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Island of the Sequined Love Nun

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Take a wonderfully crazed excursion into the demented heart of a tropical paradise—a world of cargo cults, cannibals, mad scientists, ninjas, and talking fruit bats. Our bumbling hero is Tucker Case, a hopeless geek trapped in a cool guy's body, who makes a living as a pilot for the Mary Jean Cosmetics Corporation. But when he demolishes his boss's pink plane during a drunken airborne liaison, Tuck must run for his life from Mary Jean's goons. Now there's only one employment opportunity left for him: piloting shady secret missions for an unscrupulous medical missionary and a sexy blond high priestess on the remotest of Micronesian hells. Here is a brazen, ingenious, irreverent, and wickedly funny novel from a modern master of the outrageous.

325 pages, Paperback

First published August 1, 1997

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About the author

Christopher Moore

47 books89.8k followers
Librarian Note: There is more than one author in the Goodreads database with this name.

Christopher Moore is an American writer of absurdist fiction. He grew up in Mansfield, OH, and attended Ohio State University and Brooks Institute of Photography in Santa Barbara, CA.

Moore's novels typically involve conflicted everyman characters suddenly struggling through supernatural or extraordinary circumstances. Inheriting a humanism from his love of John Steinbeck and a sense of the absurd from Kurt Vonnegut, Moore is a best-selling author with major cult status.

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5 stars
8,112 (25%)
4 stars
12,471 (38%)
3 stars
9,092 (28%)
2 stars
1,932 (6%)
1 star
493 (1%)
Displaying 1 - 30 of 1,502 reviews
Profile Image for Lyn.
1,850 reviews16.4k followers
March 13, 2016
Island of the Sequined Love Nun by Christopher Moore tells the story of Tucker Case, a ne’er do well corporate pilot who, after a hilarious allusion to Shakespeare, winds up in a chaotic Moore created bad trip in Micronesia.

Somewhere along the way we meet reformed cannibals, a transvestite Filipino navigator, some wacky Pacific Ocean cargo cults, and the ghost of a WWII fighter pilot. Not one of his best novels, all the same, Christopher Moore novels join the ranks of pizza and sex where a good unit is great and a bad unit is still pretty good.

Beth Curtis is one of his most fun characters and I wish he would find a way to bring her back to another novel somehow. Moore fans will recognize the origin of Roberto the fruit bat.

Profile Image for seak.
429 reviews474 followers
January 5, 2013
Christopher Moore is a popular writer and satirist in the vein of Terry Pratchett and Kurt Vonnegut with titles like Lamb: The Gospel According to Biff, Christ's Childhood Pal; You Suck: A Love Story; and many Moore (how could I resist?).

Island of the Sequined Love Nun was actually my first foray into his work, but what got me more than anything else, even more than Moore's popularity and humor, was the title itself. It says it all. And after having read it, it's actually an extremely fitting title.

Tucker Case skates by in life, nearly everything has been handed to him, not the least of which is his job flying a pink jet for the Mary Jean Cosmetics Corporation, which he almost immediately crashes...while drunkenly fooling around with a girl he "didn't know was a prostitute."

With an intro like that, how can you resist?

Tucker is essentially imprisoned as Mary Jean attempts to salvage the situation for her company. Having lost his license to fly, his options are limited and thus begins the meat of our story as Tuck is contacted by a less-than-reputable employer claiming to be doing "missionary service."

One of the first things I noticed was that Moore is not afraid to be outrageous and he does so often. There are jokes about cannibals, religions, transexuals, you name it. He pushes the boundaries and even does so a bit too far for this self-admitted prude. Then again, I didn't not laugh either.

Tucker Case comedically bumbles around the place, just accepting life as it's handed to him, but the problem is you either love him or hate him, and I found myself leaning toward the latter. He bugged me from the start and he does eventually develop redeeming qualities, but it was almost too late for me. That's why I couldn't say I absolutely loved this book, it was just decent.

A big part of how I measure how much I am liking an audiobook is how much I look forward to my morning drive or how much I skive off, to use a British term, whatever I'm doing to listen and while it wasn't painful, it also wasn't my favorite (in fact it pales in comparison to the book I'm currently listening to, which I'll be done with shortly).

