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Practical Demonkeeping (2004)

Practical Demonkeeping (2004)

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3.8 of 5 Votes: 3
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0060735422 (ISBN13: 9780060735425)
perennial / william morrow / harpercollins

About book Practical Demonkeeping (2004)

holy crap,this book. was. 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 couple of very, very sparse wiz-bang laugh out loud moments. fantastical happenings, interesting details... they're there, if you look hard enough, twitching and screaming under the surface of a couple horribly concoted plot line and a sense of suspense so bad it could be mistaken for the author's contstipation. the build up of this story could be likened to that ring of lime you get around the bathtub... flaky, course, and practically crawling with a thousand miniscule little problems that, once under your skin, are sure to cause itchiness, bloating, and a generally rashlike redness caused by wondering: "why the hell am i still reading this book"? and more importantly "christopher moore, if you can get this published, my journal from 6th grade MUST have a shot...".I can't fault the guy that much. He was just starting out, and in a way it was really enouraging to read something that lacked the finesse and wit of his later novels. You could actually see the talent there, and it gave one a certain sense of satisfaction knowing that later he got his shit together and ironed out all the problems. and i can never be too mad at him for taking up my time with "practical demonkeeping", because this is the man who later gave me toaster eating demon dogs from hell. but still. i have to wonder what wonderful things could come from this book if he rewrote it now. specifically, a climax, or perhaps a build up to the climax, or even well developed characters. ok, ok, i'm done. (you could have just written "and they dreamed it all!" at the end, and it might have gotten about the same level reviews of say, j-lo's gigli movie.)ok, now i'm done.

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 be sent back to Hell. He tries various methods of returning his demon friend to the underworld such as reading cantations from spell books and running him over with his car. The young man wanders the United States in search of a way to be rid of his scaled friend, while the demon Catch proceeds to eat various victims in every place they stop. They finally come to the unsuspecting town of Pine Cove California. The story takes off from there, jumping back and forth from different perspectives as the town tries to deal with this demon menace. Moore has an easy to read, yet very witty and sarcastic writing style. I would recommend this book and the author to anyone who's looking for a good laugh, and I plan to read more Moore in the future. Heck, I could even see this being made into a movie... It's a fun, easy read. There's nothing profound about itm but I'd recommend it to anyone who wants a genuine laugh. If you read this, be sure to read Lamb, which is one of the best books I've ever read.

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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" of a Demon by the name of Catch, who is not entirely under his control and tends to eat people when he so chooses. Augustus Brine, the small town owner of a bait, tackle, and fine wine shop is suddenly visited by the king of the Djinn who charges him with finding the Demonkeeper and sending Catch back to where ever it is that the Demon naturally inhabits. The story follows not only Travis and Augustus, but also most of the small town of Pine Cove. Although this is a short book, you will find yourself introduced to more characters than seems possible, and wonder how on Earth this litany of characters will intertwine and affect the story by the end of it all. In this Moore does a fantastic job of never spending too much time on the characters that go nowhere, and managing to include everyone in the ending. As I stated before, this is a quick and easy read, my only complaint is that in order to get to the resolution, Moore does break down into a long and over involved exposition by one of the characters (Travis) that I felt could have been either broken up better through the story, or told a bit more naturally. In the end the resolution makes the story work and certainly doesn't let the reader down. The journey is a fun one and you have the opportunity to meet several very real characters along the way. No one is perfect, and no one is truly evil. In all it is a very human experience told through a very supernatural tale.

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 they deserved. If I wrote anything else about that that particular issue, it would be a spoiler. Let's just say that family reunions for some of the characters will be pretty awkward. It is still a fun story and I am not sorry for reading it.
—⊱ Irena ⊰

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 people I've known. I think what I like most about Moores' books is the plot; it's always quirky, well thought out and diverse. The climax is simple and not all that complex but it is engaging and you know exactly what each character could loose or gain by the resolve. Now, with that said it's also good to note that Moore often writes from the perspective of a pervy, lewd man sinking into her geriatrics unwillingly, so this isn't for someone who is easily offended by the thoughts I know all honest people probably have. I laughed, I awe'd and I enjoyed, Practical Demonkeeping - but it's not a book for everyone.
—Cid Tyer

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