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Practical Demonkeeping

(Pine Cove #1)

3.83  ·  Rating details ·  41,375 ratings  ·  1,706 reviews
In Christopher Moore's ingenious debut novel, we meet one of the most memorably mismatched pairs in the annals of literature. The good-looking one is one-hundred-year-old ex-seminarian and "roads" scholar Travis O'Hearn. The green one is Catch, a demon with a nasty habit of eating most of the people he meets. Behind the fake Tudor facade of Pine Cove, California, Catch see ...more
Paperback, 256 pages
Published May 25th 2004 by Perennial / William Morrow / HarperCollins (first published May 25th 1992)
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The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas AdamsGood Omens by Terry PratchettLamb by Christopher MooreThe Princess Bride by William GoldmanA Dirty Job by Christopher Moore
Books that Make you Laugh
3,353 books — 4,623 voters
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Best Dark Humor
635 books — 1,707 voters

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Community Reviews

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Average rating 3.83  · 
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 ·  41,375 ratings  ·  1,706 reviews

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Apr 01, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
“Practical Demonkeeping: A Comedy of Horrors” by Christopher Moore takes place in Pine Cove, along California’s Big Sur coast. Here we meet Travis, a 100 year old ex-seminarian and scholar, though he appears to be 20 years old, and Catch, his demon companion with a nasty habit of eating most of the people he meets.

Catch is a demon bound to earth by King Solomon and by invocation to Travis. Catch's nemesis, Gian Hen Gian (freed Head King Djinn), is out to send Catch back to the depths of Hell. A
Aug 26, 2007 rated it it was ok
holy crap,
this book. was. bad.

so effing bad there must be a logical explanation for it. the logical explanation is: christopher moore, you used to be a very stinky writer. i'm not sure what happened between "practical demonkeeping" and "a dirty job", but i'm guessing it was nothing short of an earth quaking, baby shaking, holy sweet mother of pearl miracle.

all the raw elements are there. the slightly deranged yet interesting menagerie of characters, the twisting, intercoursed plot lines, a
May 03, 2020 rated it liked it
“They appreciated the simple pleasures that life presented to them and they were happy.”

I have read all of Christopher Moore’s books, to date, and have been quite disappointed in the last few. So I pulled his debut off of my shelf. Although “Practical Demonkeeping” was not my first experience of Moore, when I read it soon after discovering him I remember I liked it.
For what it is, it holds up. It is a pithy, quick romp through a mishmash of various myths, set in a modern fictional California tow
Jul 18, 2011 rated it liked it
Cool, fun book.

Absurd, irreverent, inventive, erudite, and entertaining. Some conveniently wound up loose ends, inconsistent in parts, but a descendant of Vonnegut at his best.

Dec 22, 2009 rated it liked it
Shelves: horror, audiobook
I'm rereading this on audio because I desperately needed a laugh but even this book isn't doing it. Might it be because I've already heard all of the punchlines and I need more snark? I don't know. It's mildly entertaining but has some dull moments and too many long moments of explanation and I find myself drifting away all too often.

My impressions when I initially read it:
This is a quirky book about a young priest-in-training who unwittingly commands a demon into existence that gives him immort
Jun 11, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
As usual, it was a fun romp for all the people being eaten by a demon. Pine Cove is an interesting place with a lot more going on in the small town than would be expected from the surface appearances & that just added to the confusion. The cast of characters were interesting, as always.

After reading this, I found that it is Moore's first book. Like many, the first of his that I read was A Dirty Job & for some reason I thought that was his first. I've read a couple of others & enjoyed them all, s
Oct 25, 2007 rated it really liked it
Shelves: humor-satire
This is the first Moore book that I have read, and I have to say, I am a fan. I've read a lot of Tom Robbins (Jitterbug Perfume, Still Life With Woodpecker) and his style is very similar, but more straightforward I think. And just as funny. I haven't laughed so hard at a book in a long time.
The premise is fairly simple... A young man, Travis, conjurs a demon on accident while cleaning the accolyte candles at a Catholic church. He is stuck with the demon, who does not have to tell him how he can
 Linda (Miss Greedybooks)
Jul 04, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: humor, paranormal
My first Moore book, his first also. I loved it! Later, Lamb took over as favorite, but this one is still fondly remembered.