In the end, Island of the Sequined Love Nun was a good introduction to Christopher Moore. While I didn't absolutely love it, I will definitely come back for more (I held back!). I'm looking forward to reading some of his more popular works in the near future.

3 out of 5 Stars (Recommended with Reservations)

Note: I got a new reviewing gig with SFFaudio.com, so I'm trying to get things down that I'll have to include on the blog post:

By Christopher Moore; Read by Oliver Wyman
Publisher: HarperAudio
[UNABRIDGED] - 11 hours, 39 minutes; 10 CD's
Published: 2004
Themes: /exotic island/humor/commercial jet/cannibal/cargo cult/
Profile Image for Martin.
327 reviews135 followers
April 24, 2019
Meet cannibal Pacific islanders who;
really believe in the Cargo Cult religion,
worship a real life Sky Princess,
who gives them Hollywood magazines and coffee.
Meet her colleague, who is also worshiped as the Sorcerer, who harvests organs from the cannibals.

Follow the wild adventures of an American pilot, a cross-dressing Filipino navigator and a multi-lingual fruit bat as they land on the island of the Sequined Love Nun.
They don't know it yet, but they will attempt to save all the islanders.

A fast paced, fun adventure.
(Parental Guidance Recommended)


This entire review has been hidden because of spoilers.
Profile Image for Becky.
1,319 reviews1,610 followers
January 29, 2019
I have read and really enjoyed quite a few of Moore's books, but this wasn't one of them. It just didn't do it for me. I didn't find it funny or quirky or even interesting. I didn't care what happened to any of the characters, and honestly, it just felt too try-hard to be all of the things that one expects from Moore.

Kimi, the male cross-dressing prostitute with a pet bat named Roberto (Rodrigo? something like that.), was the only character I actually liked at all, and that was only because he was the only character that actually seemed to EXIST on his own. All of the other characters in this story were just... game pieces for the zany to happen to. But even so, Kimi wasn't enough to make me want to pick up this book again. It's been days since I picked this up last, and the fact that I'm not quite sure how many days says a lot about my lack of interest... so... onto the Abandoned shelf it goes.
Profile Image for Mick.
44 reviews19 followers
June 15, 2009
Okay. I like humor. Some people tell me, based on my looks, it's darn good I like humor, 'cause I sure need a sense of it. I like funny movies, funny stories, dirty jokes; what I don't see a whole lot of, are funny books. I mean, laugh-out-loud funny books.

ISLAND OF THE SEQUINED LOVE NUN is a witty exception. I had read Christopher Moore before ("Coyote Blue"), and while I enjoyed his work, his humor was just a tad too quirky (and for me, that's saying something). But with this book, I had a good time from the moment I started reading, right up until I finished the last page. Moore has a great gift of getting inside the heads of his characters, making them react to stuff they don't want to react to, and putting them in situations they don't want to be in. . .and he pulls it off with supreme comedic flair. I won't go into the plot (there are already hundreds of reviews here doing that), but suffice it to say Tucker Case is one likeable, funny bad boy. His adventures (or, more accurately, misadventures) make for a delightful read--a read augmented by the supernatural (a Moore staple), good and evil, and some compelling moments.

But I'm thinking too much (and once again, for me that's saying something); ISLAND OF THE SEQUINED LOVE NUN is a darn funny book. Not only that, it's a good book, a very good book, brilliantly written. I'm definitely looking forward to reading more of this author's work.
Profile Image for Bandit.
4,447 reviews441 followers
May 1, 2020
I'm pretty sure it's impossible not to enjoy Christopher Moore's books. His awesome imagination creates these terrifically preposterous scenarios and his killer combo of wit and humor turn every story into such a fun read. About the only author to consistently have me laugh out loud during reading. Tucker Case is a disgraced pilot with a quite literally Shakespearean (Hamletian to be specific) past and a revoked license. When he gets an offer he simply can't refuse to be a private pilot for a small island with a cargo cult (this is explained in the novel, very interesting), he sets off on a wild, improbable, bizarre and very excellent adventure. With a cast of characters as wacky as the plot, tropical scenery and plenty of suspense and thriller elements to turn (or attempt to) Tuck into a hero of one of his spy paperbacks, there is enough action, magic and spectacular escapades for anyone to enjoy. Moreover, Christopher Moore has actually done some first hand research on the oceanic island culture, which is most impressive, although he urges the reader to take most of what he writes as a make believe. Either way, this was tons of fun. Highly recommended.

