PRACTICAL DEMONKEEPINGEditorial Review - Kirkus - Jane Doe
Good-natured, often funny, but excessively complicated tale that matches a people-eating demon against his reluctant master and the citizens of a small California town. First-novelist Moore throws in more plot twists than the Pacific Coast highway has curves. He obviously knows and is amused by the flawed but feisty denizens with which he inhabits Pine Grove, south of the Big Sur wilderness area ... Read full review
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I've been a fan of Moore's for a while now, having read Bloodsucking Fiends, The Stupidest Angel and, my favorite, Lamb. While I was in the States, I noticed that his earlier books had been reprinted in new editions, so I thought I'd pick up the one that started it all - Practical Demonkeeping.
This is where Moore introduced his recurring locale of Pine Cove, a small tourist trap on the Southern California coast. And a place where, from time to time, weird things happen. In this case, it is the appearance of a disgraced Djinn, who is looking to stop a millennia-old demon from wreaking havok, which is what demons love to do.
In this case, though, the demon has a companion - a hundred year-old would-be priest who really isn't happy about their little relationship. He the is the master of the Demon, and would love to find a way to send it back to the hell that spawned it. And his quest, naturally, brings ihs to Pine Cove.
Moore has a very strange sense of humor, one that works very well with me. One minute you're snickering and having a great time with the absurdity of the story, and then WHAM - you're hit with someone's parents being devoured, or an abusive husband, or the loss of a beloved husband. Moore blends the serious and the ridiculous very easily.
My only complaint about Moore - which has held pretty true through all the books I've read so far - is that I don't really like his endings. They tend to come way too fast, spoiling what was otherwise a well-paced narrative. I also picked up his newest book, A Dirty Job - let's see how he's improved....