The jacket caught my imagination: "Okay, Stephen King, Douglas Adams, and H.P. Lovecraft go to a Frank Capra movie (It's a wonderful life). Thus inspired they write a book..." Well, I'm in, let's go! And a great trip to Pine Cove it is.

Catch a demon of the 27th order, meaning in the hierarchy of hell he is far below archdemons like the master of avarice, but far above the
Wiebke (1book1review)
Jul 11, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: series-i-started
This was exactly what I came to expect from a book by Christopher Moore: fun, somewhat strange and mysterious, not too real but realistic.

In typical Moore style this book takes you on a journey that is filled with unbelievable alternative realities and laughs.

I don't really know what else to say, but just give his writing a go if you like funny and magic books. (Mind you magic books, not books about magic!)
DJ Harris
Mar 27, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Anyone with a sense of humor!
Kick back and curl up with this well written and light hearted book that will definitely give your funny bone a work out! This book is a very fast read, Christopher Moore's tale is not only captivating but will leave you laughing! You just have to love Christopher Moore's morbid humor.

Practical Demon Keeping by Christopher Moore

Having read Bloodsucking Fiends by Christopher Moore, I figured this book would be just as hilarious, and it is comparable, but not the same. This is a great story, has an interesting plot, and has very memorab
If this were written by anyone else, I'd probably give "Practical Demonkeeping" four stars. If this had been the first time I read anything of Moore's, I'd probably give it four stars. But seeing as this is the first novel he's written and the fourth of his I've read, I know how much better he becomes as he gets a few more books under his belt.

All the telltale marks of Moore are fabulously apparent: Well-turned phrases, otherworldly understatement (Moore is one of the few times I appreciate unde
Nov 12, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was an absolute delight of a fairy tale for adults. Demons, djinns, adventures, magic and moral included. With a side of mayhem and homicide by devouring. I've read Moore before and liked him, it was nice to see that he was this good out of the gate as this debut proves. Maybe not as much laugh out loud funny as Dirty Job or Fool, but just as fun, imaginative, clever, humorous and entertaining as only Christopher Moore can do. Highly recommended.
Did you know that only cops and vampires need official invitation to enter a house? Well, now you do.
ᴥ Irena ᴥ
I should stop paying attention to how a book is labelled on Goodreads or elsewhere.

Is it entertaining? Yes, it is. There are parts that will make you laugh out loud. If you laughed when Monty Python white bunny appeared in Monty Python and the Holy Grail then there is something for you here. Unfortunately, scenes like that are pretty rare. Other things got more attention. It is worth reading the book if only for those moments.

What I didn't like the most is the resolution. Not everyone got what
David - proud Gleeman in Branwen's adventuring party
HYSTERICALLY FUNNY!!! I lost count of how many times I had to pause reading because I was laughing so hard! Christopher Moore’s writing reminds me movies like “Blazing Saddles” and “Airplane”…he actually manages to tell a story in between all the insanity! Recommend to anyone looking for a good laugh!

Venkat Satya
Jan 07, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Wickedly funny. That's the term I'm searching for. This book with its winos, pagans, wrinkled-prune Djinn, and hungry demon is wickedly funny.
May 06, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fantasy, humor
Oh my, this is my first read of Moore's and it was a doozy!! This was Moore's 1992 debut & look into his mind. Irreverent, and crude at times but full of quirky characters & LOL scenes, just what I needed.

70 years ago Travis unwillingly became the master of a people-eating demon, Catch, and he is desperate to be rid of him and send him back to hell. He has been on a search for the invocation that will do the trick and it has brought him to Pine Cove, CA. There is also a King of the Djinn who has
Steve Lowe
Jun 14, 2010 rated it really liked it
Well, more like 3.5 stars... a solid read, nothing too exciting or groundbreaking, but considering this was Moore's first novel, not bad. Enjoyable and funny.

