Monday, July 28

Island of the Sequined Love Nun – Christopher Moore

Waking suspended from a breadfruit tree on a tropical island, evidently a snack on hold for a group of cannibals, Tucker Case reflects on the unlikely chain of events that brought him to this point. A former pilot for the billion-dollar makeup company Mary Jean Cosmetics, Tucker screwed his career when – inspired by equal parts of lust, alcohol, and a lifetime of fecklessness, he picked up a prostitute in a bar. Deciding to land the Mary Jean hot pink jet while drunk and while having mile high sex turns out not to have be such a good idea – they crashed, Tucker’s genitals were cruelly rent asunder by the flap actuator level, and Tucker was not only fired but lost his pilot license. With no other skills, it looked dire until he was headhunted by Sebastian Curtis, medical missionary, to fly to and from the remote island of Alualu.
I gave up on Island of the Sequined Love Nun while Tucker was still en route from Truk to Alualu. Maybe I just wasn’t in quite the right mood, but I found the attempts at humour unamusing, the protagonist unsympathetic, and the plot rambling and uninvolving. And I found the great slabs of Hamlet back story annoying rather than humorous (or ironic, or whatever Moore was aiming for):
Tuck had grown up in Elsinore, California, the only son of the Denmark
Silverware Corporation… his college career was cut short by an emergency phone call from his mother. “Come home. Your father’s dead.”
Tuck made the drive in two days, stopping only for gas and to call Zoophilia [Gold, the daughter of his father’s lawyer, “made shy by a cruel first name”], who informed him that his mother had remarried his father’s brother and his uncle had taken over Denmark Silverware. Tuck screeched into Elsinore in a blind rage and ran over Zoophilia’s father as he was leaving Tuck’s mother’s house.
And so on – a cop suspects that Tuck’s uncle engineered his father’s death, grief-stricken Zoophilia overdoses on Prozac and drown in a hot tub, her brother threatens to kill Tusk “or at least sue him into oblivion”…
Carl Hiaasen may think Island of the Sequined Love Nun is “delightfully warped and funny” but it left me cold. This is particularly disappointing given how much I enjoyed my first Moore novel, Bloodsucking Fiends; at least witht hat as an example I won't give up on Moore altogether. - Alex

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