The Stupidest Angel
Christopher Moore
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Buy *The Stupidest Angel: A Heartwarming Tale of Christmas Terror* online

The Stupidest Angel: A Heartwarming Tale of Christmas Terror
Christopher Moore
William Morrow
Hardcover
320 pages
November 2005
rated 3 1/2 of 5 possible stars

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In a world typically inhabited by demons with hearts, conversation-capable four-leggeds, and relationships running the gamut from the outlandish to the unbelievable, the literary geography here expressed is all but absent. For this author, it is absurdist stretched to the breaking point, and unlikely love affairs between ghouls and girls, and a command of language that leaves his contemporaries stuck in vocabulary void and adjective overkill.

What's so disappointing is the absence of the weird, whacked out, and betwitching until somewhere around the final sixty pages. In this, his eighth novel, Christopher Moore waits so long in unveiling angel Raziel, a heavenly creature sent to earth in order to perform the always called for miracle, that one is all but ready to toss the tome aside in order to pick up a more fascinating fictitious ride. This confused servant of God, a character earlier appearing in Lamb: The Gospel According to Biff, Christ's Childhood Pal, is not unknown to diehard Moorists, so why he is kept secret for all but the final few chapters is a mystery. In fact, several figures have made appearences in earlier books, either a sign the writer has run out of people to write about or, that their second appearance will more surely define them.

Moore has a wit that won't quit, so the former hypothesis offered just above makes no sense; but then, the actors in their second command performance do little more than clog up the literary arteries of a book well on its way to double bypass surgery.

The title alone is enough to reveal that there's probably a wing-bearing, religious figure with a not-so-impressive IQ about to fly into our literary lives. Save for a brief appearance in the earlier pages, poor Raziel is kept in the bullpen until late in the eighth when it is, indeed, too late.

And he is such a wonderfully-designed construct, an angel whose main retort to the deepest of religious conversations is "Nuh-uh". Bust-out-loud, damn funny stuff. An angel who gets it all wrong and almost destroys the town and everyone in it. Moore has disappointed but, even on his bad day, he's infinitely better than the rest. Raziel, a talking bat, the rise of legions of undead ravenous for the brains of their living, breathing counterparts, this is still a fly-high romp through a satiric atmosphere if God's main man had just been allowed to fly into the lives of the reader about one hundred pages earlier.



Originally published on Curled Up With A Good Book at www.curledup.com. Steven Rosen, 2004

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