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A Bright Moon For Fools

3.58  ·  Rating details ·  662 ratings  ·  80 reviews
Have you sold your soul to the devil?' asked the boy. 'Everybody has sold their soul to the devil,' sighed Christmas. 'That's why you can't get a decent bloody price.'

Harry Christmas has it all: grief, debt, gout, red trousers. Running away to Caracas might seem like a good idea but mischief is a greedy companion. Escape turns to tragedy and love becomes shames as
Kindle Edition, Kindle Edition, 368 pages
Published April 2nd 2013 by Inside The Dog Press
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Average rating 3.58  · 
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 ·  662 ratings  ·  80 reviews

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Once the first coffee of the morning had worn off, he'd usually had enough of being alive.

Yeah, I know that feeling, but for Harry Christmas, our thoroughly unlikable protagonist, being alive may be something he won't have to endure much longer.
He has stolen a woman's heart AND her money, and taken off to Venezuela. In hot pursuit is the woman's psychotic stepson who has vowed to avenge her honor AND get her money back. Now, the completely destitute Harry must depend on the kindness of strangers
Luke Marsden
Dec 26, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: south-america
My first thought upon starting this book was that the protagonist Harry Christmas was a reincarnation of Ignatius J. Reilly from John Kennedy Toole's A Confederacy of Dunces - the parallels are numerous and I'd be surprised if the character wasn't in part inspired by him. If there was one shortcoming of the book for me, it was that Christmas is too caricatured to be plausible. This said, after the first couple of chapters I had tuned in to him and he provides numerous memorable moments. Along ...more
Jul 01, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Bright Moon began well - and just got better. Gibson has a rare quality: the ability to take us into a world expecting farce, and bring us out battered and shaken and all the better for it. This apparently paradoxical nature of Bright Moon, and especially its wrecking ball of a central protagonist, 'Senor' Harry Christmas, gives it depth and texture, as we laugh and have our emotional strings pulled alternately whilst the plot builds to its inescapable climax. Gibson's prose echoes this tenet, ...more
Khris Sellin
Apr 22, 2019 rated it really liked it
I was annoyed and HATED this book in the beginning. Then I started seeing comparisons between Harry Christmas, the main character here, and Ignatius J. Reilly of Confederacy of Dunces. Ugh! No wonder!
For some reason, I stuck with it anyway, wanting to pull something more out of it than that one-dimensional, highly overrated piece of garbage that is CoD.

Harry Christmas is the anti-protagonist. When we meet him, he's escaping London, flying off to Venezuela after stealing thousands of dollars
Apr 16, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I bought this book on a whim about two years ago and it has sat, unread, on my bookshelf ever since, until I picked it back up last week and gave it a go. It was all at once the easiest and most difficult book I’ve ever read.

It was absolutely impossible to put down, and I tried, several times, only to find myself pulled back to it by some irresistible magnetic force that would yank me through another ten chapters before I knew what was happening. The story and the characters were SO compelling.
James Rye
Dec 25, 2013 rated it really liked it
I liked this book for three reasons.

First, it was funny. It wasn't a collection of jokes, but the main character was delightfully absurd, and this gave rise to a series of ridiculous situations and observations. On rare occasions I laughed out loud. The images of the tattooed sleeping pig and the hanging drunk won't go away.

Secondly, it was well written. By that I mean I found the detail and the language interesting. The detailed description of passing life in Venezuela felt authoritative and
Aug 01, 2013 rated it really liked it
I loved this book, I really did. Until the end. It's just so unsatisfying.

Perhaps I am at fault for feeling this way. I tend to dislike endings which don't really tie anything together. But there was no resolution whatsoever, and I feel let down.

I'm tempted to knock off a star, but the 90+% of the book that I enjoyed was thoroughly deserving of the praise. It is a shame then, that the ending felt so rushed.
Michael Jones
Oct 07, 2014 rated it it was ok
Michael Palin says this book is "very funny, very unpleasant and very moving". Let's be honest: it's mysogyny and is only occasionally amusing; the book is unpleasant but not in a way worth boasting about; (having had no previous opinion) I now feel moved never to read Gibson's work again. To say he lacks imagination would be wrong; I just can't imagine why he thought this story worth telling.
Jim Stevens
Feb 18, 2016 rated it it was ok
As a writer of comedy myself, I know how difficult it is to make someone laugh.

I just didn't get this book. It was well written and the main character did have some very intriguing qualities, but I thought the book broke the first rule of comedy: It wasn't funny.
It is English humor and I have little use for the Royal Family or bangers and mash, so maybe it's me and not the book.
May 22, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Loved this book... Stumbled on it via the Canongate site and have been raving about it ever since. A first novel? He is Martin Amis, when Amis was brilliant. Michael Caine should play Harry Christmas, and Javier Bardem Slade. More, please!
Sep 27, 2014 rated it did not like it
Shelves: part-read
The first few pages were promising but it quickly deteriorated into a farce involving a wholly unlikable character with little storyline to speak of. Life is too short to waste on this drivel.
Nov 02, 2019 rated it it was ok
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jun 10, 2018 rated it really liked it
Very good read. Not "hilarious" at all like some of the review snippets claim, but on the contrary, dark, and very
Aug 05, 2017 rated it it was ok
I was really excited about the book - the plot summary at the back whispered the promise of an adventure with a dash of humour. What I got instead were obnoxious characters, a poor excuse of a villain and many terrible stereotypes of non-British ethnicities.