Reread time. Something wildly uncharacteristic, but there simply aren’t enough writers as charmingly funny as Moore and I wanted a very specifically Mooreish read. And as it turned out this one was forgotten enough to merit a revisit. A fact stumbled upon while discussing the book with my fiancé who was reading it for the first time. So back to Alualu. And a splendid adventure awaiting there featuring but not limited to cannibals, transvestites, cult cargos, diabolical schemes, sharks, femme fatales and so much more. Tuck really has his work cut out for him and to think all he wanted was an easy suspiciously well paid pilot gig on a tropical island. So yeah, this was tons of fun. Once again. And only ever so slightly dated, almost like an easter egg sort of thing, the best clue being Zaire, which only a year later was renamed Democratic Republic of Congo. But outside of nerding out over geography (and yes it is an imaginary island the story takes place on) there are other…numerous delights. This is Moore at his irreverent best and it cheered me up immensely despite the positively non tropical weather (not to mention sociopolitical sort of climate) outside. A wildly entertaining and enjoyable adventure. Recommended.
15 reviews
December 10, 2008
When you read the first chapter of this book you will say to yourself, what the He**? Only not in a bad way. I could not stop reading and actually had read halfway through by the end of the day. It is about a washed up pilot who is an alchoholic and is asked to fly a jet for a Mary Kay type person. Needless to say, the jet is bright pink. The opening chapter sums the main character up pretty much in a nut shell, his luck with flying, booze and women. It only gets better from there. I hope I didn't give too much away just read it already.
Profile Image for Marvin.
1,414 reviews5,320 followers
April 3, 2010
Does Christopher Moore know how to write a bad novel? Does he even know how to write an average novel? While Island of The Sequined Love Nun is not the equal of Lamb and A Dirty Job, it is still a total delight with Moore's cast of insane characters and tightly woven if outlandish plots. And of course It is frigging hilarious. Cargo Cults, talking bats, stripper bimbo masquerading as goddess, pink Lear jets, transvestites. All the sort of things that no one but Moore could tie together in a funny totally satisfying novel. Four and a half stars.
Profile Image for Ralph Pulner.
55 reviews20 followers
March 19, 2018
Since reading Dream Park by Larry Niven as a young lad, I've always had an interest in Cargo Cult stories. This was a lot of fun, but not as engaging as I'm used to from a Christopher Moore book. I didn't connect with a lot of the characters like I usually do with his stories. I enjoyed it, but can I safely say I'll remember it a month from now?
Profile Image for Thibault Busschots.
Author 3 books35 followers
March 2, 2022
The book starts with the protagonist accidentally crashing his plane and injuring his penis. That should be a pretty good indicator of what type of book this is.

This book actually reminds me of the classic Bud Spencer and Terence Hill movie Who Finds a Friend Finds a Treasure. It’s absolutely over the top ridiculous and completely out of whack, which I appreciate. The plot is also quite good, with a lot of tropes expertly used here. And the tropical island with the cargo cult provides us with a fascinating setting. A bit too smutty for my taste. It’s worth a read if you like this kind of humor though.
Profile Image for Ethan.
431 reviews1 follower
March 5, 2018
Thoroughly amusing and thoroughly dated... This book reeks of the 90s, but I love it all the same.

