some day. The late-shift supermarket stockers/vampire-hunting stoners featured practically beg for a screenplay to be written for them. And surely some starlet needs to be Abby Normal in order to break from her goody-two-shoes casting. And plus … vampires. Nobody’s done a good vampire comedy since Love at First … okay, since ever. This could work.

Occasionally, the plot seems to get away from Moore and it requires more exposition than it should, but when he focuses on character, the story kills. Overall, worth reading … good comedy is bloody hard to do.
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