I finished The Stupidest Angel by Christopher Moore this week.
I’d been trying to slog my way through A Practical Guide to Buddhist Meditation, but with my work schedule and the holidays and all, I just couldn’t get into it. I mean, I’m sure it would have been good for me to start meditating again, but I haven’t done that since college and there are reasons. Mainly, I have no time. I pray and use prayer beads and that’s enough meditation-like behavior for me and my schedule. Besides, I was getting depressed with all my friends either being married or getting married or at least in a serious relationship, so I figured a little literary “pick-me-up” was in order.
In that regard, The Stupidest Angel; A Heartwarming Tale of Christmas Terror was just the thing. Yes, you read that second title right. It wasn’t just a Christmas story, it was also a zombie story. Only Christopher Moore could write something like that and pull it off. The story is set in Pine Cove, which is where a number of Moore’s earlier books were set, and involves a collection of characters from several of his novels. It starts simply enough with some introductions and stage setting for those not familiar with Pine Cove or all of Moore’s other works, then, with an accidental murder, the real story begins. Things get interesting when Raziel, one of the rather more important angels, shows up to work the annual Christmas Miracle that, apparently, has been a gift to mankind every year since the birth of the Christ child. The only problem is, Raziel isn’t the smartest angel and he doesn’t really quite understand our Earth. So, when he decides to grant the Christmas wish of a nice boy who witnessed the accidental murder of a man dressed like Santa Claus, as you might imagine, things go awry. The result is, indeed, a heart-warming tale of Christmas terror, which, incidentally, is a rather odd journey through the Christmas spirit, love, giving, forgiving and belief that only Christopher Moore could lead a reader through successfully. And, as always, Moore’s wit, charm and turn of phrase brought a smile to my face, so, “mission accomplished”.
If you’ve never read one of Moore’s books, The Stupidest Angel is probably not the best place to start. I’d reccomend either Lamb or Practical Demonkeeping as a starting point, but, after that, it doesn’t matter quite so much where you go. Though, I have to admit, reading them in more or less the order of publication keeps you up on all the “in” jokes and cross-references that might otherwise be missed.
In short, I love Christopher Moore’s writing and The Stupidest Angel was no exception.