01/12/2009. Contributed by Neale Monks
pub: Orbit. 343 page small hardback. Price: £ 9.99 (UK). ISBN: 978-1-84149-690-0. pub: Orbit. 243 enlarged paperback. Price: £6.99 (UK). ISBN: 978-1-84149-618-4)
check out website: www.orbitbooks.net
Fans of Christopher Moore will find this book very much of a piece with his other humorous novels. The style is lightweight, the comedy broad and the pacing brisk. While 'The Stupidest Angel' lacks the gentle philosophy of 'Lamb' for example, it does shine a light on that strangest of festivals, the American interpretation of Christmas.
The central conceit is that an angel, Raziel, has been sent to Earth to perform a Christmas Eve miracle. He ends up granting a wish for a seven year-old boy who, because he misunderstands what he saw in a grocery store car park, thinks that Santa Claus is dead. But instead of creating a happy situation for all concerned, Raziel manages to create an army of undead that rampage through the town.
All this is merely the trigger for the comedy rather than its reason. This small American town is filled with people who don't get along, often because they're pretty weird people. It's a classic comedy of errors, where misunderstandings and misaligned relationships create havoc and while the angel/zombie element is part of the fun, it's not the whole story.
Like some of Moore's other books, some of the characters in this book are cross-overs from his others. So those who've read Moore's earlier books will have fun re-discovering old friends. But this isn't a book for fans only and stands up perfectly well on its own merits.
'The Stupidest Angel' is a fun read for the Christmas holidays. The plot is engaging and original and the style up to Moore's usual standards.
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Stephen Hunt's novels - USA