Christopher Moore is a little uneven; I’m never quite sure what I’m going to get when I pick up one of his books. This one is easily one of my favorites. I usually put little scraps of paper in to mark the pages with quotes I want to share in my reviews, but I had to stop with this one ‘cause every page has something delightful.
In a small town with a Christmas tourist population, the natives are bonkers. Lena and her ex-husband Dale get into fights in the grocery store parking lot, there’s a horny drifter pilot with a pet fruit bat, the local sheriff is in over his head (even though he’s 6’ 5”), his B-movie queen wife has a former life as Kendra, Warrior Babe of the Outland, and the local barkeep, Mavis, is loud, cussy, drunk, and attempting to plan a Lonesome Christmas Party for all the divorcees and singletons in town.
Seven-year-old Josh is on his way home from his friend Sam’s and sees an altercation in the nearby pine woods. Santa takes a shovel to the neck and a horrified Josh takes off running, convinced that Christmas is ruined. Luckily for him, there’s an angel in town. It’s his turn to work a Christmas miracle – his first turn in 2,000 years. His task is to find a child and grant the kid’s wish. So when a panicked Josh wishes that Santa didn’t die, the angel sets a hilarious Monkey’s Paw situation in motion.
The story is great, the writing is great, the characters are great. The sheriff Theo and his wife Molly have this wonderfully weird drug deal, where he gave up his raging pot habit, if she agrees to stay on her anti-psychotics. When she’s not on her meds, you see, see starts to believe she’s really the Warrior Babe of her B-movie past. They have a sweet Gift of the Magi thing going where they both go back on their end of the deal, to hilarious result.
Words of wisdom from Molly, the Warrior Babe: “That get-to-know-yourself stuff will send you full-blown batshit. And believe me, I am the uncrowned queen of batshit. Last time I really got to know myself it turned out there was a whole gang of bitches in there to deal with. I felt like the receptionist at a rehab center. What if you get to know yourself and find out you’re a total harpy?”
I feel like I’ve left a lot out, but this book has a lot to offer. The ending wraps up a bit quick, but the ride getting there was great fun.