I really love the way that Christopher Moore's books all have similar elements. Even though the content may be completely unrelated, most of the books that are placed in a contemporary setting have an enjoyably consistent element here or there of gods, crazies, and monsters who all think and act according to the same mythos.
Profile Image for stormhawk.
1,384 reviews30 followers
February 18, 2015
Remarkably Crazy

Like most of Christopher Moore's books, I can't reveal much, if any, of the plot without spoiling the delight. Rest assured, there is a whole lot of quirky going on to the tune of the Glenn Miller Orchestra, Technicolor explosions, and the most horrific personal injury in the history of American literature.
Profile Image for Eric.
860 reviews74 followers
June 1, 2018
What do you get when you mix a disgraced pilot, the CEO of Mary Jean Cosmetics, a lazy Australian journalist, a sky priestess, a shady doctor, a cannibal, a talking fruit bat, and a Micronesian cargo cult? The plot of a zany-as-it-is-absurd Christopher Moore novel. While it dragged in a few parts in the middle, the payoff in the last act was well worth the ride.
Profile Image for Anna Scott.
46 reviews
November 27, 2014
Best travel book ever! Light hearted and easy enough to digest even with the most crippling jet lag, but plenty of twists to keep you turning pages. I <3 Christopher Moore.
Profile Image for Yael.
135 reviews15 followers
April 12, 2009
I've now read several of Christopher Moore's novels, and each one leaves me more impressed with his skill as a novelist than the previous one. Island of the Sequined Love Nun is no exception. The story of Tucker Case, a totally hopeless geek trapped in the body of a gorgeous jock, Island of the Sequined Love Nun is an epic journey into a world of cargo cults, cannibals, mad scientists, ninjas, and one talking fruit bat.

After Tucker Case manages to demolish his boss's pink executive jet during a drunken airborne escapade with a lovely if hare-brained girl whose life ambition is to become a member of the Mile High Club, Tuck has to run for his life from goons sent by Mary Jean, his boss -- and the only out for him is employment piloting shady secret missions for an unscrupulous medical missionary and his wife on a remote Micronesian island.

Grasping the one employment opportunity open to him with fear-strengthened hands, in spite of a serious lack of useful transportation out to the island, Tuck manages to find the only navigator and boat available on Yap, the last stop for the jet that has ferried him out to Micronesia from the States. The boat, an 18-foot fibreglass skiff, has clearly seen better days, and the navigator, a cross-dressing native named Kimi, is as unprepossessing a guide as any Tucker has ever seen. But the boat is his only hope of reaching Alualu and gainful employment, and so he and Kimi set off across the South Pacific, heading for a new hope . . .

Or is it? Complete with a murderously larcenous couple bent on harvesting a lucrative crop of organs from trusting natives, one ancient cannibal who is also the only one who recognizes just how valuable Kimi really is, a gang of hoodlums who couldn't make it in Japan and are working for the missionaries because it's the only work they can get, and Roberto, the talking fruit-bat, this is one of the most hilarious tours of Planet Lunacy ever written. It also, however, takes a serious look at real evil and how it manages to survive between the cracks in the world -- until a hero, however inadvertant, comes along and blows everything wide open.
Profile Image for Nikki.
52 reviews5 followers
January 22, 2015
Just not my type of book. I only read it because a client of mine brought it in to me claiming I needed to read it as it is one of her favorite books. I don't think she knows much of my reading tastes and because she loved it thought I might too. I did not enjoy it in the least and just found it stupid. Sorry to those of you who love this book it's just not something I would ever choose to read on my own. I can understand people liking it if this is the type of book they usually read, if it is then you should totally give this book a go. There was a lot of swearing and sex that I just do not find entertaining. I suppose this type of humor is just lost on me as well as I do not read humorous books but rather stick to fantasy and such. She tried but more her tastes than mine, everyone is different.
Profile Image for Delta.
1,242 reviews18 followers
March 4, 2015
In the last few months I become a big fan of Christopher Moore's work. He's got this dark humor thing that really works for me and I often find myself laughing out loud. This book was a bit more serious than some of his last work, but it had just enough wild adventure to really keep me interested. It's a level of absurdity that you would have a hard time finding in another author.

I listened to the audio version and narrator did a pretty good job. Some of the voices of the natives were odd, but they were all very distinct and funny.

