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Chasing the Moon Hardcover – May 25, 2011
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From Publishers Weekly
A talking closet and a landlord who's "a bit of a nut" herald the beginning of the end of human civilization in Martinez's lighthearted tale. When Diana moves into apartment 5, she accidentally becomes the caretaker of monstrous, ancient Vom the Hungering. It doesn't seem all bad at first: the fridge is never empty, and she meets interesting neighbors. But she also acquires the startling ability to straddle "multiple floors of reality" and see that the world is suddenly full of bizarre creatures and their squabbling cliques: "It's like high school, except instead of jocks versus nerds, it's the things who eat civilizations versus things who eat galaxies." When Diana learns that Calvin, one of her monstrous new buddies, is planning to destroy the world, she must persuade her other bizarre friends to help head him off. Martinez (Divine Misfortune) excels at off-the-wall storytelling that perfectly suits this cheerful apocalyptic fantasy. (June)
"Abundant, zany humor."―Publishers Weekly on Monster
"Divine Misfortune reads like a mash-up of Neil Gaiman, Monty Python, and a sugar-bombed nine-year old."―Locus
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Chasing the Moon, however, has something really special - the way Diana knows she is not quite sane anymore and wonders if that's ok, is extremely compelling. Her character's eagerness to understand little parts of the craziness of the alien universe she has come to inhabit even though she knows it may cost her what is left of her sanity is somehow wonderful. Oh, and I like her monsters and the way she kicks a$$. Anyway, Chasing the Moon and Emperor Mollusk versus The Sinister Brain are both very clever, even after several readings I still find more to enjoy. Now, I find myself, having read everything of Mr. Martinez that is available, waiting impatiently for more.
If, I can ask a favor Mr. Martinez? A sequel to Chasing the Moon might be very cool....... :)
Fans of Douglas Adams will appreciate the sense of humor and endless creativity in Chasing the Moon, but it's difficult to compare it directly to anything else I've read. While the story borrows some ideas from (satirizes, maybe a bit?) Lovecraft, the style is breezy and the dialog snappy.
The audiobook rendition of Chasing the Moon is also excellent. Martinez's writing lends itself to reading aloud, and the witty, sometimes snarky dialog really pops in the audio version.
What I have always admired about A. Lee Martinez is his creativity. He is an author with a distinct voice and almost boundless imagination. "Chasing the Moon", like "The Automatic Detective", allows him to display a gift for philosophical musing, though never in an overbearing or pretentious manner. His humor is still on display, as well as his gift for creating outlandish but believable characters, and fun dialogue. The story is well-paced with a nice payoff at the end.
Martinez deserves more attention in the fantasy market. His unique, standalone novels get better and better, and his stories deserve our attention. Give him a read---you won't be disappointed.
Diana's monster friends were awesome! Awesome and hysterical...and loyal, even if one of them kind of wants to eat her.
I think the thing that I picked up and agreed with most vehemently in this book, is how stupid and useless are the majority of humanity. Sorry folks, but man's place in the universe is a small one. And most people would fail the acid test of worth.
So, if that last paragraph didn't depress you or make you hate me, pick up this book. It is a fun journey.
The scene in the department store coat department when Diana was learning to use her newfound powers for GOOD made me laugh out loud to the point I'm surprised I did not wake up my sleeping husband.
It's all just a matter of having a working perspective....
Very recommended. It'd make a good companion to "Good Omens", albeit with a more Lovecraftian and less Biblical approach.