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You Suck by Christopher Moore

1/12/2010. Contributed by Neale Monks

Buy You Suck in the USA - or Buy You Suck in the UK

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pub: Orbit. 296 page enlarged paperback. Price: GBP 7.99 (UK). ISBN: 978-1-84149-809-6.

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'You Suck' is a comic romance involving a young woman who got turned into vampire. So that she doesn't have to be parted from her boyfriend she turns him into a vampire, too, initially at least to his consternation. As they adapt to their situation they make new friends but also have to deal with the policemen hunting them down. Furthermore, being vampires, they also need to find a bite to eat…

While the overall premise of young people as vampires might make 'You Suck' sound like a comic pastiche of Stephanie Meyer's best-selling 'Twilight' series, Christopher Moore actually created these city-dwelling vampires back in 1995 for his novel 'Bloodsucking Fiends'. But this isn't to say that the whole emo/vampire thing is ignored. Quite the reverse in fact, with one of the major characters, Abby, being a classic example of a perky goth of the sort despised by the more hardcore dwellers in darkness. Although she isn't a vampire, she'd like to be and her appreciation of the whole ‘scene’ brings a lot of the humour to the book.

As ever with Moore's work, 'You Suck' is an easy read, but the removal of some characters at the end while the apparent resurgence in the importance of others does give the book a sense of being the middle volume of a trilogy. The degree to which this annoys you will perhaps depend on whether you've read 'Bloodsucking Fiends' as well, in which case anticipation of the final volume may allay any concerns about the way 'You Suck' ends.

Unlike some of Moore's work, in particular 'Lamb', there's no philosophical edge to what's presented here and while 'You Suck' does try to present vampires in an appealing, even ethical sort of way, this is more a literary conceit than anything more deeply thought through. 'You Suck' is otherwise typical Moore humour, relying heavily on sheer absurdity and countless pop culture references. Overall, a fun read, despite the ambiguous ending.

Neale Monks

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