Christopher Moore has a fluid and yet compact writing style that is descriptive enough to flow swiftly without tedium. What separates him from the rest of the pack are the fantastical events he unfolds in his comedic tales.
A great Sea Beast awakens from his slumber, feeling a bit randy and ready to emerge. When he finds a tanker truck refueling at a gas station in Pine Cove, he mistakes its purring engines for a come-on signal from a female. However, mounting a gas tanker may have dire consequences, and our Sea Beast is badly burned in the process.
He makes his way to a nearby trailer park, where he alters his outward appearance to look like just another trailer while he heals from his tanker encounter. He parks himself next to Molly Michon's trailer, an ex B-Movie queen with mental problems. She is the only one who knows the trailer is alive, and promptly names him Steve.
The town of Pine Cove is a small, usually quiet tourist town, until Bess Leander, seemingly the queen of domestic bliss, commits suicide. Local psychiatrist Val Riordan blames herself for not paying enough attention to her clients, and promptly takes her entire patient list off of their antidepressants, while stoner constable Theophilius Crowe realizes there is something suspicious about Bess's death and decides to investigate despite the warnings of the county sheriff to just let it go.
`Lust Lizard' is rich with colorful characters, fantastical delusions, a crusty bartender, some wonderful tie-in's to Moore's `Practical Demonkeeping', blues music, and a tasty peek into the mind of a lustful Sea Beast named Steve. And when Steve's feelings of lust bleed out into the human population, feelings explode into passionate actions. While through all of this, Theo must not only discover why everyone is behaving strangely, but what is behind the death of Bess Leander.
One of the things I loved about `Lust Lizard' was Moore's addition of a character named Gabe Fenton, who is a scientist doing studies of the rat colonies around Pine Cove. Some of the similarities between Gabe's rats and the human colonies that surround us are worthy of pondering, comparing the behavior of one species as a herd to our own was very tongue in cheek and yet hilarious once noted and accepted.
All in all, The Lust Lizard Of Melancholy Cove is a very funny romp into the human mind and the antics of an ancient creature named Steve. A worthwhile read. Enjoy!
on January 27, 2000
To steal the quote of the inside cover this book can be best described as "Bridges of Madison County" meets "Godzilla". Christopher Moore has a way of mixing zany true to life characters with unbelivable supernatural elements. If you are looking for a serious read. this is not for you, but if you allow your imagination to run amok, Moore's books are a true pleasure.
Moore introduces new characters, and mixes them in with some old, mainly from 'Practical Demonkeeping" to tell the tale of a man eating sea creature(named Steve) who falls in love with an aging "Xena" like actress in a small California coastal town. Sounds crazy? Yes, but it is true fun with a laugh a page writing style that only Moore has.
The characters are all likeable goofballs whose quirkiness and downfalls make their antics more belivable. It is a very quick read and is definitely worth the time. You won't put this book down with some earth-shattering revelations, just a few laughs and the feeling of being throughly entertained.
This was my first Christopher Moore book, but it sure won't be my last. Let it be said that there is no socially redeeming value to this book, unless washing away the cares of the day with a fast, enjoyable, FUNNY and even occasionally slightly touching read is redeeming (which I think it is!!).
I won't try to summarize the plot, but among the elements of it, you've got this "lust lizard," which is really more of a horny undersea dinosaur. Then the hero is a town constable with a horrible marijuana habit. There's a washed-up, insane B-movie star living in a trailer. A bar owner who is made up mostly of fake parts. A biologist studying rats. A corrupt sheriff. A pharmacist with unnatural yearnings for sea mammals. A blues musician with a giant catfish in his past. And so on. You begin to get the idea.
What's fun about this book is that aside from the wacky plot, Moore writes with such verve and energy. It zooms along, peppered with lots of little asides and casual observations which in many ways are the funniest parts of the book. And while totally crazy and unlikely, the characters become very endearing as the book goes on, and there are even moments of romance which manage to VERY briefly add a touch of seriousness to the goings-on.
The book is not for kids. It does have some bad language, and while not exactly explicit, the sexuality that is explored is odd, to say the least. But for an adult with a slightly off-kilter sense of humor, I highly recommend it. Now, on to ISLAND OF SEQUINED LOVE NUNS!!