Of Moore's work, I read A DIRTY JOB first and really dug it, then subsequently picked up FOOL and LAMB and didn't make past the halfway point with either one. They weren't bad, they just didn't hold my interest, nor have I had a desire to return to them. DEMONKEEPING is closer to DIRTY JOB in terms of style and tone, a similar, lighthearted
Wart Hill
Apr 13, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition

I love you, Christopher Moore, and your cracktastic brain and the weird shit that comes out of it, winds up on the page, and then gets published so I can read the shit out of it because Fuck. Yes.

This book his hilarious and fun and wonderful and ridiculous.

So. Yes.
Apr 12, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Awesome. A little long winded at times. Lot's of people get eaten.
Sara O
Jan 30, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: EVERYONE!
This is the first time that I've actually read a whole book in one day. It was just so flippin' funny I couldn't put it down!
Nov 20, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: fantasy, humor, fiction
Practical Demonkeeping features a creative plot and a colorful cast of characters. Fans of Christopher Moore’s other excellent novels will be pleased by the inclusion of familiar elements that are common to some of those stories.
As usual, the author’s brilliant gift for humor inspired a considerable amount of laughter on the part of this reader.
Apr 25, 2008 rated it really liked it
Shelves: comedy
This novel was a surprisingly quick read, it is short and although not action packed, it manages to keep your attention from beginning to end. The writing style is very casual and humorous, slightly vulgar but not so much as to gain an "R" rating or to turn off the casual reader. There are drugs, but they are not glorified, there is sex, but it is not explicit and there is profanity, but it is not overwhelming.

The story itself is simple enough, one man (Travis) is cursed with being the "Master"
Cid Tyer
Feb 27, 2010 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2010-books
I think I have an issue getting through the first chapter in any Moore book, save Lamb. I read the first chapter and almost gave the book up as a lost cause, but a stressful day had me reaching into my bag for it and I'm glad I finished it. I like how Moore weaves together multiple characters and events, including sometimes silly, pointless side lines of things that happen as a result of the plot. His characters are always diverse, interesting things, and often times display attributes true to p ...more
Although this is not one of Christopher Moore's funniest books in my opinion, it definitely has its moments. Practical Demonkeeping is another fun and twisted romp with the perverse author of Dirty Job and Fool who crafts great quirky characters to carry his stories. Mavis, the bar owner from Stupidest Angel is here, as is Detective Rivera from Dirty Job and Moore's vampire novels. (I particularly enjoyed the way Mavis answers the phone in the bar: "Garden of Eden, Snake speaking.")
P.D. is one o
Dec 30, 2010 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fantasy
Practical Demonkeeping was Christopher Moore's first novel and even being his debut, it has all of the fun that I expect from the best author of humorous fiction alive. In this early work, you can easily see the influence of Tom Robbins, Carl Haissen and even perhaps some Douglas Adams. Yet Christopher Moore's strange brain is like no other and even here he reveals an unique sense of wit. His opuses Lamb and A Dirty Job are still years away but Practical Demonkeeping is as weird and funny as any ...more
11811 (Eleven)
Mar 19, 2014 rated it really liked it
3.5 stars. Check out the audio book if you can. The demon sounds just like Cookie Monster and that alone kept me laughing through this one. It isn't the masterpiece that is Lamb: The Gospel According to Biff, Christ's Childhood Pal but it's still pretty damn funny. ...more
Feb 01, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: humor-favorites
This story gets better after a slow start with a with a growing tale and a strong finish. 8 of 10 stars
Jan 16, 2012 rated it it was ok
Shelves: humor
This is the third book by Moore that I have read (after Lamb and the Stupidest Angel), but chronologically it is Moore’s first published work. The story takes place in Moore’s oft-used fictional town of Pine Cove, CA. A stranger rolls into town bringing with him an invisible demon named Catch. Over the course of the story we find out that the stranger (a man named Travis) is trying to rid himself of Catch, while at the same time Catch is trying to rid himself of his master Travis. This plotline ...more
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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 circums

Other books in the series

Pine Cove (3 books)
  • The Lust Lizard of Melancholy Cove (Pine Cove, #2)
  • The Stupidest Angel: A Heartwarming Tale of Christmas Terror (Pine Cove, #3)

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