I cannot believe I haven’t reviewed a Christopher Moore book on this blog yet!!! Chris Moore is one of my very favorite authors – he’s absolutely weird and hysterical. I re-read his novel Lamb last year, but apparently it was before I really got into the swing of things on the blog.
So, this is Moore’s debut novel. Surprisingly I hadn’t read it yet – actually, I’ve now read all but 3 of his books. Kind of like Jane Austen, I try to spread them out. Luckily, Chris Moore is still alive and kicking and still writing, so there will be more from him, but still. I like to spread his novels out for pure enjoyment.
Practical Demonkeeping is about a man named Travis, who has been traveling the country with the demon Catch for the last hundred years. Travis looks about 25 but he’s actually been around since the 1920s-ish, constantly traveling and trying to find a way to send Catch back to hell. Catch has a nasty habit of eating people, and while Travis can try to hold him back, he can’t rest until he sends the creepy bastard back where he came from. Finally, his search leads him to the tiny California town of Pine Cove, where he hopefully finds the answers he’s looking for.
I enjoyed this novel for a bunch of reasons. Partly because Pine Cove and it’s residents appear in future Christopher Moore books, so I was able to see them again and learn more about them. Catch also appears in another novel (Lamb), and while he’s technically a bad guy cause he’s a people-eating demon – he’s also really snarky and kind of funny. I was glad to see so much of him in this book. There’s also a hint of mythological and biblical backstory, in which we learn who exactly Catch is and when he was Earth-side up before.
While there weren’t a whole lot of laugh-out-loud moments, there was a lot of witty wordplay. And I liked this quote the best:
“Are you saying,” Brine interrupted, “that the human race was created to irritate Satan?”
“That is correct. Jehovah is infinite in his snottiness.”
I totally enjoyed meeting the residents of Pine Cove all over again, but I will say that sometimes I got kind of lost in the big cast. I guess that’s where this really shows that it’s Moore’s first novel. It’s my only complaint.
If you’re new to Christopher Moore, I wouldn’t recommend starting with this one. Try Lamb, A Dirty Job, or Bloodsucking Fiends first. This is still a worthy read though, and I’m glad I own it and can add it to my Moore collection.
Sarah Says: 4 stars