“He looked like one of those dried-up faces you carve out of an apple in third grade to teach you that time is cruel and we are all just going to shrivel up and die, so there’s no point in getting out of bed.”
Genre: Historical Fiction / Satire.
Number of Pages: 339.
Perspective: First / Third.
Location: San Francisco 1947.
Sammy “Two Toes” is a bartender in 1947. He buys a black mamba as part of a business venture that leads to his boss’s death. At the same time, his new love interest goes missing. This sends him down a rabbit hole of adventures with a ragtag group of sidekicks. For a complete summary, you can go here.
Moore is skilled at creating unique characters and outrageous storylines. He has a very creative and well-formulated voice in all of his stories. His writing is descriptive and I felt like I was in an old noir mystery film. Based on his other books I’ve read, I should have expected the paranormal element. But it happened so late in the book that it threw me off (kind of reminded me of American Horror Story: Asylum where the paranormal subplot feels so random). I think I would have been less thrown if I was expecting it or if it happened earlier on.
I also know that Moore was trying to establish a certain voice to mimic noir films, but a lot of the dialogue felt like it was missing words or just not quite right. I had to read some of it over multiple times (possibly because I was reading an ARC, so hopefully that was fixed in the final version). Some cliche 40’s/50’s terms—toots, mug, angle, etc.—felt overused and became distracting after a while.
But overall, it was an enjoyable and light book. It took a little while to get into, but a few chapters in I was hooked and finished the rest in one day. It was unlike anything else I have ever read. Christopher Moore does not shy away from weird, and I have respect for his creativity. I did prefer some of his other books, such as A Dirty Job and You Suck. Because of this book, I threw those back on my shelf for a re-read. If you like satire or old black and white crime movies, then you’ll enjoy this book. It’s worth a read! If you are interested in buying the book, you can buy it here. After you have read it, leave a comment and let me know what you think!
“She had the kind of legs that kept her butt from resting on her shoes—a size-eight dame in a size-six dress and every mug in the joint was rooting for the two sizes to make a break for it as they watched her wiggle in the door and shimmy onto a barstool with her back to the door.”
*I received a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.*