Let me introduce the characters:

Harry Christmas - a middle-aged British conman who is on the run from the law after cheating a woman out of her money. Loud, rude and unattractive, it is a wonder how he manages to get women interested in him.
May 04, 2013 rated it really liked it
This should have been a brilliant book. Instead, it is three-and-a-half stars, but halves are not possible, and I felt generous.

A bit more than the first half is excellent, with some instances also later on, exploding with Hunter S. Thompson-esque ebullience, (others, elsewhere, have already picked up the Kennedy Toole affiliation), irreverence and astute observation, beautiful, crisp writing, with details jumping out with minimal verbiage (a triumph - nothing worse than endless description),
Andrew Mcq
Sep 09, 2014 rated it liked it
It's rare that I read a book with final reviews in mind, but for some reason this was the case here. This book started in a riot of snappy one liners and I was certain I was heading for a 5 star review. However after about 100 pages it settles into a much more conventional narrative - down to 4 stars. I still continued to enjoy it, but not with quite as much enthusiasm. With about 50 pages to go, I made a mental note to deduct another star if the conclusion was unsatisfactory. So 3.5 stars would ...more
Reading Fool
Jun 26, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: giveaways, 2017
I received this book for free through Goodreads First Reads.

A hilarious book, yet very disturbing. Harry Christmas is an unbelievable character - larger than life in his creativity to cheat and hurt people. I could not root for him. Christmas is fleeing a terrible misdeed in his native England and goes to Venezuela to pay homage to his dead wife. Along the way he is a repugnant man to his fellow human beings. The story reads like a legend and I was hooked, even though I could not relate to any
Sep 24, 2015 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
This book varied between 'ok' and 'liked it', but, on balance, I don't think I can really say I 'liked it' all that much.

I found elements of it kept me reading but I didn't like the main character - I found him to be an obnoxious fool without any redeemable features.

I found the treatment of women to be disappointing, and the female characters to be rather, not bland but, well, I couldn't really believe any of them would be interested in him.

Maybe it's my sense of humour but I rarely laughed,
Robin Harris
Jul 23, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2013-reads
A book of two halves.

First half; pure class. Snappy, fast-paced and had me hooked. On course to be one of my favourite reads of 2013.

Second half; what happened? Dull, non-descript. Felt like the author lost his way with the plot and wasn't sure where to go with it. Finished with more of a fizzle than a bang. Shame.
Dec 15, 2016 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Mildly funny, but more disgusting and infuriating. About halfway through, a rape is depicted. This moves beyond disgusting. Not worth anyone's time.
Sep 28, 2014 rated it liked it
did laugh at loud at points but felt disappointed by the ending.
Feb 03, 2017 rated it really liked it
Firstly a warning. There are some nasty rape and animal torture parts in this book that were very unpleasant for me to read. At one point I nearly put the book down for good because of it. Maybe I am oversensitive but I don't enjoy reading about that brutal side of human nature.

However I am aware that to make a pompous, self opinionated, cantankerous man the hero of the story, the villain has to be a real psycho.

At first, when I had no idea what Harry was doing in Venezuela, I was laughing out
Jul 05, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Has Its Moments

It wasn’t until halfway into the story when I found myself actually rooting for Harry Christmas.

The author painted a vivid picture of life inside Venezuela, and it was hard to stomach some of those descriptions—particularly the jail. The characters were quirky, some charmingly so (Judith) and some were deeply disturbing (Slade and Christmas himself at times). I enjoyed the humor and the ridiculous predicaments Harry brought onto himself, so I wasn’t prepared when the narrative
Kathryn Pears
Jul 04, 2018 rated it liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Kristof Verbeke
Jul 25, 2017 rated it really liked it
3,6 is exactly what I would rate it if I could. the book is rather unique for its main character is likeable and both very dislikeable at the same time. The book is rather dark and farfetched sometimes, yet you can see it all happen with a portion of imagination and bad luck. Thanks to a portion of humour, the book lightens up and can bring a smile to your face. Simply put: an enjoyable read but nothing too crazy on the horizon.
Susan Tauster
Jun 26, 2018 rated it really liked it
A wonderful read. Very different, so I appreciated that it was non-formulaic. Great characterizations, great pacing, I could not put it down. The ending was appropriate given the main character’s foibles.
Valerie Kerwin
Jun 10, 2018 rated it liked it
I read this because of a review that said it was funny. Only a couple funny parts, but mostly just Harry Christmas drinking and taken advantage of everyone. He became more reflective at the end and,I began to like him better, but mostly a little tedious.
Capu Bou
Aug 21, 2018 rated it it was ok
It's a really funny book in a way. All the happening events are unexpected which adds an eccentric atmosphere to the book. However, I found Harry Christmas (the first character) very complicated to encompass and hardly attaching.
Sep 04, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Very amusing! Ten out of ten!
Yoshikage Kira
Nov 01, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Read a physical copy of this book a while back in my HK AirBnB apartment; weird story but fun.
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