Travis_J_Smith’s #CBR5 Review #95-96: You Suck and Bite Me by Christopher Moore

9780061259029

When searching for the cover of You Suck, the search term I used was also the recurring thought I had during the reading of both it and Bite Me: “you suck christopher moore.” To be fair, these two mark Moore’s first foray into the realm of literary drivel. I have nothing against him on principle. He is wildly inconsistent, as I talked about at length in my last review, but what artist isn’t? I can name a couple, but they’ve not been around long enough to fuck up, is all that is. Arrested Development once was one of a few shows to never have what I considered a bad episode. Then season four rolled around, stripping it of that distinction right away. So far, Moore’s hit on 8 out of 12, which means he’s hitting a respectable 0.666.

It’s just that, while I was reading these two out of nothing besides an inherent need for completion, I lost sight of that, much like Moore lost sight of essentially everything. In the past, I’ve mentioned wishing a character here and there dead, but this was the first time I prayed for the end of the world. I could see past Tommy and Jody’s hang-ups in Bloodsucking Fiends, but by Bite Me I just wanted them hanged. Tommy whined while Jody power-tripped, really embracing the whole “countess” thing. They also suffered from being in league with the likes of people like Allison, whose real name I refuse to refer to her as. It’s Abby Normal, in case you were wondering, and that’s the first and last time it’ll be uttered. The dumb broad, who makes a passable, if forgettable, appearance in A Dirty Job, here is a stereotype on steroids. She, in particular, deserved to have her believed immortality (for she, of course, turns undead at one point) tested to its limits. A friend of mine recently argued that “stupid” people shouldn’t be allowed to breed, as well as posted a pro-contraception picture that used living people as arguments for its usage, and I took umbrage with both. I don’t think I’m alone, however, in thinking that Allison lends validity to each one. Nobody who says “powned” out loud, and in earnest, deserves to have and to dole out the gift of life, let alone to have the powers that come with being a vampire.

‘Kayso, to make matters worse, she also starts off something like half of her sentences with either “‘kayso” or “and I was all,” plus she is our not-so-humble narrator, and the main character, for most of You Suck and Bite Me. I rag on myself for using “like,” except in the form of, say, a simile, but she made a phrase such as “I was like” sound highfalutin. She’s all maddening slang and no substance. And I haven’t even gotten to the worst part of it all: people fucking like her. That means there must be people who are like her as well or, at the very least, people who would befriend a girl who makes the kids fromZoey 101 who said things like “omg” aloud seem like distinguished scholars. Don’t believe me? Here’s an excerpt.

So I’m all, “Owned! Bee-yatch! Dog fucking owned you!” Doing a minor booty dance of ownage, perhaps, in retrospect, a bit prematurely. (I believe hip-hop to be the appropriate language for taunting, at least until I learn French.)

May I point out that she booty dances (and slaps her boyfriend after kissing him, so he doesn’t think she’s a slut…) what seems like once every couple of pages? She is to this series what Kona was to Fluke.

Speaking of whom, Kona shows up too in Bite Me, because Moore needed one more terminally brain damaged character. Correction, two. One character’s grandma speaks only Cantonese and the phrase “what’s up, my nigga,” which we’re told she’ll repeat until her “nigga” pounds her. By pound her, they mean her fist, unfortunately, not her face. Yes, Moore had me wishing physical harm on someone’s grandmother, and not in the joking, it’s-100-points-if-you-run-over-that-old-lady sense either. If Kona had misinterpreted, “pounding” her with another part of his body instead, I don’t think I would’ve minded. It would’ve been in keeping with his character, that’s for sure. It also would’ve made sense, considering Moore seemed more pre-occupied with being outlandish and absurd than with telling a coherent story. Initially, I was going to pick these two books apart piece by piece, listing off their numerous sins and, as a result, spoiling them wholesale. But I’ve decided I won’t do that, as much as I’d like to. It would be redundant; if Allison, Kona, and Grandma What’s-Up-My-Nigga sound like the sort of people you’d kill (pun intended) to pal around with, don’t let me piss away any more of your time telling you why you shouldn’t read these books, because you probably should, just as I probably should stay far, far away from you and others of your kind.

I truly don’t know how I would, or even if I could, handle meeting one of you in real life. I’m generally a pretty tolerant person, or like to think of myself as one, but I have an extremely low tolerance for people who defile the English language in a manner that can only be described as rape. I know that’s a touchy word to use, and that someone will tell me I’m making light of that horrific act by likening this to it, but let me tell you that I’m not. Reading the sections taken from Allison’s blog was akin to watching her take the English language behind the barn and sodomize it with a rusty, jagged pipe. Stepping away from the rape comparisons, it was like her trying the method Rachel Weisz’s character in The Mummy describes for removing the brain of a corpse; I could feel her thrashing around up there with something sharp and wondered if she’d have the decency to pull the resulting mess out when she was done, that way I would no longer be haunted by the memory of the experience.

That all being said, if you want to read Twilight, if it underwent a gender-reversal and was filtered through internet-speak and stereotypical teenage-speak written by a writer who seems here to want so desperately to be cool and hip, You Suck and Bite Me are for you! I draw this comparison having only familiarized myself with that series through being forced to watch the first movie and picking up stray bits and pieces as I troll the internet for the glorious hatred directed its way. Feel free to lodge the “you haven’t read it, so you know not what you speak” complaint if you feel so inclined, but I couldn’t care less. It doesn’t invalidate the comparison, since I’m not the only one to bring it up. And I know that, if anyone would love these two books, it would be those two girls from my bus back in high school who got all squealy over Edward Cullen andTwilight. Allison would probably be their christing spirit animal. So I hope, Christopher Moore, that these were a cash-in on your part. As I mentioned earlier, You Suck’s dedication leads me to believe he wrote these sequels on account of fan response, and I bet few of them were real fans, that most were the clingers-on he’d attracted by delving into vampire-land like all the rest. It would be a shame if that were true, yet I’d take that over these just being unquestioned failures that his inner critic didn’t sound the alarm bells over. Because, like I said in my last review, I want so much to give the man the benefit of the doubt. He’s just making that oh, so difficult.

Travis Smith’s blog, containing this review, as well as others, photography, and more, can be found here.

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One thought on “Travis_J_Smith’s #CBR5 Review #95-96: You Suck and Bite Me by Christopher Moore

  1. These books were SUCH a disappointment to me.. Dirty Job was the first Moore book I read, and I adored it. It remains one of my favourite books, although I’m afraid to re-read it. But these ones nearly turned me off Moore (although I did eventually read Lamb, and you are dead on – talk about wildly inconsistent). I reviewed You Suck here: http://dsbs42.wordpress.com/tag/christopher-moore/ – I have just read that link, and no I didn’t. I ranted about it at the end of a totally different review. But still.

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