CBR 13 Bingo: Self Care and Bingo #3!- I listened to this book while taking my daily health stomps to take care of myself.
Rarely do my book reviews elicit any reactions or comments on my Facebook page but my review of Lamb: The Gospel According to Biff, Christ’s Childhood Pal had multiple friends commenting how much they love Christopher Moore and the next book I need to read is Practical Demonkeeping. So once I completed listening to the Dresden Files short stories, I used the monthly book credit from my Libro.Fm subscription to download it.
I can see why so many of my friends like this book. There is much that is hilarious, it’s a cozy setting with a whacky community, and a grouchy demon that just wants to eat people tied to a human who limits him to eating pimps and drug dealers. It’s a tightly paced story of a djinn wanting to complete his life’s mission, a demon wanting a more corrupt master, an alcoholic yearning to get his wife back, a waitress trying to figure out where to go in life, a business owner just going through the motions and dreaming of the business he ideally wants, a police detective trying to make his first break, a woman yearning to help women reach their full potential while fighting the patriarchy, and a crotchety World War I veteran senior who feels abandoned when his wife leaves for an overnight visit with their daughter.
I like how each time Moore brings the narrative back to a character we get a little aside about the past or present, before the substance of the chapter takes over. Everyone is fleshed out with history and how that affects their current motivations. However, there are a few things I do not like. One of which is the same complaint I had about Lamb, being gay is not a punchline. This only happens once per book but that’s once too many. There is also the matter of a transgender character and their tropey ultimate fate. While the word transgender is not used, the way a character describes them self is of having a transgender identity. When that character is killed, it’s a reminder of how often the transgender character dies in a story.
Moore should perhaps be given some leeway, as this was written in 2004 when it was more acceptable to make fun of gay people and the mainstream wasn’t as cognizant of the mental programing regarding the negative outcome of the depiction of LGBTQ+ characters in media. For me, it wasn’t until years after Buffy The Vampire Slayer that I realized Tara’s death was fulfilling a long running trope. It makes me a little uncomfortable in Practical Demonkeeping. I sadly suspect I would not have had this reaction had I read it at the time of publishing.
Over all it is a fun read with a few small instances of dated LGBTQ+ representation. I give it 3 1/2 stars.