Tuesday, July 1, 2008

You Suck: A Love Story review

You Suck: A Love Story is a direct sequel to Christopher Moore's Bloodsucking Fiends: A Love Story. As a recap (spoiler follows) of the first book, Jody a red-head woman living in San Francisco is turned into a vampire after being attacked by elderly vampire who was using her to quench his boredom. She seeks the aid of a C. Thomas Flood, a nineteen year old writer and immigrant to the city who works at the local supermarket supervising a night shift potheads dubbed the 'Animals'. A series of vampire related murders started popping up and attracts Tommy and Jody to the attention of authorities. Aiming to secure their human-vampire relationship, Jody and Tommy seeks to uncover the motif of the elder vampire with the help of The Emperor and his two dogs. The story ends with Jody saving the elder vampire from being killed by her human boyfriend Tommy.

The story of You Suck picks up immediately after the ending of Bloodsucking Fiends. Despite promising the police that she would move away after the events of Bloodsucking Fiends, she and the elder vampire has been turns into bronze statues at the behest of Tommy. Jody escapes and turns Tommy into a fellow vampire, whom is finding the experience rather uncomfortable. To make matters worse his fellow Animals, now penniless after spending half a million of dollars on a blue hooker smurf, has turned their backs on him. The police are also on their tail and the elder vampire still encased in his claustrophobic bronze statue is planning his revenge. New character Abby Normal (from A Dirty Job, which The Emperor and Jody also made cameo appearances) is drafted in as their new willing minion to help with their attempt to escape destruction and remain together in love.

To be honest I didn't find the sequel to be a particularly great read - at least not on par with Christopher Moore's standard. It isn't short, though due to the lack of intrinsic plot it was rather a quick book that can be completed in a couple of hours. It does provide many of the unanswered questions that were left hanging in Bloodsucking Fiends, but it isn't as funny nor was it as mesmerising. Elijah the 800 year old vampire came off as none-threatening and stupid; and the ending was spoiled by the liberal use of deus ex machina. The highlight of the book is definitely Abby Normal. Her character adds an extra dimension as a Starbucks addict Goth minion of her Lord Flood and her diary pages are pretty funny. Also returning are the two detectives, veterens to all things heinous fuckery most foul; and Steve the Japanese manga dude who is actually Chinese.

You Suck, like any of Christopher Moore's books comes recommended. But if you are expecting Moore's usual kinky banter and high quality wit you may find it slightly disappointing. Still, you should never fear for an accomplished writer like Moore. Even despite it being one of Moore's weakest entries, You Suck is still an enjoyable light read especially if you are a fan of absurdist fiction. Just don't expect it to be a classic like Lamb and do make sure to read Bloodsucking Fiends and perhaps A Dirty Job first.


peg said...

I haven't read You Suck... but I adored Dirty Job and I'm reading Lamb now!

Jon said...

It's worth checking out You Suck since you've read Dirty Job (great book), especially if you want to find out more about Abby. But do read Bloodsucking Fiends first.

Lamb is amazing. A literacy masterpiece.