Bloodsucking Fiends: A Love Story by Christopher Moore

Bloodsucking Fiends:
A Love Story (Audio Book Edition)
ISBN-10: 1416558497
ISBN-13: 978-1416558491
Author: Christopher Moore

vampires, the undead, audio book, vamp, vampire humor
While many are currently deeply infatuated by the newest angsty and rather sparkly vampire craze, I thought I’d take us back a decade or so to another vampire romance of sorts. This would be Bloodsucking Fiends: A Love Story by Christopher Moore The title might suggest that I pulled this book from the bottom of the bargain barrel. Instead what I’ve found is a sharply-written, intelligent, and highly entertaining novel. It has clever dialogue and endearing characters along with something I don’t find very often in this genre. It is surprisingly upbeat. Those clichéd angst-ridden, brooding, and spiritually tormented vampires that so many of us know and love (…and sometimes grow weary of) need not apply. It doesn’t take itself too seriously, and I found myself laughing out loud at all the little winks the author kept throwing out for his readers. Also, I was able to get a hold of the audio book version and Susan Bennett was the perfect reader for this novel and made the story all the more enjoyable.

If you’re looking for that classic tale of “mortal meets vamp,” you might be a little surprised. Meet Jody. Jody is your average twenty-something, leading your average twenty-something’s life in San Francisco. Like so many women she has had terrible luck with men. Only with her it goes from bad to positively lethal when a stranger jumps out of the shadows, bites her, feeds on her blood, forces her to drink from his arm, and then leaves her for dead. She’s swears she’s never working late at the office again! When she finally regains consciousness, she finds herself under an alley dumpster with one of her hands burned to a crisp along with superhuman strength, miraculous healing powers, and a severe iron deficiency. Though she’s not a fan of horror, Jody is still a smart cookie and has little time for the typical doubt-fest of “This can’t be happening! Vampires aren’t real!” or the just as typical angst-fest where she beats at her breast and clutches at her hands as she despairs over the state of her soul and the subsequent death of her humanity. Instead she takes the time to marvel at her now flawless complexion, eyes that simply pop and luxurious hair that most women would die for. She’s stylin’ in a big way and loving it. That is until she looks down. A makeover from the mouth of hell it might have been, but it did nothing to help her shed those last five pounds. Curses! Foiled for eternity! After that her concerns turn toward the practical. She gets rid of her cheating boyfriend, and realizes that she doesn’t need a man. Like any good, self-respecting vampire – she needs a minion.
Enter C. Thomas Flood (Tommy to his friends.) Tommy is a daydreaming, aspiring young writer from Incontinence, Indiana. He is relatively new in town, and is currently working the graveyard shift at the local Safeway with his buddies. He just wants to write novels and get laid – only not in that order.

One thing that I found refreshing about this book is that while Jody is a dysfunctional vampire, it’s not the end-all-be-all of the story. It’s about a couple who, while coping with some rather unique baggage, are trying to make their oddball relationship work. Now guys, before you begin backing away slowly, it’s not the modern age vampire equivalent to Romeo and Juliet like some *cough* of the more current novels *cough* *cough* out there. The relationship doesn’t start out all blood and roses. They aren’t drawn together by some preternatural force of nature. Jody isn’t too picky in her choice of minion and well – Tommy? While a sweet guy with endearing qualities, as previously stated, he just wants to get laid. He is essentially Jody’s Renfield, but without all the bugs. Their relationship, at first, could be described as more on the symbiotic side of things than anything romantic. Jody needs someone to brave the daylight hours for her and Tommy needs a place to stay after he finds out that his five male roommates all want to marry him to stay in the country legally. After Tommy realizes that his girlfriend is a member of the undead (for which he’s more than totally okay with,) it slowly begins to dawn on them that what they have together just might be love. It’s not mind-blowing or earth-shattering. It isn’t mushy. It’s just there, woven into the story.

The supporting characters are rather awesome. There are a couple of them that fall short of the mark, but for the most part they are well done. One thing is for certain, they aren’t the typical cardboard cutouts and they each bring something to the table in their own unique way. I have to admit that I developed quite the little fan girl crush on the Van Helsing of the group. This Van Helsing is known throughout the city as The Emperor of San Francisco. He is a homeless guy, but he has the proud bearing, wisdom, and the old-fashioned ideals of true nobility. You might call him crazy, but you can’t help but like this eccentric as he cavorts around the city with “his men” – a Boston terrier named Bummer and a golden retriever named Lazarus, trying to rid the world of the evil undead. The idea of the two dogs waddling around in their own makeshift body armor, complete with their own weapons had me in stitches.

Along with the trials and tribulations of modern interspecies dating, there’s also Tommy’s demented daylight experiments – all performed on Jody while she sleeps and without her permission. He only wants to separate vampire facts from fiction, but his experimentation would kill any other girlfriend, and he’s lucky that his vampire lover doesn’t kill him outright or demand her space…without him in it. Worse than even the experiments is the fact that the vampire who turned Jody into a bloodsucking fiend is still lurking around in the shadows. He’s not only terrorizing the city, but he’s also menacing Jody and her minion. To make matters worse, Judy’s new nature is evolving, and not in a happily-ever-after kind of way.

While she’s dealing with her own problems, the master vampire is toying with Tommy. Bodies are piling up and they’re all leading a path straight to the would-be author. As the police are closing in from one side, and the vampire is closing in from another, Tommy rallies the troops in the form of the graveyard shift gang from Safeway in an all-out attempt to track the master vampire to his lair and destroy him before it’s too late. Tommy and his ne’er do-well cohorts are aided along the way by The Emperor and “his men” to the final showdown that pits man against monster to its explosive finale.

Without giving too much away, I will say that as far as endings go, it did fall a little flat. The master vampire’s character and motivations throughout the novel could have been more developed. However, the ending did open itself up for a sequel, aptly entitled “You Suck: A Love Story.” If it’s anything like the first book, I will definitely add it to my list of must-reads. As for this novel? As a whole, I give it high marks. Any author that can take such intensely dark subject matter and inject into it high doses of side-splitting humor, and do it with such ease deserves the high marks. So if you’re looking to skip a vampire series that sparkles like diamonds and instead want to experience something with a little more bite, then I highly recommend “Bloodsucking Fiends.”

By Trish Day – Staff Writer
Buzzy Multimedia– Sci-Fi & Fantasy Audio Books and Funny T-Shirts

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