Nice book with a dash of dark humor and a serious(ly) ridiculous plot.
Profile Image for Patrick.
501 reviews111 followers
January 22, 2008
I noticed this author had a lot of funny-sounding names for his book so i tried one out. Miserable time slogging through it, turned me off Moore forever. It started off promising enough, with a guy accidentally impaling his weiner on some airplane cockpit instrument, but that was the lone highlight. He ends up on some island with some natives and some girl and guy who are using them for something and then... it sucked so bad.
Profile Image for Kelli.
155 reviews5 followers
August 6, 2007
I have recently discovered the strange, crude, hilarious world of Christopher Moore. This book happens to be one of my favorites. It's packed with memorable characters and crazy plot twists all set in the wonderful South Pacific. Cannibals, ninjas, hurricanes, stolen organs, and talking bats... Oh my!
Profile Image for Rev. Nyarkoleptek.
55 reviews25 followers
November 17, 2010
I suspect that if I was the type of person who found the very idea of naughty spanking unbearably hilarious, I would have loved this book. Moore seems to write for the kinds of people who consider the phrase "fur handcuffs" to be a laff-riot punchline, deserving of its own paragraph. Sorry -- I've read enough shocking filth that sex on a plane doesn't strike me as all that titillating.
Profile Image for Bettie.
9,988 reviews15 followers
March 6, 2014
pub 1997
boy humour
autumn 2012
madcap adventure

Not sure I will get to the end of this but it's enjoyable enough in the background for the moment.

3* Lamb: The Gospel According to Biff, Christ's Childhood Pal
2* Island of the Sequined Love Nun
TR A Dirty Job
2* Practical Demon Keeping
4* The Lust Lizard of Melancholy Cove
Profile Image for Petra.
1,105 reviews12 followers
June 25, 2015
Without giving away the plotline, this is an excellent story, darker than other Christopher Moore books that I've read. This book read like a thriller and yet preserved the humour that Christopher Moore is all about. A page-turner from Page 1.
Highly recommended.
Profile Image for John.
Author 286 books161 followers
March 17, 2019
At his best -- as in novels like Fluke, Lamb and Noir -- Christopher Moore is close to being our finest living humorous writer. Even his lesser novels, of which this is one, offer good entertainment.

Underqualified pilot Tucker Case loses his job flying for the boss of a cosmetics corporation when he's about a mile low in altitude for an initiation into the mile-high club. His piloting mentor points him in the direction of a new job in the remotest corner of Micronesia flying medical supplies for a missionary doctor there. The pay's astronomical and they're willing to employ him, so Tuck knows there has to be something rotten going on, but he puts that out of his mind because doing so is the easiest option.

Especially when the scenery includes the Sky Princess, Beth Curtis, who with her husband is exploiting the islanders' cargo cult for nefarious purposes. Not that being married holds Beth back much when temptation strikes her . . .

As you can probably guess, a lot of the jokes are a bit locker room, which means that when they misfire they can be pretty grating. Where the book succeeds better, I think, are in its flights of imagination. For example, the islanders' cargo cult focuses on a pilot called Vincent, who landed here during World War II and promised to return; even though he was soon afterwards killed by the Japanese, his specter does indeed still on occasion fulfill that promise. Having a ghost as a character alongside the more material ones would be intriguing enough, but what really stands out is a scene with Vincent not in this world but in the afterlife, where he and other cult figures pass the time in cardplay.

And then there's the talking fruitbat . . .

All in all, an enjoyable read with more than a few resounding belly-laughs, but not one of Moore's classics. Great title, though.
Profile Image for Noah Guerin.
51 reviews1 follower
March 6, 2022
Another really creative and funny story by a newly found author that I am coming to love. A little more raunchy than "Lamb" but no less creative, wacky, or enjoyable with great twists at the end.

I really liked the tropical, South Pacific motif in the novel and I liked it even more after reading in the Afterword that the author actually traveled to the South Pacific for research into this book.

I found that it dragged a bit for some parts during the middle while Tuck is exploring the island close to when he first arrives, but both the beginning and ending really kept me engaged and glued to the page.

I can't wait to read another one of his novels, I'm hoping to find Fool somewhere next!
Profile Image for Karin Garcia.
168 reviews2 followers
February 7, 2019
A very fun relaxing read. The feel to me was like Road to Bali meets Sean Connery era James Bond...which is a compliment. I liked the setting😊 🏝
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