Although mostly fantasy, Moore frequently injects excerpts from current science - when the friendly "sea monster" predator gets close to his prey, he exudes a pheromone chemical which hypnotizes his victims into a range of strange behaviors - varying from loss of normal vigilance to charismatic attraction to extreme horniness. Two of the above three are used by parasites in real life in their efforts to gain entry into their next host. Meanwhile, we are treated to stereotyped outlandish human behavior described in hilarious fashion:
"So Catfish strolled a rolling Delta moonwalk of a stroll (redolent of sassafras and jive) into Pine Cove Drug and Gift, and the four blue-haired chicken women behind the counter nearly tumbled over each other trying to get to the back room. Imagine it: a person of the Dark persuasion in their midst. What if he should ask for a vial of Afro-Sheen or some other ethnically oriented product with which they were totally unfamiliar? Why, the smoke alarms would melt, screaming like dying witches, when their collective minds steamed to a stop. Do we look like thrill-seekers? Wasn't it enough that we had to put up that sign reading NO HABLO ESPANOL and acknowledge the existence of 30% of the population, even in the negative? No, we shall err on the side of safety, thank you, and in lieu of sand in which to bury our heads, we shall head to the back room...Catfish leaned over the counter to where he could see the row of eyes peering out of the crack and said, 'I be back in a few minutes my own self, ladies. I needs some medicine what can help me with this huge black d--k I has to carry around. The weight of it like to break my back...'"
Winston turned and scowled at Catfish. "Was that really necessary?"
"A man gots to look after his reputation," Catfish said.
This is my 3rd Moore book, and I enjoy his style. His character development is excellent, if a little earthy, and one grows to appreciate the extravagant neurotic nuances of each personality. There is only one (albeit large) reality stretch, involving the discovery of the main character, a sort of dinosaur. He has the already above mentioned interesting ability to attract victims when he is hungry (all the time), and when necessary can camouflage himself. I was right up there with him as he changed colors with the forest environment, but definitely surprised when he managed to fit right in amongst a bunch of mobile homes. The high point of the book occurred when he was sexually attracted to a gasoline carrying 18-wheeler.
Highly recommended for the Chris Moore enthusiast.
If you've never read a Christopher Moore novel, you just won't believe it--and that's the point! His wacky plots, gonzo characters, ebullient sexuality, and off-the-wall humor will perk up even the most jaded appetite. This novel stars the Lust Lizard, a huge sea creature, awakened from the deep by a slow leak in a nuclear power plant and drawn to shore, where he gobbles up depressed and nasty people (and an oil tanker and a few cars) and has an affair with Molly, aka Kendra, a human female warrior from old B movies. A town full of people whose anti-psychotic drugs have been replaced by placebos, a druggist who is in love with a dolphin, a sheriff who is running a drug processing plant, a constable hooked on pot, a schlock artist in search of new subject matter, and a cult of salvation seekers all contribute to the hyperactive insanity of this plot. This is a no-holds-barred, let-it-all-hang-out free-for-all which gives a whole new meaning to "the willing suspension of disbelief."
on August 2, 2002
The pace of laughs per page is a bit lower on this one than some of Moore's other books. Still, it's full of interesting characters, hallarious situations, and great one liners.
The plot is out there even for more. Take your usual B-movie Giant Monster plot, and center it around a seabeast (called Steve) Then add some strange love stories, put it in a blender, add some strong perception warping drugs, and you've got this book. The zany plot in a nutshell is this: a seabeast decides to start feeding in a small California town. The town constable is a pothead, but he's actually on the right track as he starts to investigate the strange goings on. There's plenty more going on but I suggest you read it yourself.
It's not quite as funny as Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy, Good Omens, or some of Moore's other work, but still worth reading if your into this kind of fiction.
on January 11, 2003
"The Lust Lizard of Melancholy Cove" is sort of like a good episode of "Seinfeld." You may not learn much reading it, and it certainly won't make you any wiser, but you'll probably wind up thoroughly amused. There isn't as much lurking under the surface here as there is in, say, a Chuck Palahniuk novel, but it's hard to deny Christopher Moore's vivid imagination and sense of humor. For a fast-paced, good-natured story with plenty of twists and turns, "Lust Lizard" is just about perfect.
