December 9, 2011

The Stupidest Angel by Christopher Moore

read an excerpt
Format: Hardcover
Release Date: November 1, 2005
Purchase Link: Amazon
'Twas the night (okay, more like the week) before Christmas, and all through the tiny community of Pine Cove, California, people are busy buying, wrapping, packing, and generally getting into the holiday spirit.

But not everybody is feeling the joy. Little Joshua Barker is in desperate need of a holiday miracle. No, he's not on his deathbed; no, his dog hasn't run away from home. But Josh is sure that he saw Santa take a shovel to the head, and now the seven-year-old has only one prayer: Please, Santa, come back from the dead.

But hold on There's an angel waiting in the wings. (Wings, get it?) It's none other than the Archangel Raziel come to Earth seeking a small child with a wish that needs granting. Unfortunately, our angel's not sporting the brightest halo in the bunch, and before you can say "Kris Kringle," he's botched his sacred mission and sent the residents of Pine Cove headlong into Christmas chaos, culminating in the most hilarious and horrifying holiday party the town has ever seen.

Move over, Charles Dickens -- it's Christopher Moore time.


If you're buying this book as a gift for your grandma or a kid, you should be aware that it contains cusswords as well as tasteful depictions of cannibalism and people in their forties having sex. don't blame me. I told you.

I have to settle for that book flap synopsis because that's the best way that I can tell you about this book. I cannot begin to describe the hilarity and ridiculousness of the inhabitants of Pine Cove. It's like the entire town conveniently skipped their psych meds.

The plot is not that complex, it is just a documentation of the daily lives of these people a week before Christmas. But what's different and extremely interesting are Moore's characters. Suffice to say that they are all unhinged in some way so it's no surprise that although Pine Cove has a population of just 5,000, abnormal is their normal. Even the dead talk amongst themselves in the graveyard!

The Stupidest Angel is the Arcangel Raziel who functions like a person with an IQ equivalent to the temperature on the east coast during winter. First off he goes around town looking for a child, any child, and on this day and age that could easily be interpreted as a perversion of sorts. Anyway, he finds his kid and grants him his wish.

Result? MAYHEM! The dead decided to rise and join the feast by gorging on some serious grey matter. The accidental hero turns out to be a washed out B movie actress  who is off her meds and has turned lunatic.

This book is a trip! If SNL decide to make a Christmas movie it will certainly look like this. The humor is succinct and not overdone, the dialogue is snappy but not too sarcastic. The scenarios ridiculous but possible, except for the zombies.

I've read version two as as per the author the difference is the bonus chapter in the end.
"You think it's  bad being a Mexican, Romanian women have to start shaving when they're twelve,"

"We're [Arcangels] attracted to lunatics."


  1. The Stupidest Angel originally appeared in LAMB, Moore's telling of the unknown years of Jesus as seen through the eyes of his childhood best friend, Biff (Levi). "Biff" was the sound his head made when smacked by his mother when angry. And Levi made his mother angry a lot. Please, give yourself a Christmas present and read LAMB.

    His benediction to that novel :

    “If you have come to these pages for laughter, may you find it.

    If you are here to be offended, may your ire rise and your blood boil.

    If you seek an adventure, may this song sing you away to blissful escape.

    If you need to test or confirm your beliefs, may you reach comfortable conclusions.

    All books reveal perfection, by what they are or what they are not.

    May you find that which you seek, in these pages or outside them.
    May you find perfection, and know it by name.”

    Is that not a great benediction? Roland

  2. This is my first Moore book actually but the book covers and plots sounds funny so I decided to start with this. I love his sense of humor. I'll see if our library has LAMB, thanks for sharing his benediction :)


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