The book concerns a sleepy California town, Pine Cove, that gets an unexpected visit from an ancient carnivorous sea monster seeking an old bluesman who has come to play at the local saloon. At the same time, the guilt-ridden town psychiatrist has taken her unsuspecting patients off their anti-depressants, and the combination of suppressed serotonin levels and the monster's presence turns the town's libido way up. What ensues is a likably wacky tale of vice, greed, and lust, where pretty much everybody is nursing a secret, a checkered past, or both. The book draws its humor from an abundance of sharply-drawn characters and outrageous situations, and Moore has a direct and witty writing style that makes for some easy and entertaining reading. The parade of offbeat characters includes a weed-addled town constable, an aging former scream queen, a group of religious zealots, a pharmacist with a strong affinity for marine mammals, and a lot more.
Overall, "The Lust Lizard of Melancholy Cove" makes for some excellent, semi-light reading. It does sag a bit in the middle, but it gets its momentum back in time for an unpredictable and chaotic conclusion that ends everything on a high note. Moore seems to have a knack for crafting characters, such as constable Theophilus Crowe, that are both flawed and symphathetic at the same time. I generally go for somewhat heavier reading, but if I'm in the mood for some levity I now know where to look. Highly recommended.
Theo Crowe, a constable with a marijuana habit, is not having a good summer. He's got a nowhere job in a half-pint city (Pine Cove) and now everyone in town is starting to act wacko! What the hell is going on?
Turns out that Ms. Valerie Riordan. Pine Cove's local--and only--psychiatrist has taken everyone off their anti-depressants after the death of one of her patients. Val feels as if she is over-prescribing these medications and wants to be free of the shackles of pharmacology. The problem is, though, now everyone in town is a horn-dog and jumping each other's bones like a prarrie dog with a harem.
A Giant Sea Beast, prone to mood swings, lives in the deep water channel of the Monterey Bay. Turns out, he's a Lust Lizard. Whenever horny folk are about, he get's...well...a bit excited himself and wants a human snack.
Molly Michon, a washed-up B-movie actress, is one of Val's patients and when she comes off her meds, her brain chemistry goes out of whack. The Lust Lizard, now on land, finds Molly strangely attractive and a sexual encounter with a motorized weed-whacker soon ensues.
From bionic women, to blues men without the blues, I laughed myself silly reading this. My girlfriend nudged me whenever I giggled in bed, causing the mattress to shake while she tried to nod off for the night. "Stop it!" she'd say.
"I can't help it! This is so damn funny."
And you'll feel the same way. A story that comes together masterfully. Chris Moore is "Da Man."
on February 6, 2005
. . . but I sure like his stories.
Take an ancient sea creature who decides to spend some time topside, a town psychiatrist who decides to replace her patients' medicine with sugar pills, a retired Zena The Warrior Princess actress, and a law enforcement office with his own "special" stash, an old blues singer. . . toss them together with a cast of even more zany characters and you have the main course for THE LUST LIZARD OF MELANCHOLY COVE.
Moore's view of the world is cynical, irreverent, and very insightful. He has the ability to strip a character down to its purest essence, be it good or evil or just plain stupid. I laugh a lot while reading his work, although sometimes the plot twists and turns are a little swift. But, maybe that's Moore's way of keeping his readers on their toes.
I'll read whatever Moore publishes. I hope success does not spoil him. He's an original. It's trite, but he truly is "a breath of fresh air."
on January 23, 2016
It's a Christopher Moore story, so you know some people will die in funny manners. This did not concern me. The dog, Skinner, however, was a different matter. I hoped that Steve wouldn't have him as a snack. I know, I know, I have messed up priorities. So sue me. The author's story is more an ensemble cast than one or two protagonists and they're all quirky characters. As usual with Mr. Moore's work, there are countless times I broke out laughing. Though there are many people's lives in jeopardy, it is not edge-of-your-seat suspense, but more you wondering what kind of weird solution did the headcase author think up. Within the first few pages of 'The Lust Lizard of Melancholy Cove' I was laughing at the dialogue between the sheriff and two Emergency Medical Technicians while a dead woman was hanging from the ceiling. You'd think that means the book is dark humor, but it's not. Mr. Moore's work is simply an absurd hilarious story with no inner meaning except for the reader to have a good time. That it did. It certainly did.